Do not think that enlightenment is going to make you special — it’s not.
It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of any spiritual experience. But experience is not a measure of your awareness. It is a sign that something could be happening.
Our consciousness is designed so that we can expand awareness. It’s not an extraordinary occurrence. This is supposed to happen. It means you are finally growing.
Spiritual Awakening is not Special
Our culture places a great deal of emphasis on being unique. But only unique in a way that it can make a profit from it. Because of this, it is easy to identify our growth as something out of the ordinary. Instead, we should focus on the new vantage point of observation.
Ask yourself some questions about your experience. Does it provide a lasting change in awareness, or is it fleeting and temporary? Does this experience come from an emotional reaction? Or does it emanate from intellectual understanding?
If you feel special in any way, then enlightenment has not occurred. I meet a lot of people who think they are enlightened and awake simply because they have had a very moving spiritual experience. — Adyashanti
Enlightenment is Natural
Awakening should be a universal occurrence, not a fluke. The real Eureka comes when you realize that it is a never-ending path. And, this path will have its highs and its lows. It will take you down to the dark night of the soul and it lifts you up to moments of great spiritual clarity. The path includes many types of experiences. Take them in stride.
They wear their enlightenment on their sleeve like a badge of honor. They sit among friends and talk about how awake they are while sipping coffee at a cafe.— Adyashanti
When our spiritual awakening becomes a fixation, we lose what we gain. Pride is an emotional response of the Ego. Whereas awakening is the process of the real you, the Observer coming from behind the mask of the Ego.
Enlightened People are Authentic
So, if enlightenment is not special, what is it? Why isn’t it special?
The funny thing about enlightenment is that when it is authentic, there is no one to claim it. It is very ordinary; it is nothing special. Rather than making you more special, it is going to make you less special. It plants you right in the center of a wonderful humility and innocence. — Adyashanti
Here, authenticity is the awareness of yourself that relates to a bigger picture. It is the realization that everyone and everything is special. Our existence is special. So, we are here in the middle of all this wonderful consciousness. Enlightenment is not special, it is normal.
It does not mean you will be happy all the time. In fact, you will probably feel the full range of your emotions more deeply. This runs against our culture, which insists we be non-emotional.
Everyone else may or may not call you enlightened, but when you are enlightened, the whole notion of enlightenment and someone who is enlightened is a big joke. I use the word all the time — not to point you toward it but to point you beyond it. — Adyashanti
Side Effects of Spiritual Awakening
Join the ranks of those with their eyes and hearts open. Not an extra special thing. It should be our natural state of awareness. There are, however, some unintended side effects. This state of awareness brings about a greater degree of clarity. It illuminates both internal and external issues.
This means you’ll see your personality and instinctual mechanisms. And anything blocking the virtues of the spirit. No more hiding from your inner work. Externally you’ll see the social and economic disparity more clearly. You won’t be able to ignore environmental issues. So, being enlightened also brings with it great responsibility. This will make you a better person. It will drive you to engage in positive social and environmental changes.
Enlightenment is not special. But, being awake is preferable to remaining asleep. Spiritual awakening is the process where you become awake and aware.
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Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia