An interesting article recently appeared in Psychology Today on “The After-Effects of Awakening.”
Nice to see it being researched and discussed in mainstream literature. However, the outline still lacks the context of post-personal development. The “awakening” described is largely a passing experience – one that may alter the subjects world-view, but is a passing experience nonetheless.
I would describe this as an opening rather than an awakening. The difference is critical as what they describe is not the permanent change in self-sense. True awakening is a change in being and thus changes the entire context of experience.
Not that an opening or profound experience is a bad thing. It can be deeply inspiring and uplifting. And it can move us up the personal development scale. But if we confuse experience with being, we can end up chasing experiences which can pull us away from actual awakening. This is not “Enduring Transformation.”
The article notes 3 styles of it:
– Trauma that triggers a breakdown of self, although he doesn’t mention the latter.
– Nature opening us up through beauty and stillness.
– Spiritual practice, primarily meditation but also others.
These can also be triggers for awakening. Byron Katie and Eckhart Tolle are examples of the first, what I would describe as the hard way. The last cultures the grace for a shift but the middle one is less likely. While a soothing and enjoyable experience, we’re somewhat less likely to surrender during a pleasant experience as we’re inclined to hold on to what we’re enjoying. As the initial shift is about the awakening observer, it’s more likely to happen when we go beyond experiencing. I discuss the common styles here.
They close with a quote from Abraham Maslow, “A single glimpse of heaven is enough to confirm its existence.” This is true. But wouldn’t you want to live this rather than just glimpse it?