Deeper Perception Made Practical

Awakening Vs. Enlightenment

Awakening Vs. Enlightenment

Awakening Vs. Enlightenment. What you don’t know could limit you.

Awakening Vs. Enlightenment? Yep. Because Spiritual Awakening doesn’t mean Enlightenment.

However, many folks disagree with me there. Since this is “Deeper Perception Made Practical”…  let’s get practical about Enlightenment. Is Awakening really that different?

First of All. About Awakening Vs. Enlightenment

Each of you Blog-Buddies may hold strongly cherished ideals. Beliefs around Enlightenment, self-realization, self-actualization, personal development, spiritual development. Also the so-popular term today: Awakening.

Or “Spiritual Awakening” for long.

Bring along self-authority as you read, Blog-Buddies. And don’t feel shy about commenting below. Not that you’all tend to be. 😉

As you know by now, I’m using my self-authority, too. Don’t claim to stand for any group of people. Neither do I impersonate the Oxford English Dictionary. Nor do I claim to be holier than anyone.

I do use and teach Energy Literacy. Writing about it for Pathways Magazine.

Plus I’ve facilitated many thousands of sessions of people seeking Enlightenment. And sometimes finding it.

Should you wish to learn more about my standing to write this article… Check out my website.

Awakening Vs. Enlightenment. Especially If You’re Eager.

Today, my client Gladys came for a session of Soul Energy Awakening Hypnosis: Past-Life Regression. Initially her goal was this. “To move out the biggest Frozen Blocks standing in the way of Enlightenment.”

Accordingly I told her this. Although I do sessions officially as an Enlightenment Coach… Really every Energy Spirituality session counts. Ultimately serving the goal of Enlightenment Coaching.

Quickly Gladys found a more specific goal. Productive goals rather than vague ones work better. For past-life regressions. And for seeing Enlightenment.

Speaking of which… Gladys believed that Awakening equals Enlightenment. Therefore, I dedicate today’s post to her.

Awakening Vs. Enlightenment? Defining the Latter.

Enlightenment is stabilized awakening. A habitual state of consciousness. Including certain characteristics that are easy to identify. At least  pnce you learn Stage Three Energy Literacy. Enlightenment means:

  • All of a person’s chakra databanks are working well.
  • These chakra databanks are pretty balanced, relative to each other.
  • Not a single chakra databank contains significant amounts of STUFF. (Stored emotional or astral debris at a level corresponding to the subconscious mind.)
  • Connection with the Divine permeates that person’s aura in some way.
  • Joy is included in this Divine connection.

Householder Enlightenment is different from Renunciate Enlightenment. Qualities of devotion may be emphasized (as with Holly Holm, the latest addition to my Enlightenment Life List). Contrasting example: Bernadette Roberts, qualities of austerity and detachment might prevail.

Variations within Enlightenment? Expect to encounter many.

Yet all of them are, guess what? Entirely different from “Awakening.”

Incidentally, it is possible for Enlightened people to lie (or do worse). And still maintain that STUFF-free kind of grace in their auras?

An example was discussed when Rick Archer interviewed me about Enlightenment.

This was one of my favorite parts of the interview. So have a look if you’re curious.

Awakening Vs. Enlightenment. About the Former.

What is spiritual awakening?  A person has at least one experience that seem spiritually significant. You know so many people who’ve had that wonder-producing experience. If you were to make such a list, who would be on it?

  • Anyone who became a Born-Again Christian. After feeling something inside. In contrast to someone who stepped up to the altar based on social pressure. Could have confused emotional overwhelm with something spiritual. etc.
  • Anyone who has had a peak experience, as described in “Varieties of Religious Experience”
  • Or a person who is self-actualizing, compared to those motivated mainly to survive
  • Anyone who had a nice experience with meditation or prayer. Once. Maybe more than once.
  • Somebody who feels spiritually more awake. Compared to what? Anything.

Granted, some folks may always prefer the term “Awakening.” Due to being disgusted with behavior of others who claim Enlightenment. Or word preference could concern style. Some folks just might think that “Awakening” sounds cooler.

