spiritual enlightenment
Image by Okan Caliskan from Pixabay

Spiritual Enlightenment and its 13 Signs You Should Know

What is spiritual enlightenment? Are there any signs that everyone experiences to ensure that they’ve achieved spiritual enlightenment?

Spiritual enlightenment or awakening is by far one of the most misconceived concepts. It is not about seeing God and cannot be achieved by reading a book or an article.

Spiritual Enlightenment

Spiritual Enlightenment
Picture by Sage Friedman

As said by the Oxford dictionary, spiritual means “the part of an individual which includes their mind, emotions, and personality rather than their body.”  According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, spirituality is the “quality or state of being concerned with religion or religious matters.”

On the other hand, the word enlightenment, in this context, has been defined as “a blissful state of a person known by the absence of craving and pain.”

In a spiritual context, when a person achieves a wholly different perspective toward the world and the self, eliminating materialism, it is called enlightenment.

zac durant 6HzPU9Hyfg unsplash
Picture by Zac Durant

So, on the whole, spiritual awakening or enlightenment occurs when a person gets free from all 5 characteristics and replaces those with compassion and peace in a conscious state. The characteristics are:

  1. Anger
  2. Greed
  3. Lust
  4. Desire
  5. Ego

The subject of spiritual awakening collides with the teachings of Epicurus, whose teachings were mostly about endeavoring for an absence of pain, which can be physical or mental.

What is a Spiritual Path?

As read in an article, Buddhism seeks the path toward Nirvana. Siddhartha Gautama followed the path of Buddhism around the 6th century BC. According to him, nirvana is the path toward spiritual enlightenment.

This process of getting free from suffering is called Nirvana in yoga. The next level to nirvana is the Parinirvana, where a person is made free from rebirth.

Spiritual Enlightenment
Picture by Ralph Kayden

The nature of a human is mostly filled with ego, where life means fulfilling desires. People get closer to truth and actuality through practicing meditation, and a deep sense of awareness begins. Through practice, the growth of consciousness of one’s true self can be observed.

The people who are enlightened through a spiritual path are said to be twice-born. Because the birth of a child happens in an unconscious state for the child. But when the child grows, they start doing things in a conscious state. In this state, if a person does spiritual practice, they are susceptible to the journey of a spiritual path.

Spiritual Enlightenment
Picture by William Farlow

When a person can live every moment of their life, a new perspective toward the world and the self arises. This new perspective of true nature brings awareness of the soul and its connection with nature.

Signs of Spiritual Enlightenment as Given by Spiritual Teachers

We all know that all of our everyday practices are based on our likes and dislikes. But the spiritual process cannot be carried out when an individual is identified with their likes, dislikes, interests, or desires.

Spiritual Enlightenment
Picture by Darius Bashar

A person with spiritual awakening will experience the highest state of consciousness and oneness with the world with the help of spiritual practice.

To begin with signs of spiritual awakening or enlightenment, I have categorized them into 13.

1. Constant Touch with Reality

The first and foremost sign of spirituality is to have a constant touch with reality. A state of awareness all around is observed, and you start noticing even the smallest of the things in your life. And your mind stays in a receptive mode towards the world.

Spiritual Enlightenment
Picture by Marina Vitale

Self-awareness is one of the most promising signs of spiritual awakening characteristics. This touch with reality gives you freedom from all types of problems because now you can let go of control over things.

2. Timelessness

This second sign of spiritual enlightenment is timelessness. Timelessness doesn’t imply the disability to record the passage of time.

Spiritually awakened people say that there is neither time nor space in reality. Because whatever they experience in the journey of a spiritual path is beyond materialistic things.

Spiritual Enlightenment
Picture by Igor Flek

This sign is not observed in individuals who have just been on a spiritual path because spiritual practices, like yoga and personal growth, develop this sense.

3. Intensified Perception

Anybody can observe this sign of awakening in a spiritually enlightened person through talking and acting. This sign also depends on the personal growth of an individual. And it can be improved through spiritual practices such as yoga and meditation.

Spiritual Enlightenment
Picture by Elijah Hiett

A spiritually enlightened individual lets go of the desire to control the situation. They embrace the chaos of their life in the same way as they embrace prosperous returns.

4. Aliveness

It is no secret that spiritually enlightened people feel more aliveness than anybody else. In normal people, aliveness occurs when we enjoy performing an act. But spiritual people feel the aliveness in every moment of their life.

