A Spiritual Awakening Experience Is Not An Arrival; Life Will Still Go On

Don’t seek for enlightenment as much as you sincerely and deeply investigate into how you are preventing the awakening from being awake right now with all the egos attempts to get something that you already are, or to get some experience back that you think you have lost.

A spiritual realization or awakening is not the end of a process, it’s the beginning.

Life will still go on, there will still be the human-ness to honor and acknowledge with all its hangups and unique temperaments as this being called you.

Life doesn’t stop just because you have realized your true nature, it’s not like you somehow loose your human-ness and become a glorious being with a radiating beatific smile, forever and ever extending divine love to everyone at all times.

That’s usually the ego’s vision of an enlightened being; I have seen peoples facial expressions change and how they interact with others after they have had a spiritual experience, it’s all a game of the ego.

As a matter of fact; the moment you think you know something, grace steps right in and shows you otherwise, and it will be a humbling process. He who thinks he is awaken will soon realize that that is not the case, provided he is open and keeps asking and inquiring within.

We don’t know anything. We may think we know, but we really don’t.

The one who stops the inquiry, he will have a ego that thinks he’s enlightened. The spiritualized “awake” ego.

  • Who is the “I” that thinks its enlightened?
  • Who is the one that wants to be enlightened?
  • Would Life have the need to tell itself that it’s enlightened..?

What happens usually is that there’s a huge realization or awakening experience, and then the ego takes ownership of the experience and grounds itself in it, living off of it and then gets frustrated when it (the experience) wanes off thinking it’s loosing it so it starts to obsessively cleans itself, chant mantras like a maniac etc in the attempt to ‘get it back’.

But it’s not the “I “ that gets anything, nor does it loose what it doesn’t even have.

Experiences come and go, and to have seen reality as it is, to have had a spiritual experience of oneness or realization, doesn’t mean that one is suddenly immune to the egoic mind.

It will still be there.

And It will tell you that ‘there s nothing to do, nowhere to go, there’s no person, oh, I’m sooo awake that I don’t care, everything is God, blah blah blah..! The ranting, delusional, awake ego.

You don’t renounce life just because you have seen your true nature – Life will continue to go on, and the human arrogance will still show up once in a while, there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s human!

Acknowledge the arrogance in yourself and ask who it belongs to. 

What is important is to be aware of that and to be truthful with oneself when it happens and learn from it.

“Aha, there’s arrogance”; that’s all. Not to hide or run from it it as if it was unspiritual.

The arrogance also includes the arrogance in thinking that you’re special and that your spiritual practices are supreme and what got you to enlightenment, or to spiritual awakening.

In reality there is no man-made way to enlightenment – it’s not created by us as humans.

All practices has their own value and no practice fits all. There’s no three step programs or strategies to do to attain anything.

  • Ask instead who it is that wants to achieve something that they didn’t even create for themselves sin the first place.
  • Who is it that desperately seeks enlightenment through various practices?

Life itself is the teacher and practice. Whatever is in front of you; that’s your spiritual practice.

Maybe it’s your shitty relationship, maybe it’s to deal with sudden death in the family, maybe it’s addiction, divorce, .. whatever; that’s your practice.

You going to retreats to cleans your body obsessively, or thinking that just this one more workshop will do it for you; you just need to learn this new revolutionary meditation technique that promises you to reach nirvana, and then you will come closer to enlightenment, ‘any day now – any day now’, the ego says.

When all the while you attempt all these things, it is actually more helpful to simply show up for life as it is right now.

Life is always presenting exactly what you need for the awakening but it’s often ignored.

There can be a marriage falling apart and your spouse decides to go to a retreat instead of responding to the immediate need in life as it is now; the game of avoidance, hoping that the new technique or strategy will save them from life.

Believe me, life prepares you plenty when it comes to ‘your’ awakening. It’s happening right now, wherever you find yourself.

You don’t have to figure out a plan and have your self-made agenda thinking that if you only do these steps then you will awaken. (Or get the experience back that you had once in -83).

Life itself is plenty.

And it needs only your willingness to look deeper and clearly at what is right in front of you, right now.

Ask instead;

  • Who is it that feels inadequate, not equipped enough, or not prepared or ‘cleansed’ enough, for this awakening to occur.
  • Who is it that is not enough?

People with no background in spiritual practices whatsoever have sudden – completely out of the blue – spiritual awakenings!

Their preparation may have been the divorce or the addiction they went through. Life was preparing them all by itself.

It’s not that grace takes over after you surrender to Life; it was grace that got you to surrender to begin with, you just didn’t know it.

It was grace that brought you to your knees, begging God to take over.

Everything in your life has been beautifully orchestrated by Truth itself; all for this moment, for you.

And none of it was your doing.


Part 2/3 of this article can be found here.  


You might like these articles as well:

Challenges on the spiritual path, part 1

Challenges on the spiritual path, part 2



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  5. Tom Harley

    We are not static entities and that’s impossible to comprehend from the limited mind!

    Constantly changing

    Last week I’m fasting for twenty four hours and doing fasted endurance training – doing what would be considered insane from the human perspective and the next week I find myself chilling with my guinea pigs eating pizza, drinking coffee and smoking haha!

    Truth is multi-dimensional and paradoxical in nature isn’t it?

    Transcendent of current language! I think that’s why parables and stories are used so often…

    I like what Joseph Campbell says about the hero leaving the forest with his hands full of gold (realisation) and as he goes to show others (speak) it turns to ashes in his hands…

  6. Hi Tom, good morning ☀️

    This article series is a decade old so I don’t remember what I wrote in it, but I’m glad to hear it spoke to you.

    Yes, follow what resonates with you, you do you, and that’s how we find fulfillment in life.

  7. Tom Harley

    Ten years…wow!

    Yes! Couldn’t agree more…attempting to apply anyone else’s philosophy to our own lives is detrimental at best!

    Nothing more unique than our own unfolding…

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