Awakening. That’s the change from asleep to awake, right? You are sleeping, you open your eyes and wake up… yes?
Well yes, in the common sense of the word. But here we’re talking about definition #4:
Awakening (noun): a recognition, realization, or coming into awareness of something; e.g.
an ecstatic awakening to the profound beauty of Nature; a rude awakening to the disagreeable facts of human treatment of Nature.
An Awakening is a shift of perception that occurs in your mind. Speaking generally, an awakening experience can be something as simple as the moment when, as a child, you realized that monsters don’t actually live under your bed. Or the moment you realized that Santa Claus doesn’t actually exist. Other simple awakenings include moments such as when you finally mastered the art of riding a bicycle without assistance, or learned how to throw flat stones so they skipped across the surface of the lake. We often consider such awakenings as simple learning experiences. But it’s more than that. There is always that special moment when you have the perception of a shift in your awareness. Something new and unexpected has occurred, and it is wonderful. A thrilling ecstatic feeling follows instantly afterwards.
Note that with every awakening experience something is lost – unfounded fear, ignorance, inability, perceived limitation, false belief, erroneous assumption, unsound opinion. And something is gained – an enhanced outlook, sense of possibility, heightened creativity, expanded ability, a new skill. Every awakening makes you feel fresh, alive and energized.
With this understanding of the general definition of awakening, you can see that every kind of person, at any age can have an awakening at any time. Every awakening, even the smallest is cause for celebration, and the natural awe-some joy of the experience of awakening is your built-in reward.
Here, on this site, I talk about the biggies; the major awakening experiences. Even more important, and not often talked about, is the intense awakening process itself. If you are so destined, the process may begin within you. The over-arching Awakening Process is the actual and permanent transforming element. It is the awakening process that actually does the difficult internal work, eventually and permanently establishing your awareness in the enlightened state.
Enlightenment does not occur in one brilliant moment, though many of us have been led to believe this. Becoming Awakened, Enlightened, Realized, or whatever you want to call it, is the final breakthrough that occurs after a long process of examination, demolition, breakdown, detoxification of debris and thorough rebuilding and rewiring within your body, mind and subtle energy bodies. To get to that end point requires countless changes and refinements within you, on multiple levels. The overall Process, the priorities and patterns of change that occur inside, are very similar to the physical detoxification processes that occur in your body when fasting. And it is very similar to the mental detoxification processes that occur when aberrant programming and conditioning dissolve as you awaken to who and what you are as an Individual human being among other human beings.
After that final breakthrough, there will be many years of acclimating to your new state of being. Refinement continues within your psyche.
Let me lay out my definitions for you: An Awakening, The Awakening Process and Awakened.
‘An Awakening‘ experience is a one-off expanded consciousness or mystical experience. Various names and phrases are used to describe such an experience – cosmic consciousness, oneness with God, merging with the Absolute, mystical experience and many more. Whatever it may be called, it is an extraordinary peak experience that goes far beyond one’s usual sense of self and perception of reality.
You may have no awakenings, one awakening or many awakenings during your lifetime. There are two general directions an awakening experience may take within you: 1) The peak experience occurs, fades away, and nothing much more comes of it. You will remember the experience for the rest of your life, but it doesn’t seem to have any major impact on how you conduct the rest of your life; 2) The peak experience ignites a spark within you to investigate it more deeply. You will delve into spiritual matters to some degree, or possibly to such an intense degree that it becomes the only pursuit that matters to you. It becomes the total focus of your life. All you want is to rekindle that experience. You want to understand it, to know its purpose, and most importantly how to get yourself back into that incredible feeling and knowing. Forever, please!
An awakening experience may last a few seconds, or a few minutes. Maybe it lasts an hour, a day, or even many days in rare cases. No matter how long it lasts, it makes an indelible mark in your psyche. You will never forget it.
‘The Awakening Process‘ is an ongoing massively transformative internal process. During this process you may experience many ‘awakenings,’ many extreme experiences along the way, both ecstatic and joyful, or brutal and troubling. These awakenings will come and go, while the Process itself continues, often in a hyperactive, manic way inside you. Many times you will feel to have no control over the Process; it controls you. It is a process of examination and elimination. What is being examined and eliminated is your identity – all your beliefs and all your attachments to them.
Granted, the awakening process is not necessarily brutal for everyone. But it is absolutely true that everyone who is selected to go through the awakening process is someone who has loads of egoic junk inside that must be metabolized, detoxified and eliminated. Everyone has loads of egoic junk inside themselves. The Awakening Process is the time for you to take it all on, deal with it, and get rid of it. The process of coming face-to-face with all the crap inside you and permanently getting rid of it is no picnic. It is very serious business, and will be incredibly intense and difficult for most people who go through it. No one is Awakened or Enlightened until the junk inside is dealt with and eliminated – to completion.