Spiritual Enlightenment
Picture by Knut Troim

Meditation helps an individual to stay and experience the present moment in their life. Thoughts about the past or the future will not interrupt a person who practices meditation and yoga. Thus giving them a personal experience of aliveness.

5. Inner Quietness

Inner peace is probably the most experienced state of spiritual awakening. Zen spirituality is a school of Buddhism, which is one way of practicing yoga.

Zen emphasizes spiritual practices like meditation. These spiritual schools help individuals to get freedom from their desires.

Spiritual Enlightenment
Picture by Guilherme Stecanella

This path helps in letting go of control over things. This ability to surrender to the flow of life is what brings peace within. The concept of meditation brings the true self into existence and gives peace. This inner peace puts mental health in check.

6. Empathy and compassion

Compassion takes life in the spiritually awakened individual without much delay—empathy towards neighboring human beings and other creatures. Empathy increases morale.

Spiritual Enlightenment
Picture by Jeet Dhanoa

The feeling of connectedness towards the world gives life to the compassion within a person. To a spiritually awakened individual, empathy is like an in-built feeling.

Spiritual awakenings call towards the direction of growth of compassionate feelings, repressing the ego.

7. Absence or Decreased Fear of Death

When a person is asked about their fears, most of them would be about things or situations that are temporary. But every person is afraid of death.

An enlightened self has this fear of dying cleared because an enlightened individual’s wisdom is beyond the physical arena.

Spiritual Enlightenment
Picture by Sammie Chaffin

The loss of sense of self or ego could be the reason for this absence of fear. This absence of fear is not a sudden change but is attained through searching for knowledge about oneself. The practice of yoga could bring liberation from such fears.

8. The Need for Belongingness Fades Away

As given in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, any individual would need love and a feeling of belongingness after satisfying physiological and safety needs. But an enlightened individual will not feel a need for belongingness.

Spiritual Enlightenment
Picture by Benjamin Davies

This is because an enlightened person will begin their search within themselves and not in others. This connection and awareness with themselves are what make the need for love and belonging fade away. The process of awakening gives an individual liberation from all kinds of limits.

9. Appreciation

On a personal level, enlightened individuals have a lot of curiosity as they are always on the path of searching for knowledge. This curiosity brings appreciation to even the smallest of things.

Spiritual Enlightenment
Picture by Giulia Bertilli

A spiritual person understands the significance behind all processes and traditions and can thus appreciate them. This attitude of appreciation will begin the destruction of the ego.

10. Enjoyment of Inactivity

Most of us display emotions or feelings when we are engaged in an activity. But individuals who have understood spiritual enlightenment enjoy it even when they sit idly. This process of enjoyment of inactivity happens when a person can control his emotions and feelings.

When a person controls his feelings, they tend not to be influenced by external acts.

Spiritual Enlightenment
Picture by Fernando Brasil

11. Awareness of Eternal Nature

The awareness of eternal nature is a gradual search process for knowledge, truth, and true self. The spiritual awakenings give a deep understanding of nonmaterialism. The teachers of Buddhism state that the path leading to materialism is wrong.

Awakened individuals are more connected to nonmaterialistic things. The traditions of yoga also contribute to non-materialism, called the aparigraha. Some Buddhist articles read that the concept of life towards materialism is unsustainable.

12. Autonomy

Enlightened individuals give their souls the autonomy to act in the direction of intuitions. They are aware of their power in this creation. They don’t judge things, and there is no such thing as right or wrong for them.

Spiritual Enlightenment
Picture by Amarnath Tade

Enlightened individual detaches themselves from worldly things. In many traditions like Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism, the soul is different from the body. This concept is a direction toward eternal presence.

13. Synchronicity

This sign of awakening is achieved through a gradual process. Yoga could help actualize this deep sense through meditation and other practices that could connect human beings to the world.

Awakenings make the enlightened individual that the universe is conspiring to help them. This is a deep level of state that cannot be attained all of a sudden.

Spiritual Enlightenment
Picture by Marcos Paulo Prado

Spiritual enlightenment can be attained in an unconscious state, but one can sustain it only if one wants to. The practice of traditions and teachings of philosophy in addition to one’s wisdom could call enlightenment into life.

7 Most Powerful Spiritual Books You Must Read
Icy Health