Then there’s “woke.” Useful though that is. It means even less about Enlightenment.

Which do you want, spiritual seekers? The coolest, trendiest language? Or a higher state of consciousness.

In Conclusion

Cool it may be to talk about “Awakening” or “Being Awakened.” Maybe the ultimate cool: Conflating spiritual awakening with Enlightenment.

But if you’re aiming for the real deal? Don’t stop with one nice pink jelly bean. Not when you could find enough to satisfy you completely.

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  1. 1
    Curious As Ever says:

    Fascinating, thank you, Rose.

  2. 2
    Paige says:

    Thank you Rose, I really appreciate this post. I’m having to relearn the lesson of energetic literacy over and over. For me I think the problem is lack of confidence in my own ability, but the alternative is to be taken in my people who are not of the caliber in terms of spiritual integrity or enlightenment that we are being led to believe they possess.
    Its a shame to have this wonderful gift of learning to read people deeper and not use it.
    I just completed a book written by a self proclaimed enlightened human, until reading her aura, I bought into her whole story. Turns out that’s pretty much what it was, a well imagined “story”.

  3. 3

    Brava, PAIGE!

    Why not pick up your copy of “Read People Deeper” and go through it, in a spirit of fun exploration?

    Aura Reading, face reading — they can be fun. They need not be a test, you know.

    On the bright side, it is a wonderful thing that so many people are now interested in Enlightenment. Or, even, Awakening.

  4. 4

    CURIOUS AS EVER, to fascinate a mind of your caliber? Sweet!

  5. 5

    One more thought about your comment, PAIGE. Although I know nothing about the memoir you mention, I doubt it was a calculated story, meant to deceive. The author told her truth, from her level of consciousness.

    It will help some, with inspiration. It will help others, with rejection and subsequent moving in different directions.

    One wonders what this author knew, technically, about higher states of consciousness. In advance of writing her memoir, did she have much background to bring discernment?

    Reliable information about Enlightenment, especially Householder Enlightenment, is hard to come by. Hello! That’s why I spend so much time on this blog. It’s a labor of love… and education.

    Cults can taint the wisdom of great traditions about Enlightenment. While many spiritual seekers are foolish enough to believe that they never need to study with anyone, just because they’re so special.

    Reading more of the bio of Ms. Benz, linked to above, she did study some. Yet she clearly didn’t study much.

    If someone doesn’t wish to believe in reincarnation, fine. That belief isn’t mandatory to become Enlightened.

    On the other hand, if one is going to refer to past incarnations — or the lack of them — it is a rather shocking statement to believe the following points… and I’ll reserve one comment for each.

  6. 6

    Unusual idea about past lives #1:

    This is my first incarnation in any form.

    For thousands of years, traditions that discussed reincarnation have made it pretty clear that souls begin in animal bodies.

    Lots of them.

    Swami Brahmananda, the Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math (a big-deal honor in Hinduism) said that, in order to attain ANY incarnation as a human, a soul had needed to prepare with 10,000 previous incarnations. At least 10,000.

    Given this Enlightened man’s impeccable, extraordinary aura — which, of course, you can read for yourself, PAIGE — I believe him. A man with such an aura has the standing to teach about Enlightenment with authority.

  7. 7

    Unusual idea about past lives #2:

    This is my first incarnation, and yet I managed to live in the United States as, clearly, a woman who has had a relatively privileged life.

    Look at Ms. Benz’s skin, her hands, her demeanor.

    Plus she’s beautiful, communicates great self-confidence through her photograph.

    Circumstances leading up to any one of these is a big deal, in terms of having a very graced and special lifetime.

    How many places in the world might she have incarnated in? How short her life might have been!

    For all you Blog-Buddies who live in a relatively safe, beautiful part of the world. Or you have had a good education. Or you had a relatively stable childhood — even a happy one….

    If you have grown up without having to do harsh labor that has ruined the appearance of your hands….

    If you had access to modern dentistry….

    If you own even one outfit as sophisticated and first-quality as the one in Inela’s photograph…

    If you have had enough advantages in your life to seem pretty confident in front of others….

