4 Stages of Awakening
Steps and exercises to becoming the you, you're meant to be:
This may be one of those posts where you will want to read a little of it at a time and reflect. Then come back to it and read a little more.
In order for it to make sense I will need to explain my philosophy on the Divine and our relationship to it. You may not agree initially about this perspective; and that is fine. But please keep an open mind and by the end of this article, see if you don’t agree.
First of all, I do not believe the Divine (or God, Higher Power, The Source of All, etc.) is a being living in the clouds or even distinct from us. I believe the Divine is part of us and thus cannot be a separate entity that looks down on us and judges, interferes, directs and in anyway determines our paths.
I believe; after a very long, exhausting quest, that the Divine is within us, and reactionary to us. It is perhaps better understood as the Divine Consciousness, a collected consciousness that is influenced by our thoughts, feelings and actions. It is influenced by design. We were created this way for a very specific and important reason.
God is not some 1600 century version of a vengeful, punishing father, nor is He a 17th century enlightenment father who is merciful but detached from us. He is within us, part of us, and available to us. He endowed us with certain inalienable gifts that when used, draw us closer to Him and more like Him.
This God is within us and available to us. He does not answer our prayers like a parent may grant permission to their children. He gave us all the tools to answer our own prayers. It is only our limitations and short-sightedness that limits our request. He is in us thus our answers are also within us. As we ask for those desires through silent, deep thought (prayer) our answers to getting those desires are also found through silent, deep thought. That is where He dwells, that is where our answers dwell. The problem is He created us different than anything else in all of His creation. He gave us free-will.
God has giving us free-will for one reason and one reason alone. That reason was created to fill the only void God has. That void is love, more specifically our free choice to love Him/Her. God has only that one need. He understands that love by choice is better than love by force. He easily could have created us already loving Him, but then we’d all be angels. They don’t have a choice. They love without choice. We, on the other hand, choose love. That makes you very special. I would suggest even more important than angels.
By giving us this free-will, we then intuitively have the ability to create. Thus with this ability, we can create our experiences, feelings, and choices to a large degree. The sole purpose of our existence is to create a life in which we choose to love our creator. Thus our lives are enhanced and His need is fulfilled.
The problem is many of us don’t take that responsibility. We act as if we are powerless and we create experiences that reinforce that powerless fallacy. We live as victims. Thus Stage 1 of a life of true awakening.
1. Victimhood- Most of us lives in this stage. We believe we have no real influence over our paths, experiences, or destiny. As Henry David Thoreau once said; “We live our lives in quiet desperation.” We turn over our responsibility for our own happiness to others. We do this either willingly (because it is easier) or unwillingly (because we don’t believe we have a choice). Both ways lead to a life of quiet desperation. We find ourselves blaming others for our lot in life or we say, “I can’t help it.”
We are never more distant to God than when we are a victim. Thus victims do not get their prayers answered. They never take the responsibility to tap into the Divine within them to find the solution. They just hope upon hope that God will miraculously change their situation. They are often disappointed. Thus reinforce their victimhood. It is a vicious cycle.
I am not judging anyone here. God gave you free-will and who am I to question what you do with your will. I am saying though, that if you do choose this path, then understand you have chosen to give up your right to your life. In exchange for not having to decide, take responsibility, live with the consequences, you have also given up the driver’s seat.
You can’t sit in the passenger’s seat and expect to drive the car. Many try but end up frustrated, disappointed, and labeled “backseat drivers.” It’s a tough life but for a lot of us it seems better than being responsible for our own decision and accountable for our own feelings. Think about that. Reflect on where in your life you have moved to the passenger seat, and what the results are. Think of one thing in your life where you hand over the controls and do little to direct.
