Obstacles to Spiritual Awakening (Self-realization)

6 September 2013

Now that is the wisdom of a man, in every instance of his labor, to hitch his wagon to a star, and see his chore done by the gods themselves.” is a famous Ralph Waldo Emerson quote urging everyone to aim high and have lofty aspirations. But suppose we actually raise the level of our aspirations even higher and aim for the very highest achievement possible in life, and “Hitch our wagon to infinity!”

Before all the non-duality “pundits” start questioning if “purpose” is really necessary let’s just consider the notion that if there is any purpose at all to life, then it is Self-realization, awakening to the eternal Self (aka Atman – pure consciousness), or to put it another way for those of a religious disposition, it is to find God within. Compared to this everything else seems immature.

So, we should make the most of this opportunity. It really doesn’t matter if you believe in reincarnation or not, this particular life holds a golden opportunity for us to achieve the highest possible purpose of human life.  For all those who do believe reincarnation is real, it is apparent how very precious and rare human birth is, and for all those who believe there is only one “go ‘round,” Then it would surely be a injustice to yourself to waste this opportunity. But, either way, since we’re here anyway, why not set our sights for highest high.

Here is a list and description of 5 major obstacles that commonly prevent us from fulfilling our great journey to Self (or God) Realization.

Major Obstacles to Spiritual Awakening (Self-realization):

1. Ignorance:

Spiritually, what is meant by ignorance is that most people are simply not aware that they actually have an infinite, divine aspect which can be recognized and then fully abided in. There are many who will be surprised that there are sages living today who have awakened to their Infinite nature and lived life from that realization. If you are one of these people, what you need to consider is that there is this possibility, and then explore your inner blockages and obstacles in order to discover if there is any truth to this assertion.

If we outright reject this claim that this aspect of our being exists, it doesn’t matter to life or anyone else, it only means we’ll miss the whole purpose and meaning of our birth. By waking up, or attaining the state of Self-realization, we will finally be free from delusion, and able to fully express our true self and live the life we were inherently destined to live.

2. Compromise:

There are times in life when compromise is the fair thing to do, but spiritually how we approach compromise in our lives means taking a closer look at Divine (or universal) laws. They dictate we don’t settle for less. When we compromise ourselves spiritually we are not using our spiritual gifts to the fullest. Sometimes it means we’re squandering those gifts, and not compromising can sometimes be really hard, but nobody ever said that doing the right thing spiritually would always be easy; although, ironically everything seems to fall into its rightful place when Self-realization is the underlying theme of our lives. So, let this great work begin, lighting your way forward to the truth.

3. Confusion:

It’s hard to say which is worse, the ignorant or the confused, but most likely it’s the confused. They are the ones who have good health, they are aware that Self-realization is the true purpose of life, they have the right necessities (food, clothing and shelter), but they find excuses to chase after other things (mostly material) endlessly. This begs the question, what is wrong? At least the ignorant were clueless; they simply did not know any better.

At some point or another we are all bound make this mistake, and oftentimes repeatedly. And perhaps we even ask ourselves, what the hell am I doing? So confusion means we lose sight of the fact that the true purpose of life is Self-realization, awakening, and enlightenment.  This needs to be the guiding force of our life.

4. Laziness:

Being lazy is just pathetic. Those who are ignorant don’t know any better, the confused are trying to build castles in the sand, but what in the world are lazy folks doing?

They know what is at stake, have plenty of idle time plus good health, but are just mindlessly wasting their limited opportunities. There are endless forms of mindless, distracting entertainment to keep them drugged and serving the purpose that secular society demands. From this the lazy must break free in order to be free.  Make some effort, show a bit of willpower, turn off the TV, stop browsing the web, following the mainstream media nonsense, and then infuse some balance into this life. If the lazy will only begin to gather momentum and break the cycle of inertia, they will be unstoppable.

5. Impatience:

Achieving the highest goals in life is not going to be easily accomplished overnight. We currently exist in an instant gratification society, are being subliminally trained to become quite an impatient lot. This can be easily seen not only in the use of medical drugs for muscle building, weight loss, pain relief, etc., but also in our love relationships, when intimacy and romance are bypassed in favor of sex.

This impatient attitude has seeped into the spiritual arena as well, and we need to realize there are no shortcuts to Self-realization; we will have to stay on the path for as long as it takes. Without losing sight of the goal, we may still enjoy the journey.


Two valuable keys to awakening are meditation and yoga. And again it is stressed that this awakening is the real reason for human birth. Even though enlightenment has absolutely no material value, without it, life itself has no true value. If (or when) we decide we don’t want to have lived such a meaningless life, we need to wake up and claim our inherent birthright of knowing that we and the divine are “One.” This is union, and this union alone is the true and real purpose of yoga.

*Rae Indigo is ERYT500 

One Comment (including trackbacks)
Posted By: Francisco Orrego

Loved it!

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