    For that matter, if you have even had enough blessings in your life to have a superb professionally done portrait of yourself

    And your beautiful photo is available for other people to see…

    If your life’s circumstances have given you the freedom, the leisure, the confidence, the affluence, to work in a professional capacity…. with a career of your choice…. where you earn enough money to be comfortable….

    Do you get down on your knees and do an old-fashioned prayer of thanks to God? Maybe it’s time for one.

    Because you have been given such blessings, compared to others living in the world right now.

    Far as I know, such blessings are not given out in a first human incarnation. Every one of these has to be earned.

  8. 8

    Unusual idea about past lives #3:

    I can just waltz into a lifetime as a teacher, especially a spiritual teacher.

    First time embodied, and right away, you have the huge responsibility of being a spiritual teacher?

    Look, I’m in that line of work. I know colleages, and have friends, who are also spiritual teachers. In my own development, I continue to learn from spiritual teachers. Based on all that, I can’t think of a more sacred or important responsibility.

    Other professions may be more exalted in pop culture right now. More folks know about Snooki than Amma, for instance.

    Nonetheless, being a spiritual teacher is one of the greatest responsibilities one could have on earth.

    High status or not, guess what? Being a spiritual teacher is one of the biggest responsibilities one could have. It’s like facilitating past-life regression. (I agree with Barbara Y. Martin wholeheartedly when she writes about what an enormous responsibility that is.)

    For any spiritual teacher, the stakes are tremendously high, the potential consequences enormous.

    Not every spiritual teacher manages to keep integrity. Even souls who are very advanced, and who shine a pure light for a long time, can lose integrity. (As we have discussed at length at this blog.)

    That is why I am very dubious that someone without significant preparation in previous incarnations could serve as a spiritual teacher.

    Even a teacher of questionable integrity, like Osho, surely had many lifetimes in preparation to influence others.

    And any spiritual teacher, regardless of integrity or degree of awakening, is the perfect teacher for somebody… at a certain level of consciousness. A person who needs exactly that Awakening Academy, or whatever.

  9. 9
    Dave says:

    Wow great comments 6 – 8.

    I did not know that about animal bodies!

    And, great points in 7 and 8, Rose. Food for thought.

  10. 10
    Bridget says:

    What an insightful post! I’m familiar with some of Inelia’s Youtube talks. In most of the videos she explains that she is excused from most human rules such as reincarnation and ageing because she’s not human. Inelia claims she is a Paledian alien walk-in soul. She explains that the fetus’ soul left the body and the body agreed for her to become a walk-in. Unlike most humans, she says this allowed her to be born with total recall, knowlege of the Truth, and was excused from human trappings such as karma and past-lives. It’s an original story, indeed!

  11. 11
    Jean says:

    Thank you Rose for your comments here.

    Was especially moved by the following from your comment #8.

    “High status or not, guess what?

    Being a spiritual teacher, the stakes are tremendously high, the potential consequences enormous.”

    I sure am glad – and grateful – that you are the inspiring spiritual teacher that you are.

  12. 12
    Jordan says:

    This is so fascinating. Weeks ago, I watched part of Inelia Benz’s interview on Batgap. She’s very convincing.

    I think the whole “first and only lifetime” line is a good way to position yourself as a supposed “advanced” spiritual teacher while excusing yourself from not actually knowing much about human life.

    So whenever she seems ignorant or is behaving in ways that usually signify a young soul, her story manipulates people into thinking that is because she is oh-so-special, rather than the truth.

  13. 13
    Paige says:

