Recently, as I was drafting my forthcoming book 'A Beginner's Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment - Non-Religious Spirituality for the 21st Century' I asked people what they felt was important about enlightenment, but was not always addressed, so I could see if I could shed some light on this in.
Many people made contact, and they spoke about the various issues they felt were missing in current teachings. and I'm in the process of addressing these in the book.
However something I hadn’t expected also came up repeatedly, and that was the sense of isolation people experienced because they couldn't talk to family and friends about their own direct mystical awakenings.
In the closet
As people spoke I was reminded that I too have experienced this isolation myself, and on thinking about it, this also reminded me of the way gay people had described feeling before they came out of the closet.
Unable to speak to those closest about something that was so intrinsic to a person, in the case of the gay movement, their sexual orientation - and in the case of those awakening - their direct perception of the sacred, for fear of not being accepted or of being ostracized, and the loneliness people felt because of this.
Wired to connect
Connecting with other people is a fundamental human need, and as we evolved we actually developed a whole new region of the brain in order to help to manage this, and in another post I'll discuss why relationships are also intrinsic, to embodied awakening.
In time, as with the gay community and their growing acceptance into the mainstream, this acceptance will also happen with the awakening movement as direct spiritual awakening is taking place for so many people now.
For some people exploring awakening, it can at first seem odd that connection with others could have any importance, after all isn't the point of awakening that you transcend the individual?
This has certainly been taught by many spiritual teachers, and whilst awakening takes you directly beyond 'you' and into the infinite and sacred source of all, what is also important to remember is that the same 'you' is also the infinite source of all in it’s embodied form.
"The One life is living itself as You"
Because of this relationships can be usefully seen as a cherished aspect of the divine as they bring two of it's seemingly separate aspects together.
If that sounds at all confusing, that is because we come up against the paradox of living as an infinite and individual being, not either/or but both/and - truly beyond any duality.
Below I've added a link to a document from one of my courses which speaks somewhat of connection and community.
In the meantime, if you are going through your own awakening, at whatever stage you are at, you are not on your own.
There are more, and more of us, and whilst it might not feel safe to talk about what is happening with some people, find those you can speak with and share your wisdom.
All truth passes through three stages.
First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
December 7th, 2020