These 10 signs of spiritual growth and spiritual maturity vary in type and intensity. Over time these signs become the way in which you walk in the world. Consider this list of 10 signs of spiritual growth as threads. These are threads with which you weave a tapestry of beauty. No thread is more important than another. Each has a contribution to make to the process that is the spiritual journey.
10 Signs of Spiritual Growth
This list is not a list of signs of spiritual awakening.
Spiritual growth is different from spiritual awakening. One is progress (growth). The other is revelatory (awakening). One is by way of spiritual practice (growth). The other (spiritual awakening) is by way of grace.
The ten signs of spiritual growth include:-
- Claiming your own Authority – Spiritual Authority
- Being Drawn Rather than Driven – Spiritual Depth
- Language of the Heart – Spiritual Literacy
- Reclaiming Sovereignty – Spiritual Awareness
- Embodied Presence – Spiritual Embodiment
- Feeling the Finesse – Spiritual Detachment
- Time Beyond Measure – Spiritual Time
- Beyond Belief – Spiritual Knowing
- Happy for No Reason – Spiritual Happiness
- Love in Action – Spiritual Action
So let us see how each of these 10 signs of spiritual growth point us in the direction for growing into the magnificent revelation we are created to be and act from.
A sign that you are growing spiritually is when you begin to claim your own authority with regard to matters of spiritual instruction. This authority is your experience of inner knowing. Inner knowing is not to be confused with acquiring more information and developing a deeper attachment to a fixed system of belief. It is more akin to experiencing insight, intuition and being known through.
Claiming your spiritual authority is a journey from knowledge into unknowing and being known through. This is not more information. It is revelation. You have to enter a period of time where you are prepared not to know. As a result you give up intellectual belief for the willingness to be graced an experience beyond belief that is real spiritual awakening.
2 Spiritual Depth.
The key sign of spiritual growth is that you begin to be naturally drawn inward. In a real sense you are being drawn into living in retreat. While this is not a withdrawal from the world there may well be times when you actually go on spiritual retreat.
You are beginning to know the spiritual experience of being in the world but not of the world. More than this you are no longer being driven by unending desires (cravings). You are being drawn into devotion. Especially relevant is that you are drawn into a deepening silence within. You begin to feel this silence fulfills you.
if it’s genuinely inside you,
brings what you need.
There’s nothing to believe.
Only when I stopped believing in
myself did I come into this beauty.
Sit quietly, and listen for a voice that
will say, ‘Be more silent.’ Die and be quiet.
Quietness is the surest sign
that you’ve died.
Your old life was a frantic running from silence.
Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking.
Live in silence.
Your life is lived on the vertical plane of a deepening Presence within (Timeless dimension). This is different from living on the horizontal plane (Dimension of Time) that is the drama of a life lived in distraction and reaction.
3. Spiritual Literacy
Another sign of spiritual growth is that you begin to learn a new language. This is the language of the heart. Therefore you have to give up intellectual literalism and become more spiritually literate. You stop taking words of spiritual advice and spiritual direction literally and take them as metaphoric and poetic invitations. Metaphor and poetry invite heart understanding. They are the language of devotion and not simply the langage of theology or what the Master Osho refers to as, “logic chopping.”
As a consequence you are drawn into a love of paradox, parable, mystery and faith. Words begin to come alive in ways never before imagined. Such words are are not just read from a script but are felt as the flow of the One Life expressing through you. These words become like Russian dolls. You think you understand them but then the revelation goes deeper. As a result a time comes when you stop reading so much. You choose to allow spirit to authorise your REAL story.
4. Spiritual Awareness.
Another key sign from the 10 signs of spiritual growth is the development of witness consciousness or silent witnessing. This is also referred to as awareness watching awareness. In this way you begin to take back command of your personal mind from the addiction to overthinking.
Overthinking is now the primary addiction of the modern person. Most people live from the dictates of the unceasing voice in their head. This inner voice for the most part is fear focused and tied to time. This is the kind of energy reflected in the world that is the totality of the collective human mind.
Spiritual awareness or awareness watching awareness allows you to become a witness to the overthinking mind. Witnessing invites you into the experience of real peace of mind. In addition this witnessing provides the space whereby the Universal Mind has access to think through you. This is real creativity. This is true university education. You are being versed in unity consciousness.
5. Spiritual Embodiment
The return to the body is an important sign of spiritual growth. For far too long the body has been denigrated and even demonised in the search for spiritual awakening. This has been especially so with women’s bodies. As the modern mystic Eckhart Tolle writing in The Power of Now – A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment says, “Enlightenment is not away from the body but through the body.”
A sign of spiritual growth is when you feel that you are an expanding embodied Presence. You are not just living from the neck up. Your sense of self moves lower into the body. You are more anchored in the breath rather than in thought and overthinking.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Extract from poem by Mary Oliver
© Mary Oliver
You live life from an inner stillness. From this deepening inner stillness you become a channel for allowing Heaven on Earth. Heaven is not a place but a state of union. You become a revelation of At-One-Ment.
6. Spiritual Finesse
Feeling fine is a lovely aspect of spiritual growth. A major sign of spiritual growth is when you learn to distinquish between feelings and emotions. A feeling is the free flow of energy through the body. An emotion is a feeling with a thought attached to it which is usually some form of judgement. As a consequence it is either allowed or not allowed.
