Spiritual seekers, teachers and so called awakened or enlightened masters use the terms "spiritual awakening" and "spiritual enlightenment", but what is the difference between the two?
Both terms are used when discussing spirituality, starting a spiritual journey, the spiritual journey itself, and insights, epiphanies, aha-moments, higher level of intelligence -- the knowings that come to you on a spiritual journey.
Some people use the two phrases with having the same meaning.
This double use for perhaps the same meaning confused me at the beginning of my conscious knowing of me being on a spiritual journey.
Therefore I now try to use the two phrases to describe what I feel, from my experience of an 8 year spiritual journey, are two of the three main aspects of such a journey...
- The first aspect is suffering and the somewhat unconscious or conscious early milestone on the journey from being human to learning about being spiritual.
- The second aspect is the journey itself, and this is what I define as spiritual awakening.
- The third aspect is the knowing that comes to you along the journey. The receiving of knowing is continuous and of a higher level in that such knowing may not have come to you with your previous "mind-set". Hence light has been shed on your previous lack of not knowing and your sufferings. The continuity creates the plural, knowings and the phrase I try to use to describe these many knowings is spiritual enlightenments.