There are two ways in which to view the question, “Why does spiritual awakening happen?” You could ask this question from a Cosmic point of view or from a personal point of view.

If the reason why you are asking this question is related to “Why did spiritual awakening happen to me or to others?” then you are more likely to be interested in Part II. Part I covers the reason why awakening happens as part of the process of Creation.

So let me attempt to answer this question from these two different but related points of view.

Part I – Spiritual Awakening from a Comic Point of View

Part II – Spiritual Awakening from an Individual Point of View

Part III – Resources for Exploring Spiritual Awakening.

The Why of Cosmic Awakening

the way of cosmic awakening

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Let us begin by looking at why spiritual awakening happens from a Cosmic point of view.

This kind of question, “Why does spiritual awakening happen?” was asked by the Christian mystic Julian of Norwich. When, in contemplative prayer, Julian asked God the reason for Creation, she received the following answer.

Do you want to know your Lord’s meaning in this matter? Know it well: Love was the meaning. – Revelations of Divine Love – Julian of Norwich (late 1342 – after 1416)

NOTE – Do not confuse the word “mystic” with the word “psychic” which many people do.

A mystic is someone who has had a direct experience of God. A psychic is a person who claims to use extrasensory perception (ESP) to identify information hidden from the normal senses, particularly involving telepathy or clairvoyance.

From a Cosmic point of view, the reason why spiritual awakening happens and is designed to happen is because God as Love desires to KNOW God as Love. The only way that can happen is for God to play a role whereby there is the illusory experience of separation.

This experience of separation is the personal sense you call “Me or I.” In reality, as any true experience of spiritual awakening shows, there is no real separation from the Divine and there has never been such a separation.

According to A Course in Miracles, this separation from God first happened millions of years ago. But the important revelation, the crux of the Course, is that in reality it never happened at all. ― Marianne Williamson, Return to Love

Awakening is to KNOW and live as a reflection of the One Life and the One Love. It is to live as unique image or reflection of God as Love. Note here that KNOWING is not to be equated with intellectual knowledge.

The How of Cosmic Awakening

the how of spiritual awakening

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Far be it from me to tell you how the Mind of the Universe works but let me attempt to share the reason for Cosmic spiritual awakening by way of human experience.

Imagine you are lonely.  Imagine that you had nothing to do, and you had all eternity in which to do it. You are bored and there is nothing and no one to relate too.  Even so, who you are is Infinite Unconditional Love.

What would you do?

To KNOW yourself as Love, you would have to create something other than Love. You as the NO-THING-NESS, the void, the before the beginning would have to create something.  You as the eternal One would have to become at least two.

The One would become two but would still be the One. The foundational reality of Oneness would not change. So began Creation. This happened around fourteen and a half billion years ago, according to modern science.

So from the dawn of Creation throughout time you as Infinite Love create forms. These are the forms through which you awaken as the One Life and One Love that allows you to KNOW who you are as Eternal Life and Love.

Even though you create forms that look separate, you are still the only Mind in the Created Universe. You are the Source that dances all that exists. You create the illusion of separation. In Hindu philosophy, they call this illusion Maya.

Yet within the experience of being human, there is the feeling of being separate. Most everyone feels this separation to be real. This feeling of being separate is needed. Without the feeling of separation, you cannot KNOW what it is to be Love. Separation is the feeling other than Love.

When I write about Love, this is Love as Being who you are and not something you engage in with another.

This feeling of separation from Love is what the term “original sin” really means. It’s not a punishment. It’s a necessary part of Cosmic unfolding.

While the feeling of personal separation from Cosmic Love feels very real,  all mystics recognize this as an illusion. This recognition happens when one awakens. This does not mean that the feeling of being separate goes away. It only goes away when you are living in the awakened state.

There is a paradox to be KNOWN.

While the feeling of personal separateness goes away, it does not go away. You are both someone (personal and separate) and no one (Universal) at the same time. This is what the Master Jesus meant when he said, “I and the Father are one.”

When you are in the awakened state, you KNOW and live this paradox. This is not a state that can be known via the intellect or the personal overthinking mind. It is beyond anything you can ever think about.

Integrating the experience of spiritual awakening is the long and challenging journey into what the writer Marianne Williamson refers to as The Return to Love – Reflections on A Course in Miracles.

Spiritual Awakening as a Cosmic Gift

spiritual awakening as a gift of grace

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Spiritual awakening is not an achievement.

It is a gift of Grace. It is a gift of remembrance and revelation. Why and when such awakening happens is a mystery. Research into why such awakening happens shows that there are certain life experiences that are more likely to trigger such an awakening.

More on this later.

When you are graced such an awakening, you become a mystic.

