A definition of spiritual enlightenment or spiritual awakening is hard to pin down.
This is, in part, because “spiritual enlightenment” and “spiritual awakening” have been used in so many ways to describe so many things, similar to the way in which “love” is used to describe everything from a preference for ice cream to a merging with everything. And it is also because spiritual enlightenment and spiritual awakening are such rich and complex experiences that they are innately hard to define.
Some definitions are very specific and narrow. One such definition for spiritual enlightenment is the complete dissolution of one’s identity as a separate self with no trace of the egoic mind remaining. This sets the bar very high and means that very few people qualify as enlightened.
The opposite approach is to say that everyone is enlightened, that there is only awake consciousness. In this view, it’s only a question of whether this natural awakeness has been recognized or not. Of course, when a word describes everything or everyone, it loses some of its usefulness. If everyone is enlightened, then why even talk about it?
The 3 stages of spiritual awakening
Softening the intellect and ego: this process is done by actively exploring the ideas and understandings, essentially becoming conversant with the ideas, bringing a sense of acceptance and ultimately leading to an acceptance of safety for the individual.
The key to moving beyond this stage is to accept the safely of the person to allow this information as real and valuable. Much of the information in ‘spiritual’ understanding is asked to be taken on faith, ultimately given such an intellectuality lead society, most people cannot do this enough to accept their full safety in taking their exploration further. Only an initial intellectual understanding, to some degree, will lead to a willing conscious exploration going further, without this the person becomes scared and contracts their awakening and their motivation to take this further is withdrawn.
Success comes when the person intellectuality accepts a world view and regards it as safe for them to explore further, until that point, the awakening is halted.
Awakening to the inner senses. This experience if gaining information from the ‘inner’ reality rather than just the intellectuality accepted reality is stage 2 and brings the person further along the path of self discovery. There is obviously more information on the ‘spiritual’ path in the inner realms of reality: the search for the self does happen within the 5 sense world, it is an inner journey of self discovery. These inner senses then, bring information to the person that cannot be immediately confirmed by the intellect, requiring the person to validate their own inner communications as real. A feeling or gut instinct is information gained from the inner reality by the inner senses.
In truth, owing to the true nature of the identity of which you are a part, each person is wholly and naturally conversant with their own inner intuitive and psychic senses, the key to stage 2 in the awakening process is to consciously accept this as VALID information and a valid process. The key benefit here is that in accepting the information as valid and real, the person accepts their own inner identity as real and valid: a major step in the awakening process.
Becoming Conscious of Self: Full conscious awakening is the final step in this process involving the bringing together of both ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ reality and conscious use of that information. Once a person accepts that their identity in fact ‘straddles’ inner and outer reality and that they can gain valid information both aspects of their experience the full awakening process is starting. Once again, this process can take years or moments to unfold but this awakening is the final process in the ‘soul’ awakening to itself, which is of course, the person waking up to who they really are, the soul in flesh.
This final step brings with it an unconditional change within the person where they are consciously aware of their identity as separate independent but in co-operation with the physical body, whilst being consciously aware of their broader identity.
Get ready for the changes
~~Uploaded on Oct 1, 2010~~
We ALL are ONE!!