Chapter - 1 THE DIVINE LANGUAGE OF THE UNIVERSE “The Awakening”
Something was not quite right in my life. I had been struggling for years. I was nowhere near where I wanted to be, not even close. Everything I ever tried to keep under control now had gone astray. I had exerted myself for the sake of everyone; and yet I did not feel valued I befell victim to unfortunate events, time and time again. But I had had enough of failure! I felt like a car stuck in mud even though I was doing my utmost to be the “good person” as the society expected of me... I sank deeper into mud no matter how hard I tried to escape, until finally I found myself at a deadlock. When I came to the realization that everything I ever feared was happening to me, that is when the AWAKENING began.
(I am asleep please do not disturb...)
Before the awakening, I did precisely what my ancestors had taught me to do. I was a good person. I got the job my family expected me to get. I went to work at 8.00 in the morning, came home in the evening. I constructed the home I was asked to. I put my heart and soul into work and carried on with my life... I worked harder than anyone else I knew. I became what the society refers to as “a good person”. I gave my all to everyone; labour, love, wealth and most things I owned to anyone without a second thought.
I tried to see the nuances and fine details of life as I proceeded through. It Sometimes I used to observe those around me and say to myself “I am not sent to this Earth just to get a diploma and go from door to door with it to secure a good job, to serve others’ aims, get retired and wait for my call to pass...
Alas! There were so many people whose opinions I listened to more than myself I valued them to such an extent or so much so that I realized the more I valued them the more I neglected myself.
One day I asked myself:
“What do I do for myself?”
The answer was:
“I need to do something for myself.”
Then I realized that every sentence which begins with “I” is negative. Most people associated the word “I” with something negative... “I=selfishness”, they claimed! I had been told since I was just a child that selfishness was a bad thing. This is the reason; I was always afraid of and in fact avoided doing anything for “my” self. Doing anything for oneself was bad in my eyes. So as always, I listened to the’ comments of those around me. I did my best to share whatever I had, material or otherwise, with those around me. I exerted myself by giving whatever I had. It was
a shame to demand yet a merit to grant, after all. This was a sort of endless cycle for me.
The day I heard the death of a beloved friend, I started questioning the purpose of my life—this lasted for a few days. But I guess I settled back into the same routine: Home-work-home-family visits-home..... I did everything I could to avoid confronting myself. I created distractions without realizing that I was running away from myself. Just like the others (who were sleeping), I carried on taking precautions in order to ((make myself)) feel safer. It didn’t matter whether I felt happy at my work place; the only thing that mattered was that I got the pay check every single month and had a secure pension.
I was an excessively generous person who was always ready to compromise in every aspect of life. I was always the one who arrived at work the earliest and left the latest. I was vigilant against waste; I would make sure that lights were off and the taps were turned off. Wherever I saw any litter, I would pick it up and put it in the bin...
I wanted the others to care in the same way that I did!
Although I was the one who went to work the earliest and left the latest, I did not have any lunch-breaks –ate my lunch in three minutes- and thought “Later...” when I really needed to go to the toilet; I was also the one who earned the least money.
I realized that people, who didn’t care about anything at all found themselves in better positions. Whenever I felt the need to rebel and stand up for my rights; fear would nail me down to my chair. I would think to myself “I have a guaranteed salary which I must not lose”. I would always remember my parents’ and my loved ones’ teachings “Don’t make a fuss, just do your job and get your salary no matter what. Do you know how many unemployed people are out there?” This is how I would take a step back and give up on my rebellion.
I was used to think “Never mind, that’s all I can do... There are so many people living in much worse conditions that I do.”, this would stop me from reaching higher even though I knew that I could. Furthermore, I used to repress my thoughts by coming up with excuses such as “everyone is struggling in the same way to earn a living”; to relieve my conscience.
I lived like this for ages. Whenever I felt the urge to question my life I kept sleeping instead, with the words “Be quiet, obey, do your job!”
