The 5 Stages of Awakening on The Path of Consciousness
What does it really mean to awaken? It is fair to say that awakening is a journey from limitation to freedom — from unconscious to conscious. Whether you intentionally choose to take this journey or an unexpected experience propels you onto the path, once you start, there is no turning back.
It is true that the journey might be quite arduous at times, but no matter how long or challenging, the extraordinary destination far exceeds any bumps and bruises along the way. The end result of full awakening is freedom from personal suffering, clarity of mind, boundless joy, inner peace and the ability to live an incredibly fulfilling life. The awakened state holds everything we have ever desired, and so much more.
Where Are You and What Comes Next?
There are Five Stages of Awakening, and when you understand each stage, and where you are on the journey, you can recognize the sign posts along the way, and the possible pitfalls to avoid.
Please use the following guide as a way to navigate the stages of awakening, but keep in mind that everyone’s experience is different. There is no right or wrong way to wake up. Like art, it is all beautiful and perfect.
Stage 2 of Awakening – The Stage of Questioning
The doubts experienced in stage one begin to turn into meaningful questions. The first signs of movement from unconscious to conscious are experienced.
In Stage 2 of Awakening, we experience a growing discomfort in our lives. There is a feeling that something is wrong or missing. We begin to question mass consciousness and the validity of rules, beliefs and laws. Things that used to bring us comfort like religion or traditions are no longer satisfying and the places that we once found answers no longer provide relief.
We question our identity but we still hold on to it because we must continue to prove our worth, and we don’t yet know ourselves outside of our human identity. As we question the roles we play, we may feel lost, and even betrayed by others or life in general.
We may even blame religion, family, culture, government or the world for our problems, or maybe we blame specific people for our dysfunctions. As we shift responsibility onto others, we feel powerless over our lives; not yet realizing that in order to take back our power, we must take responsibility. In this stage, we might move from victim to survivor, but we are likely still blaming others and feeling powerless.
We begin to ask, “Who am I? Why am I here?”
Although we are searching for answers, we still hold on to certain limiting beliefs that keep us enslaved in the reality we have known. When we attempt to challenge these beliefs, fear brings us back, keeping us asleep a little longer.
In our discomfort with reality, and our search for answers, we may experience a great deal of confusion, overwhelm, anxiety and even depression. We “keep up” with our lives but we are secretly just “going through the motions.”
As we experience a variety of challenges designed to help us wake up, tolerable discomfort turns into pain and suffering. As our dis-empowering beliefs are demonstrated in real life situations and relationships, we get our first glimpse of the unconscious programs running our lives, but our desire to fit in and be accepted is likely stronger than any desires to free ourselves. Although this is the beginning of our internal programs breaking down, we are still trying to prove our worth by demonstrating our importance and seeking approval for our efforts.
We begin to understand that happiness cannot be found in the outside world, but we are still playing the game – seeking happiness in other people, places and experiences.
In this stage, there can be a great deal of emotional triggers. We may even experience trauma or remember past trauma. Emotions are generally very strong, and we may feel most fragile or vulnerable. What we do not yet realize is that our issues are coming to the surface to be healed and released.
Even though we are beginning to see the world in a whole new light, we may still possess black and white thinking – maybe more than ever. We are not ready to take responsibility for our lives and, therefore, we make little or no connection between our thoughts and our experiences in reality.
As the outside world no longer satisfies our hunger, the journey inward is about to begin.