If you feel “awake,” try these self-tests. They may open your eyes to something surprising.

Enlightenment (or “awakening”) is a state of full awareness. While most people feel they are aware, everyday awareness is very low. Measure yours here and gauge your enlightenment.

(1) Can You See What’s Before Your Eyes?

Look at the face of a clock. Both the minute and hour hands are moving. Odds are you can’t see them move. It’s easy to see the fast movement of the second hand. This requires little awareness. Seeing the slower hands move takes deeper awareness and this we lack.

(2) Have You Seen Spots?

When you watch a movie, do you notice spots flashing periodically – round dots at the corners of the screen? These spots signal projectionists to switch reels. They are most easily seen in old, black-and-white films where frames move slowly.
Our failure to see them means we literally don’t see what’s before your eyes.
Once you see them you’ll be amazed you ever missed them. You’ll see how lost in thought we actually are.

(3) Do you crave drugs or alcohol?

Do you crave drugs or alcohol? If so you are pleasure-impaired. With low awareness our eyes are not open to beauty; our senses aren’t open to pleasure, and when pleasure is low, we need to get high.
The more aware you become, the less pleasure-impaired you are. When fully aware, life gratifies fully; being alive is a natural high and alcohol feels like the depressant it is. It actually takes the edge off your happiness.

(4) Can You Smell the Flowers?

It’s often said we need “time to smell the flowers.” Check to see if time is really what you need.
Recall the last time you were in a room with flowers. Ask yourself this: If you had you not seen the flowers, would you have known they were there by the fragrance? (Were your senses open to pleasure?)
Having time is good but first and foremost we need the capacity to small the flowers. We need awareness.

(5) Are You “Nothing but Memories?”

Someone once said: “Our memories are all we have and all we are.”
Do you agree?
Agreement suggests extremely low awareness. If memories are all you have and all you are, you’re living exclusively in your head. You’re missing the present – the vibrant “now,” almost completely. You’re as Ram Dass put it: “always one thought away from life.”
Awareness is far more gratifying than thoughts are. As awareness grows, memories become a smaller part of what you have and what you are. You reclaim your birthright – a spacious mansion filled with riches. That’s awareness.

(6) Do You Read Compulsively?

Find an “o” on this page and focus on it. Can you attend to the “o” without reading the words around it?
If you can’t help reading the words, can you at least keep from being carried away by their meaning?
Compulsive reading means your mansion of awareness has an out-of-control tenant who has taken over and shut you out. Find another “o” and try again.

(7) Can You Make a Clean Break?

Recite in imagination “Mary had a little lamb,” but stop short before “lamb.”
Does the word “lamb” sound in your head loud and clear, like it or not.
Build awareness and you regain control. You can easily stop a thought mid-sentence. With full awareness you can stop a word mid-syllable. When you can say: “Mary had a little lamb,” without the “lamb,” your noisy tenant is thoroughly subdued.

These tests point to what you’re missing and also to what you’ll gain from awareness. With awareness you’ll run smoothly on all cylinders. Your eyes will open to beauty; your senses to pleasure; your mind to truth and your heart to love. Enlightenment is nothing apart from full awareness. It is your birthright, and you can reclaim it. Visit http://www.StraightLineMedtation.com, and discover STRAIGHT LINE MEDITATION: HOW TO RESTORE AWARENESS AND WHY YOU NEED TO by Carol E. McMahon, Ph.D. with Master Deac Cataldo.

Author's Bio: 

As a National Science Foundation Trainee, Carol earned a Doctorate in psychology from Penn State University. National Institute of Mental Health and American Philosophical Society grants followed and Carol published widely in distinguished journals including the American Journal of Psychology, Psychological Medicine, and Medical Hypotheses. Her book WHERE MEDICINE FAILS (1986, paperback edition 2009), acclaimed the authority in its field, became a driving force in the holistic health movement. Discovery of a feedback method of meditation, however, and the meditation breakthrough it produced, redirected Carol's life to teaching, testing and refining the Feedback Method and to crafting enlightenment tests to guide readers to the grand prize. This culminated in 2009 with: STRAIGHT LINE MEDITATION: HOW TO RESTORE AWARENESS AND WHY YOU NEED TO by Carol E. McMahon, Ph.D. with martial arts Master Deac Cataldo. Carol is the author of THE PIG FAIRY and other stories in a forthcoming series: Enlightenment for Children. She is married, has a daughter, holds a sixth degree black belt in Karate, and makes her book available free of charge to retreat center and prison libraries. More at: http://www.StraightLineMeditation.com.