Awakening is such a terrible word. Let's do away with it.
What does it really mean anyway? Fundamentally? Is it a feeling? Is it some sort of otherwordly experience? Is it an upgrade that we are blessed with when we do enough meditation? What is it?
Before we can even get into this, let's explore its opposite. Let's examine the very non-spiritual, very human, struggle. In the experience of being human on Earth, there is fear. Fear and insecurity. We are afraid of losing our loved ones, we are afraid of death, we are afraid of pain, we are afraid of being broke and sick, and we are afraid of being alone.
To try to escape this fear, the mind seeks something solid to hold onto. Some sort of security. It seeks to attain and to possess. The drive to be successful, for example, or to retire with enough in the bank. But even when (or if) we accumulate enough money, the mind still feels this underlying fear and insecurity. This can be said about health too, as well as possessing people, friends, family, and lovers. We put all our energy into trying to prevent bad things from happening to us, afraid of being trapped in a circumstance that will cause us inescapable pain.
At some point, for some people, the mind sees the impermanence of these things. At some level, it knows it can't find any kind of security in them, even if it could attain them, because it never knows when it all might disappear.
Understanding that it can't find security in anything temporary, it turns to the spiritual - can it find security in something permanent? An idea of God? Brahman?
Can it find more permanent peace through cultivating something internally? Developing an idea or a philosophy which it can then cling to?
Now it is introduced to the possibility of a whole different kind of security, a kind of permanent security. Then it embarks on a seeking journey, in which it is trying to transcend this human experience and become something greater.
But if we look at that, we'll see that the desire for awakening is no different than the desire for money, a house, or anything else really - it's another attempt by the thinking mind to seeking refuge in an image, attempting to escape what-is, to establish security in something illusory.
When we wake up to that, we see that all our ideas of anything spiritual are invented by the thinking mind - creating images and then worshipping them. We invented them as a means to escape our fear and insecurity, to have something "permanent". Now we're trying to make an image real.
Can awakening happen now? Do we have the courage to empty the mind of all concepts and face what-is? Without trying to superimpose any conception or idea of what it is or should be?
Time is generated by the thinking mind which believes it's actually going somewhere. It believes it is becoming. But as we begin to see the whole setup of how thought is lulling us into false images, tantalizing us with future freedom that never comes, we simultaneously become acutely aware of the root of fear and insecurity: thought.
The spiritual journey is a journey for the thinking mind, which can never reach its destination. This is because the root of its existence is in fear. It's made of conflict, and it will never be able to escape what-is as much as it would like to.
This is the fundamental misunderstanding that leads all seekers in circles. We are identified with a bundle of thought, which exists in time, and are hoping one day it'll become timeless.
But as we see that it's this activity of thought that creates the insecurity in the first place, that it's trying to escape the very thing it's creating, that seeing allows the thinking mind to become intensely quiet. To drop all images and enter into a pristine silence. In that quietness, that silence, there is an opening to something - not something the thinking mind can capture. Not something that can be recorded, or integrated. Only experienced directly.
Only in that quietness can one even experience something timeless. The experience of this timelessness is like an awakening because we are waking up from the dream of being 'I'. Not simply affirming, "I am not who I think I am," but actually experiencing a quality of mind in which there is no illusion, no images, no fear.
And in that experience, there is nobody to experience it. It just is. And where there is no fear, there is peace, joy, love, genuine happiness.
This can take a lot of energy and dedication to see this. It's not something you can understand in passing (unless you happen to be in the right state of mind). This is where I'm happy to help you flush all this stuff out. Just reach out to me... it's free!