Self-Awareness, Self-Realization and Enlightenment

The Three Aspects of the Spiritual Path

What is the spiritual path from beginning to end? What are the key points along the journey? How does one measure progress? What is the spiritual process? How does one know where one is at? How does one orient oneself on the Way? What are the guidelines?

My own experiences have led me to conclude that there are three main aspects to the spiritual path: Self-Awareness, Self-Realization and Enlightenment. I see the process as a progression from initial experiences of Self-Awareness, onward to a definitive experience of Self-Realization and finally an abiding awareness of Enlightenment or of a direct knowing of the intrinsically "Enlightened" nature of Awareness. These three aspects of the process, journey or path seem to spell out the whole spiritual way. It is not to say that processes of psychological purification, transformation and development through the kundalini process are not integral to the path but that part of the journey is addressed through a physics of psychology perspective or discussion. My interest here is what happens or is experienced directly in Awareness.


The spiritual path does not truly begin until one has experienced some major or minor spiritual breakthrough in the form of a distinct taste of Self-Awareness. When I say Self-Awareness what I mean is Awareness of the True Self. This bears no relation to the popular psychological term of "self-awareness." This is a very different type of knowing, where for some period of time Awareness is experienced in and of itself. The true experience of Self-Awareness is of an Awareness of Self that is distinguished from any form of sensory or psychological awareness. This type of Self-Awareness is unlike any of the usual forms of "consciousness" or "self-consciousness" that consist of any variety of focused awareness. It is a different awareness of Self entirely and it is the first step towards Self-Realization.


After some number of experiences of Self-Awareness comes a radically "new" experience. This experience might be after the first time that one comes to Self-Awareness or it may come after some number of experiences or just through a particularly deep or striking experience of Self-Awareness. This is the moment of Self-Realization, a moment that is brief and yet timeless and eternal. There is the immediate direct knowledge of "I AM THAT I AM" or the knowing that "I always was, always am and always will be!" There is no question or doubt, given that it is directly perceived as an irrefutable fact. One knows that "This is Who and What I really Am, Love, Light, Bliss, just pure, clear Space, Eternally Free!" This is a sense of what Self-Realization is but...it happens in Awareness, not in thought. The first step toward Enlightenment is Self-Realization.


The end state is the beginning. What is generally called Enlightenment is not some HIGH and HOLY, "Greater Understanding," given that it is only an abiding and continuous Awareness of Self or of Self-Awareness. Their are two keys to this abiding Self-Awareness: 1. Self-Realization, and, 2. Enlightenment Methodology. The basic principle of any Enlightenment Methodology is the practice of defocusing or displacing the focus of awareness away from the physical body and/or the psyche. This is not meant to be a "spaced-out" awareness nor is it intended to become an "out-of-body" experience. The aim or goal of this approach is to shift the focus of awareness, not to create or maintain some artificial state of body or of mind. The practical application of this methodology is spelled out clearly in many different ways throughout this blog. So, we return to the beginning point, practice or experience of Self-Awareness, which is achieved through defocused or displaced awareness.

Knowledge is power; methodology is practice

For a variety of videos useful to understanding the principles and practices of an Enlightenment Methodology, visit my vlog at:


1 comment:

prem kumar said...

Easily said and done. Can you explain a bit further. You know I know what you mentioned is merely a manipulation of words and terms.