Road maps for the awakening process can be helpful in a few different ways.
They can help us see that what happens here is shared, common, nothing unusual about it.
They can give us pointers for how to work with what is happening, if anything besides our usual practice can be helpful.
They can give teachers and people researching these things pointers for how to teach and practices to suggest.
But that is about it. They are sometimes helpful, in a practical and quite limited way. And there are of course many of these road maps, each one helpful in some circumstances and not in other.
And if either of these road maps is made into an expectation – by either students or teachers – it gets pretty weird, as usual. It ends up as yet another struggle with what is.
As they say, if 6.7 billion people awaken, there will be 6.7 billion different awakenings.
Sometimes, it is quick and difficult. Other times, slow and easy. Or slow and difficult. Or quick and easy.
Sometimes, most of the work happens before awakening. Sometimes, most of the work happens following an awakening.
Sometimes, it happens following decades of practice. Other times, it happens out of the blue, with apparently nothing leading up to it.
Sometimes, there is a simple and quiet shift into Big Mind, and not much else going on. Other times, there are lots of bells and whistles associated with it.
Sometimes, it is just a simple Ground awakening with not much else. Other times, there may be many different layers in the foreground of soul level awakenings. (Alive presence, luminous blackness etc.)
Sometimes, it happens mainly on the consciousness side. Other times, there is a strong energetic component, before and/or after.
And so on. Infinite flavors, variations, combinations and dynamics. The only thing we know for certain is that it is always different. Sometimes, it may follow whatever road map we have, with some minor variations. Other times, it can be completely different from any road map we are familiar with.
Yet, if it leads to a shift into Ground awakening, that is always the same. Always what we are – as that which content of awareness happens within, to and as – awakening to itself.
Trigger: Going to my local group tonight, and seeing how easy it is to take an innocent road map and make it into an expectation.