How Does Waking Up Differ From Growing Up?

Previously, we learned that this is an extraordinary time to be alive, because the frequencies of Earth and humanity are much higher now than in recent human history, whether you go back a decade, a century or two millennia ago. In the past, people tried to increase their frequency by means of prayer, rituals, fasting, worship, yoga, gurus, etc. Now we’re told we must become our own guru. Does that mean growing up or waking up? How does waking up differ from growing up?

How does waking up differ from growing up?

Ken Wilber spoke at the Global Oneness Day last week. He described two main paths of human evolution that are available to all human beings: Growing up and Waking up.

  • Both paths start at square one and are independent of one another.
  • You could be highly developed in one of these paths and poorly developed in the other.

What is the path of growing up?

Growing up involves stages of maturation that all humans go through automatically, as they develop any major capacity or intelligence (e.g. cognitive, emotional, interpersonal, moral, esthetic, musical, kinesthetic, etc.).

  • These are structures of consciousness that can’t really be seen, but have to be built through practice at different ages (e.g. baby, child, adolescent, adult, etc.).
  • There are dozens of models that describe the process of human growth and development, but they all have the same 6-8 levels of development. For example:

Psychologist Abraham Maslow described a hierarchy of five needs that include physiological, safety, social and esteem needs with self-actualization as the highest Personal Need (below):

How does waking up differ from growing up?

  • Later Maslow added Transpersonal Needs (at the top), that go beyond the self and include a worldview, spirituality, meaning of life, transcendence, etc.

Generally, people in developing areas of the world are still struggling with meeting their basic needs (e.g. food, water and shelter) or safety needs (e.g. war zones). Those in developed areas may have more opportunities to develop in the other levels.

What is the path of waking up?

Waking up or awakening involves four states of consciousness, which don’t happen automatically. You have to take up some practice of meditation or contemplation and work at it for several years to progress through all the stages to true enlightenment, according to Wilber.

  • These higher states differ from the temporary flashes of emotional, mental or spiritual states that come and go as “peek” experiences (as opposed to “peak experiences”).
  • Their quality differs from our daily cycles of waking, dreaming and deep sleep states.
  • They may occur in religious or meditative states, shamanic visions, altered states, etc.

The four states can be described in several ways:

  1. Gross/Waking/Conscious mind/”A” of AUM – Gross physical world (Maslow’s 5 Needs).
  2. Subtle/Dreaming/Unconscious mind/”U” of AUM – Astral/psychic world (Transpersonal).
  3. Causal/Deep sleep/Subconscious mind/”M” of AUM – Intuitive/formless knowing.
  4. Fourth/Consciousness/Absolute reality/Silence after AUM – Awakened, nondual, pure unity consciousness or true enlightenment.

For a comprehensive discussion of these four states, please see Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati’s website (e.g. Levels and Dimensions of Consciousness in Yoga and other excellent articles).

  • His illustrations show the sequence of consciousness planes (top), consciousness states (middle) and the corresponding parts of the AUM/OM mantra (bottom):


How does waking up differ from growing up?


These states of consciousness are also reflected in human brainwaves (below):

  • Beta waves (12-30 Hz) occur in normal alert wakefulness, logical thinking, concentration, active conversation, tension, stress.
  • Alpha waves (8-12 Hz) occur in states of relaxation, passive attention, reverie, non-arousal, meditation, hypnosis.

How does waking up differ from growing up?

  • Theta waves (4-7 Hz) occur in daydreaming, dreaming, drowsy or half-asleep, creativity, meditation, paranormal phenomena, out-of-body experiences, ESP, shamanic journeys.
  • Delta waves (0-4 Hz) occur in unconscious, dreamless deep sleep; level of yoga nidra.

How can we help ourselves?

“The easiest way to make progress is just to “know thyself” – to accept and understand yourself on all levels.” – Swami Rama

Swami Rama said you don’t need gurus, teachers or external crutches to know yourself, adding: “Don’t be afraid to meditate. You will not become lost – you are within yourself.”

