By Lori Lines
There is a misconception that the ego-self sits upon our shoulders, urging us toward a selfish existence that is hedonistic and instantly recognizable as shallow. We don't often equate insatiable ego needs with spirituality. Though, it can be those who speak loudest about being a "spiritual person" that are deeply compelled by the voice of the ego-self.
The zealous New Age pursuit of enlightenment is not always driven by an impending ascension. It can be motivated by the desire to remain current and appear superior to the "unawakened masses." When we ask how to become enlightened and fail to ask ourselves why we should seek enlightenment, we risk going down the perfunctory path of shallow awakening.
Shallow awakening or false enlightenment has several hallmarks. As mentioned, among them is a braggadocios manner of proclaiming one's spirituality. People who do this often have the deep-seated belief that their spiritual nature makes them better than others, viewing themselves as virtuous and others as debased.
Another quality of those who have been led astray by false enlightenment is the tendency to spiritually bypass. They wish to manifest peace and harmony that comes from spiritual awakening, side-stepping the often painful shadow work, dark nights of the soul, the heart, humility and ego death. When the real work is avoided, the words and actions that follow rarely amount to more than an elaborate pantomime of actual enlightenment.
The trend arising is the unappeasable pursuit of spiritual information mass-produced by those who have found or claim to have found enlightenment. Amassing and regurgitating other people's words and experiences without personal experience or perspective.
Seeking guidance from mentors you trust should always be encouraged, but the truly enlightened never intended for you to substitute your personal journey for theirs. Their intention is to inspire, not influence, to guide, not lead. Unlike their seminars and books, enlightenment cannot be bought and sold.
When one follows the "just-add-water-and-stir" brand of spirituality, it is devoid of any soulful nourishment. It's like waking up with the flu, putting on your best clothes and jewels, making yourself up, and expecting to feel better. The behaviors and words of false enlightenment satisfy the ego, bolstering a sense of worthiness and pride but abandons the higher self and the process of self-actualization altogether.
This is in stark contrast to actual awakening, when many are harshly judged, friends and family may walk away, and concepts like self-worth and personhood are very fragile. At the beginning of the path to enlightenment, we have to turn a blind eye to others' opinions. Towards the end, ego death means we no longer give much thought to these opinions at all, turning our intensified awareness to our higher-self.
A fragile sense of self and losing the relationships that no longer serve are just parts of the price we pay for enlightenment. The process of authentic enlightenment can be likened to the education process. Making our way through primary, middle, high school, and university, we are given lessons and assignments, cumulating in proving our mastery to progress to the next level.
The Divine timing of our spiritual growth is much the same, though you could say even more painstaking! We are given lessons and assignments, but there are never easy passes. We must repeat the same lessons over and over again until we get it right. Divine timing dictates when and where the tests will be administered and if we are ready for the next chapter. As hard as it can be to surrender to Divine timing and Divine order, we must accept it as the only "administrative" body accredited to appoint our degree in enlightenment.
What does true enlightenment look like? It can't be chalked up to changes in speech and behavior. This can easily be faked. True enlightenment leads to significant transformation in how we interact with the world through meaningful lifestyle changes, understanding who we truly are, and perception shifts. More importantly, this transformation speaks to the profound changes our spirit is undergoing.
Through all the wounds, cracks, and scars that have been uncovered through your journey, the light of awakening will begin to shine, illuminating your truths, your values, and your intentions. The way you care for your mind, body, and spirit will become a priority, not for the sake of how you are perceived or for the sake of vanity, but as a measure of how you FEEL as you align with and navigate your world - all the while taking responsibility and accepting accountability for your choices and their outcomes. You will live a life that honors not just yourself but all you meet, uncovering a deep sense of peace, regardless of where others are on their life journey.
The greatest gift and perhaps the biggest dichotomy of enlightenment is the freedom that comes from the connection you will feel with all sentient beings, the Divine, and your existence. Liberation and oneness at once? Yes! When we align ourselves with pure love, compassion, empathy, and harmony, we are unencumbered by judgment, invulnerable to the judgment of others, and unburdened by the competitive ego that thrives on comparison.
Enlightenment is the freedom to be exactly who you are intended when removed from the shadows and illuminated by the dawn of awakening.
In love and truth,
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Author Lori Lines
Disclaimer: Lori is a high-level channel. The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.