“Nobody looks like what they really are on the inside. You don’t. I don’t. People are much more complicated than that. It’s true of everybody.”
― Neil Gaiman
I used to believe that people could be divided into those who were asleep and those who were awake. I used to feel, beneath the surface perhaps but still there like I was better than the majority of humanity in their slumber concerned about what seems to be inane things. At some point and I don’t even recall that this point had a defining moment it dawned on me that awareness is not a binary on/off switch but something akin to a dimmer switch. Everyone who I have ever met is somewhere on this continuum. I don’t know that I have ever met anyone either completely 100% asleep or anyone who was 100% awake. I doubt I ever will. In people who seemed the deadest and dimmest to me, I have seen glimmers of perception and kindness that astonished me. In those whom I have found the most ‘enlightened’ I have seen pride, arrogance and self-deception. I suspect that a fully turned on consciousness and a physical body are basically incompatible much like an adult trying to fit into a uniform or costume that they wore as children.
I have also found that while it may seem relatively easy to discern the point someone has reached on their path, appearances can be and often are deceiving. I have seen people who espouse ideas that seem relatively naive in a political sense or in terms of their interests yet they hold this deep compassion and understanding of others that I have not always seen in those who aspire to be spiritual teachers. This could of course be a fault of my own perception yet it has taught me to be weary of snap judgements. This is another example perhaps of seeing others not as they are but as I am.
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