I encountered self-help books and awareness and self-improvement programmes on TV. Every now and then, I would read sentences, such as “Love yourself, improve yourself” on the internet. I would delete some of them without even reading them. I browsed through the others thinking “This is all nonsense, life cannot be that easy, and these are all money traps! What now? Will all of my credit card bills be paid just because I think positive? Will my partner stop bragging and nagging at me, all of a sudden?” I used to believe that life was supposed to be challenging according to the sayings of the ones around me. There were supposed to be facts in life and I definitely needed to cope with them, not dream.
I used to believe that rich people were lucky and the ones who achieved anything did so with their money or by way of influential social connections. This was in fact the case with most of them! Every single day, I felt a rage; against money and the lack of it was building up in me. This rage started to affect my personal life.
When it came to my personal life, I was always the one who “met the others halfway”, because at the end of the day, the only thing that mattered was the continuity of the relationship. I remember thinking “would it be easy to build another “home” under these circumstances don’t most relationships have problems?” and carrying on as before. Thus, I used to live in a balloon of lies, with a mask of happiness on my face.
Prior to this, I had had some difficulties which dragged me into financial despair and I sank deeper into trouble. At first I thought that “time would heal everything” if I worked harder, doing over-time; which would mean more sacrifices.
The more I tried to climb out of it, the more I carried on sinking into the mud. I was stubborn and self-opinionated. I was used to say “I know best” and sometimes I would accept the doctrines of others without questioning them.
Relying on my youth and strenuousness, I fought with life with my all heart and soul in order to protect the Castle of Safety I had constructed. The wind always blew against me and I always stood upright. I considered myself a hero. Because of my obstinacy I had not taken a step back, not even once. The man inside me was unhappy, tired, and desperate and had already collapsed. By contrast, the mask that I was wearing was strong, happy and capable of controlling everything.
There were so many things that I used to insist “I could manage....” But now, I was falling apart at the seams.
Every single thing that I had tried to control was now out my hands, and my inner screams and shrieks had turned to rage. Because of the anger accumulated inside me, I was beginning to hurt those around me. The point that I was standing was not that pleasant even though carrying out the things in full I was taught to.
I made a huge effort to keep my masks on. I was exhausted to be seen as the strong man yet I was losing every battle within. It was interesting that: The more I hid behind the mask and held onto the materials which rendered me tough; the stronger I felt the blow...
Why was this case? I couldn’t really understand... Watching everything getting out of hand and going down when I was honest, kind-hearted, religious; one to endure in silence for the sake of others and beating himself up not to break anyone’s feelings, in other words the “perfect man label” that the society would approve of was an experience I could not really understand or explain.
I fell short no matter how hard I tried. I was so afraid of losing the mask I was wearing that I held onto it as tightly as I could. It was as if there were two separate people: On the exterior I was tough but inside I was about to lose it; screaming “Enough!”
I always chose the difficult path in life because of my obstinacy. It was as if achieving things that others could not was the only way to prove myself. By proving, myself, I was hoping to get some sort of validation and acceptance. It is not easy to make money, it is even more difficult than it used to be, it does not grow on trees, and it is not possible to make lots of money through righteous ways”: This is what I was thinking.
I did everything I was taught to do perfectly: everything my family and the society expected. I thought that if I do what they expect of me to they would love me more. I live for everyone but myself, thinking the opposite would be regarded as selfishness.
Then I realized that I could not sink any deeper!
I had always been told that “Men do not cry!”
So I didn’t.
I had always been told that “Men are strong!”
So I was
I had always been told that “Men are the pillars of the home!”
So I was
But finally that pillar cracked!
That strong man was exhausted by the misfortunes of life; whatever he tried to maintain slipped away from his hands just like the leaves swept away by the autumn wind.
I felt so lonely and desperate. I cried and cried until the morning broke. Life was hard but I kept my poker face. Nothing I knew or applied in life could have prevented me from going downhill.
