The 10 common signs of spiritual awakening shared here are anything but common. Spiritual growth and development is not the same as spiritual awakening. Neither are these 10 common signs symptoms. Symptoms tend to imply that spiritual awakening is a kind of illness. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The signs of spiritual awakening I share come from personal experience. I will be sharing the difference between spiritual growth and spiritual Awakening in greater detail in another article. So keep visiting the site for updates.
Awakening or spiritual realization is the discovery that you don’t need to add anything to yourself in order to be yourself fully. You don’t need to try to become good, but allow the goodness that is within you, inherent in Being and inseparable from who you are, to emerge. – Eckhart Tolle
The list of these these common signs below indicate you have been graced an experience of spiritual awakening. Let me say this. Spiritual awakening is always a grace experience. You don’t get it. You were graced to become the revelation you are created by Love to be. So let’s consider if you are getting signals that grace is entering your life and gifting you a spiritual awakening.
10 Common Signs of Spiritual Awakening
The list below is not intended to be considered a linear progression in personal experience. Also, number one is not necessarily more important than number 10.
- Absence of Fear
So let’s explore each of these common signs that you are spiritually waking up.
Spiritual Awakening Sign – Time
A key sign that you have been graced a spiritual awakening is that your relationship to time radically changes. Spiritual awakening is not an event that happens within time. It happens when you enter the dimension of the Timeless. In Christian terminology this is the experience referred to as ‘eternal life.’ This is a paradoxical experience because, in one sense you disappear but on the other hand you real-ize the REAL you.
Eternity is not an experience within time but an experience outside of time. You don’t get there because to get there implies that you need more time. The reality is that you become a revelation of the Timeless. Your personal mind can’t understand this so don’t try.
The poet T.S. Eliot says it in this way:-
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
The exploration is the journey of spiritual growth and development. This exploration happens within time. This does not guarantee you an awakening experience. However, when graced such an experience you know for the first time that life is more than you could ever think it is.
2. Spiritual Awakening Sign – Knowing
Within the grace experience of spiritual awakening you know who you are, not simply who you think you are. You know that you are a unique, time-bound expression of that is beyond Time. This is no longer a belief that you hold if ever you did hold such a belief. In the grace moment of awakening you become a knower. You know what it is to be in At-One-Ment.
This is not an intellectual understanding. It is not theology. The knower and the known are not experienced as being separate. I refer to this as being known through. You know that you are of two worlds, but these two worlds are not separate.
Many times man lives and dies
Between his two eternities,
That of race and that of soul,
And ancient Ireland knew it all.
These are the world’s of time and the timeless, the world of form and the world beyond form.
Before the grace experience of awakening what you know is the separate sense of the personal self. This is the personal self born in a particular time and space with the hope, at least for some, that they may be granted eternal life provided they belong to the right group and believe the right script. This is where many fall into a slumber and their spiritual awakening goes into a limbo-like state.
3. Spiritual Awakening Sign – Absence of Fear
In the spiritual awakening experience you overcome the fear of death. This does not mean you overcome the fear of pain. When you know who you are beyond the limited experience of time and form what is there to fear? Now you know you always are and you always will be.
Your essence is Timeless. It is not born and therefore neither does it die. As a result of real spiritual awakening you will not be inviting rapture or the end of the world. The personal ego drives this kind of invitation. It is not as a consequence of true understanding or revelation.
Fear is rooted in the idea of the sense of the personal self. Non-existance is our primary fear. Death of the time based form called the body drives this primal fear. I know spiritual individuals who declare they are not the body. However, this declaration tends to be made by way of belief. It is not anchored in the direct experience of a glimpse of Enlightenment.
4 Spiritual Awakening Sign – Unity
In the grace experience of spiritual awakening you return to the experience of unity and wholeness (holy). You are the knowing that is the unity of the personal and the Divine. You live a beautiful paradox as a holy trinity.
- I am – You personally are
- You personally are NOT – I AM
- and you are both at the same time.
This experience is referred to by Christ in the Bible when he says, “I and my Father are one.” (KJV John 10:30). This again cannot be experiencd by the personal mind. It is a death into life experience that can only be known by way of grace. You can’t earn it but you can be inviting of it. The practices of spiritual growth and development are the way in which you indicate this willingness to be an invitation for spiritual awakening.
5. Spiritual Awakening Sign – Love
Your understanding of love changes following the grace of awakening. You know Love to be the eternal creative force of the universe. This is the creative force that moves from the Timeless to dance in time. You know that you are this eternal dance.
Love is known to be who you are and why you are. When the mystic Julian of Norwich asked God the reason why the Creator created the universe the answer came back to her in ecstatic whispers:-
You want to know your Lord;s meaning in what I have done? Know it well. Love was its meaning. Who reveals it to you? Love. What did he reveal to you? Love. Why does he reveal it to you? For Love.
While you may still be drawn to seek a love union within the bounds of time and space with another your understanding of this union changes. Your primary devotion is now to honour the revelation you have been given to manifest within time and space.
6. Spiritual Awakening Sign – Humility
One thing you will know for certain following the grace of awakening is that you could never earn this experience. You are in effect given the universe in the sense that you become one with it. It envelopes you an blesses you. But then you know it always blesses you would that you allow it.