    Rose, Really interesting, I wasn’t aware of the animal incarnations either and your comments about the privilege we forget to be grateful for was really humbling.
    I’m sure you’re right about the author I was referring to who was Jan Frazier btw if we’re naming names. I read her book “When fear falls away” The entire book is a memoir of her enlightened experience and then to find out she isn’t enlightened I admit I was disappointed and discouraged and a little pissed. But she’s a writer by profession and a pretty good one, it was easy to get caught up in her “blissed out” description of her experience. You’re right, at her level of consciousness she may truly believe her story and mean no harm.
    It was a great learning opportunity for me though for two reasons, first reinforcing deeper perception and two, honoring my gut impressions as well. Her demeanor is very flat, unemotional and seemed a bit spaced out which did send up a flag for me that I ignored because I wanted to believe. Not to say that an enlightened human couldn’t have a flat affect, just that I ignored my gut reaction.
    I think it’s a great idea to do a complete aura reading of anyone who you thought was enlightened (assumed based on teachings etc.) it is very healing and helps to assuage the mix of emotions you feel when your belief about something turns out to be wrong. When you find out more about the person it allows you to have the information to receive the teaching from that experience faster. At least it did for me.

  14. 14

    Such interesting comments about discernment, PAIGE and JORDAN and BRIDGET and DAVE.

    JEAN, you have a special talent for turning my heart to mush.

    The following chunks of comment fit better here, seems to me, than at the original post where DAVID originally added them. Which was “Enlightenment Scandals, a Guest Post by Mike.”

    Moved them into chunks, for readability. The first in the following series makes reference to a book about Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: “Robes of Silk, Feet of Clay

  15. 15
    David says:

    It’s a potent subject but one useful to explore. I’ve read the mentioned book and studied for a time with Maharishi. He was brilliant at translating some of the old texts. But he also evidently struggled with sexuality for a time.

    There have been a few such stories told. Did that make him less enlightened? Or more human?

  16. 16
    David says:

    The issue I think highlights a spiritual path that’s become over-emphasized in the world for a time. The idea that celibacy is necessary for spiritual progress and enlightenment. For most people, it’s unnatural for any period of time.

    Many of the mentioned examples came from a conservative country, were placed in positions of power, and faced with western culture of the 60’s and 70’s (short skirts, etc).

    Not that I’m accepting their behavior. Just talking the circumstances. It greatly amplified any internal conflict they had around their celibacy.

  17. 17
    David says:

    If we can talk about these issues, people on both sides of the equation will be far less likely to fall into it.

    Even the awake one, if they are expecting self-perfection and not being careful about their human side, they can fall into unconscious traps like this.

    If it’s given as an example, then it’s more conscious and can more easily be averted.

  18. 18
    David says:

    Enlightenment itself I would describe as a series of distinct shifts in our relationship with source and who we perceive ourselves to be. The initial shift can be seen as a distinct point in time. (when we became timeless 😉

    But the actual integration of that experience and the winding down of old habits and behaviours can take time.

    Enlightenment is not instant perfection of the human. It is of profound benefit but about so much more than our humanity.

  19. 19
    David says:

    Another way to look at this is karma. While karma means action, it also refers to embedded tendencies to act from the past. Enlightenment is said to roast the seeds of our past karma.

    This clears a great deal of the deck. But it doesn’t clear the “sprouted” karma, the stuff already in play.

    This is why there is still a life unfolding for them. And this is why even the awake can continue to experience difficult circumstances, on occasion. We all have histories.

  20. 20
    David says:

    For myself, I would suggest you see people as people. The awake are growing an inner perfection but remain human.

    Each has a brilliant perspective of wholeness that may offer us something, if we resonate with it. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater but recognize there will be bathwater.

    Never assume them to be a saint, even if their gaze brings us profound bliss. That is what is flowing freely through them, it is not what about them that is still human.

    We’re all on a journey home.

  21. 21

    DAVID, this is all so very true. Magnificent articulation about Enlightenment (not awakening, necessarily).

    Thank you.

  22. 22

    Rose, thank you for writing this post.

    I found the AWAKEN Academy staff’s breathless self-congratulation very off-putting. It certainly struck me as a serious red flag for Not-There-Yet status.

  23. 23
    Suz says:

    Oh, a journey home. David, that is good. I know it.

    Rose, your comment 7 talks about things I have wondered about since childhood, especially since doing a lot of traveling. I’ve often wondered how it is I got to be born a white woman, in the U.S., to a middle class family who provided most physical needs and wants pretty well.

    So physical survival didn’t need so much time, and I had time for much higher pursuits. And have indeed spent much time.

