Do you know what happens during a spiritual awakening? Is there a spiritual awakening test to tell if you are spiritually awake and aware? Or do you think it is just a mind game? If you are curious, discover the signs and symptoms of a spiritual awakening.
It is no surprise many teachers think choosing the right spiritual path is important.
“Spiritual awakening is the most essential thing in man’s life, and it is the sole purpose of being.” — Khalil Gibran
Why is Spiritual Awakening Confusing?
One of the main things that adds to the confusion is how we use the terms awaken and spiritual. Each of these is defined and used in various ways depending on who uses them. So, we need some basic definitions to help us hone in on the most accurate meaning.
Spiritual is a term that refers to the human spirit. Religions use this term to describe their doctrines of belief in mythology and superstition. That’s the beginning of the confusion. Awaken means to rouse from a state of sleep. In the spiritual sense, it applies to the transition from ignorance to the awareness of facts. Let’s look at some of the common questions associated with awakening.
Choosing The Right Spiritual Path
There are two basic choices when it comes to spirituality. You can follow an organized religion or forge your path. The world’s population is split almost in half on this subject, with half following a religion and the other half walking their own paths.
There are hundreds of options for organized religion. Most of these are variations of three themes from the Abrahamic religions. (1) These are the Semitic religions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Most people who follow these regions came into being about 2,000 years ago, but they are wrong. These religions are not new or unique. They are the result of rebranding. They are copies of ancient mystery religions from the Mediterranean region. These cults date back to 5000 BCE.
Choosing the right spiritual path is important because it determines your values and beliefs.
The Choice of Western-Organized Religion
Organized religion’s primary groupthink mind game is to use faith and belief instead of facts and evidence. Is spiritual awakening a sin for these systems? The answer is yes. Awakening is a substantial change in perception. They use the belief in myths to keep people hypnotized.
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 explore or develop awareness or consciousness.
The Choice of Consciousness Tools
Many Eastern Traditions use tools for personal development. These Eastern traditions include Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Confucianism, and all Animistic Indigenous traditions.
Many Eastern traditions are the storehouses of ancient knowledge we call spiritual technologies.
“An intellectual understanding that is not backed by experiential knowledge can lead to mind games and deceptive states.” ― Sadhguru, Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy
We divide these tools into four groups.
- Analytical Tools to enhance critical thinking
- Meditation connects us directly with pure consciousness
- Awareness Tools and Techniques to Expand the Bandwidth of Awareness
- Natural Healing Modalities to Repair and prepare us for more significant challenges
Five Common Questions About Awakening
1. Is Spiritual Awakening Good or Bad?
You would think everyone would see the spiritual awakening as something good, but you’d be wrong. Organized religion does all it can to discourage this type of growth. Their main concern is controlling your mind and keeping you a paying customer. They do not want to think or grow or awaken to their hypocrisy.
Congratulations, you are on your way if you are aware enough to see this choice. If you see the inconsistencies, this is your awakening wake-up call. You are awakening from the mind game of self-hypnosis and the subjugation of your mind to mythology and superstition.
2. Is Spiritual Awakening a Sin?
Organized religion likes to keep paying customers. It uses two primary strategies to make things off-limits and undesirable. First, it labels something evil to demonize people and things. Second, it brands something a sin, a transgression of divine law.
One of the best examples is how knowledge became a sin in the Babylonian myth of the Garden of Eden. This myth was assimilated into Western theology. Knowledge is a sin because it lets you see the mind game of religion. This legend is also the basis for gender discrimination. The main purpose is to control people and keep them from seeking knowledge outside the boundaries of organized religion.
You must realize there is nothing wrong with gaining knowledge and understanding. The only people who think knowledge is sinful are those who profit from keeping you asleep. Is spiritual awakening a sin because it dispels the power of magical thinking? That’s exactly why they are afraid of it.
Magical thinking is the basis of the thinking which makes people believe in delusions. These delusions are harmful because they justify negative bias and prejudice. We are all explorers at heart; our very nature compels us to investigate everything. The inward quest is no exception. This innate desire is what Joseph Campbell calls the Hero’s Journey. (2) When we respond to this wake-up call, we set several things in motion that set us apart from the norm.
3. Is Spiritual Awakening the Same as Enlightenment?
To awaken spiritually is to begin the process of growth that leads to enlightenment. Everyone has their own challenges on this path. Embarking on this journey is akin to waking up from a deep slumber, suddenly questioning the meaning of our existence. As we lift the veil of perception, we wake up to greater and greater revelations about who we are and what the world is all about.
So is spiritual awakening the same as enlightenment? The answer is no. But asking questions like this indicates you are aware enough to ask the right questions.
Awakening is a destructive process where we confront beliefs and stereotypes. It is the opportunity to overcome cultural bias and prejudice. Those we call enlightened have conquered this challenge. They embrace a holistic and universalistic philosophy of life. This is beyond sectarianism, beyond the divisiveness of harmful extremist ideologies.
