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Spiritual Awakening Q&A

pages of book shaped into a heartThe following is a collection of questions about spiritual awakening, and my answers to them, selected from Quora. Each question was placed and answered independently and at different points in time, so answers may overlap. These answers and more are included in the Spiritual Awakening Q&A available for download at the downloads page.

Why does spiritual awakening occur?

Spiritual Awakening occurs because you made that deliberation on a spiritual level. You wanted to Awaken.

This decision is usually made and carefully planned before an incarnation, when the spiritual self and human self are ‘combined’. The human and spiritual selves are exactly one and the same, it’s just that the process of incarnation tends to create a separation between the ‘typical’ awareness and mode of operating of the human being, and his own clearer spiritual awareness. In the regular, common human life, the spiritual self doesn’t play a significant role. Rather it is usually forgotten, its existence barely acknowledged, ignored, uncertain, or unknown.

In the space between lifetimes, from your perception as a spiritual being, you decided to awaken within the next incarnation, so as to bring the human awareness and the spiritual one closer. This would require shedding away the patterns that you as a human developed for so long to cope with the human reality.

These patterns were in a way understandable. In many ways they showed your resilience, your determination, your willingness and ability to survive. But they would also hide your own inner spiritual truth, prevent its manifestation, and even impair, block, your own awareness of it. You weren’t even aware of who you were. And that created a lot of separation, pain, and suffering, for others, but most importantly, for you. Past a certain point, these patterns prevented your further spiritual progress.

Spiritual awakening envisions, among other things, the approximation of these two levels of awareness. The spiritual one is brought to the fore, invited into the human life, no longer meant to be hidden, abstract, unreachable, impractical, of little consequence, but rather acknowledged as the highest truth about yourself, known by yourself. And the practical human life is now able to receive informed direction and insight, with practical application, from its own newly found spiritual awareness.

What are the triggers of spiritual awakening?

Typical triggers include reading a specific book, hearing a specific keyword, going through a ‘weird’ or paranormal experience, going through a failed relationship, going through a period of life where everything starts breaking down.

Does everyone go through spiritual awakening?

Yes, but you must factor in reincarnation.

An individual might not necessarily go through spiritual awakening in a single lifetime. No one is obliged to do so. No one is under a timeline to awaken. He may, however, do so in any future life.

Eventually, at some point, through the course of his journey, the individual will feel it misses the connection with the higher spiritual self. And at that point, he will provide with the self the tools and opportunities for this own re-connection. Spiritual awakening is when, during the lifetime, the individual begins to realize, and re-acquaint himself, with the spiritual nature of reality, and of himself.

There are no guarantees if and when this will happen. It is dependent on an infinity of factors. But at the same time, it is inevitable.

What is the difference between enlightenment and awakening?

Awakening is the beginning of a path where you commit to release and unburden yourself from anything and everything that limits or prevents the total and complete freedom of your true self, both as felt within and as manifested outward.

Enlightenment is achieving the completion of that path. One can also use the term Enlightenment to refer to the process of threading that path – the path itself – as well as achieving breakthroughs in it.

Who awakens us, our self or others?

The inner self, through others – or external events.

The moment of awakening is always determined from within, when the spiritual self is ready.

Then, when it is to happen, the way it happens often involves the input of others, external triggers, events and circumstances, that in some way lead to the awakening. This is drawn to, attracted (and to a degree planned) in accordance with the inner design of the spiritual self that wishes for the human self to awaken.

This must be so, because prior to awakening, the inner spiritual reality is barely acknowledged, or sensed but in a way that is, to a degree, blurry, indefinite, dismissed, or otherwise less taken or not taken as real or important.

So the answer is, both, but always preceded by a readiness of the inner self.

Is spiritual awakening an instantaneous process or is it gradual?

Spiritual awakening can be seen a gradual ongoing process, sprinkled with more visible or noteworthy milestone-like moments along the way. The long-term, ‘continuous’ part of the process tends to be less visible to the human being, whereas the more punctual milestones tend to be more visible, more noteworthy.

Let me offer this scenario as example: let’s say that on a given day you undergo an event A that leads you to the an experience you’d describe as an awakening. So prior to day A you were not awakened (or less awakened) and after it you were (or you were more).

In this scenario, while you could pinpoint and observe event A, and you would say ‘My awakening happened with A’, there was still an ongoing process in your life, prior to A, that prepared you for A and lead you there. If nothing else, event A happened because your spirit was ready, or being readied, to experience it.

This scenario is simplistic. While one can usually certainly pinpoint the an important first event or events that lead to the beginnings of their awakening process, your awakening doesn’t stop there. It is not the case that you were 0% awakened prior to A, and after A you were 100% awakened. Rather, the more common circumstance is that A is one milestone in a long process with many more along the way, each offering you one more piece of the puzzle; one more portion of personal insights and transformation. In a manner of speaking, life is an ongoing spiritual awakening.

You do not instantly become enlightened when you awaken spiritually. There is more along the way. There is a path to be threaded.

