Spiritual awakening and enlightenment seems to be part of religious practices. Spiritual awakening is a religious experience where the person who is enlightened had contact with the divine and supernatural. It has been part of different traditions and practices, encompassing different religions.
Enlightenment is subjective since it fits on the individual’s perception and understanding divinity and religion. It is also something which other people who do not share the same views may find different and sometimes frightening. Even though, different religions have different understanding of the divine and supreme being, awakening experiences seem to have commonalities, as well as their differences.
Different religions and traditions share that spiritual awakening and other religious experiences includes the person to detach from the world and unite with God or gods and goddesses. The person would have deeper connection to the world after the awakening. They would also attain innate knowledge and understanding of the world and other people.
Spiritual awakenings are not only experienced through religious activities and methods. It can also be experienced through peak experiences, life and death experiences and situations, psychic openings and past life experience. Those who have awakened would say that they would experience physical, mental, emotional and spiritual changes and difficulties. But the awakening, even with its turmoil and difficulty, has bee called blissful by some people.
It is a personal transformation and the awakened can experience different changes on their actions, habits and way of life.
William James in The Varieties of Religious Experience, states that a spiritual awakening brings certainty and insight to truth which is unfathomable by usual sensory and intellectual means. The experience can change the outer behaviour, attitude, character and outlook of the person who have experienced the awakening.
For example, people who have a spiritual awakening would experience sudden waves of emotions. Food intolerances and allergies develop after the religious experience. Some traditions say that because the human mind and body is opening to the divine and the spiritual, it gets more sensitive. Getting more sensitive means that your body can have lower tolerance level to some things compared to how it was before the religious journey and completion.
The senses are in a high and can be extra-sensitive. Enlightened people would see auras around living things and some glittery particles. The colours would appear more vivid and even see shapes and brilliant colors with eyes closed. Hearing is also sharper than before. But some would testify that they would experience a decrease in hearing since they would hear different kind of sounds and have difficulty identifying the different sounds.
Smell, taste and touch are also enhanced. Which is why, some would be sensitive with food and smell. Rashes can happen on the skin that can happen in the same time with healing moments or completion of some memories or anything that could have happened in the past.
There would also be moments when the awakened person would feel a sudden rush of power. Some people would say that they would experience hotness running from their head to toe, while there are others who would say the feeling was cold.
Just to stress on the point, the transformation that a person undergoes upon a spiritual awakening depends on the how they see and understand divinity and religion. Not all of these personal transformations could happen to everybody who has experienced enlightenment. In some religion, some of these transformations are not acceptable while other traditions and religions would foresee these transformation essential.