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Old 01-27-2010, 01:31 AM   #3222
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Awakening Part 2: An Interview with Leonard Jacobson
Second of a two-part series from, ďThe EdgeĒ magazine, by Tim Miejan

In the conclusion of this interview, Jacobson speaks with us about duality, the role of religion in the process of awakening, and about belief in God.

How would you describe the current state of human consciousness in terms of its level of awakening? Is it easier to awaken now than in the past? Are more people awakening?

LJ: Absolutely! Iíve been doing this work for 25 years, since my first awakening. In those early days of teaching, I would have to work with people for a year or so, for them to really open into Presence and Oneness, but now that process is rapidly accelerating. In just one day or a weekend, people can have a very deep and lasting experience of the awakened state. People are much more interested in being present today than they were 25 years ago.

The problem is that as more and more of us truly awaken in consciousness, it is met with a corresponding movement into unconsciousness. Itís as if the forces of consciousness and unconsciousness are battling it out within a dual realm. Of course when you awaken, you transcend duality and open into Oneness. In Oneness, there is no opposition. There is no resistance. There is no opposing force. We just need enough of us to awaken individually to impact the collective level, and it will become easier and easier and easier. Thatís really our only hope, and Iím fairly optimistic.

And yet, when youíre in the awakened state you still have some concern for the state of duality?

LJ: Even those who are fully awake are aware of time, are aware of what is happening in the world as a result of human unconsciousness. You canít help but observe what is going on. That does not mean that you enter into judgment. It does not mean that you disconnect from Presence because of your concern for the state of the world. Ultimately, everything is accepted for what it is, and that includes human extinction if that is the destiny that we create for ourselves. But it doesnít have to be that way. It is a natural response of Presence to express the truth when encountering illusion, even in the face of great resistance. History is full of such examples, from Jesus to Gandhi to Martin Luther King. When you awaken, you are much more aware of the beauty of the natural world and you recognize your role as a caretaker. And so you do your best to act consciously upon the earth, and encourage others to act consciously, rather than unconsciously and destructively. Essentially, it is an empowered response from Presence. Iím doing what I can by writing books and teaching and sharing a way of awakening with those who a ready to respond. And as each of awakens, it impacts at the collective level.

So you must feel pretty satisfied that there are other people who are also speaking about the present moment now, like Eckhart Tolle. I have received some of that from my experiences in person with people like Thich Nhat Hanh, with the walking meditation, being present in the moment on the ground, on the earth.

LJ: Yes, thereís no question about it. Being present is the key to awakening, and that seems to be emerging as the current and prominent teaching. The present moment reveals the eternal now. The present moment reveals Oneness. The present moment opens us up to the living presence of God, and ultimately reveals Heaven on Earth. We just have to realize that being present is not a practice or a meditation. It is our natural state.

What role has religion played in the process of awakening?

LJ: More than anything, religion has distracted us from the truth. What I would say is, ďDonít be a Buddhist, be a Buddha. Donít be a Christian, be a Christ.Ē And Buddha and Jesus would support those statements unconditionally. That was the whole point of their teaching. They were not seeking to create a religion. Their Presence gave rise to the possibility not of millions of Buddhists and millions of Christians, but millions of Buddhas and millions of Christs. That is our true destiny, but it is impossible to know the true meaning of their words other than from within the awakened state of consciousness and then the meaning of their words is clear.

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