I considered dying: I felt like a failure, inadequate and unloved deep inside. I had deemed myself useless and worthless. The more I felt like this, the angrier I became. And as the anger grew, I continued to experience the same things over and over again. Even though the places and the people were different, the consequences were always the same.
At first, I could not comprehend what was happening to me. There was nothing to do, I had hit rock bottom. What knew was useless and I had no place to go. Even though I was a believer, I even rebelled against God in that moment.
“I am kind to others, honest and hard working, a believer, and I share everything with other people, still why me?” I asked many times.
And at the moments I had considered dying, I looked up high and shrieked:
“Either take my life or answer me: Why am I here!?”
I kept asking this question over and over.
During my depressed periods there had been no one next to me. The ones I had exerted myself for had disappeared as if they have vanished!”
I felt lonely, all alone...
I had lost everything I had earned and made. I had quit my job, divorced my wife and I was struggling in a sea of debt. I had lost my faith in people, myself and The Creator Almighty It was as if I was fading away. The crash landing had been so painful.
I had felt a fury inside me towards people, myself and the Creator. I had had to make a decision so I had chosen to the answer of the question: “Why me?”
THE FIRST STEPS OF AWAKENING
The first steps of my awakening were not taken on purpose. All of the things I had gone through brought me into a state of despair, to the point where I was standing then. I had in no way asked for this situation and these circumstances. I was so desperate that there was nothing to do, no way out.
I had started a search to rescue myself from this maze.
“Why do I live at all?”
“Are there other people who are going through similar things?”
“Or am I the only super power who manages to experience these all fears?”
As I continue to dig further I realized certain things. The information that I uttered -- nonsense which I occasionally had encountered through TV and internet, at the times I had had money and felt safe -- was now attracting my attention.
Like almost everyone, I started to find a way out of the financial quagmire, rescue myself from the incubuses, mend my relationship and attract wealth into my life.
I read and read! Sometimes there were conflicts in the information I consumed. And later, I started to attend seminars. Some people were standing and calling out; “Wake up!” “Notice!”, “It’s easy!” and “Take steps that will pave the way!”....
When I looked at the people who were talking, I couldn’t help thinking how easy it was for them to say such things. At the end of the day, they had had money, and they were successful and peaceful. I now recall that I had been thinking “Well, you’re in clover. If I had your money, I would go to seminars and educate myself. Then I could be the one who is speaking. If I had the luck I could be successful.”
I had even borrowed money for the seminars! During and after the seminars I could not help thinking, “Don’t be silly Bülent! Life is tough, do not believe this. There are just facts of life and these seminars are money traps.” And, when nothing worked for me, I put the blame on the seminars.
I had neither the courage nor the financial strength!
There were many people like me in the seminars. Their questions were more or less the same. But the weirdest thing was that every single one of them was asking the same question, which was “Why me?”
I remember saying “Wow! I am not alone at all. There are many other people who have crashed to the floor and now try to recover.”
Time was slipping by. The interest on my debts kept growing. I was at a deadlock. I had got notices from the bailiff. Where were the friends I had spent time with when I had money in my pocket?
As I was praying to the Lord to stop time so that the day for repayment would not come, time was running fast as if everything was against me. By the time I realised it was Monday, Friday was just round the corner. What was going on? It was impossible for me to pay the interest, let alone the whole debit. My debts were growing as if they were mountains and I was crushed beneath them. Moreover, I was pretending to be OK to my family. No one but my Creator and I knew what was really going on.
I realized, for the first time, in this process that “If I had only used some of the labour and the money for myself that I had given to others, I would not had ended up like this. I would not have all these debts and the divorce. I would be living in peace.”
This brand new information was awkward at first. As I was digging further with the hunger of knowing, I grumbled to myself at the same time: “What do you mean by saying that I come first? What is that supposed to mean? I cannot be that selfish, can I? My family, my daughter is more important than I am, of course! Is that what our ancestors had taught us? Are these the manners I had learnt from my family?” I did not even dare to think about it let alone put it into practice!