Swami J. Bharati described the four aspects of the Ocean of Consciousness as follows:

  1. The shoreline is the gross world or Gross/Waking state.
  2. The surface of the ocean is the Subtle/Dreaming state.
  3. The floor of the ocean is the Causal/Deep sleep state.

How does waking up differ from growing up?

The vast majority of people seek only to know the shoreline and the surface of the ocean. Very few venture into the depths of the floor of the ocean of consciousness or the Fourth state, according to Swami J.

What happens to most students?

Roy Eugene Davis (“Paramahansa Yogananda As I Knew Him”) wrote that his guru initiated more than 100,000 people during his 31 years in America. But most of them did not continue with their studies and meditation practices (kriya yoga).

  • Davis estimated that perhaps 10% of the 10,000+ people that he initiated have kept contact with him, but not all of them practice intensively.
  • Most people are satisfied with a sense of God-communion or being a servant of God, rather than being fully spiritually enlightened themselves.
  • Only a few students persist in their desire to be Self-realized (i.e. knowing in body, mind and soul that we are one with the omnipresence of God) and God-realized (i.e. fully conscious state of God-communion, true enlightenment).

What is the Fourth state?

According to Swami J, the Fourth state represents consciousness that permeates the other three levels. It observes and is at one with them, because it’s the essence that the other levels are created from (like the waves in the ocean). He noted:

  • Who we really are is the consciousness itself, not the forms which arise from it.
  • That is why we can truly say: “All is One” in Absolute Consciousness.
  • This state brings us to Self-realization: “I am a Wave in the Ocean of Bliss; I and the Ocean are One; I am Ocean; I am That.”

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“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.” – Rumi

Final Comments

We are here to experience, learn and evolve at our own pace and in our own particular way. We’re not meant to be like Jesus, who came here with a different mission: to jumpstart our frequencies about 2,000 years ago.

Some people are born with more connectivity with their True Energetic Self (e.g. Jesus or new spiritually advanced children). Others have honed their skills in many other lifetimes, so they could fast track their waking up in their present life (e.g. James Lynn, a disciple of Yogananda).

In “Avoiding Karma,” Guy Needler channeled these words of wisdom from our Source:

“The roads to God are many and varied, but whatever road we take, we must make it our own. We must be persistent and patient and not enticed by the road of another, which may seem faster but actually isn’t.”

He said the Source considers Itself one with all of us – as us. As we evolve, It evolves. 🙂

For more information, please see:

What Are the Stages Of Spiritual Development? – Big Picture

How To Shift From Ego To Soul Activation? – Big Picture

What Is Spiritual Bypassing? – Big Picture

What Are the Evolved White Children? – Big Picture

How Do Spiritually Advanced Children and Masters Help Humanity? – Big Picture

Do We Still Need Gurus Today? – Big Picture

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar 5-9-15… “What Is the Purpose of Having a Master, a Guru?” – Big Picture

What Are Siddhis Or Divine Gifts? – Big Picture

How To Dissolve Your Victim Patterns? – Big Picture

What Are Common Physiological and Psychological Signs Of Ascension? – Big Picture

What Is a Fully Immersed Soul? – Big Picture

Why Are So Many People Still Asleep? – Big Picture

Are We Ascending To the Fifth Dimension? – Big Picture

Is There a Manual On How To Become a Spiritual Master? – Big Picture

What Is Trinity (Triune God) In Modern Spiritual Scientific Terms? – Big Picture

Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati: Website (

Swami Rama: The Art of Joyful Living, 1997

Ken Wilber: Website (

Roy Eugene Davis: Paramahansa Yogananda As I Knew Him: Experience, Observation, and Reflections of a Disciple, 2005

Guy Steven Needler: The History of God (website) & 5 books: The History of GodBeyond the Source – Book 1Beyond the Source – Book 2Avoiding Karma, The Origin Speaks, 2015 & The Anne Dialogues (in publication)

Gary Z. McGee/Fractal Enlightenment: Eight Signs You may be Experiencing a Spiritual Awakening

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