It was this very first class on a Monday morning. The wise teacher, a couple of years shy of retirement, started the day by asking her class of high school students: “Here is a quiz for you. You are sleeping. You are dreaming. A big tiger is chasing you. You try to run away and you see a tiger coming in front of you. You turn sideways, but every side you turn to, you find a ferocious animal coming after you. How can you escape?”

There was silence in the classroom. No one dared a response.

So finally the teacher said, “There’s only one answer: Wake up!”

Source | Philip Chircop. This is my own retelling of a story I heard years ago.


It’s all about waking up.  Waking up one enters a whole new world of reality, different from that of the world of dreams. What was a huge problem in the dream state often becomes a non-issue in the waking state.

“Spirituality means waking up. Most people, even though they don’t know it, are asleep. They’re born asleep, they live asleep, they marry in their sleep, they breed children in their sleep, they die in their sleep without ever waking up. They never understand the loveliness and the beauty of this thing that we call human existence. You know, all mystics -Catholic, Christian, non-Christian, no matter what their theology, no matter what their religion — are unanimous on one thing: that all is well, all is well. Though everything is a mess, all is well. Strange paradox, to be sure. But, tragically, most people never get to see that all is well because they are asleep. They are having a nightmare.” | Anthony deMello,  Awareness

Author: philipchircop

I'm a Jesuit priest born on the Mediterranean Island of Malta. I'm an an artist at heart and madly in love with all things beautiful and soulful: music, painting, sculpture, photography, film, theatre, poetry, good company, good food, good wine and more. I strongly believes that beauty is a uniquely wonderful entry into the mystery of the God “whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.” God can indeed be sensed and experienced in all things if we have ears to hear and eyes to see, if we have the patience to have a long, loving look at the real that surrounds us. I consider myself a seeker with bottomless curiosity, an eternal student of life, exploring and employing new, fresh and creative ways to proclaim the Good News in the hope of helping fellow pilgrims and seekers to embrace real and radical changes that will lead to conversion and transformation.

7 thoughts on “WAKE UP”

  1. It seems to me that spiritual awakening is a gift and that we can’t do much to awaken ourselves. We can work on trusting that all is well but I’m not sure we even know we need to do that until we have first received the gift. Once we are aware that a spiritual awakening has occurred we can certainly work on deepening it. ….just my opinion.


  2. Forgive me for asking–Will you please explain what you mean by present? Here’s where I’m struggling. When someone is unaware of a difficulty, problem, a need, or in this case to wake up, they don’t know anything needs to be done to change the situation. How can they be helped if they don’t know?


    1. Nothing needs to be forgiven. I read “PRESENT” as the opposite of “absent”. I also read it as a wonderful synonym for “GIFT”. In English I can say “I give you a present” or “I give you a gift”. I read this as meaning that a “gift” is only a gift if the giver makes herself or himself present in what is given. And how does one become “present”? When I look at my own experience of snoozing, slumbering, waking there were a variety of tools and practices that nudged me and woke me up: Amongst many i can mention (1) a discipline of prayer – which I like to describe as “relaxing in the reality of being loved” … (2) regular encounter with a spiritual companion, a soul-friend … (3) reading a good book that widens my horizons … (4) examine the fruit of my daily actions to check what is life-giving and what is not …


  3. Very nice post! The thing I find is that it doesn’t really matter when you wake up…..just that you do! It’s never too late! What a glorious reality! Thank you also for visiting my blog and following. I gladly return the favor!🙂


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