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To be fully awake, to experience Reality without any modifications, all identities, ideas, and filters must be washed away. This includes the enlightened identity. The process can be disorienting, but it is the ultimate liberation.
The common pathways to enlightenment offer a set of unique tools with the same ultimate goal: full awakening. Yet any technique, strategy, practice or experience will have its limitations. Take a closer look at the various spiritual yogas, including: service, devotion, inquiry, energy practices, and mysticism, to understand their benefits, as well as their potential pitfalls, so that you can travel with eyes wide open on your own path.
During the awakening process, which has many stages, it may be surprising to find in yourself and others that some of the worst tendencies become dominant. And because developmental work and shadow work are not necessarily required to wake up, awakened ones may not have matured in all areas.
There is no universal roadmap on the advanced path. However, intuition is the compass that helps you find your way. Intuition is available through seeing, feeling and knowing. When in doubt, trust your gut.
The ego is very clever and turns itself into many forms as a distraction from authentic awakening. This results in various forms of ego-based spirituality, including spiritual materialism, bypassing, mastery and elitism. The spiritual ego can arise before and after liberation, and will continue its efforts to trap you. Ultimately, limiting identities, beliefs and practices must be discarded in order to be free.
There is no set amount of years of arduous practice required or an initiation that is needed to shift to the advanced path. However, there are two foundational skills that make the advanced path possible. Without these two skills, there is too much distraction and disharmony for the advanced path to take root.
There are four main obstacles to liberation. Willingness and trust are the keys to overcoming the problems, distractions, and traps the ego will manifest to block your way. Learn how to move beyond your comfort zone by pushing through negative thoughts and emotions in order to become more alive, more fluid, more free.
What you want with all your heart is what will manifest sooner or later. Be honest with yourself about what you want, and allow that to evolve over time. If you don’t really want something, then you will be miserable pursuing it. Follow a simple 3-part guideline for getting what you want.
Anyone can become enlightened. The disposition on the advanced path is: If anyone can wake up, why not me? This comes from a place of deep humility that we are all God and creates an opening to Light that might have been blocked by thoughts filled with doubt, low self-esteem or spiritual fatigue.
The advanced path begins when you want spiritual liberation more than anything else and you finally stop the endless cycle of techniques, strategies and practice that keep you from waking up. There are no rules on the advanced path and there is no single formula for success. Instead, the advanced path is a constant orientation toward liberation, a quality of openness and a letting go of all the activity that has prevented you from waking up.