Last week I posted a picture in my Instagram stories about the Spiritual Awakening Stages and I put a note on it asking if anyone could see the similarities of these awakening stages and the beatitudes as taught by Jesus Christ. I had a friend ask me how I saw consciousness and this awakening process fitting in within organized religion. I love this question. As a “religious” person who is also a “spiritual” person i find that people like to define themselves as one or the other and not both. As for me, I love words, I love philosophy, I love spirituality, and I love metaphysics. My life is a harmony of beliefs and change. I am deeply mental and internal and I have been influenced by brave thinkers, spiritual leaders and word crafters throughout history and in modern day. I am also an active member of organized religion.
When looking at these very basic stages that this Instagram post offered I find the list is definite and most of all, short. Awakening isn’t short. But the beginning of this process I can totally agree with.
Unhappiness, and emptiness
Seeking answers and meaning
Finding answers and experiencing breakthroughs
Disillusionment and feeling lost
Deeper inner work
Integration, expansion, joy.
I asked people to compare this to the Beatitudes, blessing which Christ gave which are listed thus:
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
In “organized religion” you have leaders teaching principles to followers who are supposed to learn, internalize and seek for themselves. Does this always happen? Nope. I think for most organized religion has not changed from the generations where they were preached to in another language (Latin), but knew they were blessed just for being there. Spirituality to me is being in tune with the Spirit. It is not worthiness, action, or doing everything right. Spirituality is an inner seeking for that raise in vibration that comes from purifying your life and living in tune with your own divinity (which by default changes your thoughts, actions, and behavior to be in tune with that divinity).
An inner awakening can be many different things to many different people. In our basic list at the beginning it is begun by unhappiness and emptiness and in the beatitudes it is begun either by being poor in spirit or mourning.. What neither of these say is that something happens within you that makes you conscious of the low vibration that you are living in and how that is affecting your soul. For some it is hitting rock bottom, for others it is seeing a reflection of their energy and the discomfort of their state of being. I think the reason that some people come to the awakening before others has to do with limiting beliefs of what life is supposed to be like. This is based in the root chakra and our perceptions of life and safety (Uh, oh, I just threw in a whole other spiritual teaching!!!! Don’t fear, those who understand chakras will understand- and yes they are biblical as well. Just read all of Revelations again)
The second step is perception shifts, and as taught by Christ, meekness. It takes that opening up to the deepest parts of your soul, the parts that hurt and need answers. Meekness isn’t being a pushover, it is being one who has hit that awareness of how low he has gotten and is ready to do whatever it takes to change. This is where you take the deeply held belief that have led you to your low vibration state and change them. You are seeking to understand the guidance of the inner voice, your intuition and the divine and develop you beliefs from there. It shifts your paradigm or pattern of thought. As you seek to “feel” deeper, meaning understanding the sensations of divinity within you and their guidance, you are led to “righteousness”.
The third step is seeking answers and meaning and the beatitude equivalent is blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. When you are seeking answers you are seeking answers and meaning that speak to your soul. The word righteousness is defined as "the quality of being morally correct and justifiable." It can also be considered synonymous with "rightness", i would add right-ness to your divinity. I know there is a lot of fear around morals and moral correctness, so let me also list the meaning in different beliefs. In Confucianism, Yi represents moral acumen which goes beyond simple rule following, and involves a balanced understanding of a situation, and the "creative insights" necessary to apply virtues "with no loss of sight of the total good. Yi represents this ideal of totality as well as a decision-generating ability to apply a virtue properly and appropriately in a situation. In Hinduism, Dharma is a key concept with multiple meanings. There might not be a single-word translation for dharma in Western languages. Dharma धर्म can be translated as righteousness, religion, faith, duty, law, and virtue. Connotations of dharma include rightness, good, natural, morality, righteousness, and virtue. It means moral, right, just, balanced, or natural etc. In common parlance, dharma means "right way of living" and "path of rightness". I have also heard a modern spiritual writer describe it as acting in accordance with what causes you to feel joy (not happiness, but with what i call soul joy), I like the definition of thinking, living and behaving in accordance with your divinity. So are we hungering and thirsting after morality? Of course not, we are hungering and thirsting for the answers to how to be at one with our divinity. How to act in such a way as to feel peace in our souls and feel divinely inspired even during the hard times.
The fourth stage of this awakening is finding answers and experiencing breakthroughs. This is where we see a divergence from the beatitudes. The next steps in the beatitudes are additional steps of the awakening process, the breakthroughs if you will that will lead to higher consciousness. You might follow the Instagram meme's steps to get to each of the additional Christ steps, but they are states you will get to or go through. Christ jumps right into experiencing breakthroughs that change your behavior. As you find answers to your soul questions, and find the paradigm shifts that bring you into harmony with your divinity, you will have to change your behavior, your thoughts and your vibration.
Majorly, your behavior toward other people as it reflects your beliefs about yourself. Showing mercy to others, as in blessed are the merciful, reflects the compassion we feel towards ourselves during this process of awakening. We see now that there is a journey that everyone is on, because we are on it. We have compassion on them as we wish we would have had on ourselves. I believe this can be what happens when we find divine answers and allow it to change us.
Peacemakers are people who have healed their codependent tendencies and taken responsibility for their own happiness and peace. They have gone through the withdrawal of not absorbing and reflecting other people's emotional states, the emptiness that follows and filled themselves with so much light that everywhere they go people notice the energy that they put off. They literally spread peace because of the peace that is within themselves.
Persecution, abuse and judgement are all things that awakened people have to face. It is the leveling up from fearing rejection from people to knowing that you are on the correct path for yourself and acting in accordance to your own divinity and a higher power. Healing that fear is becoming that blessed state that Christ refers to as persecuted because of righteousness (or being in alignment with your divinity). When people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of following a higher power, a greater teacher, and the knowledge of truth and divinity within yourself reminds me of the meme that says when the trolls come knocking, you know you have made it. When you have healed the need to be right by others standards, to be accepted by society, and know for a surety that you are in alignment with divinity, takes a lot of lessons, a lot of social deprogramming and rebuilding in that awakening process.
I find that “spirituality” and the awakening process is much more akin to organized religion that many people think. The wording is different, and therefore makes us relearn the same things religion was trying to teach us. We tend to get stuck in definitions of words from our youth, and never look deeper into the spiritual roots/truths of the words and experiences. Many people become dependent on the religious organization for their awakening and sustaining of spirituality instead of continually seeking within themselves to become higher and higher in vibration and more and more healed. In her book “The Anatomy of the Spirit” Caroline Myss talks about how awakening reflects the religious passages in 3 very different religions. The benefits of an organized religion is that if you take it as a spiritual awakening the religion takes you from step to step along the process without having to guess what part of the healing comes next. BUT, you have to see it in this way. The physical passages (covenants, ordinances) have no meaning if you don’t look deeper, ask more question, feel more discomfort in your current state and trigger more inner work to heal.
In conclusion, as you seek deeper meaning and healing in your life, don’t discount organized religion. The awakening steps are universal truths you will find across many religions and spiritual practices. It depends on what you bring to it. The beatitudes taught by Christ are beautiful blessings, but they have deeper spiritual meaning for healing and for raised vibrational levels. In fact, the beatitudes are more in depth than a simple list of how to become spiritually awakened.
Side note: As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I believe we have a prophet guiding our religious organization. Meaning teachings and methodologies will change from time to time depending on what is needed for the awakening and spiritual growth of the members in any given time period or cultural age as directed by a higher power who knows all that has gone before and all that we will be facing in the future.