Spiritual Enlightenment & Awakening

Excerpt from Chapter 3 - Spiritual Ideas and Choices

For many pursuing New Age spiritual paths, enlightenment is the Holy Grail. I personally make no claim to be enlightened. Nevertheless, lacking enlightenment (or awakening) does not preclude you or me from casting a discerning eye at those who have claimed such experiences. I believe such a look can be both valuable and instructive.

A quote from Messages from Michael (Yarbro, 1983, p. 198) is apropos here. Michael talks about reaching higher centers (like enlightenment): The average person glimpses the higher centers only in moments of extreme stress or agony. In the group of Michael students hearing those words, enthusiasm for reaching such centers not surprisingly fizzled.

When I look at the bodies and faces of those who claim enlightenment, I do not see the total lack of tension that would indicate to me that they had achieved true inner peacefulness. The ones who tell us that we can avoid all psychology often appear to be rather tense. Often I notice and sense psychological issues yet to be resolved in these folks, perhaps small remainders of their old difficulties before enlightenment.

Many New Age followers think that every enlightenment experience clears out all psychological difficulties. Instead, Stephen Mitchell (1991, p. 40) describes how the path after enlightenment may require ongoing efforts at clearing. Without such clearing efforts, I suspect that the adaptive personality will increasingly overcome the effects of the enlightenment experience.

Next Page - Spiritual Awakening

© 2008 by Thayer White
Finding Your Soul in the Spirituality Maze


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    Related Pages:
Flawed Spiritual Enlightenment
Essence Contact Is Not Enlightenment
Eckhart Tolle - Spiritual Awakening Trap
Non-Attachment Does Not Lead to Enlightenment
Awakening Is Not in Our Future
Unhealthy Gurus Lead Us Away from Awakening

Excerpt from Be Your Own Therapist: "This seems impossible to achieve, to be happy when we get things we don't want. The reason it seems impossible is that we believe we should be unhappy when we don't get what we want. (In all of this, there is the following truth: if we believe such a situation calls for unhappiness, we will be unhappy.)"