2. Empowerment- A lot of us reaches this stage and feels as if life is pretty good. This is the stage in which you no longer freely give up the driver’s seat. You understand you do have choices in life and those choices help to determine your outcomes. You feel glimpses of the Divine, because you touch creation in your life. Most who reach this stage, go no further, but tend to be fairly happy, contented people. They own up to their role in their life. They embrace their ability to create, no matter how slight, and reap its rewards.
The problem in this stage is that eventually you hit a wall. You come upon an experience where your empowerment doesn’t work on a certain situation or desire. This “wall” is scary and frustrating because you feel like you have come all this way, learned and worked hard to only to hit a dead-end. That “wall” though is needed in your life to challenge you to move further, closer to the Divine.
It is necessary in humans to draw us closer to being more God-Like. It deepens your love for God. Remember that is all He really needs from us. An angel is an angel is an angel. The only direction it could move is down (fallen angel). We are special and different. We are created to move up, until we are one with God. I am not saying we become God. I am saying we become one with God, a human in spirit form equally sharing in the ultimate LOVE.
If we overcome the barrier we hit in the empowerment stage, we transcend to the third stage. Reflect on times you felt empowered or happy with your actions. Think of times you were frustrated. Ask yourself what you were trying to control. What attachments did you have? Read my article: “I Hope You Dance”. It will help you understand attachments and true happiness.
3. Surrender- this is the stage in which we understand our power (our role and responsibility/privilege) in creating. We also come to understand we are only human and that the Divine is so divine we feel awe. We learn to surrender to our humanity and begin to embrace our divinity; the God within us. We befriend this power greater-than-ourselves and begin on a journey together.
This created the paradigm shift from thinking of God as a father up in Heaven watching over us and picking which prayers to answer, to seeing God as a partner in our lives. We begin to fully understand the awesome power we have been given as humans. We fully embrace the notion that we WERE actually made in His image and likeness.
As his partner, we move from just feeling empowered to actually being empowered. It is as if we finally released the genie from the bottle. We can willingly tap into His goodness and love to make some very real changes in this world. This partnership moves us gently into the last stage.
Reflect on what true surrender to a Higher Power means. Acknowledge what fears and insecurities arise and then redefine who God really is. Is He someone who would allow you to truly fail, or someone who would support your quest? Is He someone with you or against you? Do you believe He has given you the tools necessary to succeed, to love and be loved? Think of what a life of true love and understanding would mean to you. Begin to think of God as a co-creator in your life as opposed to an arbitrary granter of wishes.
4. Awakening- In this stage we no longer question our purpose, our ability, or our life. We simply create. We become God-like in that sense. We create the change we desire but do so from a place of true, awesome love. A love that is so powerful it literally can move mountains. We fulfilled God’s need thus we are living on a slightly different plane than many others.
I would sum up this whole series of stages by saying it is the process in which one moves from operating solely out of ego into a life that is egoless. Alcoholics Anonymous has a saying that EGO stands for Ease God Out. I think that is accurate.
As we progress closer to a life that is awakened, we must progress closer to God and further from our selves. This God I speak of is not only our creator, but also part of the creation. He is part of you and me and everything. He cannot be separate. Yet He can do and create anything. We too can tap into that ability (on a human level). This is a mighty power. It will not be trusted to just anyone. It is earned, learned, and discerned. It is co-creation with the very Creator Itself.
As you begin to feel this awakening, you can’t help but feel the real God. You are deeply touched by His love to create you this way and give you this powerful gift that even the angels do not possess. Think about these stages and reread this article several times. Let this powerful message sink through your resistance. Do each one of the reflections after each stage. I found it best to keep a journal.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we all could meet God where He is instead of always vainly wishing He’d meet us where we are? You were giving this gift to use so you could give God what he needs. Why else would He create us?
Learn to Love and you will be loved in return….beyond your wildest imagination. I promise! True people of the awakening, are true creators. They co-create with the Divine. The Divine only creates for the purpose of love. Remember we are made in His image and likeness so ultimately our only true need is for love too. This love is fully realized only in the awakened.
Author: Stephen Budd
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