The journey from aware to awake is not a destination; it’s an ongoing process. It’s a journey we must undertake to realize our potential and fully live the life we desire. So, are you ready to take the leap and become truly awake?
Wokeness has become a polarizing topic in our society today. It isn’t uncommon for some to describe themselves as “awake” or “un-woke.” But what do these terms mean? And why has it become such a contentious issue?
What Does “Woke” Mean Today
“Awake” refers to awareness and consciousness about spiritual, social, and political issues. Those identifying as woke often engage in activism and advocacy for equal rights and social justice. They are outspoken about issues like racism, feminism, LGBTQ rights, and climate change. People who are socially aware can see the systematic inequalities of the culture and are committed to fighting against it.
“Awakening is possible only for those who seek it and want it. It is only for those who are ready to struggle with themselves and work on themselves for a very long time and very persistently in order to attain it.” ― George Ivanovich Gurdjieff
On the other hand, those who are “un-woke” or asleep do not see social inequities as a problem. They fear equality will decrease their socioeconomic power. They may hold discriminatory beliefs or fail to recognize how privilege operates in society. They are a part of the problem rather than part of the solution.
So, how did this divide come about? One explanation is that it stems from our political climate. In recent years, politics has become increasingly polarized. Extremist right-wing ideology has had an increasing influence on the culture. This political movement openly promotes racism, religious sectarianism, and male domination. They are active in attacking fundamental human rights. They target the rights of female autonomy, LGBTQ, immigrants, collective bargaining, and people of color.
The rise of misinformation and propaganda on social media has also contributed to their popularity. Thus creating echo chambers in which we only hear perspectives that align with our own. This makes it challenging to have productive conversations about complex issues.
Another factor is the generational divide. Younger generations are more likely to be woke, seeing the impact of inequality on their peers and the world around them. They have grown up with more diversity and exposure to different perspectives. On the other hand, older generations may struggle to adapt to changing attitudes and values.
But regardless of the reasons, it’s clear that the divide between the woke and un-woke is real and important to understand. If we want to move towards a more equitable society, we must be willing to have difficult conversations and bridge the gap. This means listening to perspectives that may differ from ours and engaging in constructive dialogue. It also means challenging our assumptions and biases and being open to change. However, it doesn’t mean we should accept religious sectarian or racism as legitimate points of view.
Ultimately, the difference between being awake and unwoken is not just about having a specific set of beliefs. It’s about being willing to learn and grow, to see the world from different perspectives, and to work towards a more just and equitable society.
Being aware and awakened is not a matter of intelligence. There are many intelligent people in the world, but sadly, not all smart ones have awakened. So, the misuse of people and the environment. The world needs more people to awaken from the sleep of mythology and misinformation and embark on the journey from awake to aware.
21 Signs of Spiritual Awakening
When you ask, “What does woke mean today?” it shows you are curious about the social implications of the term. Some specific signs accompany someone awakening from the sleep of social injustice and inequity.
1. You feel a strong sense of purpose and direction for social equality.
2. You have greater awareness and mindfulness in your daily life.
3. You feel more connected to others and the world around you.
4. You have an increased desire for personal growth and self-improvement.
5. You experience moments of intense clarity and insight.
6. You have a greater sensitivity to the energy and emotions of others.
7. You have a stronger connection to your intuition and inner wisdom.
8. You feel more grateful and appreciative of the small things in life.
9. You have a greater sense of empathy and compassion towards others.
10. You have a stronger desire to explore your spirituality.
11. You have a deeper understanding of your true self and identity.
12. You feel more grounded and centered in your life.
13. You have a greater sense of purpose in your work and relationships.
14. You experience an increased sense of creativity and inspiration.
15. You feel a greater sense of peace and inner calm.
16. You have a stronger connection to nature and the environment.
17. You feel a deeper connection to your dreams and inner visions.
18. You experience an increased level of synchronicity and meaningful coincidences.
19. You have greater trust in the universe and its workings.
20. You feel more aligned with your values and beliefs.
21. You experience increased love and compassion for yourself and others.
How do these 21 signs of spiritual awakening manifest? We have a short quiz to help you determine where you are on your journey from aware to awake.
You don’t need an advanced degree to be awakened. Formal education is institutionalized memorization. Your intellectual knowledge has nothing to do with the bandwidth of your awareness. The quality of our awareness depends on several factors.
For example, what you eat, read, and believe affects your awareness. Your level of rest affects your alertness, and the drugs you take can alter your consciousness and diminish, distort, or expand it. Our overall mental and physical health affects all aspects of our thinking. The clarity of awareness shows up in our ability to observe. We can look at three categories to measure if someone is aware and thus awakened.
“When one realizes one is asleep, at that moment one is already half-awake.” ― P. D. Ouspensky
The first way to measure our awareness is by assessing the level of our perception during sleep or dreaming states of consciousness. Evaluating our perception of breath is the second way to measure self-awareness. And the third category we can measure has to do with our curiosity about the unknown. So, we assess our awareness in the three primary states of consciousness: waking, dreaming, and sleeping. Here we go.
Assess Your Journey from Aware to Awake
The following self-assessment will help you find out if you are awake. It will illuminate your level of awareness. What does woke mean today for you?
