Here are some things that seem typical in an awakening process. At least one that goes from identification with our human self to realized selflessness, or F5 through to nondual in Ken Wilber’s framework.
Here is a somewhat rambling and unsystematic overview of what comes to mind…
Wholeness of psyche/body
A sense of wholeness of our human self, beyond and including what we abstract out as psyche and body. This is the F6 or centaur level in KW’s framework, and is typically included in further awakenings.
Sense of intimacy with the world, no separation
As there is an immediate experience of the wholeness of our human self, there is also a sense of the wholeness of the rest of the world of phenomena. At the same time, the boundary between our human self and the rest of the world of phenomena appears more transparent. There is a growing sense of intimacy with anything arising in the outer world. There may be an intuition or sense that the boundary was only a mental construct in the first place. This is the nature mysticism, or F7, level in KW’s framework.
At this phase, the center of gravity is shifting out of our human self and more into the seeing itself, into consciousness.
As the center of gravity shifts more into the seeing, into witness, pure awareness, this sense of intimacy with the world of phenomena, and of no separation, becomes stronger. The boundaries within the world of phenomena is more clearly seen as superimposed and mere abstractions. And there is also as sense of the apparent split between seeing and seen as an overlay of abstractions, as not inherent in the seeing/seen.
Sense of all as sacred, Spirit, God, Buddha Mind, Divine Mind
As the center of gravity shifts into seeing, into awareness, there is a growing sense of all phenomena as sacred, as Spirit. There is a sense of the seen as no different from the seeing, and it is all the play of the Divine Mind. This is the deity mysticism phase in KW’s framework. There is still a sense of I here, although now more placed on the seeing itself.
Sense of timelessness
As the center of gravity shifts into the seeing, into pure awareness, there is also a sense of timelessness. Pure awareness is timeless, and it can be tasted very clearly as awareness gradually becomes more aware of itself.
Time unfolds within awareness, not the other way around. Change unfolds within, and really as, that which is changeless – this seeing, this pure awareness, that is right here reading these words.
Time and change unfolds as before, although seen as secondary to the context of awareness as inherently timeless and changeless. The nature of awareness it timeless. It is the eternal now, the timeless present, within which and as all change happens.
Sense of spacelessness
At the same time, there is also a growing sense of spacelessness. The world of phenomena seem 2D in a way. There is a sense of no distance. There is a sense or intuition of everything arising as awareness, or consciousness, itself, as arising from the same Ground, and in this – there is no distance, no separation, no space.
Within this sense of spacelessness, conventional space and distance unfolds as before, although seen as secondary to the spacelessness. Spacelessness is in the foreground, conventional space is in the background. Spacelessness is the context of conventional space, which is seen as not different from spacelessness, it is made up of spacelessness.
World of phenomena as a field
Again, as the center of gravity shifts into seeing, into pure awareness, the world of phenomena is seen as a seamless field. This human self is just a part of the landscape of what is arising in the eternal now.
The boundaries between this human self and the rest of phenomena arising, is more and more clearly revealed as superimposed, as a mental construct. It seemed real when the center of gravity was in this human self, but now, as the center of gravity is in seeing itself, the boundary has a sense of transparency and lack of reality about it.
Everything happening on its own, living its own life
As the center of gravity shifts from the world of phenomena, in the form of this human self, and into the seeing, there is also a gradual release of any sense of doer.
First, there is the noticing of sounds, tastes and smells, sensations and thoughts as just happening on their own, they seem to live their own life.
Then, and more shockingly, there is the growing realization that this human self – including its choices and behaviors, is just happening on its own. That too is just living its own life. The sense of doer is retracted from this human self, and seen as another superimposed mental construct.
The sense of no doer grows. First, it may be seen in sights, smells/tastes, sensations and thoughts coming and going on their own, living their own life. Then, there may be a growing sense or intuition that this is also true for this human self, for the choices and behaviors it engages in.
As the center of gravity shifts into pure seeing, witnessing of this human self, it becomes more and more clear that it is just doing things on its own. There is no I there to make anything happen, it happens on its own. There is no doer there to do anything, the doing happens on its own.