A mystic, as I define that word, is someone who has been graced a direct revelation of Love or God. They are graced the KNOWING of the experience referred to in Christian terms as:-

I and the Father are One—John 10:30

In a similar way, the Sufi mystic poet speaks of spiritual awakening when he says;-

You are not a drop in the Ocean. You are the Ocean in a drop—Rumi.

Another way of understanding this is to say that the personal and the transpersonal are unified.

Alignment with Cosmic Awakening

alignment with cosmic awakening

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Spiritual awakening happened to me because it was what I absolutely longed for. I wanted to understand in no uncertain way what Love is. In this way I was in alignment with the reason for Creation, which is Love.

I was reading a book on a train while travelling into King’s Cross in London. The book was written by the enlightened sage Jiddu Krishnamurti. I was reading and re-reading his reflection on the word “Understanding.”

To know yourself you need not go to any book, to any priest, to any psychologist. The whole treasure is within yourself. – Jiddu Krishnamurti

Krishnamurti was writing about understanding in a way far beyond intellectual information. This writing was about KNOWING. I wanted to KNOW. I was willing to die into KNOWING and so I was given the revelation of Grace.

Not that such an experience of Grace is ever withheld. It isn’t something you can ever earn. How can you earn the experience of being universal? It is not something you get. It is the revelation of WHO you are.

I cannot say if this intense longing to KNOW Love was the reason why the grace of spiritual awakening happened within me. It happens to those who have no such longing. So in a very real sense, spiritual awakening is a mystery.

I think without some form of longing to KNOW what your purpose is and what your relationship to the Cosmos is, spiritual awakening is unlikely to happen. You will, as most people travel the journey of life in ignorance of the magnificence of the potential seeded within you.

The Secret of Secrets (Anna Akhmatova) seeded inside you will remain a secret.

The Cosmos KNOWS itself

spiritual awakening and cosmic awareness

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As the opening quote from The Power of NOW by Eckhart Tolle states:-

You are here to enable the divine purpose of the Universe to unfold. That is how important you are! – Eckhart Tolle

The purpose of the Universe is Love. This is confirmed by all mystics from all times and all traditions and as stated previously was confirmed to the Christian mystic Julian of Norwich.

Spiritual awakening happens when the sense of the separate personal self is transcended. This does not mean that you disappear. Think of it in this way. You live your life as a sunbeam and one day you KNOW you are the Sun.

You awaken to the reality beyond your sense of the personal and separate self. Your personal sense of “I am” merges into the universal “I AM.” The sunbeam is still the sunbeam but so much more.

You cannot stay in this elevated state.

You return to everyday living but who you THINK you are has radically changed. The question becomes, “How can I serve the glory revealed to me and through me?” Your focus moves from “Me, myself, I,” to “We, us and them.”

Teach me, my God and King,

In all things Thee to see,

And what I do in anything

To do it as for Thee.

From the Elixir by George Herbert

Mature spirituality is always about service toward the whole and not simply service to promote your personal or group agenda. (The Purpose-Driven Life—Rick Warren)

It is always about the willingness to be an expanding channel for Love’s purpose.

PART II

Why Does Spiritual Awakening Happen?

The Personal Dimension

navigating the experience of spiritual awakening

Navigating the Spiritual Awakening Process

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The question, “Why does spiritual awakening happen?” might have as its focus the reason why such an awakening happens in the lives of different people. You might be asking because such an experience has happened to you.

Writing in When Spirit Leaps—Navigating the Process of Spiritual Awakening Bonnie Greenwell, PhD refers to the many different ways of awakening as portals. The word ‘portal’ is the same word used by the modern mystic Eckhart Tolle in his international best-selling book The Power of NOW.

I share with you those that I can personally speak about and which I think played some part in the grace experience of awakening gifted to me.

The portals that allowed the awakening experience to manifest through me were a combination of:-

  • Grief.
  • Therapy and
  • Yoga

Other portals into the process of spiritual awakening explored briefly in When Spirit Leaps which I have not explored in depth as a portal to spiritual awakening include:-

  • Qigong.
  • Breathing Practices
  • Body Therapies
  • Substances and Entheogens
  • Spontaneous Movement
  • Sexuality
  • Internet Awakenings
  • Spontaneously Not Knowing
  • Anomalous Experiences

My Personal Portals of Awakening

personal portals of spiritual awakening

Portals into Spiritual Awakening

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While I cannot declare why the grace experience of spiritual awakening happened it happened during a period when I was:-

  • Processing grief
  • Engaged in counseling
  • Practicing Hatha Yoga.

All the above resulted in the experience of transmission. This is the transmission of KNOWING beyond belief. It is the transmission of the KNOWING of eternity.

