How do you describe being in love to someone who has never been in love? Words are a poor substitute for the visceral experience. We may not be able to convey what it’s like to be in abiding presence with the Eternal but at least we can define some of the characteristics that enlightened people exhibit. What is amazing, though probably should not be too surprising, is that no matter what their spiritual tradition, cultural background, or where they were born, the characteristics they share are so uniform. Imagine what it would be like to live every moment this way:
- Oneness – The interconnectedness of absolutely everything in the universe is obvious to awakened beings. There is no person looking out at the world, rather there is a deep and total sense of connectedness with every atom of the cosmos. There is so seer and seen. All is one.
- Intense perception – They perceive the world with heightened awareness, awe, and wonder – especially anything that is organic or natural. There is a constant freshness to everything picked up by the senses which seem to operate in an amplified way.
- Timelessness – Awakened individuals reside in the present moment always, there is no importance placed on what has passed or what is yet to come.
- Energy – An all-pervading energy is felt, and recognized as the creative force in the universe. This residing experience of cosmic energy is blissfulness.
- Harmony – The awakened will often describe the universe as perfect just as it is, they transcend natural disasters, personal tragedies, the daily drama and sensationalized news media.
- Inner Peace – The constant chatter of the mind is gone, as is the ego-identity that separates us from the rest of creation. There is a sort of compassionate detachment to the beehive of human activity. The awakened beings can just be, without needing to engage in pre-conceived activity. They do it if life calls for action, but there is no question of “what will I get out of this?”
- Empathy – Once you feel connected to everything, you do not need to be told to treat others well. They are you and you are them so naturally there is an innate sense of goodwill towards all living creatures and even all objects. Growth is through embrace rather than conquest. There is no morality per se, rather there is a sense of unconditional inclusiveness.
- Well-Being – There is no psychological discord; in its place is a sense of joy and bliss. There is no wanting, there is just expansive gratitude. There are no distinct likes or dislikes, but rather a pervasive equanimity.
- No Fear of Death – The awakened realize that the body may fall away but we are not the body, nor the mind, and we are already immortal.
- No Group Identification – There is no need for the ego to latch onto identity groups like a country, a race, a religion, a political party, even a gender. The enlightened do not see any separateness or difference even in people, even in the most polarizing situations that dominate our news.
- Perspective – There is a cosmic perspective, and a realization of the natural order of things, including an immediate recognition when human decisions run counter to this order. To be spiritually awakened means to know that your ego is not the center of the universe. Even tragic events in one’s life are seen as necessary milestones on the living path.
- Inherent Wisdom – Truly awakened people have access to intuitive knowledge, not through study but through an intense curiosity and unwavering focus that enables nature to yield her secrets intuitively.
- Non-accumulation – There is no need to collect possessions or power. No ego-feed through accumulations or control. Awakening means a move away from accumulation to contribution; instead of taking, there is giving to life.
- Authenticity – The spiritually awakened live more organically, meaning they are manifestations of life and creation not social conventions and cultural paradigms. Their relationships are also authentic, being absent of expectations and conditions. There is no insecurity in the self or in relations.
It may be impossible to use mere words to describe what it is to be spiritually awakened in a living and present way, but we already see from these characteristics how aspirational it should be for all the world. This way of being is the potential of every human being, and in fact it defines a full-fledged human being. When you compare this to the way most people live, it starts to make sense why we call the rare among us to be Awakened.
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