    But when traveling, I see so much and identify with the suffering and the poverty and the lack of privilege, and the limited outlook, and wonder how, out of billions of human beings on the planet at any given time, I escaped all that to be where I am. If it’s not to spread love, kindness, healing, and to point people at a higher consciousness, what else is my life for.

    Echh, words don’t describe it. This is a wonderful blog entry. Thanks.

  24. 24
    Jean says:

    David –

    I am in agreement with Rose in her comment #21 – thank you.

    Have been moved to copy a few of your comments below.

    Enlightenment itself I would describe as a series of distinct shifts in our relationship with source and who we perceive ourselves to be.

    The initial shift can be seen as a distinct point in time.

    But the actual integration of that experience and the winding down of old habits and behaviours can take time.

    Enlightenment is not instant perfection of the human. But the actual integration of that experience and the winding down of old habits and behaviours can take time.

    Enlightenment is not instant perfection of the human.

    It is of profound benefit but about so much more than our humanity.

    Enlightenment is said to roast the seeds of our past karma.

    This clears a great deal of the deck. But it doesn’t clear the “sprouted” karma, the stuff already in play.

  25. 25
    Jean says:

    Interesting – I just posted comment# 24…and found that in this comment I had inadvertently(?) repeated Davids following phrase twice….

    “Enlightenment is not instant perfection of the human.
    But the actual integration of that experience and the winding down of old behaviors can take time.”

    And there – I have just typed it a third time. 🙂

  26. 26
    Adam says:

    David, I couldn’t agree more with your comment #18.

  27. 27
    Jordan says:

    Hi Adam, I was reading your blog, and as there is no place to comment, I wanted to tell you here how much I appreciate your recent post about weight and your “fat-friendly” (And LGBTQIA! friendly) policy.

    Things have really reached a crescendo with all this fat business. People are very confused. (Definitely can’t say I haven’t been among the confused ranks!)

    Even many people who consider themselves very “fat-friendly” and non-judgmental about size basically equate size with health, and applaud any attempt to lose weight as a heroic effort at self-improvement.

    Even if that attempt is so misguided, misinformed, and coated in psychic coercion that is just leads to ACTUAL or WORSE health problems. Not to mention emotional and spiritual problems.

    It doesn’t make me happy to see someone overweight attempting to beat their body into submission. It makes me sad and angry.

    Now, in the USA, bigger people are being blamed for complete strangers’ financial woes, because apparently excess weight, which is assumed to be completely within one’s conscious control, is why health care is so expensive (what an effing joke that is).

    “Fat rights” sounds ridiculous to most people, but fat shaming, fat blaming, fat ridiculing, fat discriminating, is just normal every day life.

    I have so many thoughts on this topic that they’re not very organized. I could probably write a book!!

  28. 28
    Dave says:

    Great comments all.

    I think this thread of discussion reiterates the importance of aura reading / empath merge to KNOW the truth. It’s way too easy to be convinced of something that’s not aurically true.

    Furthermore, like David, I think one type of enlightenment (renunciate) has been elevated above all, for religio-historical purposes.

    Really, what Rose’s Enlightenment Life List shows is that spiritual enlightenment comes in so many different flavors and forms. Many advanced souls have the opportunity to become enlightened, and they’re all different in culture, background, personality, and beliefs. There are actors, athletes, ex-cons, presidents, people involved in sex scandals, even alcoholics.

    Yet all of these people became enlightened. So if we each work to evolve as ourselves, not an idealized version of how we think we ought to be, then we can bring our own version of enlightenment, suited to our particular time / place paradigm. The joy, love, and connection will be constant across individuals, yet manifest in unique ways.

    So the 21st century spiritual seeker needn’t strive to fit a mold, to renounce his or her individuality, but rather seek to find awakening within the specific human characteristics and constraints that define this incarnation.

    And for those, like my self, who want to become enlightened, but have a career, friendships, a sex life, community involvement, and rich and fulfilling human experiences, it’s a blessing to know that enlightenment and a full range of human experiences aren’t mutually exclusive. And to be enlightened requires that I follow my own path (with guidance of teachers, spiritual and otherwise) that resonate with my particular human paradigm.

