Sunday, July 28, 2013

Spiritual Awakening: The Dark Side

In some cases, an individual will experience an extremely intense spiritual awakening, which can also be likened to a spiritual emergency or crisis.  This is because the person cannot handle the experience.  The individual may not realize or understand what is happening to him or her.  Some people may mistakenly feel or believe that they are invincible, as if they have reached a point of ultimate enlightenment which disconnects them from reality.  I have heard some stories about people who have experienced a spiritual emergency due to loss or moments of extreme crisis, and have experienced moments of madness with this awakening.

A spiritual awakening can also come spontaneously to someone through a life-altering event, such as a medical problem like epilepsy, a stroke, or other condition that involves extreme pain or physical trauma.  A near-death experience can trigger a religious experience as well.  Psychosis, schizophrenia, and depression can not only cause a sacred experience, but can also be triggered by the spiritual awakening as well in people who are predisposed to mental illness.

Some people attempt to coax a spiritual awakening through drug use or dangerous meditation practices that I cannot recommend.  A spiritual experience can make someone feel a flood of very powerful, intense emotions and sensations all at once.  If the person is not yet ready for this experience, he or she can encounter physical, emotional, or mental health problems which may continue to be present long after the spiritual awakening has come and gone.  The individual may have reached a point of enlightenment or connection with the divine for a fleeting moment, but must also pay for these experiences with a lifetime of difficulties in return.  It is much better to allow the divine love of the universe to come to you and flow through you when you are truly ready, rather than simply when you feel you are ready.  For these reasons, I must recommend that you do not rush or force your awakening.  Instead, let it come at just the right moment; your higher power will know when you are ready to handle the experience.

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