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To really appreciate the spiritual world, you need to be able to sense it with your own spiritual sense. This sense needs to be awake and developed to recognize the existence of these realms, a process that goes through stages. Let us examine how you can recognize these stages.
We will start with people that have not yet developed this sense. Many of them are living with a deep conviction that there is nothing but the material world that exists. Their fate in the physical aspects of nature and the rational mind can be so strong that they think any different approach has to be wrong. This kind of fundamentalism is called knowledge fundamentalism or scientism and hides behind claims of facts and evidence, disregarding any possibility of a human soul. Without a soul, there is nothing but anatomy and physiology and little left for the subtle aspects of reality. This attitude is like hiding the head in the sand and saying there is nothing in the world but sand and any claim of fresh air here in the world (sand) is impossible.
The scientific approach to reality has been dominating but is already peaking giving space to the value of personal experiences again.
This brings us to the first step, which is to turn inward and observe your mind, thinking and feelings; what we with one word can call the soul. You turn to your soul and perceive what it experiences. When you turn inward and start to accept the inner reality, you begin the journey towards the spiritual world.
Experiencing things yourself gives you certainty. Lets say you want to go to a concert. I am sure you would rather listen to people having experienced the performers earlier rather than a scientific analysis of how many times they played each cord, note or how many times they used particular words in their text.
The most important things in our life are things we need to measure with the awareness dormant in our hearts, not with physical measures. The same holds for the inner or spiritual world. It cannot be measured with anything in the physical world only with our own spiritual nature with the spiritual sense.
As we start to sense the spiritual reality it becomes more and more real. The first step is opening up to phenomena that are impossible to describe with the laws of the physical world. People start to say there is more between heaven and earth, they start to believe in the more subtle aspects of reality. They open new doors to fortune telling, looking into past or the future. In this stage, people feel enthusiasm and inspiration and start to get sensitive to issues of purity. They might start to eat pure food, do some fasting, not expose themselves to things they feel hold them down, feels to heavy or dirty. The moral plane is developing and this foundation of the spiritual awakening is all about learning the importance of purity.
Inspiration and enthusiasm can be without discrimination and the following step gives that with what can be described as an increased clarity or illumination. We now start to perceive the principles of the spiritual world with increased clarity, the mind becomes bright with an understanding of connected phenomena, it is a process of illumination. At this stage spiritual principles and patterns are recognized. You might have questions in your mind that gets answered from within and you realize it is given to you from the spiritual world.
What follows next, is a stage where we start to perceive our soul as growing. At this stage, we are also sensing the flow of time as something coming towards us. It is almost like seeing around corners, you perceive what is about to happen in your inner journey even which people you are about to get in touch with or meet. The living kingdom of spirits in nature becomes parts of your reality and you see their work as if they were coloring a whole era or decades with certain influences that take hold on any human expression.
This is followed by a stage where the primary focus is on the cultivation of spiritual qualities in yourself and everything around you. Qualities that last for eternity, the virtues that can never be taken from you and that makes you incorruptible, that shows that you have acquired the Philosophers Stone and can turn what you want into gold.