What Is A Spiritual Awakening & The 5 Stages of a Spiritual Awakening

What is a spiritual awakening and how do you know if you’ve had a spiritual awakening? The mere fact that you are exploring these questions are actually part of the process of waking up spiritually.

When a baby is born we usually talk about a new person coming into this world. In reality, a new baby is nothing but spirit taking on a human form. The first few years of life we learn how to be a human being.

We learn the basics of eating, drinking, sleeping, walking ec. As our minds develop we start learning how to behave.

We start learning what’s “right” and what’s “wrong” and we quickly settle into a life that is more or less what our parents and other authority figures already have.

We get handed a very long list of beliefs and habits that help us function in this world. Very few of these are things we choose. They simply get handed down to us through observation and learning by the conscious and (mostly) subconscious mind.

By the time we are an adult we can function in this world more or less without thinking about it too much.

You learn who you are by unlearning who they taught you to be.

Nikki Rowe

The challenge is that we get moulded in such a way that almost everyone becomes what our families, our friends and even our society expects us to become.

From the day you were born you body changes. Scientists tell us that every 18 months every cell in your body gets replaced.

In theory this means that you are a “new person” every 18 months – at least from a physical point of view.

What makes you “You” then?

Surely it can’t be your body?

Can it be your mind? Yes, possibly but our minds are constantly changing and evolving too.

This leads us to the idea of having a spiritual awakening because these questions eventually lead us to the truth of who we TRULY are.

What Is A Spiritual Awakening?

A spiritual awakening is not what most people think it is. There are so many fictional depictions of this that are just wrong.

In basic terms, a spiritual awakening is simply becoming aware of the truth that you are a spiritual being having a human experience.

You are not a human being having the occasional spiritual experiences.

You are pure spirit and you have taken on this body and this life as your human experience. You come from the spiritual dimension and when you die, you will simply return there and “shed” this skin called our body and your personality.

Awakening is about liberating yourself from the prison that is the world of the mind and daring to be here as all that you are.

Leonard Jacobson

When you start to wake up to the fact that you are so much more than your body and your personality you start to crave a deeper understanding of your Self, of life and the true meaning of things.

In short, this is what the spiritual journey is all about. This is what a spiritual awakening is all about.

The idea of “waking up” spiritually might be best understood by imagining that people are all relatively “asleep” when it comes to the deeper truths of life.

Most people go through life in a sort of spiritual slumber.

They go through life almost on auto-pilot – simply following the crowd and following “the program”.

Oftentimes, when you are asleep, you don’t even realize that you are asleep because your dream can seem so real! This is a similar experience in relation to the spiritual “slumber”.

When you do wake up spiritually it can be very liberating.

You realize that we are all on a spiritual journey, we are all essentially the same. We are all spiritual beings having a human experience.

This can set your life on a whole different course. You may still be doing all the things you used to do but now you have a more spiritual approach to everything.

You are more loving, more compassionate, more understanding and your ego no longer runs the show.

The 5 Stages of Spiritual Awakening

There are many ways to look at spiritual awakening. For some, it can be an instant experience while for others it is a process.

Many people who has a near death experience wake up with a completely different spiritual perspective on life. Having seen “the other side” they are able to transcend a lot of the stages that most people go through as they advance spiritually

Spiritual awakening is the difficult process whereby the increasing realisation that everything is as wrong as it can be flips suddenly into the realisation that everything is as right is it can be. Or better, everything is as It as it can be.

Alan Watts

In Japanese Buddhism there is a concept called Satori. This refers to the idea of “instant enlightenment” where someone gets transformed in an instant.

Many people think that this is how a spiritual awakening happens but there is more to it. The Satori in your life may come in many different forms but as you will soon see that is just the first stages of this journey called spirituality.

Stage 1: The Calling

Every person has the desire to connect with their spirit built into them. It is part of our nature. Millions of people go to temples once a week – desperately seeking some sort of connection with their divine nature

For every person there are numerous turning points in life where we are presented with a calling. This calling is our spiritual nature calling us to “wake up”.

These callings often come in the form of a personal crisis. These are times when life throws something at us that causes us to break out of the autopilot mode of living our daily lives.

It could be the passing of someone close, the loss of a job, a breakup or any other significant event that really snaps us out of our daily routines that rarely requires any deeper self analysis.

Stage 2: The Change

When these callings happen, we tend to go within and we make contact with our higher self.

Most people simply ignore this and go back to their everyday way of being. For some however, the just can not get away from this calling.

It stays with them and the impact of that contact with the higher self becomes truly magnetic.

You feel a strong desire to to make contact with your higher self – often to the point where you just can not escape it any longer.

The change happens when you finally surrender to this calling. You are drawn to books, people and videos that teach spirituality.

You start to lose interest in the mundane and meaningless things in life.

You start to accept the reality that you are a spiritual being having a human experience. Many changes start taking place in your consciousness.

You start looking at everything in a different light.

Read more about The 19 Signs of a Spiritual Awakening

Stage 3: The Discovery

Once you are on this spiritual path you start seeking more knowledge and understanding. You develop a thirst for greater understanding.

You immerse yourself in teachings, spiritual practices and literature – all in a quest to know more, to be more and to evolve more.

As you go through this process of self discovery you find that even though you are still the same person – everything has changed.

Your perception of everything in life has changed.

In essence, love takes over.

Your life takes on a whole new dimension and you find that the spiritual path leads you to contentment, joy and a sense of inner peace.

Stage 4: The Struggle

As you progress along this spiritual path there are inevitable challenges. These challenges can come in many different forms.

It can be opposition from family and friends who do not share your new views.

It can be some major challenge like an illness that comes into your life.

Regardless of what it is, it will be something that you feel you “should not” attract into your life because you are so spiritual – and positive and optimistic.

These struggles are there by design.

Not only does it provide you with the resistance needed to grow, it is what is needed to get you to the next stage.

You will undoubtedly have a lot of difficult periods in this stage as you “battle” with your own mind. You doubts and fears will become constant companions as they work with your ego to pull you back to “the real world”.

Stage 5: The Breakthrough

As you work your way through your struggles and you stay grounded in your own spirituality you will reach a point where you break through.

It is like being born into a new life. You will transcend a lot of the challenges and struggles that were holding you down daily in the past.

For many people this comes as the result of overcoming something during their struggle. Some find a healing of a disease. Some find a way through depression. Some finally cut the shackles of a relationship.

This can take on many forms but growing into this stage of the “breakthrough” is when everything feels “light”.

You feel truly authentic and your life becomes enveloped in unconditional love. Your focus shifts from “me” to “us” and you have a strong desire to give, to serve and to help.


With a passion for spirituality, self discovery, and understanding this life, Neod spends his time musing about what is, what could be and what might come about. After writing for 20 years he's still growing, learning, exploring and sharing with love, joy and compassion.

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