It is safe to say that awakening is a progression from dark to light, from restrictions on freedom. You can consciously choose this path, or a sudden incident can propel you there, but once you have embarked on this journey, you cannot go back.
Without a doubt, the path to enlightenment is full of ups and downs. However, once you reach the end of the road, you will perceive the beauty of the world with a new breadth of mind and clarity of vision.
There are five stages in the awakening process, and each stage has the same importance. When you know each step, you can reach the goal with more confidence and less obstruction. This article should only be treated as a guideline, as there is simply no “right” or “wrong” way to awaken:
1. The False self stage:
An awareness of the other.
In stage 1, we sleep. We don’t even know who we are. We continue to follow the rules of social institutions rather than question them. We try to fit in and, if it fails, we play the role of the victim.
The ego is the master of this stage, and our self-esteem is conditioned accordingly. At this point, our happiness depends on external factors, and in turn, we try to take control of our lives and chase external factors to be happy.
We let our emotions dominate us. They shape our thoughts and beliefs and prevent us from living reality as it is. However, at this stage, there is subtle anxiety, a “flash sensation” that makes us doubt our own perception. It’s a feeling that something is wrong, that something is wrong with the world.
2. The Questioning stage:
The beginning of doubt.
The second stage is marked by a growing feeling of disillusionment in our lives. We are beginning to question the norms and beliefs of society. We know something is wrong with established religious and moral values, and they are no longer able to give us satisfactory answers.
Even if we cannot completely reject our projected identities at this point, we are beginning to question the roles we have to play. We feel lost and betrayed and blame the family, government, and other institutions for our misfortune. We can go from victim to survivor at this point.
And yet we cannot give up limiting beliefs, they keep us confined a little longer. We can always ask for approval, without knowing what else to do. But this is the beginning of the ego’s breakdown, and the journey inward will begin shortly.
3. The Introspection stage:
In stage 3 of awakening, we withdraw from our outside world to seek answers within ourselves. We separate from the collective consciousness and a process of rejection of established social and institutional values slowly awakens us to this reality.
As we let go, we have mixed feelings. We feel bad about having such a wrong perspective of the world before, and relieved because we know how to fix it. It is a stage marked by a huge emotional uproar as we abandon our families, our jobs, our relationships, and the past. We try to awaken all those who interest us.
However, most of the people around us will not awaken as easily and we feel more lost than ever in this ignorant world. Not knowing where to go, you may still feel the need to integrate, but you cannot just forget what you know, so canceling is not an option. This step is perhaps the longest in the quest for enlightenment because it marks the gradual emergence of the true self.
4. The Resolution stage:
The experience of spiritual awakening in daily life.
Stage 4 is marked by a release of all negative energy from the self and an experience of sublime peace in your daily life. The struggle, doubt, and loneliness of the first three stages seem to turn into a feeling of connection and faith in a higher power.
You have mastered the art of letting go, and your anxieties are replaced by an inner harmony that pushes you now. You have forgiven everyone, and everything and everyone has some sense.
The unconscious has been taken care of by conscious programming, a light that will guide you. Emotions no longer rule you, and even if you feel alone, there is an inner peace that makes you feel connected with everyone. You may feel high and euphoric, and the integration of a higher self into your body will give way to a feeling of ecstasy.
5. The Conscious creation stage:
The ability to consciously create a life.
Most people tend to confuse the fourth step with the last, but there is, in fact, one more step, an even greater experience of spiritual awakening. In the fifth step, not only do you deepen the bonds that you have known in the previous phase, but you also exploit a whole new field of spiritual growth, that of the creator.
You are no longer governed by bad faith and you know you can be whatever you choose. You are guided by inspiration, not emotion, and mandatory tasks seem unnecessary.
An intuitive connection with divine intelligence invites you to create for the improvement of this civilization. You tend to live in the present and have the power to build the life you want. You become the conscious creator of your life and have total freedom. It is, in fact, the goal of enlightenment, to gain total freedom.
You are your own creation, you were meant to be wherever you are now. And you can go wherever you want.