Let me say this. I was prepared for the grace of spiritual awakening. When it arrived, I KNEW what it was. However, I could never have imagined its magnificence. This is not the experience of everyone.

The awakening can feel like anything but a grace experience. This is especially if you enter the portal using drugs and without guidance into the realm of transcendence. The experience will often be fearful and filled with terror. This is because you FEEL that you are dying.

Those who are prepared for this experience KNOW at least in an intellectual sense that what is happening is the death into life. It is the experience that all mystics invite.

Die before you die so you KNOW there is no death—Eckhart Tolle.

Prelude to Spiritual Awakening

prelude to spiritual awakening

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There was a combination of factors I think lead to the grace of spiritual awakening. The major contributor was the aspect of grief.

Grief

This was grief around the breakup of an intimate relationship. It had been my first real venture into love and had lasted on and off for around three years. I had finally broken off this relationship and did not understand why. It left me feeling deeply at a loss.

Yoga

What kept me grounded after this breakup and allowed me to manage a sense of despair was daily practice of Hatha Yoga. I would practice for hours each evening. More at the weekend and at any time I needed to escape the sense of deep loneliness.

Counselling

I checked myself into an outpatient program of counselling at a local hospital in Prestwich Manchester. I met once a week with a lovely man called John Blackton.

One time the in-house psychiatrist persuaded me to start a program of medication. It was a disaster. The drugs made me feel drunk but not in a pleasant way. Words seemed to come out of my mouth half a second after I spoke them.

Next time I met I told her in no uncertain terms that if there was any insistence that I continue this program of medication I was out of there. As someone who was voluntarily attending this hospital, I could do that.

The Transmission and Return

after the spiritual awakening experience

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It was during this period of counselling with John Blackton that the awakening happened on the train travelling into London to Kings Cross.

My counsellor John Blackton said he did not understand what I was talking about when I shared my experience with him. It was, however, clear to him that whatever had happened had changed me. I was living a blissful life.

I was in love with Life.

I discharged myself and for many months lived in a state of deep happiness and bliss.  That was until the evening on Deansgate in Manchester when I felt the grace connection go.

I was walking home from a pub with a friend. I remember looking up to the sky and thinking, “So this is what it feels like to lose the universe.”

So began a different journey. This was the journey of learning the process of awakening that became a lifelong journey and continues to unfold.

The Mystery of Awakening

the mystery of spiritual awakening

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Would the awakening have happened without the breakup, without yoga or without counselling. The answer is, “I do not know.” Studies suggest that these are all portals into the awakened state.

What I know is that this awakening has perfumed and continues to perfume my life.

Notice that the awakening did not come out of an experience of happiness. It came out of the process of working through intense grief. This was not a process I started intending to awaken in a spiritual sense.

It came out of a willingness to do shadow work.

It happened. I could never in my wildest imagination have imagined the power and the beauty of this awakening experience. It is beyond belief. It is beyond time and space. It is so out there beyond the ability of words to explain.

After Spiritual Awakening

after the spiritual awakening experience

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After the experience of spiritual awakening, the real journey begins. This is a journey of a lifetime and beyond. It is the journey of integration of what has been given you to KNOW.

This is challenging, but there is really no going back.

You are graced the KNOWING of what it is to be FREE. I cannot imagine anyone ever chooses to forget what they have been given to KNOW through authentic spiritual awakening.

You are shown what it means to KNOW THYSELF. As you navigate the process of integrating the spiritual awakened experience, your life becomes integrated, authentic, peaceful, loving and compassionate.

However, you have to be willing to stay within the fires of transformation. You become an alchemist and you engage with shadow work. You turn the lead of the personal self into the gold of the TRUE SELF.

Your joy is to become the transmission of Grace for the highest good of all. How that will be manifested will be revealed to you over time or possibly in an instant.

PART III

Spiritual Awakening Resources

spiritual awakening resources

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If spiritual awakening and the process of spiritual awakening interests you, then I share with you the following resources that I personally use in my daily life.

What supports my journey in the process of spiritual wakening are songs, poems, and practices of prayer and meditation. This may or may not be how you are drawn to explore the magnificence of your own being.

What is most important is that you learn HOW TO trust your inner KNOWING or intuition rather than the overthinking personal mind?

Books

Songs`

Poems

Prayers for Awakening

Practices

Remember that you are here to unfold the Divine Purpose of Creation. This is your primary purpose. How you manifest that purpose is secondary. In FEELING in alignment you will find true fulfilment.

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Writer - Storyteller - Musician at Yoga Journey for Life
Writer of Awakening the Heart - 21 Ways for Following Love's Message. Also author of Being Beautiful - Learning to Treasure the REAL YOU. Workshop Leader in Learning to Companion YOUR Greatness.
Tony Cuckson
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