What combined spiritual practices lead to awakening?

Spiritual awakening occurs because on the spiritual level, beyond regular human awareness, you deemed yourself ready to awaken, and that possibility was seen as meaningful, purposeful, and useful in your personal inner path.

The circumstances by which your actual spiritual awakening will unfold are, in a sense, secondary to that first determination. By the time spiritual awakening happens to you, you may by that point have subscribed to a specific spiritual philosophy or practice; you may have had contact with any one of them; or you may have had no spiritual reference at all.

As such, hopefully it will become clear that there is no one specific “key”, i.e. no single predetermined combination of things that you press in a certain order and then “ta-da, I’m awakened”. Awakening happens when it’s meant to happen, how it’s meant to happen, regardless if those circumstances involve “explicitly” spiritual tools or not. Your awakening can very well trigger without any contact whatsoever with any form of spirituality. Although, truth be told, your path will then tend to veer towards learning various kinds of spiritual or esoteric information from that point forward.

Awakening takes place in a way that ties with what is most important to you within, and your personal lessons. What were those things in life that mattered to you the most? How, and with what, did you suffer? How did you fail? How did you try to cope? How did you lose control? That was your personal story. Which may or may not involve some form of spirituality or religion. At its core, it was about who you are.

And who you are decided to awaken, and to begin a new journey, one by which you’re meant to grow free, and release yourself, from everything that was once limiting and restraining to you.

Why is spiritual awakening so painful?

Spiritual awakening can be painful emotionally, because we shed away many of the constructs, beliefs, patterns – inner and outer – that we had surrounded ourselves with, and accumulated over the course of many lifetimes. Many of these constructs are not aligned with our true spiritual nature and do us more harm than good. But we were convinced otherwise. We were absolutely positively sure we needed them to survive, to thrive, and to feel good. We identified with them. They deal with anything and everything in our lives, big and small, and are often things we hold very dear.

You may not be completely aware of what and how they work. Yet spiritual awakening is precisely about becoming aware of such constructs, and liberating you from them. They are like leeches attached to your skin, draining your blood, yet you believe you need them there.

Therefore, as these constructs are challenged – and sometimes ripped off – the process can be painful. Particularly so when we resist it.

Yet the process needs to move forward, because your own spiritual desire for it, for freedom, for peace, for healing, surpassed your clinginess to the constructs that hold you prisoner.

Spiritual awakening can at times be painful physically, because it’s not just an abstract thing. It’s not a fantasy that exists solely in books and tales and the internet, that doesn’t actually translate to a tangible thing. Spiritual awakening is an actual, complex, process, that is triggered, planned, staged, carried out and monitored, with much spiritual support, envisioning the transmutation of your energy. So there’s actual energy work being done, on your energy and your body, beyond what you know an control from your human perspective.

We cannot generalize too much about this, because what happens exactly completely depends on the person and the person’s energy. We can only point out general symptoms, pains, and challenges, that usually surround this – such as back and head pains, waking up at night, and all those things.

As with the emotional side of spiritual awakening, the physical aspect of the challenge can be diminished to some degree, by acceptance, and by surrendering yourself to the process without resistance, as much as possible.

What are the life benefits of awakening? People seem unwilling to suggest that awakening is ‘good’.

Awakening is the second worst thing that can ever happen to you in life.

At first, it will be fairly lighthearted and fun. You will discover and search many things, and you’ll see just exactly what the magic in life really is. You will wonder if you’re in a movie, of it it’s actually real.

But at some point along the road, you’ll be asked to put your money where your mouth is (in a manner of speaking). That is to say, you’ll be invited to put what you’ve learned in motion in your life, in a practical manner. What does that mean? You’re discovering the truth behind physical matter; and the reality of your own inner truth as well. So at some point, life will start proposing to you practical life changes that aim at shedding away any and all beliefs, identities, systems, constructs, and anything else, that you associated yourself with – both internally and/or externally – if they don’t match and don’t allow your new awareness of your own truth. That may hamper, limit, or impede the experience and manifestation of that truth.

The removal of these things is not a nice experience. You invested a long time and effort in creating them. You believed you needed them just to live; just to exist; just to have a shot at feeling well, sometimes. They were supremely important to you. They were placed there, by you, out of the need for survival, and fear. So shedding of these things will be painful. Not “friendly” painful; not “reading a book” painful; dread, atrocious, monumental, “real-life” painful.

You will be placed face to face with your worst fears. With the very things you had been working hard for so very long to escape, or avoid. Fear of not having money? Fear of being rejected by your social circle? Fear of being abandoned by your family? Fear of being cheated, manipulated, or betrayed? Fear of disease? Fear of loss? You name it. The fears you have, they will be placed in front of you. In real life. You will be put to the test.

