What is Awakening?

As I recently mentioned on Global News, we live in a remarkable time of spiritual development. Thousands of people around the world are awakening to their true nature as the cosmic Self or spirit. This is having a profound inside-out effect on everyone.

Tracking actual numbers is difficult though as people are shifting here and there, in and outside of spiritual organizations. Most just quietly go on about their lives. To further complicate it, not everyone uses the same language or even the same yardstick to define it.

One group that has been announcing global numbers awake, not just within their organization, is the Oneness Movement in India. In a monthly “read” I understand they recently indicated that earth has passed the 1,000,000 awakened mark. And that this number is increasing by about 4,000 a day. That means the total will more than double within the year. Not to mention these effects are exponential.

That is quite inspiring. But what do they mean by “awakened”? I was surprised to find that none of the deeksha givers I’ve met could tell me. Even if they were planning a trip to India to get it. Nor was it clear on their web site.

In a recent interview on Buddha at the Gas Pump, Eric Isen was featured. He’s a Oneness Meditation giver (a group blessing thing) that was familiar with some of the Vedic stages.

He indicated that rather than define specific stages that people variably experienced, the Oneness Movement uses an Awakening scale of 1-100. He estimated that CC was about 30-40, GC 50-60, 70 they call enlightenment, equivalent to Unity (Oneness – makes sense), and 90 BC. He mentioned Ramana was rated a 95. (rating others outside the org is tricky territory)

However, in this scale, even someone reaching a 1 or 5 is considered awakened. Given that’s over 20 points below what most organizations would consider awakened, that’s rather disappointing. And it casts a rather large shadow over the reported numbers.

To be clear, the journey of spiritual awakening is one dotted with many steps, some we may notice and some not. All of these are important. But there are some key stages where there is a shift in our very being. The first big one is called Self Realization or Cosmic Consciousness. (CC above) This is what I mean on this blog by awakening. And broadly, that is the common usage. (though it does vary some)

This is an unmistakable shift, even though the person experiencing it may take a little time to grok it. For those already awake nearby, they also experience the awakening because it is the same Self they are that just woke up to itself at another point. This also relates to why the awake seek to help others awaken. We’re in this together.

Another reason this is disappointing is that telling someone they are spiritually awake when they are still identified with the ego can be a recipe for trouble. I’ve seen a few people with good experiences turn into self-described gurus and create all sorts of division. (the ego divides) At the least, it strengthens the ego.

At any rate, this suggests the numbers coming out of the Oneness Movement are illustrating a positive trend but are not illustrating what many people think they are. That’s unfortunate. But worth being clear about.

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