Many people are experiencing a spiritual awakening and are not sure how to place themselves in a society which seems to judge and label as to what a “normal” life and consciousness should be. People find themselves confused, alone, and rejected when they express themselves about their spiritual awakening process to their immediate family and friends. The spiritual awakening process is simply going back to your authentic nature as a human being and allows you to reach “higher” states of consciousness by doing spiritual practices such as: meditation, yoga, rituals, and so on. In eastern traditions these practices are considered to be perfectly normal. You can read about the stages of consciousness in Buddhist teachings, the Hindu Vedanta, Yoga, and many more. When we experience a spiritual awakening and apply this knowledge in our Western society, (which basically means that you “woke up” from the social conditions in life and entered another dimension in your consciousness by discovering that there is more to life.), you can find yourself up against the wall and be misunderstood by many. A lot of people join spiritual social networks, groups and pages about spirituality, so they can surround themselves with like-minded people and to be understood for what they are going through. It is a crucial part of the spiritual journey to not feel like you are an “odd” ball that went off the deep end, because when you feel like this it will only hold you back in your spiritual development.
It was very comforting for me to know that I wasn’t the only one going through this, and that there are no reasons to feel weird, ashamed, and fear about what happened to me. I did experience a strong need to understand more about the spiritual “lingo” that we all hear and see about, to know where it originates from, how the “new age” community developed and use spiritual knowledge, and how that all tied in with me. This was the very reason why I started this blog, to learn from and share my experiences and knowledge with other people that are going through the same thing as I am. You are not alone!
As I am piecing together how a spiritual awakening “works” when it comes to human behavior, I stumbled upon a fascinating occupation which is called transpersonal (spiritual) psychology. It is one of the lesser known fields in psychology and began in the late 1960’s as an attempt to establish a “fourth force” in psychology, following the psycho-dynamic, behavioral and humanistic approaches. To a large extent, it was an outgrowth of humanistic psychology. It was strongly influenced by the “human potential” and counterculture movements and the wave of psycho-experimentation it involved, through psychedelic substances, meditation and other consciousness-changing practices. Some of you may use “mushroom and other magical plant's” to enter a different level of consciousness, but for most of you, you are able to experience this through a spiritual awakening and enter different states of consciousness simply through meditation. You could see transpersonal psychology as an attempt to understand the different views of reality through this experimentation. At the same time, it was an attempt to integrate the ideas and insights of Western psychology with the insights of Eastern spiritual traditions.
It can also be defined as the transpersonal, experiences in which the sense of identity or self extends beyond (Trans) the individual or personal to encompass wider aspects of humankind, life, psyche, or cosmos. “Issues” considered in transpersonal psychology include: spiritual self-development, self beyond the ego, peak experiences, mystical experiences, systemic trance, spiritual crisis, spiritual evolution, religious conversion, altered states of consciousness, spiritual practices, and other sublime and/or unusually expanded experiences of living. Transpersonal psychology addresses the full spectrum of human psycho-spiritual development, from our deepest wounds and needs, to the existential crisis of the human being, to the most transcendent capacities of our consciousness. Among the thinkers who are held to have set the stage for transpersonal studies are: William James, Carl Jung, Roberto Assagioli, and Abraham Marslow. Transpersonal psychology is an academic approach to understand our psyche when it comes to understanding the spiritual awakening process. It is good to know that there are studies out there for us to learn. However, most of us are on our own.
A spiritual awakening is like dying and being reborn at the same time. What I mean by that is that you will part with your old life in many ways because it simply does serve you any more purpose. It is the process of letting go, more mentally than physically, but sometimes we do need to leave a relationship, job, friends, in order to continue in our spiritual journey to become our authentic self. You were reborn to your potentials as a spiritual being and it is a process to “get to know yourself” once again. What brings about a spiritual awakening is different for everyone. Generally a person has to do his part which could be anything from reading spiritual books, meditating, going through depression, and so on. Suddenly, wisdom appears to come from outside of the “normal” world. Your higher-self is choosing to reveal itself inside the mind. You could say that it is the birthing of spirit by itself from within the human form. A spiritual awakening doesn’t happen to everyone, but it can happen to everyone. However, these days, it seems that many people are waking up. So, when you are going through this, try not to fight the old behavioral patterns, but embrace what is new and know that there is much information and help available as you go through this.
~ Written by: Cindy Knutson ~