It is safe to say that awakening is a progression from darkness to light, from restrictions on liberty. You may consciously choose this path, or some sudden incident may propel you on it, but once you’ve taken up this journey, there’s no turning back.
Undoubtedly, the path to awakening is one full of ups-and-downs. However, once you’ve reached the end of the road, you’ll perceive the beauty of the world with a new expanse of mind and clarity of vision.
There are five stages in the awakening process, and each stage holds equal importance. When you’re familiar with each stage, you’ll be able to reach the goal with more confidence and less obstruction.
This article is only to be treated as a guideline, because there’s simply no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to awakening.
The 5 Main Levels Of Awakening
1. The Stage of the False-Self
An awareness of the Other.
The ego is the ruler of this stage, and our self-worth is conditioned accordingly. In this stage, our happiness depends on the external factors, and in turn, we try to gain control of our lives and chase external factors to be happy.
We let our emotions overpower us. They shape our thoughts and beliefs and prevent us from experiencing the reality as it is. However, at this stage, there’s a subtle anguish, a “flash feeling” that makes us doubt our own perception. It’s a sense that something is not quite right, that something is wrong with the world.
2. The Stage of Questioning
The beginning of a doubt.
The second stage is marked by a growing sense of disillusionment in our lives. We begin to question the norms and beliefs of the society. We know that something is wrong with established religious and moral values, and they are no longer able to give us satisfying answers.
Even if we can’t reject our projected identities altogether at this stage, we begin to question the roles we have to play. We feel lost and betrayed, and blame family, government and other institutions for our misfortune. We may move from victim to survivor at this stage.
And yet we can’t let go of the limiting beliefs, they keep us confined a little longer. We may still seek approval, not knowing what else to do. But this is the beginning of the breakdown of ego, and the journey inward will shortly begin.
3. The Stage of Introspection
The beginning of conscious transformation.
In stage 3 of Awakening, we retreat from our external world to seek answers within ourselves. We separate ourselves from the collective consciousness, and a process of rejection of established social and institutional values slowly wakes us up to this reality.
As we let go, we have mixed feelings. We feel bad about previously having such a wrong perspective of the world, and relieved because we know how to make it right. This is a stage marked by immense emotional tumult as we let go of our families, jobs, relationships, and the past. We try to awaken everybody we care about around us.
However, most people around us will not wake up this easily, and we feel more lost than ever in this ignorant world. Not knowing where to go, you may still feel the need to fit in, but you can’t simply forget what you have known, so undoing is not an option. This stage is perhaps the longest in the quest of awakening, as it marks the gradual emergence of the real self.
4. The Stage of Resolution
The experience of spiritual awakening in everyday life.
Stage 4 is marked by a release of all negative energy from the self and an experience of sublime peace in your everyday life. The struggle, the doubt and the loneliness of the three earlier stages seem to transform into a sense of connection and faith in a higher power.
You have mastered the craft of letting go, and your anxieties are replaced by an inner harmony that drives you now. You have forgiven everyone, and everything and everyone makes sense somehow.
The unconscious has been taken over by a conscious programming, a light which will guide you. Emotions no longer rule you, and even if you feel alone, there’s an inner peace that makes you feel connected with everyone. You may feel elevated and euphoric, and the integration of a higher self into your body will give way to a sense of ecstasy.
5. The Stage of Conscious Creation
The ability to consciously create one’s life.
Most people tend to mistake the fourth stage to be the final one, but there’s, in fact, one more stage, an even greater experience towards spiritual awakening. In stage five, you not only deepen the connections you experienced in the previous stage but also tap into a whole new realm of spiritual growth, that of the creator.
You are no longer governed by bad faith, and you know that you can be whatever you’ll choose to be. You are guided by inspiration and not emotion, and obligatory tasks seem pointless.
An intuitive connection with the Divine Intelligence prompts you to create for the betterment of this civilization. You tend to live in the present and hold the power to construct the life desired. You become the conscious creator of your life and have complete freedom. This, in fact, is the purpose of awakening, gaining a complete freedom.