Updated: Dec 30, 2022
"The first half of life is devoted to forming a healthy ego,
the second half is going inward and letting go of it."
- Carl Jung
The simple answer is NO. Awakening is not a path for everybody, and there needs to be a certain maturity level and psychological development of the ego and a deep-felt internal drive. Nevertheless, many egos not fully developed have spontaneously and suddenly awakened (during deep distress and suffering, near-death experiences, heath crisis, life-altering events, or sometimes out of nowhere). Paradoxically a lot of healthy egos lead a joyful life without ever awakening. This is confusing, isn't it?
Most egos begin the path of spirituality to end suffering, heal a bit, and get caught up in the cul-de-sac of achievements and goal orientation until they realize they are back to square one. There is nothing wrong with this; each one is unique and chooses what he/she feels is essential. Certain unfulfilled desires need to be fulfilled before you step out of ego because the pull of ego is remarkably magnetic.
There is no sales pitch for awakening. For someone seeking to awaken or to stabilize in awakening, one or more of the following would have usually happened:
The journey begins at an intuitive level that there is something beyond them. There is a craving for wholeness, to connect to something beyond what we know of ourselves, and a longing for purpose and meaning. There is a sense that this calling seems unavoidable.
An intense desire to know the truth of reality, know who one really IS, at all cost.
The healthy egos start feeling that they have reached the end of their journey. What once made them happy is not making them happy anymore (no matter any level of achievements or desires). Something is missing in their lives, a form of fulfillment and contentment. The soul yearns to get connected.
A sudden awakening during times of extreme suffering or life-altering situations. The ego gives up and surrenders fully, thereby losing itself.
Out of nowhere, an opening is created, and it feels like the spirit found you, and there is no way to run away from the process.
Chronic unfulfillment and stress begin manifesting in physical bodies as pain, irritation, constant worrying, catastrophizing, and you hint that you might not exist (this is coming from the ego, as it hints it is about to lose its hold).
You keep bumping into other people who are on this path and who have impacted your life (directly or indirectly), or you keep getting connected to certain teachings and you feel at home with such people and teachings. However, occasionally such people with high presence can evoke very strong suppressed feelings within you and you may not always feel good around them, but their presence is just showing you places you are stuck.
You intuitively and suddenly realize that you are fully conscious and alive without thinking (voila!)
You have been practicing meditation, healing, and have awakened specific consciousness states or spontaneously had a kundalini awakening.
In all these situations, the desire to awaken or stabilize awakening emanates from a deeper place. Most people have tasted or experienced something beyond humans' surface realm, paradoxically intimately close to who they are, even if they are just glimpses. They usually forget about this, until it is evoked.
The good way to know whether you are drawn to awakening or not is by listening to certain teachings on awakening or reading particular articles (I recommend reading "power of now" by Eckhart Tolle, any of Adyshanti's, Jeff Foster's, Ruper Spira's, Shinzen Young's, Nisargadatta Maharaj's, Jiddu Krishnamurthy's or Ramana Maharshi's books or teachings). If that rings a bell, it means something within you has opened, and that energy is looking for energy in a similar frequency to connect, combine and grow. When you listen to any awakening teachings, you will get a sense, feel for it, and agree that you have indeed experienced something similar.
Will being religious help in awakening?
Every religion has a transcendent quality to it. And for some people, they are open enough. However, for some, religion can be an egoic hold. It depends on each person. My teachings are not specific to any religion or tradition.
Will a strong intention to awaken help?
Intention means there is something to get, somewhere to go. There is an egoic hold on intention, and that is driving the awakening. It is not from the opening/experience or intuitive knowing. During the initial phases, the intention is good, but eventually, even the intention will need to be let go of for true awakenings.
Which teacher and methodologies will help me in awakening?
It is crucial to choose the right teacher at this phase. Spiritual awakenings are not fun ; it is a leap in our human evolution. This means our minds, emotions, and bodies are in a vulnerable place. We are open and can absorb many concepts and philosophies. If you conform to a teacher who is all about achievements, fulfilling desires, you will likely fall into the trap of never-ending achievements and desires (it is perfectly fine if you only ant this). If you conform to a teacher who is all about purpose, you can get stuck in outer world purpose (again perfectly fine if you only want this). For me, it was to become complete and whole in human, soul and spirt realms (Why not experience and connect to everything that is available, because that the deep connection we all long for). Many so-called spiritual teachers might not have awakened most aspects of their potential, so teachings might be narrow, focusing on one particular aspect. The best thing to do is to trust yourself because your inner being resonates with certain teachings and something pulls you towards them or their style of teaching. Pay attention to that inner voice.
The right teacher is someone who repeatedly points you to yourself, the guru within because, you see, that's the place that's unique for you. When you find yourself, you will truly blossom into who you are in your outer world - whether an entrepreneur or a farmer or a 9-5 employee or a teacher or a stay-at-home mom - anything that's aligned with you and life. Internally none of this matters because who you are is beyond all of this. Nevertheless, YOU express your beingness beautifully and intelligently in all your outer actions.
Awakening versus self-help
Awakening teachings are slightly different from self-help teachings. Self-help is about clearing certain beliefs that are holding you back, replace them with other beliefs to achieve your desires (I do respect these methodologies). But for people going through an awakening, these teachings just don't seem to make sense. We can sometimes get into a vicious cycle if we are not working with the appropriate teachers and teaching.
Awakening is to go beyond all beliefs (good or bad), to realize who you are, and then something within you moves that is precisely in alignment with you and with life. What naturally emanates from this place is unconditional acceptance of what is and freedom to be, and this is always in the NOW. When true awakenings happen, you don't have a choice to be anywhere else other than here and now. You don't have a choice not to accept what IS. Although it may seem you are losing control (yes, you do lose control), but what you gain is the most satisfying, fulfilled, and beautiful alignment with life (under all circumstances). It is not to say there are no ups and downs in life, but your response changes drastically. It can seem like a paradox - internally you are completely at peace, but externally you can be creating a transformational revolution in the human society. Moment by moment, you do what is aligned with you and life.
IT IS TRULY BEAUTIFUL!