How is spiritual awakening the same as enlightenment? It is similar in that both involve changes in perception, thinking patterns, and values.
4. Is Spiritual Awakening a Religion?
Religion provides answers and a structured belief system. At the same time, spiritual awakening propels individuals on an ever-evolving quest for truth. One of the central aspects of the spiritual path is its departure from rigid dogmas and doctrines. These are the hallmark of Western organized religion.
Traditional religions require adherents to follow prescribed rituals and doctrines. But the path of awakening encourages a personal and intimate connection with the divine. The focus is on tools for exploring consciousness, not the belief in religious doctrine.
Organized religions have specific cultural and geographical origins, catering to a particular group. But the processes involved in awakening transcend such limitations. Individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and beliefs can use them. So, is spiritual awakening a religion? No, it is the opposite of religion.
5. Is Spiritual Awakening a Mind Game?
A mind game is a deception that sets up one or more false premises as fact or truth. This definition is a good description of religious indoctrination. Spiritual awakening is the path of fundamental change of awareness and perception. This change leads to greater understanding.
On the other hand, religion is based on pretending and make-believe. It uses mind control techniques and propaganda to replace myths with facts. They want you to believe spiritual awakening is a mind game. They want to keep you a paying customer.
Signs and Symptoms of a Spiritual Awakening
We must also discuss the difference between symptoms and signs because they relate to feelings and emotions. Feelings and emotions are used as smoke screens that keep people from awakening and becoming aware. So, understanding the difference between feelings and emotions, symptoms, and signs is important.
Many people believe “feelings” and “emotions” are the same. We use them interchangeably in casual language, but they aren’t the same. They share similar elements, but where they diverge is important to understand.
Feelings relate to physical sensations and conscious experiences like pain or hunger. In contrast, emotions are discovered through thought. Emotions manifest in the unconscious (subconscious) mind. Our feelings are encountered on the conscious level.
For example, anger and love are emotions that are experienced as feelings. Both love and anger can be a good or bad thing. Deep and powerful emotions expressed as feelings can produce the full gambit of behavior. Some people never understand the depths of their emotions. They spend a lifetime hiding from them. It’s the same with the symptoms and signs of awakening.
Signs are like feelings, as the physical or outward manifestation of awakening. The symptoms that cause these manifestations come from the subconscious, like emotions. If we repress our emotions, we also repress the inward symptoms of awakening. When you suppress the symptoms, the growth stops. You may get glimpses of clarity occasionally, but it fails to take root and become conscious.
What causes us to repress and shut off growth? Why is spiritual awakening confusing? The confusion is intentional. Spirituality is infested with a contagion we call Western organized religion. They substitute myth and superstition for authentic spiritual growth. And they are good at doing this using social programming techniques they inherited from their predecessors.
The spiritual junk food of Western theology makes it hard to tell the genuine from the fake. Let’s see if we can dispel the confusion about the signs and symptoms of a spiritual awakening.
What Happens During a Spiritual Awakening?
To awaken spiritually is to become more aware of expanding our range of awareness. Awareness is an aspect of consciousness. When you expand consciousness, it has a positive effect on every part of the mind. So, a true awakening isn’t just a spiritual experience but an increased perceptual and intellectual ability.
Awakening is a journey of self-discovery. It is the path to a deeper understanding of our identity, purpose, and connection to the universe. This journey peels back the layers of social conditioning and programming to unveil a new perspective.
The awakening process is destructive as it destroys illusions, providing new insight. This growth and understanding can happen in leaps and bounds, known as the “Eureka” realization. More often, this progress occurs in subtle, incremental changes. New insight and greater perception prompt the questioning of beliefs and values. Questioning things is the mark of a freethinker. It is the characteristic of those who have a deeper understanding of the self and the universe.
We cannot understate what happens during a spiritual awakening. It is a profound expansion of perception. This expansion also intensifies our emotions. So, the signs and symptoms of spiritual awakening can be uncomfortable. It is common to experience overwhelming sadness, confusion, or even euphoria. These emotional fluctuations serve as catalysts for personal growth. They force us to confront suppressed feelings and past traumas.
A true awakening dismantles the control of the ego. It dispels the false sense of self rooted in fear, attachment, and separation. As individuals gain insight into their true essence, they gain strength. They shed societal conditioning and negative thought patterns, liberating themselves from self-imposed limitations.
With the illusion of the ego shattered, consciousness can expand. With this perspective, they can move beyond the limitations of their previous beliefs. Here, they perceive reality from a higher, more transcendent perspective. This expanded awareness allows them to access deeper levels of intuition and wisdom.
The cultural narrative is also dispelled as an imaginary construct. Now the individual can recognize a deeper purpose and experience a shift from living in fear to embracing love and compassion. This newfound connection brings a sense of unity and oneness to all living beings.
The path of awakening helps us to surrender control and trust the greater intelligence of the universe. It is the realization that real growth and transformation occur when we let go. We release resistance and trust life to flow naturally. Letting go of attachments and desires becomes a central theme in their journey toward self-realization.
