The Spiritual Awakening Process
Most of us strive to live more soul-inspired lives. As we start our day we set an intention to carry our highest spiritual energy into our day. We are tested though, sometimes as soon as our feet touch the floor, through the routine happenings of the day. This is the human experience.
The Dance of Soul and Personality
Soul calls us. But our physical, mental, and emotional bodies respond to what happens in the world we dance in every day. Things can get warm and spicy when our minds or emotions take the lead. Sometimes we notice and we quickly realign with spirit. Sometimes we respond. And, sometimes we just react. At best we find ourselves in a dance between spirit and form, at worst we lose our center and dance wildly out of control.
It’s a predictable pattern, but we are not alone in the experience. While the process can be discouraging, disappointing, and sometimes, if you’re like me, downright disheartening, there is a purpose and order that lies beneath what we manifest.
The Nature of the Soul
As individual human souls (our spiritual self), we build our being in a world of form. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said, “We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” You’ve heard this before, and this an important key. This helps us to understand the soul and our spiritual experience as human beings.
While the soul carries a flawless design or blueprint, it is imperfect in its ability to work through our form nature. And this presents significant challenges for the soul. It must transition from operating in the world of spirit and learn to work in the world of form.
The soul’s destiny is to learn to perfect its influence. This means that its ability to express and work through our form (the personality) and express in the world is its practice. This process of building soul collaboration happens for all of us, and it occurs incrementally. Consequently, the process is somewhat predictable and consistent for all of us. Understanding our soul and personality natures helps us to know how the soul conducts its evolutionary relationship with us.
Fitness for Duty
We are required to obtain a certain ‘fitness for duty’ before the soul can work through us. It can’t express its light or intention through an individual who has no awareness of its spiritual identity. Think of it as the beam of a flashlight aimed at an object at the bottom of a turbulent and muddied body of water. Very little, if any of the light will reach an object at the bottom of the pool as most of the light energy is dispersed among the fragments on the way.
We can compare the soul with this beam of light. It needs to have a personality ‘vehicle’ that is clear, unified, and organized enough to work through. As a general rule, the soul waits quietly for a signal for the personality that it is ready. This process can take many incarnations, but when the personality aligns, coordinates, and, as Duane Elgin says, “has a hold on itself” the relationship with the soul can begin to evolve.
An Incremental Process
This evolution in the partnership between the soul and personality is an incremental process. Once it begins, it takes many lifetimes. So, for this reason, we need to take a very long view of our spiritual evolution. But, once it reaches a particular stage, the remaining integration (or divine marriage) happens very quickly. For all of us, the steps are relatively predictable.
The good news is that when we become aware of the dynamic and understand what is happening, we can consciously alter our footing to support our spiritual evolution.
Let’s consider what the process of ‘coordinating the personality’ is and why it takes time. The personality is the combined layers or aspects of our being and includes the following:
- The physical body (or physical form including our etheric or energy body)
- The emotional body (enlivens our expression)
- The mental body (our source of reasoning).
These bodies are nested together and energized by the energy body, which is sometimes referred to as the etheric body. However, they don’t always coordinate or work well together, particularly early on in our evolution. We observe this when we are primarily driven by our needs for physical gratification, material goods, sex, or other sensual pleasures. For a period of time our emotional body takes over, and we are dominated and focused on our emotional needs and impulses. Our reason and abstract intelligence will dominate at some point. Each of these aspects governs and wants to be in charge or “Team Captain.”
We are most effective when our mind, body, and emotions align and coordinate in their work together. As we become ‘coordinated’ our energy becomes more efficient, focused, and able to more successfully work in the world.
This step is critical in our spiritual development. Once we have reached a certain degree of personality coordination, the soul takes notice and makes contact. We experience our spiritual awakening. Now, the dance of Soul and Personality begins. We will explore these stages in the progression and find a dance that expresses similar energy.
The Stages of Spiritual Awakening
The Unawakened Personality
Co-ordinating the personality is like watching a dramatic, passionate, and expressive modern dance. There is excitement, turmoil, and stimulation as the elements of personality strive to work together. We experienced this as a battle or drama between the mind, emotions, and physical body.
