Spiritual awakening brings with it some unexpected side effects. The growth of our conscience is one of these. What will we do with this greater awareness of the expansion of conscience? What choices will you make?
Side Effects of Spiritual Awakening
At precisely the point when you begin to develop a conscience, you must find yourself at war with society. ― James Baldwin
Awakening has some unintended consequences. It’s an expansion of both internal and external line-of-sight. So, we can see and understand more.
If we see more, that’s good, right? Yes, and no. If we see the world as it really is, it can be shocking. Thankfully, we see the beauty we may have missed. But we also see things would rather not. We see bias, injustice, and prejudice.
So, along with our expansion of awareness is the growth of conscience. It is an interesting development for many people. This is one of the unexpected side effects of awakening. Now, we can no longer ignore the misuse of the planet. Our conscience involves our heart, and the natural response is empathy. Therefore, we must act in alignment with our conscience. These are just some of the side effects of spiritual awakening.
Sometimes people have an existential known as the dark night of the soul. This forces them to face the implications of their new awareness.
It is important to realize things change when we see behind the veil of our personality and the mechanisms of society. It gives us new information. And it provides two areas we have for opportunities. With this new information, we can make a positive impact on ourselves and the world. Each of us has their own sphere of influence.
Growth of Conscience
We are choice makers. Everything we do is a choice. The more options we have, the greater the number of choices we have. The expansion of awareness shows both internal and external spheres in which we have the option to make choices. This is a side effect that many weren’t expecting. It forces us to see, and that forces us to make choices.
Above all, the growth of conscience illuminates internal issues. This is one of the side effects of spiritual awakening. They have always been there. We didn’t have the insight to know of them. Guess what? Just being aware of the issues it doesn’t eliminate them.
The internal issues related to this thing we call our paradigm. Our paradigm is the worldview, it contains the filter through which you see reality. It is the blueprint of your thoughts, beliefs, and values. It also relates to the default settings of your personality and instincts. There are two choices in dealing with the side effects of greater awareness of these inner mechanisms.
The first option, Ignore insight of paradigms inner thought life, values, and beliefs. The issues will keep coming up but you decide not to deal with them. Perhaps you can watch more TV?
If this is your option, you will attempt to suppress the information provided by the new insights provided by conscience. We don’t recommend this approach. It puts you in a constant state of conflict known as cognitive dissonance.
Cognitive Dissonance is the mental discomfort or psychological stress. This occurs when you try to reconcile two or more contradictory views, beliefs, ideas, or values. If you have a negative emotional reaction to opposing ideas, then this needs some attention.
The second option is much better. It means you will do something with your increased awareness and growth of conscience. Good for you if pick this option. We need more people like you.
Start by learning about the programming of your personality and instincts. One of the best tools we’ve found is the Enneagram of Personality Profile. They base this on questionnaires that reveal the default mechanisms of your personality and instinct. This is only the first step, but it’s a big one.
Learning about this default these settings will help you understand how your mind works. It will explain how and why it has drawn you to certain likes/dislikes and how you function socially. The main takeaway here is finding out you are not your personality You can learn to access and operate from different vantage points. This is the essence of inner learning.
The next aspect of your programming is the influence of the cultural narrative. These aren’t hard-wired, but they are powerful. This is the programming we get from religion and politics. It can override the decision-making abilities of reason and common sense. So, it’s a good practice to learn to question everything about the cultural narrative. This is a daily exercise that will reveal the cultural bias and prejudice that affect your thinking and values.
Now, for the external choices.
Here, again, the first option is to ignore our conscience. Pretend it is someone else’s responsibility. Then we must deal with the guilt resulting from having a conscience. See also Cognitive Dissonance above. We don’t recommend this option.
The second option is similar to the second internal option. Likewise, we accept the consequences of our awareness of the issues. Then we do something about it within our sphere of influence. If you chose this option, congratulations on helping! The world needs more people like you willing to put actions behind your thoughts.
So, now you have decisions to make. Are you going to ignore or accept the challenges that awakening brings? The side effects of spiritual awakening can be surprising, but it is worth it.
We hope you found this article helpful, maybe even thought-provoking. You will find more interesting posts on our blog page. Use the “search” option on the blog page to find articles by key terms, topics, or category.
Does spiritual exploration interest you? If so, we offer both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions. We use a blended learning process to get the best learning outcomes. This blended approach aligns with what Joseph Campbell calls the Hero’s Journey.
Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia