The 3 Stages of the Spiritual Journey No One Talks About
Stage 1 — Learning Everything There Is to Learn
We experience this stage out of nowhere or due to a life crisis like a breakup, death, trauma, and other major life changes. This initial stage of the spiritual awakening leaves us feeling confused, unhappy, and lost. We experience a disconnection from the world and those around us. We look at the people around us and it feels like we no longer resonate with them. We may feel depressed as a result of this disconnect.
We don’t know what’s happening with us and the people around us can’t comprehend the transformation taking place within us and they assume we’ve finally lost our minds.
So we begin our search for answers but we don’t know exactly what we are searching for. We begin looking for our life purpose and the meaning of life itself. We start to question everything and this questioning stage pulls us out of the life we’ve known, forcing us to figure out a deeper meaning of life. We ask deep questions like “Why am I here?”, “What am I doing here?” and “There must be more to life than this.”
We try to find meaning for ourselves by turning to the internet for help and guidance. We start experimenting with different metaphysical concepts, mystical ideas, and self-help. We consume every piece of information out there to gain some clarity.
When we've learned all there is to learn, we develop an enhanced awareness of who we are and what we’re like, as if we’re meeting ourselves for the first time. We no longer see life as we once did in our previous state of consciousness and unawareness. We start to perceive reality in a different way; we start to see through the lies and delusions of the world and we gain a better understanding of the universe and everything in it.
We begin to search for answers but we don’t know exactly what we are searching for. We begin looking for our life purpose and the meaning of life itself.
Stage 2 — Thinking You Know Everything
After binging on everything there is to binge, we find the answers we are looking for and we start experiencing breakthroughs. Our knowledge about the universe broadens and we begin to put the pieces together. We start seeing the world very clearly and we see through all the facades.
We find ourselves a few teachers, spiritual practices, and belief systems that ease our existential crisis. As we keep learning, we feel a sense of expansion as old patterns fall away and our higher selves begin to emerge. We may have a number of mystical experiences and moments of little enlightenment that give us a glimpse of what's possible. This brings us hope, joy, connection, and awe.
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The moment we establish we’re spiritual, there’s a subtle sense of pride that rises within. We start to think we have it all figured out and have all the answers about how the world operates. We say things like we’re made of stardust, we’re star seeds from Sirius, or we don’t belong in this world. In conversations in person and on social media, we talk about woo-woo topics like spirit guides, dark nights of the soul, shadow work, the afterlife, crystals, and when others do not know what the hell we’re talking about, we shake our heads at them.
We get on a moral high ground feeling as if we are better than those who don’t know the things we know — almost as if we feel sorry for them for missing out on all the wonderful stuff. We say we are positive and the world is just too negative and toxic for our divinity.
We feel we are special and that’s why we were chosen to have the experience but the truth is that we were chosen to have this experience because we were walking on the wrong path and not because we are more special than the person who isn’t having the same experience. We go around pointing out things that are wrong in others and the world, and we turn a blind eye to our egoic ways. This is the stage where we spiritually bypass because we are constantly chasing after light and turning our back on darkness.
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This is also the stage where we want to be idolized. We want everyone to know that we are awakened, so we resort to social media to flaunt our newfound sense of identity. We give ourselves spiritual names like high priest/priestess, goddess, shaman, guru, divine feminine/masculine, etc. We place ourselves on a pedestal and look down on the world.
We think we are better than others and we make them know in our actions. We constantly throw in people’s faces that they are lost in the matrix. I remember an incident where a spiritual influencer who claims to be Angel Uriel kept posting intense spiritual videos on Instagram that were against the platform’s rules. The post was removed, and he received a first strike.
“How dare Instagram! I’m spiritual and I’m speaking the truth, but the world is stuck in the matrix and too asleep to see it.”
As his follower, I commented that even angels must follow the rules as long as they inhabit human bodies. Nobody is above the law, no matter how enlightened they believe they are. One of his loyal followers replied that I was unenlightened and lost in the matrix. It was amusing to see how neither one of us was enlightened, but only one of us could see it.
When we’ve been operating from the ego, old patterns begin to resurface. The real test for spiritual people is to practice egoless thinking and if we don't, the universe pays us a visit with new sets of challenges because obviously; we don't get it. We fail the test and we feel disillusioned and lost all over again. We become bored and tired of our spiritual teachers and practices. We may feel disconnected from everything we've worked so hard to feel connected to.
The moment we establish we’re spiritual, there’s a subtle sense of pride that rises within.
Stage 3 — Realizing You Know Nothing at All
Our first reality check hits us. We see that we’ve got this spiritual stuff all wrong. We start to understand the true purpose of the awakening after we lose our false sense of identity and we must come down from the pedestal. It can almost feel like we are losing our spirituality, and sometimes we are when the ego is disintegrating. This is called ego death. It’s unpleasant because as we walk into our purpose, we want to feel like we are making progress.
It feels like we have to start our journey all over again, but this time we have to do it the right way — with the ego in the backseat. We have to do some deep inner work and heal wounds that is showing up and affecting the present moment.
The universe is always helping us heal and grow, but it is our choice how fast we do the work. We start getting into a serious relationship with the universe and others. We begin to realize that even those who aren’t spiritually aware still provide us with what we need to continue evolving. We begin to see that we aren’t special than the person who isn’t awake and our journey isn't better than the spiritually unaware. We understand that people aren’t awake because it’s not their time to. And perhaps, in a past lifetime, we were also fast asleep.
When we put our ego aside, we become emotionally stable while the higher self leads the way. At this point, we are no longer interested in feel-good spiritual philosophies and practices anymore. The lingering pain and the disconnectedness we feel inside motivate us to do deep inner work. We take meditation, mindfulness, inner child work, shadow work, and other expanding practices seriously.
We learn what it means to be a true spiritual leader. Having awakened to the point of understanding the nature of suffering, we realize our duty to help other people find freedom from suffering in an educative way and not to point out their shortcomings in a controlling and know-it-all way.
We put our ego in the backseat and we allow the higher self to lead the way.
Human existence and human behavior become more interesting once we look at it from a place above ego and pride. We’re more receptive to opposing information and more excited about learning more. Some people think of this as a state of nirvana. We want others to experience nirvana too, but instead of preaching to and lecturing others, we guide them and we lead them by example.
We become aware that after all the things we now know about the universe and being able to see with great clarity and understanding; we don't have all the answers. We don't have it all figured out and we know nothing at all. Only then do we truly experience the most profound and long-lasting changes deep within.
Life becomes less about us and more about helping others. Our perspectives change and we start seeing things from the perspective of our soul — the bigger picture. We then feel connected and at peace with ourselves and we become deeply aligned with life.