Remembering the Absolute is a Mystical Union
“The Dao that can be spoken is not the true Dao, the name that can be named is not the true name”.
In this first verse of the Tao-Te-King (“Dao De Jing”) from over 2500 years ago, Laozi was able to describe in a simple sentence the core problem of all Mystic Schools and experiences. If the essential cannot be put in words, how can we define or communicate it, and how close can we get with a circumscription?
Common language has not developed sufficient vocabulary, and names can only be given to something that is distinguishable. So, is it possible to describe what is not distinguishable, formless and inscrutable? Can it be communicated at all and, if so, how can it be communicated?
What is a Spiritual Awakening and How to Define It?
The degree and intensity of a spiritual awakening can vary greatly. It can be something as simple as watching a sunset and suddenly feeling bliss in the heart and a sense of unity with your surroundings. It can also be something more radical such as an experience that you cannot explain within your present paradigm.
For example, it could be an out-of-body experience which you cannot comprehend; or it could be a telepathic communication with someone far away or even with a deceased family member. The most intense form of a spiritual awakening would be what is referred to as the “Mystical Union”. This kind of experience can be triggered under very different circumstances, in which the Ego, the limited Self, the “person” dissolves completely. The consciousness expands beyond space and time, and you sense the whole Universe and Creation itself.
All these experiences have two things in common, though. The first one is a change of perception, perspective, and paradigm. You experience something that is inexplicable within your current worldview. This is the transition from a limited, materialistic and obsolete paradigm to a holistic, integrated and multi-dimensional paradigm. This “awakening” is taking place both individually and collectively.
The second attribute is that the quality of awakening resembles the quality of remembering. It comes with a sense of dropping limitations, in order to see what has always been.
An awakening process can be a number of experiences within a short period of time or over the course of several years. When it happens it is very likely that your vibratory patterns change, which can affect your psyche, your emotional state as well as your physical body. Many of the “awakening symptoms” that are commonly talked about can be the consequences of these experiences. I will go into more detail below.
How Important is it Individually and Collectively?
Back in the centuries, spiritual development was a secret doctrine and a privilege for very few people.
Those who chose or were chosen to walk that path could be generally called mystics since their focus was to transcend the concerns of the limited self, to become part of something bigger. Mystics were usually not involved in politics or economics but were often consulted by people in high positions, because they had an expanded way of seeing a reality that most people did not comprehend.
Though today things have changed drastically. Not only have we as a society created a reality that is destructive and non-supportive of life, but also because the overwhelming amount of information and possibilities does not make it easier for us to find our purpose and meaning in life. To achieve inner stability and orientation, we have to walk the Mystic’s path ourselves and reconnect to our own truth, our own Source.
While spiritual awakening is still about transcendental experience and inner development, a collective shift in consciousness becomes increasingly urgent as a necessity for the survival of our race.
The Mystical Experience Remains the Same Throughout History
Although my own story about this initial experience is an individual one, it is, in essence, identical to all stories of this kind, no matter how far they date back.
The initial experience carries many different names such as “God-Experience”, “Initiation” or “Unity Consciousness.” In this experience, the “I” is completely dissolved and the “Self” is completely dismembered. Within this realm, there are no boundaries, no polarities or dualities, no relativities, no questions or answers, no meanings or meaninglessness. There is only one all-embracing Absolute.
During the process, our sense of identity often begins to expand to include our surroundings, then the Earth, the cosmos, other worlds and dimensions and, finally, the pulse of Creation itself. Many people feel that what is often referred to as “awakening” from a deep dream, can also be called a “profound remembering” or unveiling. After that experience, the core message of all the sacred scriptures becomes understandable as an inner knowing. And there is also the realization that this knowledge and insight is by no means new.
That which is eternal has always been there, and will remain so beyond time.
Given our limited vocabulary, it is not surprising that we struggle to describe such experiences. As quoted in the first verse:
“The Dao that can be spoken is not the true Dao”.
One of the core revelations of this experience is to understand that the center of every entity in the Universe, including you and me, AND the Divine Source are literally one and the same. There is no difference.
