I must confess that it can be confusing. Sometimes the beginning can look like the end. And sometimes the end can look like the beginning. Indeed, there are some people who mistake the beginning for the end. When they get to the beginning, they think that they are at the end.
No doubt you are wondering what I am talking about. So let me explain. When you return to the place that you never left, that’s only the beginning you see. It’s not the end. When you return to the place that you never left, then you can begin. You can begin to make yourself useful. You can plant trees. You can grow flowers. You can repaint the world in beautiful colours.
Once upon a time, learning was considered precious. Books were painstakingly written out by hand and accompanied by beautiful illustrations. They were considered to be treasures. Today whatever you want to know is pretty much at your fingertips. But information is not understanding. They are two entirely different things. Information can be obtained anywhere. You can have a pile of information on your shelf and it will do nothing for you. You can know everything about everything and still you will know nothing at all. The quality of your awareness and essence of being will remain exactly as it was before. There will be no change. Essence of being is developed through the experience of living. Understanding arises from deep reflection and observing with openness both within and without. The power of the flame of awareness develops in proportion to your own distractedness diminishing. Awakened awareness is created. It is not a given.
Until something happens that shakes your confidence in the order of your world, you will naturally assume that the world is the way that it is. You will assume that you are fully awake and aware. You will say, “Here I am. I am awake. I am aware. I know who I am and what is what.”
That’s fine and I don’t want to upset you. But this is not awakened awareness. It’s nothing of the kind. It is like a dream where you are dreaming but you imagine that you are awake. You imagine that you are sitting at the breakfast table having breakfast but you are lying in your bed fast asleep dreaming. Breakfast hasn’t actually been served yet.