Have you ever been knocked unconscious?
I was once. It was in lacrosse game my junior year of high school. I got totally concussed.
Plenty of people get knocked unconscious throughout life. Far fewer people experience the opposite.
Getting knocked conscious.
In order to get knocked conscious, you must first be unconscious. That’s not usually problem, as the majority of the human race is living unconsciously.
What do you mean by that?
I mean that the majority of the people in the world are unaware of the mental and emotional states they are living in every single day. When you’re unaware of your mental and emotional state, more often that not you are in a state of suffering.
This is because your thoughts create your experience of reality. Your thoughts create the emotions you experience, and the emotions you experience are the feelings that you have. Thus, your thoughts determine how good or bad you feel.
When you’re unconscious, you’re not noticing your thoughts and emotions. Rather than creating the thoughts and emotions you want, they’re happening to you. It’s like you’re being taken for a ride. You are not the driver. Your thoughts are happening unconsciously, and therefore so are your emotions.
When you aren’t the driver, you’re not in control over how you feel and how you react to the world.
Everyone has some control, but few people have a level of control bordering on mastery. That’s because getting to that point requires many hours of training the mind, and few people know how or are interested in doing this.
As a result, the majority of people experience an enormous amount of suffering, much more than is necessary. I myself used to be in that bucket. Every day was a roller coaster ride, and my quality of life depended on things outside of my control.
Then I got knocked conscious.
Unfortunately, it took the death of a teammate on my college lacrosse team at Colby for me to come to this point. Derrik Flahive passed away in the fall of my freshman year, and that experience knocked me conscious.
Reflecting on the life of Derrik, who was very much someone who lived in the now, I was intrigued to learn more about how he had done this. I picked up a book he often talked about called The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. At the same time, I started seeing a counselor at school who taught me meditation.
The combination of those two things knocked me conscious very quickly.
For the first time in my life I came to understand what the present moment was. Eckhart’s words spoke to me on a deeper level than I ever had experienced before. Here’s an example:
“Are you worried? Doe you have many “what if” thoughts? You are identified with your mind, which is projecting itself into an imaginary future situation and creating fear. There is no way that you can cope with such a situation, because it doesn’t exists. It’s a mental phantom. You can stop this health and life-corroding insanity simply by acknowledging the present moment. Become aware of your breathing. Feel the air flowing in and out of your body. Feel your inner energy field. All that you ever have to deal with, cope with, in real life - as opposed to imaginary mind projections - is this moment”.
The Power of Now helped me see that the problems I was focused on in my life weren’t real problems. They were projections of future events or ruminations over past occurrences. The present moment itself was actually free of problems. And by tapping into the present, I woke up (momentarily of course) for the first time in my life.
That’s how you get knocked conscious. You deeply experience the present moment. That’s all you need to do. Realize its importance, and then experience it.
It sounds simple, but it’s hard to do. I still struggle with this, which is why I’m now re-reading this book again. After not having these concepts top of mind for awhile, I’m re-discovering that experience of getting knocked conscious again by becoming extremely present. It’s difficult, but really enjoyable. It’s nice way to go through the holiday season, which on many other years has flown by without me being present for it.
So, if you’re interested in getting knocked conscious, I recommend taking Eckhart’s advice and tuning into The Power of Now (Heres a YOUTUBE LINK TO THE ENTIRE AUDIOBOOK, if you don’t mind his goofy voice).
Do something for a few minutes each day to help yourself focus on the present moment. Pay attention to your breath. Take your time with your food. Listen carefully to your favorite song. Just do something while being intentional about being present.