What is the Meaning of “Awakening”?

The word “awakening” is used commonly these days, especially in Ascension circles. Given that it has many meanings, perhaps I could say a word about it and especially about the way I’m using it. My thanks to Feliciadawn for the question that gave rise to this article.

In its most formal sense, the word “awakening” refers to a particular experience of enlightenment that occurs when the kundalini reaches the fourth or Heart Chakra.

In its most formal sense, the word “awakening” refers to a particular experience of enlightenment that occurs when the kundalini reaches the fourth or Heart Chakra.  The particular sight one sees is of what religions calls the Christ, the Atman, the Self. (If you wish to go directly to the meaning used in Ascension circles, go to the bottom of this article.)

Sri Ramakrishna describes “spiritual awakening” in this series of quotes:

“The Kundalini, when awakened, passes through the lower centres and comes to the Anahata, which is at the heart. It stays there. At that time the mind of the aspirant is withdrawn from the three lower centres. He feels the awakening of Divine Consciousness and sees Light. In mute wonder he sees that radiance and cries out: ‘What is this? What is this?'” (1)

“The fourth center of consciousness (anahata) is in the region of the heart. Spiritual awakening comes when the mind rises to this center. At this stage man has a spiritual vision of the Divine Light and is struck with wonder at its beauty and glory. His mind then no longer runs after worldly pleasures.” (2)

“Now and then man catches a glimpse of his real Self and becomes speechless with wonder. At such times he swims in an ocean of joy. It is like suddenly meeting a dear relative.” (3)

Here is a Buddhist description of spiritual awakening, which they call “stream-entering” – from Bodhidharma.

“If, while you’re walking, standing, sitting or lying in a quiet grove, you see a light, regardless of whether it’s bright or dim,  don’t tell others. And don’t focus on it. It’s the light of your nature.” (4)

Here it is described by Christian teachers:

Meister Eckhart: “When God touches the soul with truth, its light floods the soul’s agents and that man knows more than anyone could ever teach him.” (5)

Jacob Boehme: “A wonderful light arose within my soul. In it I recognized the nature of God and man.” (6)

Jan Ruusbroec: “In the abyss of this darkness in which the loving spirit has died to itself, God’s revelation and eternal life have their origin, for in this darkness an incomprehensible light is born and shines forth; this is the Son of God, in whom a person becomes able to see and to contemplate eternal life.” (7)

Swami Brahmananda implies that there are more stages of enlightenment beyond spiritual awakening when he says:

“When through japam [repetition of the Name of God] and meditation a little awakening comes, do not imagine you have achieved the end. Light! More Light! Onward! Onward! Attain God! Gain his vision! Talk to him!” (8)

Swami Nikhilananda is more explicit:

“The awakening of the Kundalini [spiritual energy, Shakti] is the beginning of spiritual consciousness, and its union with Siva [Transcendence, Void] in the Sahasrara [Seventh Chakra], ending in samadhi [absorption in God], is the consummation.” (9)

In fact, the union of Siva and Shakti in the Sahasrara or Seventh Chakra is nowhere near the end of enlightenment, which goes on infinitely past that point. Various masters make that assertion:

Sri Ramakrishna: “No one can put a limit to spiritual experience. If you refer to one experience, there is another beyond that, and still another, and so on.” (10)

Koran: “I swear by the glow of sunset; by the night, and all that it brings together; by the moon, in her full perfection: that you shall march onwards from state to state.”  (11)

Meister Eckhart: “Though [the soul] sink in all sinking in the oneness of divinity, she never touches bottom. For it is of the very essence of the soul that she is powerless to plumb the depths of her creator.” (12)

Master Hilarion: “The soul of man is immortal, and its future is the future of a thing whose growth and splendour has no limit.” (13)

All that having been said, the way the word “awakening” is used in Ascension circles is not after this fashion. Here it is used to mean undergoing a gradual or sudden transformation or change of position or understanding. That transformation occurs with regard to the cluster of issues that this site, among many sites, examines. That transformation is compared in intensity and significance to emerging from a sleep state into a waking state.

We thus say that one has “awakened” to the galactic presence or one has awakened to the possibility of Ascension. We ask: when did you awaken to 2012? Or when did you awaken to the depredations of the cabal? We talk about slowly awakening over time and by that we mean a gradual increase in awareness, a slow expansion of consciousness.

The awakening we are pointing to can come from a person connecting with any of the numerous subissues, such as 9/11, chemtrails, the Illuminati, or the Mayan calendar, before connecting with the central issue of Ascension.

In saying so we are not implying that we had an experience of enlightenment or some other dramatic event.

So, no, the manner in which I’m using “awakening” here is not to point to a mystical experience, but to a gradual growth in awareness of the existence of an agenda for Planet Earth that culminates in the experience of Ascension on or before Dec. 21, 2012, for those who are open to receiving it. It is true that that awakening will lead to enlightenment (Ascension) but not that the awakening referred to is itself an experience of enlightenment.


(1) Paramahansa Ramakrishna in Swami Nikhilananda, trans., The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1978; c1942., 499. (Hereafter GSR.)

(2) Paramahansa Ramakrishna in Brahmacharini Usha, A Ramakrishna-Vedanta Wordbook. Hollywood: Vedanta Press, 1971; c1962., 25.

(3) Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 392-3.

(4) Bodhidharma in Red Pine, trans., The Zen Teachings of Bodhidharma. Port Townsend, WA, Empty Bowl, 1987, 16.

(5) Meister Eckhart in R.B. Blakney, trans., Meister Eckhart. A Modern Translation. New York, etc.: Harper & Row, 1941., 105.

(6) Jacob Boehme in Maurice Bucke, Cosmic Consciousness. A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind. New York: Dutton, 1969; c1901., 183.

(7) John Ruusbroec in James A. Wiseman, John Ruusbroec. The Spiritual Espousals and Other Works. New York, etc.: Paulist Press, 1985., 147.

(8) Swami Brahmananda in Swami Prabhavananda,  The Eternal Companion. Brahmananda. Hollywood: Vedanta Press, 1970; c1944, 61.

(9) Swami Nikhilananda in GSR, 22.

(10) Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 624.

(11) Koran, 48.

(12) Meister Eckhart in Aldous Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy. New York, etc.: Harper and Row, 1970; c1944., 12.

(13) Ascended Master Hilarion, channeling through Mabel Collins, Light on the Path and an Essay on Karma. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1974, 20.

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