In my case, the Awakening Process was initiated and ran its course over 4 years, governed at all times by the supremely intelligent Kundalini power within me. My Kundalini Life Force was turned up to high volume and remained hyperactive throughout the Process. It is what drove and guided the whole Process within me.
Some who go through the Awakening Process may say that Kundalini had nothing to do with it. I respectfully disagree. As I have seen it and experienced it, I realized that Kundalini is simply a word for the Intelligent Life Force that created me, that sustains me, that created my ego-self, and, when the time was right, fully fired up again to very carefully deconstruct, disassemble and dissolve away all the ego-self imprints that I had carried with me throughout my soul’s journey over lifetimes.
With every waking moment that you exist in this dimension, you are aware, perceiving, thinking and acting through the use of your Conscious Life Force, your Kundalini. It is the animating force within you. It is what leaves you when you die. Everything in your life depends on your Kundalini life force, from your conception, to your birth, to your death. Kundalini is what is greatly amplified during your spiritual Awakening Process. With the intense and challenging spiritual ‘detoxification’ that is occurring, it is your Kundalini that is doing the work inside, at a much stronger level than normal waking life. Because Kundalini is clearly apparent during these times of intense spiritual purification within, it is often only spoken of as ‘being awakened and active’ during these stages of growth, and ‘dormant’ when not. But in fact, kundalini is always active inside you; it is simply a matter of degree.
Essentially it is this: Ego cannot get rid of ego. Only the Intelligent Life Force – Kundalini – can do that job. Your Kundalini life force created your ego. Your Kundalini life force will carefully and surgically remove your ego, when the time is right. And not before.
Once my Kundalini Process awakened, it took charge of the whole Process. It ran the show. It was the boss. It had specific intentions, and it continued its work until it was satisfied that all had been completed. ‘I’ came along for the ride… until my sense of ‘I’ eventually disappeared.
I address more issues about Kundalini on another page in this website.
‘Awakened‘ is complete, done. Some call it Enlightened, others quibble about the terminology. No matter. The Kundalini-driven Awakening Process has run its course and completed the transformative work it intended to accomplish, which is huge! Everything that you thought you were is gone; everything you now are is amazing and completely unexpected.
This does not mean absolutely finished, as in ‘no further development or evolution will happen’ in your personal conscious awareness. That never ends. What is accomplished and completed is the careful de-energizing, dismantling and detaching of your ego-driven sense of identity, which is your very strong sense of self identification to your personal ‘story’ and your history. Who you believe yourself to be… everything about you that you believe makes you ‘you,’ is taken apart and eliminated, piece by piece. Permanently.
Likewise, the ‘little mechanisms’ (as I like to call them) within your psyche that act as little motors that feed and keep your ego and sense of identity going are dismantled and deactivated too. Permanently. Your little worry mechanism, your little regret mechanism, your little jealousy mechanism inside; these are all shut down and carted off. Experiences of worry, regret, envy, jealousy, pride, greed and so on… they simply don’t occur any longer.
So to sum up, just as a ‘cleaning process’ is the action of removing undesirable material, and ‘cleaned’ is the state when the process is complete, the Awakening Process leads to the Awakened, Liberated, Enlightened State.
Big, intense one-off awakenings, the experience of unity consciousness; these are the juicy awakenings. Sometimes I think of these brief ecstatic experiences as ‘teasers’ along the way; blowout experiences that keep tantalizing you to go further. They are so amazing that they keep you seeking for the grand prize. Your spiritual journey and full awakening process may include a few or perhaps many of these brief, intense awakening experiences. And when the awakening process is complete, you may or may not have such experiences again. But you’ll no longer care about that.
There are no How-To Instructions for Enlightenment. And there is certainly no Owner’s Manual or User Guide after it occurs. (LOL!) We are all winging it.
What I can see is that there are nearly countless prescriptions and methods for achieving enlightenment that don’t result in enlightenment. I have written about this in the article Enlightenment Traps.
The upshot is that no spiritual belief, technique or practice delivers enlightenment. Techniques, practices, devotion, service… they are all great experiences to help discipline and refine your body and mind, to develop wisdom, understanding, and what I call “saintliness.” They help to bring out more ‘positive’ qualities and help to diminish the ‘negative’ qualities of your personality and sense of self. Indeed, many kinds of spiritual work will serve to prepare your mind and body for your grand Awakening Process, should it occur. And sometimes, rarely, it seems that a few people who persevere intently at their practices apparently wake up into a permanent state of enlightenment. But for any 1 person to whom this coincidentally happens, there are many hundreds or thousands who aren’t so lucky, try as they may. From my point of view, those who do seem to break through due to their practices were very close to ready anyway. Their practice just happened to give them the final necessary experiences and increased maturity of their soul so that their actual Grand Awakening Process began.
The Awakening Process culminating in Enlightenment happens to you when you are ready and capable. Never before.
How do I know when I am ready?
You don’t. You can’t. You won’t.
