“Make no mistake about it – enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of… untruth. It’s seeing through the façade of pretense. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.” – Adyashanti
Spiritual awakening means being awake to your real nature and that is not a walk in the park because being aware of our true nature means we need to let go of all the old paradigms and conditioning of who we think we are.
When we are on the threshold of being united with the infinite, our ego-self faces the crisis of death and does everything in its power to dissuade us from seeing the truth. And hence starts the dark night of the soul, but once we get through this dark night, we open up wider and embody our true self.
Here are five signs we may encounter during the dark night of the soul and tips on how to overcome them:
1). Ego death
“As you grow up, you form a mental image of who you are, based on your personal and cultural conditioning. We may call this phantom self the ego. The term ego means different things to different people, but when I use it here it means a false self, created by unconscious identification with the mind.” – Eckhart Tolle
When we begin to awaken to our true nature, our ego goes faces a state of death crisis and tries everything in its power to maintain the status quo.
When we awaken all of our worldviews are shaken and we begin to see the illusory aspects of the ego and come to understand our role in the cosmos.
Ego death is kind of a rite of passage wherein we realize we are the infinite soul and ego is just an instrument that we use.
2). You feel alone
It is sometimes mentioned that spirituality is a lonely journey. During the initial phases of our spiritual journey we may feel very alone as our worldview is changing, we have a lot of questions and we don’t find a lot of people to discuss things with.
It is important to spend this time alone in solitude or meditation to deepen our understanding of our true nature. Once we start deepening our practice, we will discover that we are not as alone as we think we are and are always connected and supported by the infinite.
The answers that we have been looking for appear before us, either in meditation or through a book or any person.T he cosmos has its own ways.
Once you are awakened you will not get entangled in relationships that are codependent because you have learned the art of solitude and are whole on your own. This is when you get connected to your soul tribe.
“The capacity to be alone is the capacity to love. It may look paradoxical to you, but it’s not. It is an existential truth: only those people who are capable of being alone are capable of love, of sharing, of going into the deepest core of another person–without possessing the other, without becoming dependent on the other, without reducing the other to a thing, and without becoming addicted to the other. They allow the other absolute freedom because they know that if the other leaves, they will be as happy as they are now. Their happiness cannot be taken by the other, because it is not given by the other.” ~ Osho
3). You undergo huge cognitive dissonance
“In the field of psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental discomfort experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values.” - Wikipedia
When we are awakening and going through the process of actualization of the soul, we are forming a new worldview and it is entirely different from how we have learned to view things through our conditioning.
In the beginning, we face huge cognitive dissonance, however as we get more established in our true nature we embody and exhibit our new worldview boldly.
We experience freedom, courage, expansion and universal love like we have never experienced before
4). You come face to face with your shadow side
“There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” – Carl Jung
When we start meditating or being aware of who we truly are, we have to come face to face with the things we have hidden in our subconscious. It is a process of cleansing and transmuting wherein all that needs to be transformed will be brought to our attention whether we like it or not.
Once we start to accept ourselves fully we begin to awaken to see the cosmic miracle we really are.
5). You realize for the first time that you are a powerful creator
When you are awakened there is no place to hide. You can lie to everyone but you can’t lie to your own self.
Once you start awakening, you realize that you are a powerful creator. You acknowledge the freedom that you have to create your own life.
You realize that life has the meaning that we give it. You start aligning with your true self and start taking action from that place.
You realize that even if you stumble you have the capacity to build yourself again.
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