There are lots of stories how the passion of the human heart is awakened and unleashed through a life-and-death struggle to unite with the ultimate Beloved. Everyone who has been spiritually awakened surely has his or her own story, but there are many similarities of those stories. I have lately been reading the Integral Life Practice book (among many others) and found this really fascinating “model” of how a man is being awakened. So I thought I could share this with you since it is almost identical to mine 🙂
One: Ignorance. The individual begins unconscious, unhappy, in crisis or ignorant.
Two: Disquiet. One becomes dissatisfied, aware of suffering, damnation, or alienation.
Three: Insight. There is metanoia, repentance, recognition – awareness of suffering and contraction, and the willingness and will to transcend habits and engage in self-trancending practice. Sometimes insight is enacted as “conversion” to a religion and its founder(s).
Four: Surrender. The heart opens, accepting a love relationship with Spirit and all things; here begins a life of devotion and service. Grace (the power of divine blessing) is discovered. Sometimes this is called salvation. Through surrender and humility it is possible to exercise will, tolerate discomfort, and practice discipleship in a way that transcends the commitment to the separate self.
Five: Transformation. An ordeal ensues, which usually extends for years, even decades. Although it begins with purification of the ordinary gross life, it then encounters, illuminates and purifies all the gradations of subtle experience, and even includes silent and empty “dark nights” of causal passage beyond any experience of light or bliss.
Six: Understanding. There is a crucial transition in which there is awakening from the dream. This is spiritual realizations, sometimes called “enlightenment.”
Seven: Unification. At this point there begins the higher spiritual life, which includes worship of, embrace of, awakening as, service to, and celebration of and with the divine Beloved, seen in and as all people and things.
I being at “stage” five noticed that this is ridiculously close to my path and awakening to the one Spirit. After many years of internal suffering and strange dissatisfaction I now see why it was an inevitable phase for me; to wake up from the dream of western materialism and egoistic ignorance. I see around me friends and acquaintances who are at stage two or three on the verge of letting their heart open from the postmodern scientific rationalism, from the it-world, to the fully integrating self-culture-and-nature in their body-mind-and-spirit. Sometimes frustrating myself with this matter I realized that everyone has to walk their own path and nobody can force one to wake up from the dream. Many of the people never will and that’s ok too. Accepting fully everything that is arising from moment to moment has removed a heavy burden off my shoulders.
If you like, I would love to hear your “story” or actually anything regarding this matter 🙂
art by Alex Grey, Vision Crystal (1997)