The everyday expression, “I feel find” comes from the awareness of how fine your breath feels in any given moment. This indicates your real inner state. The feel of the breath is the key to learning how to feel fine. It is the key to the control of overthinking. The breath takes you back to the body and into learning how to live a sensational life.
To love yourself right now, just as you are, is to give yourself heaven. Don’t wait until you die. If you wait, you die now. If you love, you live now.” —Alan Cohen
7. Spiritual Time
Of all the 10 signs of spiritual growth and maturity, the one closest to spiritual awakening, is your experience of time and especially that dimension beyond time. In our modern age of ever increasing speed we have a major issue with time. Most people now experience time poverty.
Spiritual Awakening gives you the revelation that your true reality is timeless. This is not something you can acquire knowledge about. It is always a grace experience that is given to you. In being given this experience you will know you could never earn this immeasurable gift of knowing the real you as life eternal.
With silent witnessing, with feeling fine, with embodied presence you are drawn out of the personal mind. This is your over-thinking, emotional, reactive sense of self that you think you are. You live more in the present moment as a willing channel for Love’s Message. In this way you live a beautiful paradox. You know that the only real way to experience the time of your life is to be available to the timeless.
8. Spiritual Knowing
One sign of spiritual growth that tends to be a real challenge for many is to realise that you know nothing. This is especially the case for those who are highly intellectual. This tends to be very unflattering to the sense of the personal self filled with knowledge.
Spiritual growth is a journey into letting go and letting the universal be known through you. This is your delight but this knowledge, this wisdom, never belongs to you. When you try to grasp this understanding you immediately separate yourself from this understanding.
Spiritual growth involves the deepening of faith. This is not faith in any religious dogma. It is faith in the Unknown but not the unknowable. Neither is this belief. Faith is the journey from knowledge, moving through not knowing and culminating in being known through.
It is an experience beyond belief. This is not knowledge which tends to simply be more information about something. It is where you, as they experiencer, disappear into the experience. There is no loss here. The experience is one of Union. There is expansion into the immeasurable.
If you wish for more expansion then read on.
9 Spiritual Happiness
Another lovely sign of spiritual growth and maturity is that you increasingly experience being happy for no reason. Paradoxically the reason is because you have left the cave of the skull and the overthinking mind. You are living anchored in the fineness of the breath. You are having the time of your life because you know time is not the place to experience real and true happiness.
A sign of spiritual growth is when your personal happiness is less and less dependent on circumstances but is more aligned with feeling your connection to Source Energy (or whatever name you give to that experience beyond belief). As a consequence happiness is no longer something you look for in the future but is experienced as a direct consequence of the alignment of your energy system.
This is as a result of the wavelength you are tuned into. Happiness for no reason grows to the extent that there is less of the personal you and more availability to the creative force of Love that is a real you
To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him. – Buddha
10 Spiritual Action
The final sign in this list of the 10 signs of spiritual growth and maturity relates to the way in which you act in the world. Spiritual maturity means you are more available to express as Love in Action. This is where Love’s Message expresses through you. How you act in the world is less driven from your will to personal power but increasingly from the Will to Love. As a result you live less and less from your personal agenda and more from Universal flow.
A major sign of spiritual growth is the awareness of the energy you broadcast into the world and from where this broadcast is being made. This is ultimately dependant on your sense of who you are and why you are. The root cause of most suffering in the world and all the violence therein is due to your identification with the sense of the separate self you call, “I, me and mine.”The healing of this suffering and violence is to be in a feeling connection with the Infinite I AM which you allow to act through you.
It is not enough to make this another belief or simply more acquired information. Spiritual growth does not happen without spiritual practice. You act so that you might be gloriously acted through and live as one empowered from the Source of Love.
10 Signs of Spiritual Growth Conclusion
Spiritual growth is a fabulous journey of deepening revelation. It is a paradoxical journey of letting go into the emptiness that is forever full. The less there is of the separate sense of self the more there is available to that which is beyond the personal. You become the unique expression of Love’s Purpose. In this way you fall in love with who you are. You know beyond intellectual knowledge that Love is who you are and why you are.
With increasing spiritual maturity you know the universe has your back. You move beyond worry. There is the increasing experience of happiness felt for no reason. You begin to feel fine because you are anchored in the foundation of the breath. There is a comfort felt in not knowing (faith) and an excitement about the lovely experience of being known through (grace).
One of the truest tests of spiritual maturity is seeing the miraculous in the monotonous.
You are your own spiritual authority that in a strange paradox is not your own. There is the allowing of the authority of Love. This is your delight because you know this is real authorization. It is you being versed in unity consciousness.
You feel yourself to be on the right wavelength and are becoming a broadcast of Love’s Purpose. Your alignment with Love’s Purpose is primary. How you express that purpose in the world of time and space is secondary. You broadcast from the silence of no thought. You allow the fullness of the One Mind to flow through your mind that is still and you are the knowing of the I-AM-ness of Love.
The Final Sign of Spiritual Maturity
Finally you come to another sign of spiritual growth and maturity. This is where you stop looking for signs and you become the sign. You become the one who is simply radiating direction. Let this be so for you. Let this be so for all.
Thank you so much for taking time to read this article. Please leave a comment or ask a question if you found value in the above. Let this be a spiritual practice of gratitude and discernment.