It is the aspects of the personality dancing here, and the soul does not influence the movement. The desire nature and the sensual call of pleasure and passions are strong. There is a dominance of one, then the other. The drive is for feeling good, having fun, and being successful in the world in which we operate. This phase asks us to begin to regulate our physical and emotional desire natures.
We must all take this essential first step on the spiritual path. The soul cannot work effectively through an individual who has not taken control of his desires or cannot adequately provide for expression of the soul.
For this person, the focus tends to be more selfish and concerned with what is in their own best interest. Because there has been no soul contact to this point, there is no action by the personality based on its promptings. The coordination of the vehicles may take many lifetimes.
The Coordinated Personality
Once the three aspects of personality have achieved a degree of coordination, the individual begins to be more effective in the world. This dance reflects the effect of a coordinated personality. As the elements of personality work together in an organized way, it becomes more effective and efficient. It communicates a clear, coordinated, and expressive message.
As the mental, emotional, and physical desires work together, they begin to function successfully in the world under the personality’s direction. We realize the duality of our natures. Additionally, the ability emerges to control and manage the impulses that arise from the personality when we are no longer enslaved by physical impulses and desire. We actively work to become decent, morally virtuous people with good character.
The individual is now ready for a spiritual awakening.
The Detached Observer
The soul begins to seek communication with the awakening personality through gentle whispers and subtle impressions. The real dance between soul and personality starts here. The personality is significantly coordinated but operates largely independently. There are distinctly different expressions in their unique notes of both the soul and personality. The soul calls gently, and the personality responds for moments, yet it still seeks to be individual and independent.
While the uplifting and satisfying influence of the soul is sensed, the conflict between higher and lower self continues to be a key point of focus. This struggle will take several lifetimes to resolve, but this phase signifies the beginning of the shift from personality dominance to the soul’s full expression.
The individual begins to function (although inconsistently) as the disciple of the soul and under its direction. There is a gradual process of adjustment and correction in the way that personality and soul work together. The individual begins to ‘observe’ themselves from a ‘fitness for duty’ perspective. There is an increasing desire on the part of the individual to listen to and work on behalf of the soul. Once this process begins, there is an acceleration in the union of the soul and personality.
The individual increasingly recognizes the influence of the soul in their life. They awaken to the reality that the personality itself is an instrument operating on behalf of the soul. Like in the Paso Doble, where the cape is the instrument, the individual recognizes that the personality itself is the garment that the soul wears for its expression in the world. The personality begins to take direction from the soul and attempts to manifest its intention.
The realization dawns for the individual that they are, in fact, the soul. With this recognition, there is an intentional shift to act on behalf of the soul as its instrument. More and more, there is a willingness to subordinate to what is sensed and inspired by the soul. There is more fire and will expressed, as the two learn to work as one.
Soul and Personality Integration
The soul and personality now recognize their identity in the other. They seek to express as a unified whole with intention and determination. The soul calls, the personality responds without hesitation, and they increasingly move together with a unified expression. Their energy and steps align with a purpose to express in a united and vibrant way. Onlookers to this expression observe it with a sense of wonder. It expresses perfection and clarity. Indeed, we are energetically drawn into it, at some level realizing this too, is our own destiny.
The boundary between what is personality and what is soul is dissolving. The personality radiates the light of the soul in its everyday expression. The soul directs its movement and activity. The personality is increasingly the soul. The soul is able to use the vibrancy, passion, and attractiveness of the personality to express its intention.
Soul and Personality Fusion
There are no dramatic highs and lows, jumps or falls in this individual. They exhibit a steadiness, intention, and purposeful rhythm. There is little energy lost as the two, the soul and its personality instrument, move as one through the steps of life with seeming ease and flow for a singular purpose. The destiny of the soul is unfolding.
The movement between the soul and personality has become measured and coordinated. The two elements move as one, with few breaks in expression or direction. Their steps, rhythm, and purpose match effortlessly. The energy and efficiency of their work are maximized. Their combined movement is graceful and elegant, and their activity is attractive, highly effective, and purposeful.
The personality is now fully transfigured and soul-infused. The duality of the dance between personality and soul is resolved, and the soul is now fully manifest. The personality is the fully radiant expression of the soul itself.