‘You’ have nothing to do with it. No matter how hard you try to get more ready and capable, it’s extremely unlikely that will do the trick. It is not a matter of merit. Of being good. Or righteous. Or have meditated enough. Or being sufficiently compassionate, kind, forgiving, loving or humble. All of these traits are wonderful to experience, embody and share with others.
The more people that cultivate these qualities and character traits within themselves, the better. But as I have mentioned, working to improve beneficial qualities within yourself is working, walking and talking the path of Saintliness… while you still have your ego and all its hidden encumbrances intact.
Working toward saintliness will serve to file down many of your egoic rough edges. And help polish your already smoothed edges. There seems to be a lot of overlap with the enlightening process, and there is. Indeed, if the grand enlightening process is not occurring in you right now, then by all means do some productive saintliness work within yourself! All the rest of us appreciate your efforts. 😉
Are there any qualities or characteristics that give me a hint of my readiness?
Don’t seem to be. People of any size, shape or temperament may spontaneously pop into the awakening, enlightening process. But I can say, in my experience, that the small % of adults who embody a sort of ‘natural’ innocence, guilelessness, simple love of honesty, openness, integrity and humbleness are very likely quite evolved souls, and they may be poised on the cliff-edge, nearly ready to take the leap. But you can never know for sure.
So after all this explanation, what should I do? Nothing?
You are here to experience; to have all kinds of experiences and gain wisdom from them. Apparently the Big Game we are all playing is set up so that your soul is destined to experience every imaginable kind of experience, from the most exhilarating to the most horrible… over many lifetimes. You progressively learn from all these experiences and evolve wisdom, your Soul IQ.
So, live your life with gusto! You are here to experience it all, to take it all in, and to give back all that you can. Go for it.
As far as what you should do to facilitate awakening into enlightenment? Yo are already doing it. Follow your desires and where they lead. Be as honest with yourself as you are able. Every thought, every desire, every action and every result slowly but surely fills you soul’s cup.
Is there anything guiding me into my experiences, steering me toward the most effective experiences I need?
Yes. It’s called Desire. Your desires are always steering you toward the next thing you need. These desires come in every imaginable form: good, bad and ugly. You probably hold specific beliefs that triggers your super-ego to dictate to you what desires are allowable and that you should follow, and what desires are not allowed and you should refrain from acting upon. Every belief is an invisible box around your limitless self. If your current beliefs are beginning to make you literally feel that box around you, then it’s time to look into those beliefs and see if they are still serving your growth.
How can you know what desire you should follow and what desire you should not follow?
That’s call intuition. As you listen and hear your intuition talking to you, most of your choices and answers become clear. Or at least clearer. Follow your intuition and see where it takes you. The more you exercise it, the better it gets.
Following your intuition often brings you face to face with beliefs that stop you, or that limit you. Again, time to check in and see if those beliefs really serve you. Break out of your little box, do something out of the ordinary and see what happens.
Remember, in the bigger picture, you are here to experience everything – from the best to the worst. All are required to fill your cup. Be aware: if you were to try to fill your cup with only good, positive experiences, shutting out all ‘negativity’ in your thoughts and in your life, you’d eventually find that your cup is only half full. Or half empty, if you prefer.
So, it seems that this whole business of Awakening is predetermined, or simply fate?
Bottom line: Enlightenment is a Gift. Sometimes called a gift of grace. The commencement of the Awakening/Enlightening Process itself is a treasure of unimaginable value, though many times you will not feel that way while you are going through it!
As I’ve stated, this is a gift that is given and can only be opened when your soul has achieved a satisfactory level of experience, gained sufficient knowledge and mastered the wisdom from all those experiences.
If complete enlightened awakening were to somehow occur before you are ready, you would not be able to handle it. Your ego would severely abuse the new powers and clarity given to it. Indeed, if it seems like you have become fully awakened, but in actuality you’ve experienced a premature awakening, then your remaining ego will then go on to misuse and abuse it. IOW, your soul will use this false awakening, with the support of your ego, to give you more intensive experiences and lessons about personal mastery.
Not you, not I, nor anyone else can know when you are truly ready. Perhaps there is some sort of Divine Algorithm in operation, monitoring all souls for evidence of full readiness. When Supreme Consciousness knows that your little personal spark of consciousness is truly ready, the Process begins.
If you are not there yet, then go forth and experience more! Your desire will lead you. Give it your 100%.
So remember: your final enlightening process happens when it happens; you cannot force it to happen, no matter how hard you try. And when it is about to occur, you cannot stop it, no matter how badly you may want it to stop.
When it comes to matters of the spirit, do you really know what you want? Have you ever sat down with pen in hand and written out exactly why you are involved in ‘spiritual work’, what you want from it? I very strongly recommend that you do it. Whatever you sincerely want, you are sure to get it, eventually. And if you do not clearly know what you want, you’ll get that, too. Make it your focus to find out clearly and exactly what you want. Your path forward will then open up.
Next: The Awakening Process