Here are perhaps a few characteristic phases and elements of the awakening process, some from own experience (A-D) and some from what I have heard from others (E).
(A) An initial draw, interest, curiosity. This may happen through a crisis of some sort, or just be a curiosity. I didn’t have this phase, or you could say it was initiated by (C) and happened parallel with the other ones.
(B) A dismemberment, reorganization, setting the ground for (C). This one happened for a year before (C) for me, in the form of a mysterious illness, and continued in a more intensified form within (C). This is also called a dark night of the senses and may be experienced as being pulled apart and put together differently.
(C) An initial awakening, glimpse, opening or expansion. This is the carrot, the honeymoon. For me, this happened early in life, was intense and lasted for many years.
(D) A dark night, contraction. This is a return for what’s left. Whatever in us is not aligned with reality surface and often fill awareness so these parts may be released from their suffering. These wounded parts of our psyche wish to be seen, felt, loved and to align more with reality. This can be a very dark and difficult experience, and resistance makes it more difficult and drawn out, although it’s probably almost impossible to not resist to some extent. The remedy is to consciously – as well as we can – align with what’s happening. It can also be helpful to ask – pray, visualize – for inner and outer support, and for whatever needs to unravel to unravel in a deep, easy and quick way – and then let it go.
(E) Becoming a hole, a reed. Identifications and the appearance of being a separate I is gone. Only life and existence is left. Life awakens to itself, and out of the dream of being a separate I.
(F) A continuing opening, clarification, healing and maturing. This one continues within each of the other phases, including (E).
As Evelyn Underhill points out in her Mysticism, not all of these phases are present in each case, they may happen in a different order or simultaneous to each other, and not everyone live long enough to go through each one.
Note: When I say “initial awakening” other places in this blog, it refers to (C). It can also be called an opening or expansion.
Note 2: The dark night of the soul (D) can happen easily or quickly or it can be very painful and drawn out. I suspect that if most of the human self is already healthy and clear, it can go faster and more easily, and the more trauma and/or resistance the more painful and drawn out it may be, although not in all cases. Life is not bound by any of our ideas.
- awakening process
- initial draw – or not
- initial awakening, glimpse, carrot, honeymoon – waking up, expansion, opening
- dark night – returning for what’s left, including all of us – waking down, contraction
- a hole – becoming a hole for existence – all gone
- within each, a continuing opening, clarification, healing, maturing etc.