This can be unsettling at first. Will it survive on its own, with no I or doer there to take care of it? Then, there is the realization that it has survived fine so far, and there has never been an I or doer there in the first place.
In the awakening to selflessness, in Ground awakening to its own nature as seer and seen with no I anywhere, this becomes clear. Any lingering doubts fall away. This human self, as any other phenomena, has always functioned without an I, without any doer.
Unless, of course, you see consciousness itself – the Ground as emptiness and phenomena, as seeing and seen – as the doer. The doer with no I anywhere.
World of phenomena as space, emptiness, awareness, consciousness
While the center of gravity is in the seeing, in pure awareness, there is a growing realization that what is seen does not appear so different from the seeing itself. There is a growing sense of the content of awareness as awareness itself.
And although it is the awareness functioning through a human self, it does not seem to be human awareness. It is the Divine Mind which this whole universe arises within, and which is seeing itself right here now.
Along with this, there may be a sense of realization of this human self, and indeed all phenomena, really being space or emptiness. They themselves are this aware space.
The seen and the seeing both arises from this Ground, which is aware emptiness. And this is an immediate realization.
As part of all this, there is also a growing sense of One Taste. Whatever happens is recognized as Ground temporarily taking a particular form.
First, this may be tasted in glimpses. Then, there may be a growing undercurrent of this sense. And in the awakening of selflessness, it is clearly revealed as always and everywhere being this way.
Along with all of this are various forms of reversals.
When center of gravity was in this human self, awareness seemed within this human self. Now, as the center of gravity shifts into pure seeing and is eventually released as Ground, this human self is seen as arising within awareness, within and as Divine Mind, within and as Ground.
Similarly, early tastes of timelessness seemed to appear within time. Now, time arises within and as the timeless, this timeless awareness, this eternal now.
Tastes of spacelessness seemed to appear within space. Now, space arises within and as spacelessness.
Earlier, things seemed to happen to me, as a human being. Now, everything seems to happen for me, as an invitation for awakening and clarification.
And maybe most shockingly of all: Earlier, there was a sense of an I – variously placed on this human self, pure awareness, and maybe other things. Now, everything arises with no I anywhere. In and beyond the seeing and the seen, there is no I anywhere to be found.
And other aspects…
Synchronicities, meaningful a-causal coincidences, seem to occur (or at least be noticed) more frequently as this awakening process unfolds.
During the initial awakening in my teens, my days were filled with meaningful coincidences occurring – surprising, unexpected and noticeable enough so even others remarked on it frequently.
Energy shifts and reorganizations
In any awakening, there seems to be a good deal of energy shifts and reorganizations. This human self, and its energy aspects, needs to reorganize within and realign with the new contexts it is operating within.
First, this is the context of center of gravity in pure awareness. Then, the context of realized selflessness, of Ground awakening.
Since it happens within space and time, it takes time…! It takes a long time or a short time, and it can be dramatic and very noticeable if it happens fast and/or there is a lot of realigning needed, or less dramatic and less noticeable if it happens slower and/or less realigning is needed.
Again, in the initial awakening in my teens, this realigning was quite dramatic, and it took a while as well (months and years). It seemed to mostly take place during sleep.
Hidden psychological material (including shadow) emerging to be seen
Psychological material emerges, especially those aspects that have been repressed and denied in various ways. It comes up and all seems to want is to be seen, to be recognized, acknowledged – through the simple seeing of it. No drama is needed. It just needs to surface. These aspects seem to be like children who needs to be let in to the warmth for a while, until they heal, mature and are ready to move on.
It can be dramatic. It can be unpleasant. If it is resisted, there is more drama and unpleasantness. And if it is resisted less, if there is just the seeing of it with no added drama, just the being with it, then it can be less dramatic and less unpleasant.
It can even be quite interesting: here are all these things I didn’t even know was here, and now they are surfacing. They, as everything else, come to pass, not to stay, as Byron Katie puts it.