For the first time in your life, these fears are being sent to you, not because you seem to “deserve” them, and not indefinitely; but for the strict purpose of purging them out of your system. They are your karma. One each situation is accepted, made peace with, negotiated from a place of positivity rather than negativity, it simply fades away. It will not last long. It strictly served the purpose of cleansing. But by the same token, it will last as long as it needs to last. It will be as real as life can be. So it will be very difficult.

The one thing more difficult than spiritual awakening?

To trudge through life not being aware.

The one thing more difficult than spiritual awakening, is life before awakening. Stumbling through pain, grief, and difficulty, not knowing how to handle them. Not knowing why they’re there. And worse, accepting it, taking it as it is, not expecting something more. Not even knowing there’s a better way. That’s what is truly difficult – you’re not even aware of how much it is so.

Spiritual awakening is f- difficult. It’s not for the faint of heart. It’s not for the one who asks what are the ‘benefits’ of awakening. It’s not like going to the supermarket to buy a shampoo.

It’s for the one who knows his life isn’t good enough without it. For the one who knows there’s something more, better. And has gone through the hardship long enough, has had it hard enough, that awakening is the only way left.

How do I hold a conversation after spiritual awakening? I’m finding it difficult to relate to what people share with me in conversation.

Generally speaking, by detaching from the need (sense of obligation) to engage in conversation.

It is normal and perhaps inevitable that you find you no longer completely connect with the energy and perspectives that those who are not awakened, and consequently with interaction and conversation with them.

This doesn’t imply absence of conversation or isolation from society. It doesn’t mean you should run off to the mountain and never speak to others ever again unless they are enlightened. It simply means you’ll have to adjust your expectations to the interactions that are possible.

With spiritual awakening there usually comes a degree of detachment from the necessity to conform with the normal rules and expectations of the collective – and this includes the need itself to hold a conversation. Save for the necessary and “functional” interactions you may have to have with others in your everyday life, generally speaking you do not need to hold conversations if they don’t resonate with you. If you are uncomfortable with them or if you feel you’re losing energy by having them.

So if you feel you do not wish to hold a conversation you don’t really need to, I would consider trusting that feeling, and simply detaching from the interaction, i.e. not engaging, to whichever degree it is possible and feasible. Or, at least, while the conversation lasts, releasing yourself within from the necessity of meeting external expectations of those you are interacting with.

How does one go about explaining their spiritual awakening to their ultra conservative family?

Unless this is a very warm, caring, and understanding ultra conservative family, I would not try to do so, at least not from a place of seeking something from them, such as validation or agreement. This will likely place you in a weak position, too vulnerable to the slightest doubt or questioning from them. You will be handing them power over you, when you are the one awakening.

I would ideally only attempt at participating in any such conversation if I had no particular interest or agenda in it, or did not hold any desire for approval from them. This would at least place me in an even position, where I’d have an adequate degree of control about wanting to speak about something or not, or how much. And even then, I would probably only share anything in a very superficial or mild manner, taking care to speak only in terms and ideas they could be able to understand and relate to.

Your spiritual awakening is ultimately independent of any external opinion or agreement from others. If you try to seek these things, you may be exposing your energy to the opinions of others, in particular to those who haven’t experienced it and have no practical understanding of it.

I feel like Neo from the Matrix. I have this awakening and it’s so hard to live in a world where you see things different from others. Is anyone feeling that way and if so, what are you doing about to?

We are all the children of the same Love, the beings who are experimenting with their own selves in the eternal seeking.

But it is true that there comes a time, you could call it “Matrix-style” perhaps, where you awaken and begin to perceive things on a level that goes beyond what the masses do.

There is no ego, feeling of superiority, or sense of entitlement about this. It’s just the way it is.

With this, there might also grow a sense of frustration for the awakened. And that is, that the world keeps spinning, in a clockwork fashion, by the same old gears of the previous, -now old- patterns of perception, which most others still follow nonetheless.

Ultimately, there is only one thing that will, at least somewhat, satisfy the inner craving for a more truthful existence. And that is, to commit to living a lifetime that is in accordance, in alignment, with what you do see, and what you do believe, in a personal sense.

It is by the accumulation of the individual new perspectives, and the setting in motion of lives according to those perspectives, that, in time, will begin to manifest them in the real world.

Will eating meat take me to the dark side or will it just limit my spiritual awakening? If anything at all.

Your task is to adjust your diet so that it matches your spiritual essence, and so that your physical body may attain its most balanced state.

If for example your physical body requires a certain amount of animal-derived meat in order to be at its best state, then if you buy into the belief that eating meat is wrong, you will deprive your body from the best state it can attain.

Believing that eating meat is “wrong” in an absolute sense is a form of “dark side”.

Spirituality is knowing how to align with the truth of your individual, personal, intrinsic, spiritual essence – even when that truth seems to be in conflict with other beliefs, especially those of a spiritual nature.
Your spiritual essence does not follow rules. Your human mind might. But your essence doesn’t.

Is it necessary to be free from every kind of relationship, boundary, belief system and authority to successfully proceed further on the path of spiritual awakening?

Only from those that bound you and hamper said path of spiritual awakening.

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