By Deon Du Plessis
Spiritual awakening refers to soul awakening, self-development, self-transformation, leading a balanced and integrated life, leading an internally joyous life, and leading a spiritual life.
In one sense, spiritual awakening is ingrained as the by default universal purpose in the DNA of each of us. And we are already undergoing spiritual transformation – the pace and method and outward conditions differ. Becoming conscious of this silent awakening, we become open to make little practical steps in our life to expedite the process.
When we look around and see the world, we find that there is a gradual progression in the manifestation of spirit or consciousness in nature.
There are mountains, hills, stones, ground, river and other water bodies that seem to be inert or dead. We sense the functioning of spirit in them as well. Mountains and rivers have their own cycles of life.
The next advanced form comes in the form of plants and animals. There is gradual complexity from one celled plants and animals to giant ones.
We find the pinnacle of the manifestation of consciousness in human beings. Let us become humble because with this truth comes the great responsibility for manifesting the full potential of spirit in our life. Perhaps it is the true purpose of all of us; rather all of us are guided by destiny and our present actions to serve this purpose in conscious and unconscious ways.
When we experience that there is something grand, something magnificent, supernatural or some creative or governing principle in life, whatever you call him – and remember it is not about thinking, it is about experiencing – we open ourselves to the possibility of spiritual awakening on a conscious level.
Spiritual awakening is a gradual process; it is the unwritten commandment that we are unconsciously following. The only need is to become aware of it and then making little steps toward it consciously.
The Four Classes Of Spiritually Advancing Persons:
When we are leading a normal life, we are also making spiritual advancement. It is happening passively.
When we are leading a religious life, following truly the teachings of any religion, we are progressing toward this goal much faster. The original teachings of each of the different religions revolves around the same principles that progress us spiritually.
The core practices of any religious path are practiced by very few individuals, and they are the scientific means of spiritual awakening. Few individuals are able to dive deep enough in these precious teachings and implement them in their lives. They are truly practicing the essence of all religions even though they might be following a particular religious path.
Next in line are the spiritual teachings. They are different from religions and morality, even though they include all the good things of them. Spiritual teachings are the direct means of spiritual awakening in a direct and practical way. These are the underlying science of all religions. They are the different pathways of freedom in Spirit.
The spiritual development can be tremendously advanced when we come in contact with spiritually advanced or enlightened person. It is like transformation of a piece of iron into a magnet by coming in contact with a magnet.
Understanding The Practical Aspect Of Spiritual Awakening:
Spiritual awakening is the unfolding of Spirit in us. We know in theory that we are souls but our thoughts, speech and behavior are far away from the spiritually attuned life.
Under normal conditions, we are influenced and attached to objects of five senses of sound, touch, vision, taste and smell, and to prejudices, biases and conditioning of our mind.
When we are advancing spiritually, we become connected at first with our own soul – the consciousness in us. And then, Spirit begins to influence our mind and body. This is like gradual spiritualization of our entire being.
We become more peaceful, more content, more productive, more integrated, more in harmony with us and with all of nature. We feel connected. The bonds of senses and bad habits begin to loose their hold on us.
Ultimately they shed off as if they had been foreign to us. We begin to accept ourselves, we become more connected, and we manifest the joy that is our nature. Remember pleasure is derived from contact of desired sense objects to senses and joy is our internal nature.
I remember the saying of one great saint. He preached to his disciples, “The true sign of spiritual advancement is getting non-causal joy during your spiritual practices and feeling glimpses of it during your working hours. Gradually as you become more and more intoxicated with this joy, know that you are progressing in Spirit. You will be fulfilled with this joy like no other things.” This equals to the rejoicing in Spirit mentioned the teaching of Christianity.
Another important sign is feeling connected with all – nature, men and women and with all that exists. At first, the feeling of connectedness will be with our own self. Then, this experience will broaden and broaden. The whole life, whole nature, the universe will feel connected.
Most people attach miracles with spiritual advancement. It is non-issue with spiritually awakened person. Miracles are the normal functioning of spiritually advanced individuals. They are more able to experience and work through deep states of consciousness. It is natural to them.
The most important thing is to realize and accept that we are here for spiritual awakening. This realization could be instant under some instances, or it could be gradual like in most cases.
Second step is making little steps leading a more healthy, intelligent and balanced life. Third step is following spiritual practices and then adhering to some specific one that is more appealing to us.
Fourth step is not worrying too much about spiritual awakening. When you eat healthy and exercise and follow some good diet plan, you grow healthier naturally, day by day, each day. The same applies to spiritual growth. Leave this part to Spirit. Let Him take care.