Spiritual Awakening is not about transcending the flawed dualistic world; it is about ending the dualistic beliefs underlying flawed and flawless. So, rather than transcending the world; it transcends the division within us. This means it is not the end of separation; it is the realization that Oneness and separation are themselves holistically One.

This means we wake up to the world, not from it. Awakening from duality is but half of the journey, bringing awakening back into duality so that it is holistically non-dual is the other half. Scott Kiloby’s living realization probably best sums up this deeper understanding of awakening because it encapsulates the adage to be in the world but not of it.

Awakened consciousness is not a static state; it is open experiential co-creation between the individual and the universe unfolding in the moment such that we are continuously awakening to life through life. The flow of life comes from this sharing, as does the sense of self and other being both separate and One. It is what keeps life’s juices flowing and the great cosmic play of Lila going.

This means awakening is not at odds with humanness; it is a life-affirming understanding of what it is to be spiritual beings having human experiences. It is not even at odds with the ego. As Jason Shulman observed, “God keeps creating separate egos all the time... I don’t think it’s by mistake!” and Tim Freke goes even further with his statement that “the ego is the hero not the villain of awakening”.

Spiritual self-inquiry via the ego – particularly the psychological shadow – is the key because it is what blocks out the light of infinite being. Adyashanti calls this process as fierce grace and Gangaji says that under our deepest, darkest, egoic fear lies our innate awakened self. I am well aware that many awakening seekers hope to bypass such inner work by simply waking up, but seeking an idealized awakened self leads to psychological dissociation not realization... No one can outrun their shadow!

This holistic understanding of awakening is currently undergoing a renaissance, although it is not anything new and can be found in Shamanism, Zen, Tantra, Middle Way Buddhism and so on. It marks the return of a perennial understanding of Oneness and awakening that redresses the imbalances of the prominently life-rejecting worldview of the last 2,000-year Piscean Age.

Its re-emergence at this time is no accident as it is a cornerstone of the dawning new world age since it allows us to be equally at home in both the material and spiritual dimensions of existence. This is crucial if we are to heal this world we share. Maybe William Linville’s reworking of an already holistic adage captures this sentiment best: be in the world but not of it, but also not by embodying the world become the difference in it.

Author's Bio: 

Mark H. Kelly has a background in applied physics, software development, and ESL teaching, although his real passion has always been spirituality.

Mark has spent several years on a spiritual odyssey traveling the world learning from traditional wisdom keepers and modern spiritual innovators. He is passionate about the modern renaissance of the life-affirming, full spectrum understanding of Oneness and enlightenment that he has come to know as holistic nonduality.

Mark is a contributing author in the best-selling book series "Adventures in Manifesting" in the edition exploring the power of Love and Oneness.