Randall Friesen

          Great spiritual leaders share a common calling: to wake up their students. Using words such as “enlightenment,” “salvation,” or “self-realization,” teachers through the ages have urged us to wake up to an awareness of the Divine. This awareness, they tell us, is all we need in order to begin a new life, one that will ultimately lead to the fulfillment of our highest potential.

          It’s a difficult concept to get, though. Ironic even, because for the most part we don’t realize that we are asleep! It’s like that moment of epiphany, when you read something or hear something spoken, and you see for the first time something that was there all along. You wonder how you could have missed it. How could you have had the answer right in front of you and not seen it? Those are the moments in which you understand the message of “Wake up!” You see in living color how you were asleep and weren’t even aware of it.

          Throughout my career in spiritual philosophy, I’ve continually asked the question, “How do I wake up?” How do I keep aware of Truth at all times, in all my life’s circumstances? I realize that I fall asleep so easily, and so frequently. So I am always searching for techniques to keep my mind alert and aware of the presence of God. It takes work. I found that, for me, I must continually expose myself to new ways of thinking. I scour bookstores for fresh perspectives on spiritual issues. I attend lectures and churches that present a variety of religious beliefs. I speak with people who show me new ways to see ancient truths.

          My new favorite “alarm clock” is my Kindle. I have loaded it up with books that inspire me and remind me who I am, where I fit in the universe, and how to grow to even greater heights. My Kindle fits in my back pocket, and I take it with me whenever I go out into the world. Then, when I suddenly find myself in a weird situation, or facing a challenge, or simply waiting for the subway, I can pull it out and, wham, I wake up!

          Truth permeates everything. It is all around each of us at all times, but is often so difficult to see. But with great minds and ideas at the tip of my fingertips, I have fewer excuses for not being awake.

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