The dark side of Spiritual awakening
Walking the path of spirituality leads us to greater connection with the Self and to all there is. We may begin to seek answers about our purpose and our existence. We may begin to question the status quo. We may begin to pursue meaning and depth to all our experiences, instead of chasing instant gratification or money. We undergo a huge shift in perspective. While it can be a liberating experience to finally awaken from the illusion we have been living, this journey may often lead to dark and painful places. After all, we can only heal by acknowledging the source of our wounds.
When we start to awaken, we may begin to make the connection between past experiences with current behaviours and patterns. We may unbury past traumas, relive past memories and encounter things we have hidden in our subconscious. In the words of psychologist Carl Jung,
“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”
Delving deep into our psyche and facing our shadow Self may be difficult to bear, but it is ultimately necessary to understand where and why we are at the present moment. Only then it is possible to take a step into the future, toward the version of the Self we want to be.
That new version of the Self may not want the same things that we might have previously enjoyed. During our awakening, we may feel disconnected from the people and things around us, and feel lonely or isolated. We may look at the collection of material things we have amassed and realised that we never needed them, or they were never necessary to make us happy. We may feel unfulfilled at our workplace, or even in where we live. We may feel the urge to get rid of everything - our possessions, our job, our acquaintances, old habits, creature comforts, belief systems - everything that we once thought defined us now ring hollow. These constructs no longer align with our principles and our higher purpose. We have no choice but to let go of the paradigms and conditioning of who we think we are, and surrender to the unknown.
Taking that plunge is terrifying. When we awaken to our true nature, the ego faces a state of death and tries everything in its power to maintain the status quo. The ego is a false self created by an unconscious identification with the mind, but it does not reflect our true Self. The ego may cause us to revert to previous patterns, to feel attachment to various aspects of our illusory self, and even experience suffering in our spiritual practice. But ego death is a necessary rite of passage for us to realise we are the infinite soul - We are ONE consciousness.
While we are going through this awakened process of self-actualisation, we are forming a new perception that it is entirely different from our conditioned worldview. We may doubt our sanity, and may go through phases of skepticism. Some things we learn may directly contradict what we have always believed in, and we may develop cognitive dissonance. But as we raise our vibration, we attract the tools that help us embody this worldview and align with our higher truth. We realise that we are the creators of our reality, and no matter how deep or dark the journey, we carry a light within us.
At HOA, we aim to create a safe space to guide and support anyone walking this path to spiritual awakening. Feel free to speak to our co-creator and facilitator Suraya Sam about your journey and the challenges that it brings!
Written by Izzy Liyana, content creator & writer for HOA