It is given without condition. It comes as a shock to many that this grace experience isn’t ever withheld from anyone. This defies logic. Except that unconditional Love is not logical. The story that attempts to illustrate this unconditionality is the Biblical story of the prodigal son. We are all prodigal sons and daughters longing to return from the adventure into suffering that is our sense of the separate self. We feel cut off from the Love we long to return to and be. The mystic poet Hafiz says it this way:-
All this time
The Sun never says to the Earth,
“You owe me.”
With a love like that,
It lights the whole sky.”
This spiritual awakening really makes you humble. It grounds you in reality. The word ‘humble’ is etymologically derived from the word ‘earth.’ You stop dictating to the Universe and know your place as a unique Divine expression of Love in form. Your work is to become the channel for expressing Heaven on Earth through the radiant form of a body in full Presence.
7. Spiritual Awakening Sign – Joy
The feeling of joy is an indicator that you are being graced a real spiritual experience. Joy is a very different experience from happiness. It is qualitatively different. Joy is as the modern mystic Eckhart Tolle like to say is “Being in joy of the Self.” This is true en-joy-ment.
This is not the joy of the personal sense of me, my and mine. It is joy in knowing that you belong to the vastness of eternity and Love’s forever becoming. You can fall into and out of the dance of time but you cannot fall out of the dance of Love. To feel this is to know what it is to be in joy of the truth of who and why you are.
You are the dance of the Timeless within time. Again you are the dance of the Formless within the form of the body. It just doesn’t get much better than this but off course it does because it is boundless and thus endless.
8. Spiritual Awakening Sign – Authority
In being graced an awakening you are now authorized by the Universe to broadcast on Love’s wavelength. You now have inner spiritual authority. This isn’t usually given through words although in my own case it was received from the readings of Jeddu Krishnamurti.
Awakening is real education. The universe has blessed you by knowing itself through you. In this way you have fulfilled the purpose of Creation which is to know itself as Love.
Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire – W. B. Yeats
You will be different. As a consequence of awakening you will no longer be a believer. You will likely remain a seeker because most grace moments of awakening do not last. You will try to own these moments and in this way you will lose them. This is the meaning of the paradoxical Biblical teaching, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 16:25 KJV)
Having being authorized by the universe does not mean that you will not seek to learn from others. However, if your experience follows my own, you will find find most teachers are themselves believers and not knowers.
9. Spiritual Awakening Sign – Purpose
Following your glimpse of the awakened state you are given to know your purpose in life. The spiritual teacher Guy Finley says this beautifully when he declares, “Your purpose in life is to serve Love;s purpose.” Without the grace of awakening you will not understand what this statement truly means. Guy Finley is stating your primary purpose.
Spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle writing in A New Earth – Awakening to Life’s Purpose distinguishes between your primary life purpose and your secondary life purpose. Your secondary life purpose is the action you take to express this primary purpose within the dimension of time and space. Eckhart Tolle says:-
A new heaven and a new earth are arising within each of us at this moment. So awakening to your life’s purpose is not to try to look to the future and expect fulfillment there but to stay in the moment, allowing the ego to dissolve. Your life’s inner purpose is primary, and your inner purpose is to awaken, to be conscious. In whatever you do, your state of consciousness is the primary factor
10 Spiritual Awakening Sign – Perfume
A genuine spiritual wakening will perfume the rest of your life. This has been the experience of this writer. It changes you at a cellular level. You may never be graced another such moment (which tends to be more than a moment) but one such experience will give you a rock solid foundation for living on the shifting sands of time.
You recognize that this experience of eternal unconditional Love is the greatest gift you can invite into the world. This has been called The Lasting Privilege. This recognition is both yours and not yours at the same time. It comes through you. Your work in the words of the poet Rumi is:-
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
― Jalaluddin Rumi
Your task is to become a channel for this grace. This is the work of spiritual growth and development through spiritual practice. It is not the work of spiritual awakening. One happens in time (growth and development) while the other is graced from the dimension of the Timeless (awakening).
10 Common Signs of Spiritual Awakening Conclusion
Real spiritual awakening changes your worldview. If it does not then it might simply be a high on a weekend retreat or workshop. These 10 signs of spiritual awakening are my personal experience (and paradoxically speaking not my personal experience). Here they are only words pointing toward a reality that you have to live. However, it is not just up to you.
You have to learn how to live in the following way.
Keep the window open and the singing bird will come – Chinese Proverb.
The singing bird always is. The open window is a metaphor for your open heart and mind. Your spiritual challenge is to keep the window open and not be tempted to cage the singing bird when it arrives to bless your life. I will say this, however. You will cage the singing bird the first time it arrives through the open window. It takes practice to learn simply to allow freedom to this bird of grace. This learning to allow is the work of spiritual growth and development through committed, disciplined practice and devotion.
Please share your comments. Which of these 10 common signs of spiritual awakening have you experienced? Are there others that are not shared here?
Featured Image (top)
The Great Awakening by Herbert Gustave Schmalz (1856–1935)