    Thus we can just be who we are to become who we want to be.

  29. 29
    David says:

    Thanks, Rose.
    The context was originally a prior post, so the way I used “awake” was a bit different than how you define it here.

    It’s a great idea to define how you use terms as both words are used differently by different authors. That’s the first thing to be clear on to understand where someone is speaking from.

  30. 30
    David says:

    Hi Rose
    re: Comment #6: Swami Brahmananda was wise indeed. And a person of profound presence. He’s the “Guru Dev” celebrated in the Beatles song Across the Universe. In 2008, NASA broadcast the song into deep space to commemorate both their 50th anniversary and that of the song.

    Anyway – I would say this is true of many, but I have met some who are what might be known as “fallen”, angels who have spent some time in human incarnations. I’ve heard other stories of a first human life. And the Yog Vasishtha tells stories of whole lifetimes lived within a nights sleep of another lifetime.

    It illustrates just how astonishingly varied life is. 😉

  31. 31
    David says:

    re: comment #8
    Agreed- spiritual teachers have a great responsibility. If our illusions cause us to lead people astray, the consequences can be significant.

  32. 32
    David says:

    Thanks everyone for the kind feedback.

  33. 33
    Julie says:

    Wonderful comment #28, Dave. That was really well-expressed. I couldn’t agree more that there is this opportunity, NOW, to do Enlightenment in fresh ways, that maybe historically haven’t been available.

    Each person can keep his or her own unique personality, and his or her own divine specialties, to do a form of Enlightenment just perfect and just right for this time and place that we live in.

    So here we have all these great people on the Enlightenment Life List, and all these great people well on their way to it, and they are all different!

    That’s the glory of it. There’s no cookie-cutter mold to follow. We don’t all have to try to be Jesus, or another historical example of Enlightenment, because we can be ourselves.

    We can be householders, we be recluses. We can immerse ourselves in the human-human day to day activities, or we can meditate and exalt God in the glory of our hearts in a more remote way.

    Either way there is such opportunity here!

  34. 34

    Such wonderful comments from all of you! Of course, JULIE and ADAM have the standing to comment about Householder Enlightenment from direct experience.

    And there just might be an interesting announcement soon about a new person on our Enlightenment Life List.

  35. 35

    Thanks Jordan, I appreciate that!

    I mainly credit Ragen Chastain from “Dances With Fat” for unstupidifying me about Health At Every Size. Her website is here:

    Melissa McEwan’s writing at was also very helpful in helping me to understand my thin privilege (my many, many privileges, actually).

    I actually feel quite exposed and nervous, having put my hand up as a Friendly practitioner for these communities. I’m mildly terrified I will stuff it up! But I will give it my best.

  36. 36
    Brittany says:

    Thanks for the great blog recommendations, ADAM. The beautiful Dances with Fat gave me chills, as did “thin privilege.”

    Please ‘scuse the non-sequitur, am I correct in remembering you live in Australia?

  37. 37
    Jordan says:

    Adam, I’m sure you’ll do fine. You’ve already gone so above any beyond! Just caring so sincerely gets a big ‘Wow!’ from me.

    And thank you for sharing those blogs — very inspiring to me. I love seeing beautiful pictures of big woman. Some of the photos at “Dances with Fat” almost make me want to cry… very healing.

  38. 38
    Amanda says:

    What a privilege to read this post and all the comments. David, your language and explanations are so clear, it was wonderful to read and I’ve enjoyed your blog. Congratulations on your addition to the Enlightenment Life List 🙂

    I especially liked your final comment on Maharishi and the sex scandals – ‘Did that make him less enlightened? Or more human?’

    We had a wide-ranging discussion on this topic some weeks back and that remark, for me, was like the final gong, a distillation of the whole journey.

    I am so grateful to this blog for helping me clear out around this issue – I can’t even remember where I was positioned when it started, but now I see it as simply a very human story.

    Adam I’m so glad you recommended Dances With Fat. What a wonderful blog!

    Oh gosh, I love this community. Thank you, all of you, you are quite incredible 🙂


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