“When you’re hungry, eat. When you’re tired, sleep.”
“Before enlightenment, I chopped wood and carried water. After enlightenment, I chopped wood and carried water.”
There is a lot of mythology in the world about what happens when a person ‘wakes up’ or ‘gets enlightened.’ First of all, the ego doesn’t wake up: Awareness wakes up to Itself. Second, once Awareness wakes up to Itself, It continues a transformation process in the body-mind of the person through whom Awareness has woken up to Itself. (Many more myths persist but, whole books have been written about them, so no need to list them all here.)
This is akin to the Christian tradition of salvation, being followed by sanctification. The individual will bows to The Absolute will. The ego is seen through and given up. Sometimes, in other traditions, the ‘sanctification’ process is called ‘purification’ or ‘transformation.’ This is not always easy, and is often painful! The ego doesn’t give up without a fight.
Looking at it from a three-dimensional-life point of view, this process of purification takes time. Simultaneously, a new way of living comes into being: decisions are no longer made based simply on what is ‘good for me’ because ‘me’ doesn’t exist.
While this transformation is going on, ‘normal life’ continues. We work, pay our bills, buy and/or grow food, shovel snow off the driveway (for the third time in ten days), and go to seasonal holiday celebrations. Life looks and is ordinary. People who ‘wake up’ still look like regular human beings, and aren’t ‘special’ in any way. When we’re hungry we eat; when we’re tired we sleep. We still chop wood and carry water (if we need to), or do the modern equivalents of those activities.
All the while Consciousness is busy transforming the life of the body-mind it’s awakened in, punching holes in the ego’s idea that it is real and rules the world, and bringing Silence to an ‘internal world’ formerly dominated by chatter. This is generally done quietly and ‘behind the scenes.’ It is something to look forward to, because everything changes for the better.
May all who read this awaken in this lifetime: it is possible!