I had been reading and learning constantly, but at the same time I was fighting with the knowledge I had acquired. The top priority for me was the alignment of this new information with the doctrines of my family and my religious beliefs. This had been all that mattered! I tried to make comparisons between the new information I was gathering and my old data and experiences. That was why the battle inside me kept growing. The former data and the new information were like opposite poles.
One side of my soul was saying “yes” but the other was saying “no”. I had no courage to try out new things as I was full of fear. At that time everything attempted turned out to be a failure. . Nothing I tried was good enough to reverse it. I had been terrified of defeat. I needed a serious change.
I had been worried about what other people would say about my change. And there were thoughts deep inside me that kept nibbling: “I can’t change after this age. How can I? This is my character after all. No matter how much you wear yourself out, the path you will walk is crystal clear! You’d better give it up and be more realistic: Life is rough!”
I was desperate once more. I had neither a place to go, nor a work to depend on, nor a harbour to shelter in. I was literally in a vicious circle.
I was afraid of trying new things out but on the other hand I had no other choice. I had tried everything over and over so far and failed again and again. I had no alternative but to improve myself and see the world outside the box. Life had got me in the tightest corner.
When I was conflicted in this process and ended up with disorder, I always reminded myself that “In the past, I had done everything that I was wanted to do, I had exerted myself, worked way too much. What did I you got? A big nothing” and then continued to put myself back together.
I was compulsory, in a sense, to change myself. At first I thought that “I should be someone who is mean! With no mercy, blustering, selfish both personally and economically... Let sleeping dogs lie!” Because it was my belief that people who are mean always win and get away with the things they do.
But it was not me; not at all... I knew that I would not be able to be a mean person even if I tried. For, although I was broken and furious, I still had love inside me for people and the Creator.
So, “What is it that you are afraid of? What else do you have to lose?” I yelled to myself. “If nobody has appreciated your efforts to please them, you’ve got nothing to lose so why wait? So, for once, try to pamper yourself! Treat yourself as nicely as you treat other people... Since everyone is now gone and you have no one else to treat nicely!” For the first time, I tried to dress my wounds and motivate myself for my own sake.
I had realized something while mediating on this newly learned information: I had befallen everything that I was avoiding. What was this? A sort of power? What did this mean? How did the things that I was thinking of happen to me? So, with a deep look backwards, I could tell that sure enough, I had lived everything that I was afraid of. All my fears had come true!
I was confused once more. If it had been a kind of “power” that was summoning the realizations of my fears;
What was this power, in the first place?
How was it working?
How could I reverse its spell?
I started to ask myself “If whatever I seem to fear happens to me, can I reverse the system and make nice things happen to me? Can I reverse everything that I have been going through?”
I had discovered something interesting. As I was asking, answers were coming to me, right from life itself. Anytime I was blurred with questions without answers, either in a radio programme that I was listening to, or on television, or inside the conversations of the people I was hearing to, or even on the billboards, I have every single time been given the answer that I needed to know. It was like a big joke!
At first, I considered those experiences to be coincidences.
However I had realized that the answers that I was gaining were increasing gradually so that I could not count them as coincidences any more. It was like something was reaching out to me through some medium. I was frightened at first. “What was that all about?” I asked. “Am I going crazy, or what?” I repeated this question to myself again and again.
No matter how awkward the situation looked, I noticed that the questions in my head were now gaining answers. Was this a kind of change? Was this what people called change?”
“Let it be, change!” These words that I was encountering during my research were now making sense.
I did not know how to change, but something had already taken the control away from me and started the move...
As I tried to let the change take over, I could see that little things in my life were literally starting to change!
Life had kicked me onto this path for the awakening of my “self”. It had made me do this by taking everything away I had been leaning on.
“SEARCH AND NOTICE WHO YOU ARE!” Life had said to me.