The Awakening process is principally one of shifting identity — the process of discovering our true sense of self and our Divine nature. At each step on our spiritual journey, we can reflect on who we are. And at each progressive step who we are shifts to a broader, more comprehensive recognition of our sense of being.
Regardless of where we are on our journey, we have a capacity of reflective consciousness. When we reflect on who we are, we are engaging this capacity. This reflectivity is based on the ability of consciousness to look at itself, to inquire as to its nature, or at least to inquire as to its sense of itself, its sense of being. So when we self-reflect, we arrive at some sense of our being, some sense of our identity. We have a sense of knowing who we are as our principal identity in that moment.
As we move through the evolutionary steps of awakening, what self-reflection finds as the sense of being seems to change. This is because as we evolve, the limitations or contractions we carry due to our conditioning, beliefs, and life impressions, are progressively released, causing incremental shifts in our sense of being. We step out of the constraints of ego-body-mind, to a more and more spacious sense of self. And eventually, after sufficient progress and preparation through spiritual practice, Divine Grace conveys the stroke of Awakening — Self-Realization. And in this awakening, we discover our true sense of being is Pure Conscious Being.
Prior to Self Realization, the sense of self feels localized to some degree, no matter how spacious. Once Divine Grace confers Self-Realization, that sense of location dissolves, and when fully stabilized the Self is infinite, unbounded. There can still be a sense of location, but this location is a manifestation of our soul’s unique perspective that is simultaneous with and inseparable from the infinity of Pure Conscious Being. The reference point of who we are is no longer limited to our body-mind-ego.
In Self-realization we may have the sense that the point of reference is now deep inside. Or above or behind our head, or behind our body. And our body-mind-ego and our perception of our environment and the objects within it seem to appear in the space in front of us, or inside us. There are variations how this may be experienced, but the point is that our identity, our sense of self, is now founded upon infinite, unbounded Pure Conscious Being.
And this is a curious turning point. Now the platform of identity is Pure Conscious Being, which we may eventually find is a self-reflective reality of Divine Awareness. So while Self-Realization confers the recognition of our true nature as Pure Conscious Being, Pure Conscious Being has yet to recognize fully what it is or that Its true nature is found in the Divine.