The 3 Phases of Awakening, According to Teal Swan

swanSpiritual teacher Teal Swan explains the path of awakening that many people experience. In this YouTube video she says the process of spiritual awakening happens in three distinct steps that she calls Spirituality 101, Spirituality 2.0 and Spirituality 3.0.

“To begin with, you start out in unconsciousness. You are asleep, and you are not aware that you are asleep,“ she says.

But at some point it dawns on a person that they are suffering, and they wish to alleviate that suffering. They may try countless things to feel better, from pursuing goals and achieving their desires, to positive thinking and new age processes, to religious practices. This is the phase Swan calls Spirituality 101. A person has the inner feeling that they are in charge of their own reality, and they make effort to feel happy.

Ultimately though, they are only running toward positive things in an effort to escape from feeling bad. “You begin to feel deep down that this is an endless cycle of aversion and craving,” says Swan. At this point, a person may be ready for the radical technique of Spirituality 2.0.

A person intuits that the answer is to turn directly toward their aversion and walk directly into the center of their negative emotions such as fear and anger. In her video about Spirituality 2.0, Teal says it is an absolute surrender. Instead of running from the storm of their own emotions, a person does a 180-degree turn and lets the storm wash over them. It takes courage, but “when you don’t resist that thing, it passes right over the top of you. And not only does it pass over the top of you leaving you okay, it leaves you better,” she says.

With spirituality 2.0, a person begins the practice of allowing their negative emotions so that there is no longer resistance to them. “Instead of feeling better, your aim is to get better at feeling,” she says.

“One could say that Spirituality 101 is largely about allowing the light. And Spirituality 2.0 is about allowing the shadow. Spirituality 3.0 is the transcendence or fusion of these seeming opposites.”

Swan says Spirituality 3.0 is the absence of opposites and polarity. It is the center point of the infinity symbol: with light on one side and dark on the other. The center point is the state referred to as enlightenment. The still point is found in the present moment. It is not the balance of opposites; it is the union and thus transcendence of opposites.

“In Spirituality 3.0 the techniques we learned in Spirituality 101 – creating our reality, deliberate focus, positive intentions – are added back into our process, but because of Spirituality 2.0, they’ve been purified,” she says. “These desires and practices are not motivated by fear or by negative emotions. This is the state of living Godhood. This is the state of complete and total awareness and awakening.”

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