Awakening is the Full Realisation of Both-And

This topic occurred to me while on holiday the last couple of weeks, and then I returned home and was delighted to see one of the Thoughtful Raven Community posting about the same. See if this resonates for you.

“Is it possible to have very strong and uncomfortable feelings and simultaneously feel the peace of our true nature? The feelings are incredibly painful but I’m not freaking out about them, and when I drop out of the commentary on them and just feel the raw sensations, it feels almost ‘exquisite.” Community & Book Group Member.

I loved reading this because the answer is an emphatic YES! If there’s a purpose to awakening, it is to live absent of suffering, which is exactly what’s being described here.

When we live identified with the conceptual experience as though it is all there is, we experience just that – ‘I don’t like this, it shouldn’t be like this, how do I get rid of this, this is so painful, when will it stop, I can’t cope, why don’t they have it like this…’. When we take this conceptual experience for all there is, we suffer.

Rightfully we suffer. Because how else would we eventually give up on all the normal ways of ‘solving’ pain (emotional, psychological, or even physical) and look in the one place we haven’t yet looked – to ourself.

So that when we do turn around and look there, we can drop out of the conceptual experience, into the raw experience. There we find that what had been labelled ‘problem’, isn’t such a problem after all. ‘Exquisite’ isn’t an unusual word to use for our raw experience. I also hear people say ‘beautiful’, ‘sacred’. Now we’ve opened our perspective up to the remembrance of this first level of both-and. It’s not just a conceptual experience. There is BOTH a raw experience, AND a conceptual experience.

And then, when we take the next step deeper into the direct experience of our peaceful, true and essential nature, we find no problems at all. No desire to change or get rid of anything. No turbulence. No resistance. No thing. And constant-ness. Stability. Solid ground. Now we’ve opened our perspective even further, to the remembrance of this ultimate level of both-and. To this full realisation of our experience.

The more this is explored, and the realisation dawns and deepens, the more we see the truth that this is the natural order of all experience – that I first know ‘I am’, that I am then aware of all the content of raw experience, and that then there is then a conceptual experience which can describe all of that. Now – now I’m living in alignment with how I already am, and how experience already is.

From here, I discover this full realisation of both-and. To feel BOTH the peace of my true nature AND feel the pain, the emotions, the ups and the downs. Now unafraid of them, because I’ve remembered the solid ground of who I am.

Does this feel as settling to you reading it as it feels to me writing it?

Have you experienced this from reading The Complete Book of Awakening?

We’d love to hear your experiences.

With peace, love and joy; Helen

If you would like to explore more deeply, to know the both-and more assuredly for yourself, Sara and I have various ways to support you. Book an exploratory call to talk and see what feels good. Find out more and book a call here.  

Photo by Jeff Finley on Unsplash

  • Helen Amery
    My work involves exploring with people who are on the awakening and enlightenment journey. They’ve already seen a lot but they can also feel that their understanding is more conceptual than felt, and lived. They can feel that there is more to be seen and understood and yet they also don’t know how to ‘get at’ that. I focus on this shift from conceptual into the deeper, felt understanding of it.

    You can find me at

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