How can we know 'where we are' on the Inner Journey?
The first stage of the Inner Journey - 'Spiritual' Awakening - progresses imperceptibly for most - or perhaps in small steps or stages - but we all find our 'self' becoming more at peace, even in the face of challenging external circumstances.
There may be a feeling of being 'guided', and synchronistic events seem to manifest in our day-to-day life.
There is a growing sense of flowing creatively with life, and we become generally more content and happy.
We find that relationships - and life in general - becomes more harmonious as the 'fog' of our 'self' - the ego - 'burns away'.
The degree to which we experience these things can indicate 'where we are' on this first stage of the Inner Journey.
Other signs that are believed to be evidence of 'progress' are inner states of consciousness such as ‘no self', ‘oneness’ and 'mystical experiences' that are blissful or ecstatic.
To the 'self' these experiences are absolutely real, true and transformational, and they often seem more real than the 'normal' reality of the body-mind.
However, the most revered spiritual teachings speak about how the 'self' must remain ever mindful not to fall into believing that mystical experiences - no matter how extraordinary - indicate Enlightenment.