Thursday, April 06, 2017

Photo credit Alice Popkorn via

A spiritual awakening is a great big event in the life of an experiencer. Huge! Earth-shattering. Life-altering. The experience of awakening is that of quickening consciousness. Life accelerates. Our perceptions accelerate. Our abilities accelerate. Our sense of meaning accelerates. It is a massive leap forward in awareness of our spiritual nature, potential, and purpose. A spiritual awakening is the beginning of our great blossoming and liberation. On the outside, we may appear the same but within our psyche, new worlds are being born.

4 Stages of a spiritual rebirth event

There are four main stages of a spiritual rebirth event like a spiritually transformative experience, near-death experience, near-death-like experience, kundalini experience, out-of-body experience, after-death experience, and mystical experience. I have intimately observed these stages through the process of integrating my spiritually transformative experiences, spanning some twenty years:

  1. Awakening
  2. Healing
  3. Expansion
  4. Integration

Stages one and two are the beginning phases and the great empowerment. Stage three is the middle stage and the great ripple effect or the great processing and stage four is the final stage and the great resolution.

During stage one, the awakening, an experiencer wakes up to a new consciousness or reality. This dramatic psycho-spiritual awakening is the subject of this post.

spiritual light

Top left image: Photo credit Alice Popkorn via

Part 1 of The Great Empowerment: Awakening

Awakenings, in real time, are often rather short events though when experienced may be felt to go on for eternity and vary in intensity. Awakenings occur in different circumstances for different people but they are always expansive, altering one’s perceptions. They are sudden, unexpected infiltrations of undeniable truth, so much so that they often override what we have been taught to be true.

Truth is a deep knowledge of the self; an intuition; the wisdom of the soul. However, that which is deemed to be true, often, by society, is conceptual, based on materialism and changeable. The awesome power of a spiritual awakening makes us completely aware of our subtle and eternal self and dismantles many of our beliefs, harmful to ourselves and others and the planet we live on.

What kinds of spiritual awakenings do people have?

People have all kinds of spiritual awakenings from encountering a divine light, unconditional love, bliss, past lives, religious figures, angels, spirit beings, deceased loved ones, extraterrestrials, to transcending their form (the out-of-body experience) and the physical world. Anyone is worthy of having a spiritual awakening. And you don’t have to be or do anything, in particular, to be awakened. Everyone will become awakened, at some point in their life cycle. Death is a spiritual awakening.

Spiritual awakenings are commonly noted amongst people who spend time in prayer, contemplation, and meditation, and those who have come close to death (the near-death experience). None of these circumstances, however, will ensure you of a spiritual awakening. For instance, my father has come close to death a number of times and has never had a near-death experience. My father-in-law was a medical doctor and a yoga master. He practiced and taught yoga regularly for decades and never had a spiritual awakening.

However, I, as a depressed, self-centred teenager, had a spiritual awakening. At age sixteen, I heard my name being called by Spirit. Then, I had my first of many out-of-body experiences. These were both awakenings. They were stepping stones to what would be my great awakening at age twenty-one when I encountered The Light and transcended my form. Like me, people can have a spiritual awakening when doing art, asleep or going about ordinary, everyday activities.

What I call ‘my great awakening’ had many of the ‘typical’ elements of a spiritual awakening. I encountered a divine light that filled me up with so much love energy I almost burst. I sensed the presence of spirit beings. I lost any sense of my physicality and individuality. I existed beyond the flesh. I merged with pure God-consciousness. I experienced the unfathomable scope of reality. I was transformed. There was the life I lived before this awakening and then the life lived following.

What are the effects of a spiritual awakening?

The great upsurge of spiritual energy experienced from an awakening brings into motion a long chain of effects that alter our lives and inevitably the lives of others. These effects will be discussed in detail in a future blog post. However, the immediate effect is remarkable healing of past hurts. This is part 2 of The Great Empowerment: Healing.

The great pain within the human psyche is the belief in one’s separateness from God/Spirit, other beings, and the physical and spiritual worlds. It is an illusion that one is not God/Spirit and not all things. The Great Empowerment occurs when awareness is gained of our universal connection – that all is one – and all is God/Spirit.

This, then, also becomes the great challenge you will confront as a spiritually awakened person. Just to illustrate how wonderful and difficult spiritual awakenings can be, here is the mind-talk of an experiencer:

How do I communicate this truth of unity with others? That God is all things? The light and even the darkness. The beautiful and ugly. That pure love is the great force of our existence. Is it even necessary to share all that I have learnt? I feel I must – but how? I want to end all the pain in the world. But I also know, there is a spiritual purpose to everything – even suffering.

It is worth noting, though it is rare, some people do have hellish spiritual awakenings. Their experiences are also life-changing and eventually life-enhancing (whether in this life, another or in the after-life) but not from encountering the more loving and light aspect of Spirit but it’s opposite.

How to help yourself if you’ve had a spiritual awakening

A spiritual awakening is such an amazingly powerful experience that many experiencers will feel a need to share their experience with someone. They often have a compulsion to pay their spiritual gift forward. I strongly believe that sharing your spiritual experience in some way is essential to you being able to live with it and grow with it. However, be sure to choose someone you dearly trust, otherwise, you may meet with skepticism and cynicism which can be hurtful and confusing.

An authority like a religious elder or medical doctor is not always the best person to share your spiritual awakening with, though you may consider them to be suitable as they would hear of such experiences from within their professions. But, unfortunately, it’s been reported and has been my own experience, that they can be very close-minded to ordinary people having heavenly encounters.

Rather, choose someone who is at your generational level; your partner, a close friend, sibling or cousin because even if they doubt you, or just don’t get it, you can more easily come back from it. You may indeed be fortunate enough to have loving support around you, perhaps even from your elders or know someone who has had a spiritual experience. But some people don’t. Some experiencers are harmed by the remarks and reactions they receive from non-believers.

Fortunately, there are some excellent organisations and networks which are communities of experiencers, supporters, and researchers, knowledgeable in and open to your spiritual awakening and even to the difficulties you may face in sharing and integrating your experiences over time. Visit these sites, join the forums, participate in the groups, seminars, and retreats, and delve into the resources made available. Furthermore, read books written by experiencers who, like you, have had a spiritual awakening, were transformed by it and learned how to make it a part of their everyday life.

American Center for the Integration of Spiritually Transformative Experiences (ACISTE)

International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS)

Near Death Experience Research Foundation (NDERF)

Linda Cull is an artist, author, and founder of Wilara Press®. Her blog Spirit my way® covers spirituality, inspired creativity, and transformative experiences. Learn more