Introduction
Wisdom comes from understanding, step by step in your daily life, and not just from clinging to awareness, silence or bliss. Wisdom must flow out from its pure source in consciousness and become fully functional in all aspects of life. 
Michael Damian

What is spiritual awakening or enlightenment?

Awakening is a transcendental recognition of consciousness or immortal spirit, as our nature. This dawning of sublime self-knowledge is accompanied by unprecedented peace, love and release from our former state. To be genuine, awakening must deeply transform the mind patterns and personality, as it removes the core confusion and pain that drove our patterns.

Therefore, spiritual maturity depends both on illumination and its long-term effects. These effects include a profound degree of psychological integration and insight. 

In awakening, do we lose our self or realize our true self?
Our real self is a spiritual reality that absolutely exists. When we outgrow a false, mental and material idea of self, we do not cease to exist as conscious presence or spirit. When we come to deep awakening or enlightenment, we directly understand the meaning of pure consciousness or emptiness of mind. But the idea that we lose our self or have no self to begin with, is false. Conscious spirit is a timeless, divine reality that persists beyond birth and death.   

What is the process for awakening?
The awakening of consciousness arises from a natural process of observing and understanding. As we learn to observe, we recognize our conscious nature with greater clarity while also illumining our psychology with love and insight. Our conscious nature (spirit) is love itself, which brings all that is unconscious in us into the light of its healing presence. 


 

How should we view thoughts and feelings?
There is no need to get rid of thoughts and feelings, only to see them for what they are. Over time, wisdom naturally purifies and integrates the personality, so that our thoughts, feelings and actions reflect conscious intelligence rather than confusion. This creates an authentic, empowered and self-realized human being.    

This process helps us to clearly recognize our conscious nature as pure, free and transcendent of time and space. Consciousness reveals itself to itself, in totality and timelessness. Meanwhile, our focus should be to live in observing, inner listening and examining our character, attitudes and actions. This brings all that is unconscious in us to light. It is only by making the unconscious conscious that we gain wisdom.

Is awakening gradual? 
This breakthrough of illumination is a milestone in the mystic's journey, and this aspect is not gradual or partial. Nor can we say that it is mere chance. Generally speaking, authentic, deep awakening comes from rigorous devotion to love and truth. This transformative shift of spirit should not be equated with glimpses or moments of clarity. It comes about through the process of observing, understanding and opening to our conscious nature.

I teach that being meditative, present and aware is only the beginning. We have to use conscious presence to gain penetrating insight to the nature of mind and existence. As we live in conscious presence and gain insight, we begin to embody a depth of stillness and love that transforms the mind.

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Much of our learning is through relationships. We must learn what real love means and to do this we need understanding, or wisdom. The idea that there is nothing to know or learn, in order to find spiritual freedom, is a seductive falsehood. Without wisdom, we lack love and we make a mess of our lives. The knowledge we seek comes from observing and understanding our psychology, especially in relationship with others. 

Contrary to popular mythology, psychology is not separate from spirituality. Your psyche exists in consciousness and will reflect your confusion or your clarity of consciousness. Therefore, the idea that we just need to know awareness and can ignore our psychology is false. Authentic enlightenment means to have largely freed the mind of false beliefs, delusions and distortions of personality. It means to have healed the core wound of separateness and alienation, which may be complicated by trauma. In that freedom, we experience the positive wisdom and love of our spiritual nature. Wisdom comes from understanding, step by step, and not just from clinging to pure awareness, silence or bliss. Wisdom must flow down from its pure source in consciousness and become fully functional in all aspects of life.