Are there symptoms of awakening? Does awaking relate to specific experiences or perceptions? Is there a way to tell if you are awakening or is it all just a mind game?
Many outstanding teachers tell us awakening is real. It doesn’t appear to be sleight-of-hand trickery or mind game.
Is Your Awakening Just A Mind Game?
Spiritual awakening is the most essential thing in a man’s life, and it is the sole purpose of being. ― Kahlil Gibran
To awaken, one must realize that one is in a state of sleep, a state of self hypnosis. And, in order to realize that one is indeed in a state of sleep, one must fully recognize and understand the nature of the forces, which operate to keep one in the state of sleep, or hypnosis. It is absurd to think that this can be done by seeking information from the very source which you induce the hypnosis.
— George Ivanovich Gurdjieff
You have wakened not out of sleep, but into a prior dream, and that dream lies within another, and so on, to infinity, which is the number of grains of sand. The path that you are to take is endless, and you will die before you have truly awakened. ―
This is Your Awakening
Does your current spiritual practice change your perception? Does it make it possible for you to see and move beyond ordinary states of waking, dreaming, and sleeping? Can your practice produce an immediate “Eureka” experience? Do you have a way of measuring your incremental growth? If you can’t answer yes to these questions, then you are not using processes that will enable your growth. What is your awakening but the result of practices that enable you to grow intellectually and spiritually?
Here’s another way to tell if you are on the path of awakening. Awakening involves our hearts, and as we become more awake, we can open the virtues of the spirit. The virtues of the spirit are not goals, they are the higher values which are possible for each of the nine basic personality types. So, each type has its own path and own set of challenges.
The symptoms of awakening are different for everyone, because everyone starts in a different place, everyone has different sprititual gifts. In general, they are an awakening of the virtues of the spirit. The virtues of the spirit are gratitude, love, appreciation, serenity, joyfulness, happiness, thankfulness, blissfulness, and mindfulness. When we open these virtues, we open our hearts and one of the unintended side effects is the growth of conscience.
Many people desire the experience defined above, but don’t know to find it. So, it is often a choice between two different paths, spirituality in Western traditions and Eastern traditions. These are the two major paths that one may travel. If you really want to awaken, you must pick the right one. And if you pick the wrong one, don’t be afraid to change it. Next, we’ll look at these two paths.
Spirituality in Western Traditions
The Western traditions are the Abrahamic religions. These are religions of Semitic origin, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (1). These religions are not new constructs, they are the rebranding of Assyrian, Babylonian, Egyptian and Persan mystery religions.
These mythologies focus on doctrine and the afterlife. Doctrines are laws, rules, and guidelines that tell us what we should value and believe. These religious systems do not concern themselves with exploring or developing awareness or consciousness. Their main concern is about controling your mind and keep you a paying customer. They do not want to give you tools to think or grow.
Here, the symptoms are the demonstration of faith and belief in things they cannot prove. These manifest as talking in unknown languages, falling when prompted by the pastor or leader. It’s about pretending you have an imaginary friend. There aren’t any processes or measurable techniques. It is all based on self-hypnosis and the submission to groupthink manipulation.
Spiritual Awakening in Eastern Traditions
The focus of Eastern Traditions is the development of consciousness and connection. These traditions include Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Animistic Indigenous Traditions. This contrasts with the concerns of the Abrahamic religions. Many Eastern traditions are the storehouses of ancient knowledge we call “spiritual technologies.” It is these traditions that have guarded the processes we call spiritual technologies.
This is Your Awakening Toolbox
Spiritual technologies are tools for exploring consciousness. They are processes that can change or expand our awareness. Some of them are also doorways to higher states of consciousness. In short, spiritual technologies are methods that alter or change awareness and consciousness. These processes result from eons of research by cultures around the world. The use of these tools is what we call spiritual exploration.
These tools stand up to the test of science. That’s because they are repeatable. Several produce measurable changes in our physiology.
It’s important to realize what spiritual exploration is not. Spiritual exploration does not involve belief in a religion. This means they are available to anyone that can follow a process. It’s like following a receipe to bake a cake. If you use the right ingredients and follow the directions, you get something delicious. The processes are formulas or ingredients for exploring consciousness.
There are many ways to list these methods. One simple way is to divide them into four primary groups, some fit into more than one category.
