This is a collection of some 'Awakening Moments' which I can recall which have and continue to shape the person which I am today. They may not be in order and many are simply life experiences but since everyone awakens differently, this is mine and I share it freely.
I have never felt comfortable within my experience of life as a whole. From early on I questioned too much (as if that were possible) but did so without thought. I was bored throughout school and, looking back, invited trouble from authoritative figures.
A line from a 1992 movie called Sneakers stuck with me over time - "Too many secrets".
The years flashed by and experiences and programming happened and I thought that if I could get that 'job', that things would turn around and work out. That illusion faded as my years and experiences grew.
I guess the simplest way to state it would be that, I woke up one day and thought: "There has to be more to life than the quest for cash".
I was starting to realize that life seemed to be a quest - not one of those noble, honourable quests - to get money from one pocket to put into mine. Is this really the way I wanted to be?
So I did what any 30 year old fed up with the 'quest for cash' does; Googles "volunteering overseas". After a year of waiting and interviewing / training (being told I was a fool) and 7 weeks after 9/11, I was off to Namibia in southern Africa for 2 years.
Maybe I was shielded from the propaganda storm which followed 9/11 by being removed from the incident both physically and mentally. I did not experience the media except for the odd clip here and there as this was another life, filled with glorious adventure and cultures to explore. Many other volunteers were also there which gave me the opportunity to get to know other western peoples as well. Some were idealists, some looking to enhance their resumes and everyone had a grand time.
It did not take long to realize that the recipients of our 'development work' just wanted one thing: to be westernized. They just wanted to do it at their own pace with all the gadgets which came with western society. Being in Africa as a 'Development Worker' made me realize that I was there to develop and change the way people live; their culture and beliefs.
I saw a tribe on my travels within the country, which lived for eons in the bush (The Himba) now looked down upon as they are thought of mainly as thieves, beggars, drunks, whores, drug addicts...the lowest of society; draining society's resources (like the Native American Indians have been treated). Sure, some 'make' it and they are shown as a shining light for the rest until they can 'catch up' to being civilized. What was being 'developed' was an introduction to a new, and mandatory way of life; MONEY.
Here is my little scenario (in my head) for it:
"Here is a new way of living for you,it's called money. You exchange it for anything but can only attain it certain ways; oh and these ways are regulated (to make things fair) so there are legal ways and illegal ways and legal ways from the past may become illegal in the future but illegal never becomes legal and.... When you do attain it, you must pay us -the government- a percentage because we 'protect' you and if you don't we will come and get it forcibly by taking all your stuff and put you in a cage (like an animal). Good luck."
So I return to my frosty homeland and acquire that job which would enable 'security'. One starts off at the the largest IT company as a contractor through a placement agency (job pimps) and if they like your work, they offer you a full time position. So I read the employment contract, for which stipulates that any idea I have hence forth belongs to them (in or out of work). Sign now, limited time offer.
Time to go: I end up selling or giving everything I had except for what I could fit into my $400 car and driving to Mexico from Canada; where I lived for 6 months.
Upon my return I am offered a position in the U.S. through the NAFTA agreement which falls through because I did not have the appropriate 'papers'. I begin working for the Military Industrial Complex where I eventually would be training flight simulator technicians.
I was holding a training course for technicians from Air China and I had asked one "How is it working at a state owned communist company?" (being that we had conversed many times during the week and he had informed me that he has only known 'Communism'). To which he informed me that it is no longer state run per-say as it is now a joint venture with the company I worked for. I rephrase the question and ask "How is it then working for a more western company than the state run one?" He looked me in the eyes and replied "It's less human".
After the "less human" comment and completing the training with humor and relaxation to facilitate learning, I was told by the head of my department to "Watch it!". I suppose that they objected to me making the course fun and also cutting the memorize and regurgitate aspects of it which had no bearing while introducing proper troubleshooting techniques and juggling (yes the little balls) to lighten the load as computer systems of a flight simulator can be quite complex.
So that did not last long :-) After some more traveling and other work I begin working for a major telecommunications company leasing land for the erection of cellular towers. I was privy to some interesting meetings with some fairly high up people and one day, at a meeting during a discussion on health and safety one stated: "Even if cellular technology were to be found harmful to humans, we would not stop using it." - That is a direct quote for I will never forget those words.
Throughout the years there have been many moments of 'awakening' or clarity or questioning; whatever one wants to call them. From the ones mentioned above to asking the question in a conversation - "Is it better to say nothing and listen or respond in ignorance to join the conversation" - Only to be replied "It's better to talk to prove your intelligence". There are moments like these everywhere, it is our ability to see through the fog (intentional or not) which will eventually lead us to question which inevitably brings about change.
I don't focus on what moment led me to where I am today for they all did. I look at all of them as a learning opportunity. After my experience with Ayahuasca, the only conclusion which I can come to is that being AWAKE is not a destination but rather a JOURNEY and that journey is filled with opportunities to learn if one can break the barriers which hold us back. I am happy in knowing I will never be awake.