We can also view the awakening process as the gradual removal of coverings or veils. While there can be various specific hindrances to deeper sensing like the noise of unresolved emotions, there are 2 broad categories of coverings.
The first is known as tamas, the guna or quality of inertia. When prominent, it gives the world a sense of solidity and reality and leads us to become identified with it. I am this body and these are my possessions and my thoughts, etc.
That leads to a tendency to try hold on to or control experiences and to resist what we don’t want. (those tendencies are naturally there but identifying amplifies them)
We can talk about clearing emotions, resolving trauma, removing Stuff, and so forth. But you’ll note all of these are objects of experience. When tamas is resolved into sattva, we see those same things as fluid expressions of the divine. They’re not “mine” nor do they have much “weight”. But we can still become attached to this style of the world.
Thus the inner work also needs to be resolving attachments. This combination leads to the dropping of the veils of the world. And that leads to the fullest value of awakening.
There are many who have woken up to their nature beyond ego but have not yet discovered the dynamics of how That comes to be this. The divine is largely unknown and may even be rejected.
Much deeper than the dynamics of the 3 gunas is another value of covering. In the dynamics of consciousness, there is subject, process of experience, and object. All are aspects of consciousness interacting with itself. We can think of consciousness being like a movie screen on which the appearance of the world is projected.
The appearance value is known as chhandas and it has the effect of being a covering of consciousness. We experience what is appearing in consciousness rather than consciousness itself. We see the film but not the screen behind it.
It also keeps us in the dynamics of consciousness rather than seeing what is beyond it. To come to pure divinity, we have to cross the post-consciousness no-self nothingness of Brahman. (not to be confused with a no-self emptiness of awakening)
Where in the first stage, the expressions of the divine were masked, in the second the covering masks pure divinity.
Just as we first recognize the Self (Atman) before we recognize the expressions of the divine, so too we recognize Brahman before we recognize divinity itself. Pure divinity is more subtle than consciousness and thus much more than all expressions and the world. Even when we have recognized ourselves as everything, including all expressions of the divine, we have still not come to the divine itself.
And yet, it is our very life.