Introducing The Vocabulary Of Awakening
The language of the non-dual, non-path pathway had me reaching for the dictionary a number of times; let me save you some clicking. A few of these terms were just new to me; some seem to be taking on new meanings with new people – awakening, for example – leaving plenty of room for crossed wires and confusion. Hopefully I can help clarify things by providing my (working) definitions of some of the more esoteric terms used on this blog.
- Esoteric – … just kidding.
- Awakened -one who has experienced Source consciousness (God, Allah, One Mind…) and the true nature of ‘self’ by achieving a state of consciousness in which thinking ceases and consciousness and physical form separate. The awakened state can be achieved gradually or suddenly. I was awakened but do not yet live ‘awake’ but ‘aware’ and am now in the process of awakening – understanding how to live as Source consciousness.
- Awakening – the process by which the awakened person cultivates an understanding of the awakened state and begins integrating the new understanding into their life. I think of myself as awakened and awakening but not enlightened.
- Enlightened – one who lives in a state of grace, a state of ‘awake’, ‘present’, or ‘in the now’; the Dalai Lama.
- Gnosis – from the Greek noesis; refers to inner wisdom, direct knowing, subjective understanding. Example: I experienced the gnosis… …then came the gnosis… I would also call it ‘a remembering’; so far, perceiving a ‘truth’ when in an altered or meditative state feels like recovering a memory (an amazing feeling!).
- Hallucinogenic – causing hallucinations, an experience involving the perception of something that is not present – a mirage, chimera, fantasy.
- Mystic – “a person who seeks, by contemplation and self-surrender, to obtain unity with or absorption into the Deity or the absolute, or who believes in the spiritual apprehension of truths that are beyond the intellect” is the Oxford definition and something along these lines would certainly have come to my mind in the past. Then I heard mention of another definition – I believe from Dr. Mossbridge – that I found intriguing; from Gaia:
- You value experiences above all else – Mystics tend to steer clear of strict doctrines and principles. Because of their innate intuition, they have a high level of trust in their own morality and inner self. While they are driven to connect with the ultimate reality, they feel it must be on a deeply personal basis that can only achieved through their own experiences. Mystics still turn to others for perspective and opinions, however, these will not be their main and only source of truth.
- You question existence – Why am I here? Why are we all here? These are common questions that haunt a Mystic’s mind. While Mystics have the ability to see the connected strings behind every action, it does not mean that they are able to fully comprehend how the universe works and why. Because of their heightened senses, Mystics have a natural curiosity about the physical and spiritual world.
- You are comfortable with uncertainty – Mystics understand that there is a plan behind Every Action In The Universe, and therefore trust that every action has purpose, even if they don’t know what the next moment will bring. Mystics also trust in themselves and their connection to the universe that they will be able to interpret any signs and act accordingly. While they are still naturally curious, Mystics have no driving desire to force their future.
- You value intuition – Mystics rely on knowledge, language and physical senses the same as others do. However, their intuitive perceptions offer a deeper form of insight. Mystics trust in their own intuition and value similar intuitive traits in others.
- You are uncomfortable with spiritual hierarchies – Tenuous rituals or traditions have no place in the world of spirituality for Mystics. They do not believe that there is only one path or correct way to experience divinity. While not everyone can experience the ultimate reality, Mystics understand that every person has a unique and impenetrable perception of life, and therefore the ability to experience a unique divinity to some extent.
- You have your own set of rules – Mystics feel a connection to every living thing and therefore are able to look beyond what may be socially accepted. Mystics have an innate trust in their own morality and intuition and are guided by their experience, rather than leaders or society. This can often make them spiritual or even political rebels.
- You value internal growth – To Mystics, rituals and traditions are meant to trigger internal insight and transformation, not to appease a higher power. This is another reason why Mystics often feel uncomfortable with structured religions. Mystics feel that personal growth toward the universe’s ultimate plan must come from within. It cannot be dictated or ordered. Mystics feel a responsibility to help others to find their way, however, they cannot tell them what is right and wrong.
- You believe you are a conduit for power, not the source – Mystics possess an understanding that every living thing must come and go, and that in the grand scheme, they are simply one wave in an ocean. Because of their connection with everyone and everything, Mystics are often humble and more concerned with understanding and emotion than with power. They see their insights into the universe as a borrowed gift – bestowed upon them by something greater, but ultimately temporary.
- You believe love is the source of life – Similar to No. 8, Mystics believe that love powers everything. The people and experiences that we love in our own lives are merely a small reflection of a larger, all-encompassing love. Love is not something that originates in you, rather it is something that flows through you and every other being.
- You don’t know everything – And you don’t think you know everything. Mystics acknowledge that the universe is infinite and mysterious and is far too complex for the human mind to fully comprehend. They don’t know everything and they know they don’t know everything. Mystics enjoy reaching out, learning new things and hearing new perspectives. They trust in the universe’s plan and see their journey as one of understanding, not preaching.
- Noetic Sciences – a term from the field of consciousness studies; ION’s definition:
~ noetic: From the Greek noēsis / noētikos, meaning inner wisdom, direct knowing, or subjective understanding.
~ science: Systems of acquiring knowledge that use observation, experimentation, and replication to describe and explain natural phenomena.
~ noetic sciences: A multidisciplinary field that brings objective scientific tools and techniques together with subjective inner knowing to study the full range of human experiences.
- Non-path pathway – Peter Russell posted this on ‘the path of no-path‘ (SAND). He describes the practice of doing nothing, of following no practice, stopping everything and just being. This is a definition of the moment in which one steps off every path into just a state of pure awareness.The other definition describes the practices by which a person learns to achieve a state of pure awareness through using wisdoms from any tradition(s) as a consequence of understanding a single consciousness is generating all spiritual paths and so all paths will lead to the same center.
- Psychedelic – from Greek words meaning ‘mind revealing’, refers to internal perceptions induced by altered states of consciousness. Psychedelic hallucinations are those experienced within the mind only, often brought on by ingesting a psychotropic substance.
- Psychonaut – “from Greek terms ‘psyche’ (soul/spirit/mind) and ‘nautes’ (sailor/navigator); refers both to a methodology for describing and explaining the subjectively experienced effects of “altered” or non-ordinary states of consciousness as well as to a research paradigm in which the user voluntarily immerses themselves into an altered state, generally considered to be inaccessible via everyday means. This is typically done in order to explore the boundaries and depths of human conscious experience (including the subconscious)”, per this definition is from the excellent resource, PsychonautWiki.org
- Psychotropic – affecting mental activity, behavior or perception.
- Shaman – “a practice that involves a practitioner reaching altered states of consciousness in order to perceive and interact with a spirit world and channel these transcendental energies into this world” per Wikipedia. And here’s what a shaman has to say: “shamanism is the art and science of engaging with the forces of Nature, in its physical and non-physical forms, beyond the limits of linear time and space in order to affect the desired changes in the life experience of the beings who are asking for this service.”
- Spiritual Duality – a belief that God and that which God creates are distinct, separate but connected through spiritual bonds.
- Spiritual Nonduality – a single consciousness (Brahman, Source, One Mind, God…) is the source of all; all form, energy, thought, perception – all comes from and goes back to a Source consciousness. Wikipedia provides a number of illustrations.
- Teacher – one who enables the student to discover their own true nature.