Spiritual Awakening and Enlightenment

Excerpt from Chapter 3 - Spiritual Ideas and Choices

Perhaps I am mistaken about their tension and psychological issues. Let's ask those claiming awakening or enlightenment to publicize their blood pressures, heart rates and extremities' temperatures. If they have as much inner peace as claimed, then their measurements will be a shining light for us all.

It is useful to look at the circumstances surrounding their enlightenment experiences. Usually there was major pain, distress, excruciation and/or depression for days and weeks before the awakening experience. For one example of this, consider the Buddha who suffered extremely in the days before his enlightenment.

Most teachers claiming enlightenment do seem to have experienced great agony. However, they never tell us that we need to do that to get enlightened. Such teachers teach us to pray, to meditate and to do loving spiritual practices. Somehow, these are supposed to help us reach enlightenment, awakening and inner peacefulness without any psychology or without the agony of a "standard" enlightenment experience. The fact that the enlightened ones did not need to use psychology to gain enlightenment does not mean that you can do the same while following the more gentle methods they espouse.

How often does enlightenment or awakening happen with these more gentle methods? What are our chances? What are the probabilities? I would estimate that far less than one per cent of us reach enlightenment by such gentle methods.

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


This Chapter
    Related Pages:
Spiritual Enlightenment
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: " If your paid therapist has objections to a joint discussion of growth and healing goals, perhaps it is time to examine and discuss your relationship with that therapist."