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Waking up happens as we detach from what is not true, not as we discover what is true. Awakening is not about discovering truth, or even getting closer to truth, it's about detaching from untruth. Untruth can be known and detached from. Truth cannot be known and so can not be attached to.

So we don’t awaken by attaching to truth but by detaching from untruth.

Detaching involves giving up attachments to untruth. Attachments are things that have incorrectly and improperly become conditioned parts of our identities, often deeply and unconsciously so. The process of giving up attachments is therefore the process of giving up self.

And not just part of self, but all of it, or at least very nearly so. Because for those asleep, the sense of self is entirely constructed upon attachments. Detach from them all and no objective self remains. Just flow and experience.

Before awakening a mountain is a mountain. During awakening a mountain is no longer a mountain. After awakening a mountain is a mountain again.

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Before awakening the self is the self. During awakening the self is no longer the self. After awakening, the self is the self again (but only tenuously and somewhat effortfully so).

Detaching hurts. It hurts a lot. Which is why ego does everything possible to avoid it. Most typically ego does this by making us think that awakening requires us to gain or to learn something true rather than to lose and to unlearn everything untrue. Many seekers waste years and lives pursuing truth, knowledge, skills, disciplines and insights, each one of which only binds them tighter and holds them ever more fastly asleep.

To detach is to disidentify from, not necessarily to distance or disassociate from. Distancing oneself from family to go live in a cave as a monk is easy compared to detaching from family while still living daily with them and honoring them. Giving all your wealth to the poor is easy compared to detaching your identity from having earned that wealth (whether you ever give it away or not).

This is what many pursuing aesthetic paths overlook. They confound disassociation and disidentification. They think that by dissociating they have disidentified.

Awakening is always and everywhere a process of loss, not of gain. No secret knowledge or formula need be discovered or conveyed, just a forgetting of all of them. No learning is required, just unlearning. No gathering is needed, just a continuous cutting away until nothing remains. No truth need be known, just disidentifying with untruth.

Consequently, every person already has everything needed to awaken. You could do it without ever reading another book or without ever talking to another soul. To be sure its a process and not an event. But the process of The Hero’s Journey starts with you. And it ends when you are not.