Awakening is not a one-time event but an ongoing integration and transformation journey. As one aligns thoughts, words, and actions with their newfound understanding, it leads to a more authentic and purposeful life. This process may involve changes in lifestyles, careers, relationships, or geographical locations.
It is a journey that enables us to break free from societal conditioning. Embracing expanded awareness and connecting with the divine nature is a personal journey. What happens during a spiritual awakening depends upon the barriers that must be overcome.
While each individual’s awakening experience is unique, there are common benchmarks. We share threads of self-discovery, emotional upheaval, and profound transformation. These weave together to create an extraordinary metamorphosis. Embrace this opportunity for growth and step into the wondrous world of enlightenment that awaits you. All you need are the right tools.
Spiritual Awakening Test and Assessment
What exactly is awakening, and how can we measure it? The symptoms of a spiritual awakening can differ slightly for everyone. Everyone starts in a different place; everyone has a unique set of spiritual gifts. You can measure your progress by documenting your thoughts and progress in a journal. A simple handwritten journal is one of the best tools for the spiritual explorer.
Here are four questions you can ask yourself to indicate your level of spiritual awareness. Consider this your spiritual awakening test.
1. Is Your Heart Open?
Awakening involves our hearts, and as we become more awake, we can open the virtues of the spirit. These virtues are not goals; they are the gifts of our nature. These gifts are available to each of the nine basic personality types. Each personality has its own path and challenges. Here are the things people exhibit when their hearts are open.
They Practice the four pillars of spirituality:
Their lives Express the Virtues of the Spirt:
There are many spiritual people alive today that provide examples of how these qualities can manifest.
2. Are You Aware of Being Asleep?
The awakening process begins with the realization that we have been asleep. Many spiritual teachers tell us a true spiritual awakening is real and tangible. It doesn’t appear to be sleight-of-hand trickery or a mind game, but is there any concrete way to know for sure?
“Only those who have awakened know that they were sleeping.” — Jim Paredes“
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.” ― Jorge Luis Borges
“You think of yourselves as humans searching for a spiritual awakening, when in fact you are spiritual beings attempting to cope with a human awakening. Seeing yourselves from the perspective of the spirit within will help you remember why you came here and what you came here to do.” — Neale Donald Walsch
3. Have You Experienced Significant Perceptual, Intellectual, and Spiritual Changes?
Awakening is linked to awareness. Our awareness can fluctuate up or down. We can experience great leaps of growth. But we can also experience plateaus where we stagnate. Change is inevitable, but growth is not guaranteed. We can regress and fall backward. Nothing is guaranteed, not even the time to make the trip.
Does your current spiritual practice change your perception? Does it make it possible for you to see and move beyond the ordinary states of waking, dreaming, and sleeping? Can your practice produce a direct eureka experience? If not, you are in the trap of a mind game.
Do you have a way of measuring your incremental growth? If you can’t answer yes to the above, it’s time to make changes. If it’s not creating positive changes in your awareness, it’s likely just a psychological mind game.
“Spiritual awakening is the difficult process whereby the increasing realization that everything is as wrong as it can be flips suddenly into the realization that everything is as right as it should be. Or better, everything is as was meant to be.” — Alan Watts
4. Are Your Beliefs Based on Sectarianism?
Sectarianism is the belief and attachment to religious doctrines and dogma. The most dangerous and destructive are those which promote bias and prejudice. These manifest in discriminatory practices against those of different sexual orientations. It manifests in the promotion of laws to restrict personal autonomy in such matters as voting and abortion rights.
After you assess which spiritual path, you can take action to realign your activities. Is spiritual awakening a sin for you? Are you trapped in the myths and superstitions of ancient mystery religions? Are you afraid of being punished by your imaginary friend? Or are you a member because of family or cultural pressure? The concept of sin makes many people prisoners of religion out of guilt or fear.
Sadly, many people do not want to become awake. They don’t want to know what lies beyond the five senses. They are happy to live a life of delusion, but there is another path. If you want to know, then start practicing the spiritual technologies above. These processes help you awake from your slumber. Find someone to teach you one of the spiritual technologies.
When we examine the characteristics of spiritual awakening, it is clear that it is not a religion. It is the opportunity to forge your own path. And it is the freedom to use tools that transcend the depths of consciousness. This path takes us beyond the confines of rigid doctrines and dogma to embrace the quest for personal truth. While spiritual awakening incorporates similar aspects of religion, its approach is very different. It offers a holistic pathway to self-realization that goes beyond the boundaries of religion.
Spiritual awakening is not a mind game. If you think it is, it is because you are under the spell of commercialism or religious sectarianism. You have two choices. The authentic path of spiritual exploration is not a mind game. It is quite a contrast from organized religion and faith and belief as a shell game. This is your awakening wake-up call. Will you answer it?
(1) Abrahamic Religions, Wikipedia
(2) Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Wikipedia