Stages of Awakening

These days, many people claim to be awakened, and curiously many of them continue to have problems, so are they really awakened? And is being enlightened the same thing?

Awakening actually exists on a continuum with enlightenment being the final awakening. This is a very rare occurrence.

The first stage of awakening is often overlooked. It is a shift away from the egoic thinking mind into a felt sense of everything being fundamentally OK. The egoic mind continues to function, and anxiety or depression etc can still take hold for brief periods. But sooner or later, a realisation takes place from deep within that all is fundamentally well. The reason many people do not arrive into the 2nd stage of awakening is because they first need to land in this fundamental OKness.

The 2nd stage of awakening has various substages but is what most people associate with awakening. Many famous books are written from this level. Essentially, this is “Self-realisation”. This means we discover what seems to be a permanent abiding Presence or sense of Being – it may also be called God. It is experienced as realising ourselves to be the very awareness in which all reality apparently takes place. The consequence is we become much freer from the egoic mind because we no longer identify with it and we access significant levels of peace and love as well as an ongoing intuitive guidance. At this level due to karma/conditioning, we can still experience negative mind states and suffering, though the experience is usually short-lived and radically different to the un-awakened state. Much of the time, our essential “Presence” is in the foreground with an accompanying sense of peace. Sometimes, this stage is described as a spaciousness or emptiness that is aware in which reality comes and goes. The only drawback is a slight sense of detachment and that the seeker believes the path to have ended, so seeking stops and they fail to move on to stage 3.

The 3rd stage of awakening is a significant further shift. The discovery is made that everything appearing in awareness is actually made of awareness and there is therefore no real difference between the Presence that is aware and what appears within it. Hence integration takes place and subject and object collapse, though there is still a subtle dualistic sense of there being a fundamental Presence. The consequence of this level of awakening is that life no longer has a centre and everything and everyone is experienced as ourselves – as one interconnected BEING.

Few people go beyond level 3 though there are actually some 20 stages.

If you are interested in awakening, please contact me for a discovery call.

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