11 Phases of Spiritual Growth
Pre-awakening: Life was just normal and you thought you knew it all. Just a regular ole’ muggle. Nothing to see here.
The Awareness Phase: Suddenly you come across information that you’ve never really considered before, but it really resonates with you. It makes you stop and think and it piques your curiosity. This is your catalyst – the moment that your world will change forever.
The Information Seeking Phase: You can’t get ENOUGH of this new information… it’s addicting. You’re reading everything you can get your hands on and you’re learning about things that you never knew existed. The weirder, the better. Things you would have laughed off yesterday suddenly seem possible – the whole world is teeming with new possibility. It’s EXCITING.
The Processing Phase: The information you come across only creates more questions, and some of it is conflicting, and you’re a little confused. What does it all mean? Why does this person say one thing and this other person say another thing? You also still haven’t quite let go of old doubt and dogma. You’re wavering back and forth between “This is right!” and “Am I crazy?” It’s a fragile moment. Fear still has a grip on you.
The Discovery Phase: You’re starting to wake up to social issues and systems in the world that you never really gave much thought to before, and you’re PISSED. I also call this the “conspiracy” phase… you lose trust in government, in religion, in capitalism, the economy.
If you’re not careful, you can become very bitter, and you start to feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. Such big problems and little ole’ you has no ability to solve them. But it’s just a natural part of the process – it’s the destruction of your old way of thinking.
“Only after disaster can we be resurrected. It’s only after you’ve lost everything that you’re free to do anything. Nothing is static, everything is evolving, everything is falling apart.” -Chuck Palahniuk
The Evangelism Phase: I also call this the ‘Outrage’ phase, because it’s two-fold – you take up social causes left and right and feel it’s your duty to wake up the rest of the world to this atrocity we call Earth. You may also be shouting to the world about the exciting information you’ve recently learned only to discover that it’s not as well-received by the rest of the world.
People may laugh at you. They’ll ask you if you need them to call an ambulance. They’ll treat you like you’re stupid. It’s a fragile moment… fear is still there. You may begin to doubt yourself. You waver back and forth between excitement and shame.. but that shame is fear’s attempt of keeping hold of you. Remember – that which you resist, persists…
The Realization Phase: You begin to see how emotionally draining the outrage and the evangelism can be and you start to take a step back and perhaps reassess your situation. But this is important, because it opens a door for you – things start to make a lot more sense. This is the beginning of acceptance. Acceptance for the world around you and acceptance for your new beliefs and acceptance for yourself. That which you accept disappears.
The Disciple Phase: Once you’ve begun acceptance, a floodgate of new understanding opens. You re-read things that you saw before and you find new meaning in it. You understand it more thoroughly and more deeply. Fear finally loses its grip on you and you let it go. It feels like a ton of bricks has been lifted from your shoulders.
You’ve waded through the waters of gurus, swamis, channeled messages and psychics and aliens and beings from other dimensions and you’ve settled on one or two that really resonate with you and you follow their messages more closely. When the student is ready, the teacher shall appear.
The Work Phase: Now it’s time to put all of those things you’ve learned to work. You spend much time looking inward. You might start meditating. You may start developing intuitive abilities of your own. You connect with your guides, you start learning about yourself on a soul level.
You now base your learning on your own experience rather than on someone else’s word and you’re able to look back at your life and see how all of your experiences shaped you and led you to this moment. You feel at ease and self-assured. You know this is your path.
The Guide Phase: You’ve learned enough on your path to begin helping others – and not in an egoic, “I think this is fun and I don’t really know what I’m doing but it feels really good to pretend I do,” sort of way or the excited feeling of converting all of your friends over to your new way of thinking that you experienced during your Evangelism phase, but out of genuine compassion for your fellow man because you were once where they were.
But all the while, you grow and you change and you understand that you’re never finished. You are always growing and changing and evolving. You’re perfectly comfortable with who you are and that allows you to be a better teacher because you don’t need to argue to be right, and you don’t fear rejection.
You simply offer contrast – another option, another view. You understand and respect other people’s paths and you know that their view is as likely to change at any moment as yours did all along the way, so you leave a bread crumb if they choose to follow it.
The Advanced Phase: You have really weird experiences and are doing things that you never imagined were possible when you were just a muggle. You start talking about shit that no one behind you can even understand and spend half your time throwing things out there and then saying, “Anybody? Anybody? Beuhler?” But you’re ok with that, because it’s just the next step in your own process.
We’re never done, on this path, and being further ahead on the path is no better than being further behind because there’s always someone ahead of you and behind you no matter where you are.
Did any of these descriptions resonate with you? Which phase do you think you’re in right now? Do you think there’s a phase I missed?