My last blog focused on providing an in-depth discussion on spirituality and spiritual awakening.
As you have already noted from the blog, the process of spiritual awakening is multi-layered and complex. Its initiation and progression varies from one individual to another. With that said there are certainly some common signs. The signs listed below are uniform however, depending on where we are into our spiritual awakening journey we may experience some or all of these signs. Additionally, the levels of intensity of these experiences also vary. So overall it’s a progressive path.
Adding on another layer of complexity, these listed spiritual awakening signs can be temporary for those who may go back to old ways of living. Typically, permanently awakened people experience all of these characteristics at a higher level of intensity on a consistent basis and my wish for you is that you do as well.
1. Elevated Perception
One of the very first signs of spiritual awakening comes in the form of elevated perception. Spiritually awakened people’s perception is very vibrant and direct. The world which seemed dull becomes a place filled with excitement, wonder, and beauty. They have this sense of openness towards new possibilities and experiences. A metaphor to describe this experience will be that we are a camera, whose lens cap just has been removed. Imagine the sense of awe with the degree of change in view.
At elevated intensities of spiritual awakening, we can observe the presence of spiritual energy around us, which not only pervades all things and space around us but also acts as the source to give rise to them. At a lower intensity level, a person may not be aware of the abundance of spiritual energy around them however, often they may still indirectly sense its effects.
2. Mindful presence
Spiritually awakened people neither do they dwell on the past nor stress about the future. With the elevated perception, they live in the present moment and what’s happening in the now takes the center stage. They focus on their present state, sensation, experience, and surroundings. This experience is also known as living mindfully.
One of the most pronounced traits of mindful living is a sense of time expansion—an experience as if time has either slowed or disappeared. It’s a mystical experience of eternalness that has no beginning and end. It’s where the past, present, and future all dissolve into one eternal moment. One eternal moment as our soul only lives in the present and not in the past or future. As a matter of fact past and future are simply creations of our wandering thoughts.
3. Sense of “oneness”
We often believe and portray ourselves as separate and unique individuals. We believe we are here while the rest of the world is out there. This paradigm is solely driven by our ego. With spiritual awakening, this sense of separation dissolves. Spiritually awake beings live in the blissful abundance of pervading spiritual energy where there is a clear awareness of the fact that everything is connected and originates from the same eternal source of the universe. There is a sense of harmony that every part of the universe is just right and where it needs to be for the universe to be complete.
In this state, one may feel a strong sense of connection not only with other people around them but also with everything in their surroundings. This includes biologically non-living things and phenomena as well. To spiritually awakened, there are no such things as lifeless objects. To them, natural objects such as oceans, clouds, sky, stars, air, mountains and so on bloom with radiant liveliness and are all connected.
As a matter of fact, a different form of living species today, oceans, mountains, sky, sun and every part of the entire universe originated from the same elements further driving home the idea of oneness and why some at an elevated level of consciousness feel that sense of connection.
4. Transformation of inner-being
One of the most prominent signs of spiritual awakening is a change in our inner-being. There is a telling shift inside us as our old (auto-pilot, unhappy and unfulfilling) system gets replaced by a new awakened and conscious system that conduces inner-peace, meaning, and happiness. Many spiritually awakened people characterize this transformation as being reborn or gaining a new identity.
As this shift happens within, a considerable reduction in inner-noise and wandering thoughts are experienced. Our auto-pilot thoughts which had been wandering toward whirl of external things, situations, fear, replaying past events, future daydreaming start to diminish. As a matter of fact, it’s not until when we look back in retrospect we realize how we have been a victim of our own old auto-pilot system that has been reinforcing our ego-identity and has been depriving us of living a happy, fulfilling and meaningful life.
Did you notice I used the word “reduce and diminish” with “inner-noise and thoughts?” The reason being it is not common for inner-noise and wandering thoughts to completely cease. With that said, it is possible to completely eliminate them however, those instances are few far in between.
5. Losing social “labels”
At the very instant we are born, we are considered a child. However, as we grow up we tend to acquire multiple physically and socially derived labels such as body type, sex, ethnicity, religion, educational qualifications, career field, professional title, political affiliations, and so on. We often don’t recognize it but these labels feed and boost our egoism. They give us multiple ways to distinguish ourselves. They give us a fragile sense of belonging on which most of our existence and identity depend.
In a spiritual awakening, these aforementioned superficial labels dissolve. Spirituality has no particular religion, profession, nationality, sex, ethnicity, political affiliations, etc. Under the monarchy of spirituality, all spirits are equal. Spiritually awakened people consider themselves as an integral part of the universe, which is neither superior nor inferior to others. Additionally, spiritually awakened people don’t force their understanding and awareness of others. They live in the shelter of their inner peace and harmony. They are respectful to other’s views and pace of their personal spiritual awakening journey. Holistically speaking, they rise above individual perspectives and have a universal outlook.
Most of us often find ourselves running between places or, people or, ventures or, perhaps a combination of these in search of accumulating superficial and materialistic possessions, appearances and statuses. The primary reason that drives this urge is the sense of incompleteness we feel within ourselves. We unsuccessfully run from here to there, in hopes to gain something that will feel the void, which in turn makes us even more fragile and insecure in an event if we lose some of these superficial identify drivers.
Spiritual awakening dissolves the need and dependency on these external labels. Instead of “accumulating” and being “dependent” spiritually awakened beings concentrate on “contributing” and are relatively “independent.” Beyond their basic needs, spiritually awakened people do not have any desire to accumulate materialistic possessions. They are not involved in the rat race of society. Grounded with their inner being and values, they possess more choices and freedom in their decision making, even in the face of others and society’s value pressure. They are some of the most empathetic and compassionate people out there.
Although, by no means the above-outlined signs of spiritual awakening are exhaustive. Nonetheless, it should give a basic premise of what to expect when going through spiritual awakening.