- Analytical Tools
- Awareness Expansion Tools
- Healing Practices
The study of spiritual things seems like an odd place to find analytical tools. However, analytical processes are vital to the spiritual quest. This is because their use enhances our reasoning ability. This helps us to think more clearly. This helps us avoid many of the common obstacles. The two tools in this group are Logical Reasoning and The Enneagram of Personality.
The study of logic is the first tool we use in our group practice. It’s especially helpful for those new to the spiritual path. We come back to review them regularly. This keeps them fresh in our minds.
We use a set of three related tools. The first tool is Logical reasoning. This article summarizes logic. It shows how people misuse logic to sell us ideas and beliefs. Next is spotting logical fallacies. This module provides practical examples of the most common logical fallacies. The last module, the logical axioms, ties everything together.
Comparative Analysis is another valuable analytical tool. This is a systematic approach to research based on the scientific model. It is a method that compares ideas and beliefs from different worldviews.
This process introduces the challenge of comparing their beliefs to other worldviews. Here we also learn why it is so important to use emotional checks. It helps us research with the least amount of bias and prejudice.
Above all, the use of logical reasoning and comparative analysis will sharpen your ability to discern fact from fiction. So, these aren’t just for research. You’ll find a use for these tools every day. Besides their use in religion, politics, they are also helpful with TV and Radio newscasts.
The Enneagram of Personality
The Enneagram of Personality is a tool that helps us understand the mechanisms of Ego, personality, and instinct. Modern psychology and the Enneagram share many of the same concepts and authors. Borrowing and then building on the work of others was and remains a common practice. For instance, Jungian psychology parallels the structure of the Enneagram. It has nine processes of consciousness.
The core of the Enneagram Personality Profile is a series of questionnaires. If you provide honest answers, you will get an accurate profile of our personality. The scientific method of testing verifies the accuracy of this tool. The system goes beyond identification into deeper thought processes and beliefs. It integrates spiritual and psychological understanding. It will lead you to an understanding of the source of your personal power.
When you say spiritual practice, many people think of meditation. Seated and moving forms of meditation are the centerpiece of spiritual exploration. The practice of meditation is now common knowledge. Both seated and moving meditation bring many health and wellness benefits.
Seated meditation is the heart of many spiritual practices. Meditation is a range of mental tools for exploring consciousness. It has everything from Mindfulness Meditation through Japa or Transcendental Meditation (TM). And also includes more advanced practices like the Siddhis of Patanjali.
Moving meditation is action together with a heightened level of awareness. So, this includes a range of activities involving the mind-body connection. Using these modalities helps improve our health and wellness. This progression includes energy collection modalities like Qigong and Tai Chi. It also includes Forest Bathing. techniques for grounding, like Tree Grounding and Sun Gazing.
Awareness Expansion Tools
This group is a mix of tools dealing with awareness and perception. This group of processes starts with the Shamanic Journey or Guided Meditation. It also includes lucid dreaming, third-eye awakening exercises, and techniques to improve memory. Another important tool is the spiritual journal or book of shadows. This is your best coach. It also includes exercises like automatic writing. You could list these tools among some groups. However, we like to list separately because of their importance to awareness.
The Shamanic Journey is probably man’s first spiritual technology. This traditional method is at the core of many indigenous cultures. It serves as evidence to the historical importance of the inner quest.
There are many variations on this theme, but all use essentially the same formula. Rhythm is a key element that regulates heart rate and breathing. Then the mind projects an inner world providing the lucid journey. A Shaman is a person who guides people through this journey in the spirit world. However, you can take this inward journey by yourself. This tool for changing awareness uses a range of seated and moving forms.
This is one of the ancient technologies that people have tried to rename or rebrand. They do this to make the Shamanic Journey more marketable. So, some people know it as guided meditation or creative visualization.
The last group is healing practices. This group includes a diverse set of tools such as Pe Jet from Indonesia, or Reiki, and Shiatsu from Japan. Vedic medicine is also available, along with other traditional healing forms. Self-care is a vital part of this group. Our overall health and wellness affect every aspect of life.
Using any healing method is a natural outlet for our positive energy. Many people come to the healing arts as a secondary interest. Then they find it is an enjoyable way of giving back and helping others.
Sadly, many people do not want to become awake. They don’t want to know what lies beyond the five senses. If you want to know, then start practicing the spiritual technologies above. These processes will lead to your awakening. Find someone to teach you one of the spiritual technologies.
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.
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(1) Abrahamic Religions, Wikipedia
(2) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia