This optional area of study examines spiritual awakening outside the context of spiritual or religious traditions. In contemporary western culture, there is a shift in spiritual expression, towards a secular context. Research suggests that many people’s ‘awakening experiences’ – moments of oneness, intense well-being and revelation – occur outside the context of spiritual traditions, in the midst of everyday activities, to people who may not even have knowledge of spiritual traditions or practices.
The same applies when people experience ‘wakefulness’ – an ongoing or permanent state of wakefulness (equivalent to what some spiritual traditions refer to as enlightenment). It is often interpreted in the context of religious or spiritual traditions, but can also exist outside them.
There is a strong emphasis on the students’ own experiences. We will look at the challenges that secular awakening brings, particularly in terms of understanding and accepting awakenings in materialistic cultures which do not value or support spirituality.