Curiosity About the Unknown
The crowd neither wants nor seeks knowledge. The leaders of the crowd, in their own interests, try to strengthen its fear and dislike of everything new and unknown. The slavery in which humankind lives is based upon this fear.” ― George Ivanovich Gurdjieff
Many people are afraid of the concept of curiosity. If you ask them, do you want to hear some facts and evidence that contradicts what you believe about reality? They will tell you no; they are happy living in their comfort zone. They would rather not hear any contradictory evidence. So, the fact that you are reading this is a good sign; it means you may be awakened to some extent. Good for you!
Here, Gurdjieff is talking about the desire to seek the truth beyond the boundaries of cultural folklore. There aren’t questions for this category. You need to do something to fan your curiosity, like finding an author or a teacher who knows something outside your wheelhouse. Keep reading and researching. The journey from aware to awake is a never-ending progression of improvement. It will manifest in one or more of the 21 signs of spiritual awakening.
Many live out their days on auto-pilot, and most are content to remain plugged into the cultural narrative. For them, their Ego is firmly in control, and they follow the programming of religion and commercialism all their lives.
If you spend most of your time “entertaining your mind,” chances are you are on auto-pilot. You likely accept the answers provided by organized religion. You learn to ignore your existential fear of death when it should be the motivation for spiritual exploration.
Your Dream Experiences
Dreams are one of the barometers that determine the bandwidth of awareness. Do you dream, and if you do, can you remember them?
Do your dreams seem real? Are you not aware that you are dreaming when it happens? Do you dream but fail to remember them? If this sounds like your experience, you have room for awakening. But don’t worry because the dream state is one of the most accessible places to begin the expansion of awareness. Are you awake enough to want more?
The desire to want more of what life offers manifests in several of the 21 signs of spiritual awakening. Increasing the bandwidth of your awareness while dreaming will increase your ability in other states. One of the benefits of the journey from aware to awake is how it affects perception and intellectual understanding. An expansion of awareness enhances your logic and reasoning abilities. It will be important when opening the doors to higher levels of consciousness. Waking, dreaming, and sleeping are the default settings. There are other possibilities available to everyone.
Questions About Breathing
Are you able to watch your breath without interfering with it? It’s a simple test of your observational skills. And by doing the simple mindfulness exercises, you move from aware to awake.
Observing without interfering is an essential skill. It helps us in “inner work” and daily perception. There are two simple but powerful exercises to expand your awareness and control of your breath. These are the following processes of active and seated mindfulness meditation. It will not take your mind long to learn to observe your breath.
“It is only by grounding our awareness in the living sensation of our bodies that the ‘I Am,’ our real presence, can awaken.” ― George Ivanovich Gurdjieff
As you learn to observe your breath, you enhance your observational skills. It’s essential when you take the next step toward awareness of thoughts and feelings. Please practice and enjoy these mindfulness exercises:
- Throughout the day, gently remind yourself to stay present.
- Observe your body and your breath in the present moment.
- Eventually, the goal is to observe your thoughts and feelings without judgment.
- Pause and take time to think before speaking or acting.
Seated Mindful Meditation
- Sit comfortably upright with the head floating above the shoulders and hands resting in the lap.
- The spine should be straight but not strained.
- Close your eyes.
- Bring your awareness to your posture and breathe.
- We expect the mind to interrupt with thoughts and feelings. Gently guide your awareness back to your breath and posture when this happens.
- Focus on your posture if you can’t observe your breath without interfering.
- Ignore external distractions. Your Ego will do anything to regain control. So, we expect the mind to magnify even the littlest sounds. Remember to gently direct your awareness to the body, breath, and posture.
- After the proactive, be sure to write about your experience. We tend to miss incremental growth if we don’t see the subtle changes when we go from a hyperactive mind to a calmer state of simple awareness.
Questions About The Transcendent
Have you ever “experienced” the gap between the three primary states of consciousness: waking, dreaming, or sleeping? If you have, this is a good sign. If you haven’t, don’t worry. It is something you can gain.
There is a level of pure awareness below the three default states of consciousness. People who are “awake” and “aware” are aware of this transcendence. They notice these gaps, the spaces, as they transition from one state of consciousness to another. Japa Meditation lets you become familiar with this 4th state of consciousness.
Remember, the degree to which you are aware has NOTHING to do with your belief in any particular set of religious beliefs. Mythology has nothing to do with awareness, consciousness, or spiritual exploration. So, can you relate to this experience? Do you think you are awake?
Conscience and Social Responsibility
When we can see the mechanisms of society, we see the gaps, inequities, and inequality. We see the results of unrestrained capitalism and religious sectarianism. It will lead you to take up a social cause. When conscience comes online, it will distinguish you from those asleep. So, if you still live a self-centered existence, it means you have some awakening to do.
If you can see what needs to be done but are ready to act, keep working on yourself.
“If you feel a sense of social responsibility, first of all, keep working on yourself. Being peaceful yourself is the first step if you want to live in a peaceful universe.” — Ram Dass
Spiritual awakening is a natural and necessary process that can lead to a more fulfilling and purposeful life. Embrace these signs with curiosity and an open mind. As you grow and evolve, you will see more of the 21 signs of spiritual awakening.