When I was first going through the spiritual awakening process (I still am, but I am in a very phase than I was back then), I looked through an incredible amount of resources and went to teachers and healers of all sorts in an effort to understand what was going on with me.

I have expressed this sentiment before, but one of the greatest difficulties about my journey is that most of the world is steeped in illusion and I was breaking free from that. But even more concisely, most of the field of “spiritual studies” and “awakening” is steeped in illusion to the extent that it is far removed from the actuality of the experience.

In general, I do not mind what individuals do with themselves. If they want to call themselves a Shaman, or if they want to say that they are experiencing a Kundalini awakening when they are clearly not (and clearly know next to nothing about the actuality of either subject) that is their business.

I used to have a great deal of resentment about the above because of how hard I struggled. The sort of initiations I have had to go through, the experiences that I have had I would not wish on anyone. They have made me a clearer, more intelligent person who knows her purpose in this world… but my path has been extraordinarily difficult. I have had a lot of difficulty reconciling the fact that I have not had much choice in certain regards as to what I do for a living (for example), while other people can sort of play-act being a “shaman”; or that I cannot have what others would term a “normal” existence (whether I would want one is a much different matter), and have always thought differently than others, which in a society in which we are all expected to think similarly (standardized education and such) caused me a great deal of difficulty until I began to appreciate it (and get book deals from it, quite frankly).

This sort of upset followed me for a long time until I was able to truly accept my path and make peace with it.

Now that I am over the initial existential sort of angst that comes with having experiences that few in this world do, I have become a bit more philosophical about the subject. While the individual who states they are undergoing a kundalini awakening, or states they are (insert word here) has very little effect on me, the fact that the entirety of the “spiritual studies” sort of realm is focused on illusory awakening does.

So what is illusory awakening? Recently someone forwarded me a self-published book excerpt about how to “awaken your kundalini”. Everything in there was about how easy it was, and about how now the person had “perfect health, and was perfectly realized”. This, of course, made me laugh a bit. There are a lot of benefits to a kundalini awakening, especially when you are past a certain point, but perfect health is not one of them. You just have too much energy cycling through you and there is no such thing as perfect realization– you either continue to deepen your realizations or you become stagnant (and ego-driven/narcissistic/mentally imbalanced etc).

Illusory awakenings are all around us. They are what is talked about, basically. I am talking about the word “kundalini” a lot because it is the newest buzzword in the illusory awakening community. People feel a bit of qi/prana and think they are experiencing a kundalini awakening. They do not know what a kundalini awakening entails, but since all they know about it is that it is an intense spiritual experience (and from their worldview they either want it or think they have had it without understanding that kundalini awakenings have specific phases, signs, and symptoms) they, of course, have had one.

Basically, the illusion of awakening is the popularized, aspirational surface level thoughts of awakening that have nothing to do with the actuality of it.

The reality is that anyone going through an awakening, an actual awakening, is going to have difficulty. Whether you have had a near-death experience, kundalini, are feeling a spiritual call, felt the holy ghost, or are going through a gentler awakening… the true process is one of small “deaths”– of casting off what you are not to realize what you are. This is difficult, even when done gradually. Waking up to illusion is difficult to reconcile. Realizing that most of the world is zombified and going through the motions on auto-pilot is difficult to reconcile. There are a whole host of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual difficulties that come with any type of awakening…

But this is not what sells. 

The simple truth is that the illusion of awakening sounds great. We would all love to be these perfected, realized beings in perfect health. If we have not had spiritual experiences, the idea of having a “big awakening” sounds like a wonderful experience. If we have had any type of spiritual experience, we are likely to believe that our spiritual experiences are something truly intense, such as a kundalini awakening. And we are likely to do this out of simple ignorance– we don’t know anything about kundalini, or perhaps have read a wikipedia page about it, and have decided that we want it. That it is now part of our mythology.

And again, people are welcome to believe the myths and illusions they create about themselves.

This mythology, the illusions we create about ourselves, even about the subject of our “awakening” are yet another layer of illusion on top of all of the illusions that people should be dealing with, ironically further obscuring an awakened state, but that is another matter.

But we have a difficulty here of the fact that thousands of people are really and truly awakening. They are going through near death experiences and feel weird that all of the information out there is about how great they are, they are awake and look at the teachers and gurus who claim the same and see the illusion (and delusions), they are having a kundalini awakening and find that all of the information out there is for people who have experienced a bit of energy in their bodies that is on a pranic/qi level rather than the fierce volcano and destructive bliss that is kundalini, they are being called to be a shaman/spiritual worker and find themselves castigated and admonished because everyone in their spiritual group is a “whitelighter” who thinks like everyone else does (I have a funny story about this for another time, I suppose, but spiritual workers tend to think differently than other people do, and this is not really appreciated by most others).

The difficulty is that with all of the illusion, all that is being sold to us, all of the aspirational sorts or people who have had minimal spiritual experiences but want to feel as if they are something grand taking the labels (whether it be kundalini, witch, shaman, psychic, awake, walk-in, etc) that people truly having experiences cannot find the information that they need.

So forget the labels for a moment, forget the misguided ignorance of the individual, and focus on this.

Awakening and spiritual experiences have a specific pattern to how they are sold, they have a specific packaged look. No matter who or what subject the spiritual topic is about– if we are talking about mainstream, surface level spirituality– the spirituality that is for the masses– it is intended for a single purpose. To sell you on the fact that you need something in your life in order to be okay. To sell you on the authority of the person speaking so you don’t have to think or explore or realize on your own. They teach that there is always something external that you need to be or do that you haven’t done yet.

And more than that, they cause for people who are truly undergoing any sort of awakening to feel as if they are not okay if they are beyond these understandings. They cause confusion for people who are having a kundalini awakening and find themselves amongst other “kundalini-ites” who have no idea what the energy is actually like. They cause for people who have had near-death experiences to feel depressed that they didn’t realize that the entire universe operates on “ohm”. They cause for anyone who is truly awakening to feel out of place, to feel left behind.

Because most of the world is not going through an awakening. This is the only way that someone can sell awakening to someone– if they are not awake themselves. If you are not a shaman, witch, magical practitioner… someone who has not experienced kundalini, or Jesus, is not “awake” or has not had direct experiences of a spiritual nature… it is easy to tell others how wonderful they are, or how easy they are, or how you can have one for $99.95. It is a rarity in this world for someone with a near-death experience (for example) to talk about how much difficulty they have had “coming back”. It is a rarity for someone to truly say that awakening has brought incredible gifts and realizations but it is an incredibly fucking hard thing to do. In the sea of new-age kundalini-ites who all “want” the energy, or believe they have experienced it, it is hard to actually be experiencing it.

But again, there are thousands of us who are. Who know that there is a sharp divide between the illusion of awakening, the story of awakening that is sold to the masses who want to aspire to be and know something different… who want an experience that makes them feel special… and those of us who are in the trenches, working towards healing the major patterns and stories and lifetimes of traumas so that we can become clear. Who know that the journey is both blissful and terrible, sometimes at the same time.

What is important to realize is that if you are ready for it, you will come to the right information. The right people. The right experiences. The right teachers. It often takes a while to wade through the illusions (and delusions) out there on any spiritual subject, but if you are a person who is awakening, if you are a person of depth, it happens. People who are awakening have a light (this is actually quite literal) and are able to find one another. Put your light on and you will find your way beneath the murky waters of illusions that have populated most of the ocean to the ocean floor. You will truly find here, and you will realize, looking up, that the rest of the ocean is what it is intended to be.