The more we approach the periphery, the more differentiated and unique things seem to be. But the further we get to the essence, the more similar things become. And at the core, there is only one Entity – one Source. All creations are manifold exteriors of this one primal Source. Disconnection and limitations are illusionary games that we play out in physical reality.
Symptoms of Spiritual Awakening
First of all, I want to avoid simply providing a list of symptoms of spiritual awakening such as I have seen on many sites. Unless you are really good at it, it is often not that simple to identify the explicit causes of these symptoms.
Many of the listed “awakening symptoms” can have mundane causes. Suffering from insomnia, headaches or digestion problems does not necessarily imply that you are undergoing an awakening process. So it’s more important to ask and question whether or not our symptoms are related to an awakening process.
Effects on the Psyche
One of the effects of the process is to see physical manifestations as what is described in Indian philosophy as “maya” (Sanskrit) which, literally translated, means “illusion.”
The formless, the state of energy, vibration and consciousness become more “real” and continual than the exterior play of Duality and its temporary, transient manifestations.
After this fundamental paradigm change from a materialistic to a holistic worldview, many worldly things that we previously identified with may lose their importance and meaning.
It is possible that we experience a procedural or a radical change of interest, focus and personality.
As your perception of the world changes, your sensitivity for vibratory patterns can increase and you may start to perceive things in a different way that is invisible to others. Unfortunately, this can lead to cleavage with people around you, and have disruptive effects on your social life.
This is why it is important to ground spirituality and not fall into traps during this process.
Once you become aware that you are an integrated part of a bigger organism, part of a whole, your values and beliefs can change dramatically. Many topical and debated issues such as ethics, morality, integrity, human rights, preserving nature etc., become obvious and natural to you.
- Your behavior towards other people might change since you see all people as members of the global village.
- Your notion of nationalism might disappear, because you mainly identify with Planet Earth and Nature itself, and not with nations or religious groupings.
- Your self-esteem might change, because you see yourself as a part of creation and know your right to exist.
- You could become a vegetarian because your love for animals exceeds your craving for eating meat.
- Your new perception could help you to see your vision with greater clarity, and to find meaning in acting it out.
At the same time, as your sensitivity and perception develop, you could feel emotionally overwhelmed and increasingly volatile.
Physical symptoms of the awakening process can take on many forms some of which resemble temporary illness. Because our bodies consist of multiple interconnected layers, fluctuations and shifts in energy can express themselves as physical ailments.
You could experience unusual symptoms, such as bouts of fatigue, changes in body temperature, or food intolerances.
As an example, I experience regular bursts of fever without any other symptoms of illness. These bouts of fever usually feel like an “energetic reset”, as if pressing the reset button on a computer to reboot the operating system. Usually, after less than a day the fever disappears as suddenly as it appeared.
I strongly recommend two ways of counteracting and balancing these effects.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise promotes good health, as well as high metabolism and regeneration. This, in turn, will make you more resistant to debilitating physical ailments.
- Practice any method to ground, balance and integrate energy. I practice Qigong and Taiji on a regular basis and have found that it is very helpful to conduct energy congestion and integrate Qi from my surroundings.
There are many other methods and some are as simple as putting your palms on the ground for a few minutes. I suggest you to actively look for one or two methods that you can really put into practice.
What is a Spiritual Awakening Good For?
Maybe you are in the middle of the process and are looking for some explanations. Or maybe you are asking yourself what a spiritual awakening experience is good for and why somebody would want to have one? The answer is simple: to find out who you truly are.
This discovery can boost self-esteem, self-love, faith, trust, purpose, meaning, and vision – many of the essential things that most people are missing in life. When your identity moves from the surface towards the core, you will be able to tap into an inexhaustible fountain within and permanently enhance your life on a deep and sustaining level.
There are many ways and techniques to trigger spiritual awakening, so I encourage you to follow your calling and explore the possibilities yourself. In my Newsletters, I will share in more detail several methods of having such experiences.
“Enlightenment does not care how you attain it” – Zen proverb
What is your personal experience and what kind of “awakening symptoms” do you have? Let me know in the comments section.