In early childhood, if something authentic within us (eg. an essential quality or our true-Self) is not acknowledged and mirrored back to us by our parents, we presume it is unimportant so we repress it and develop ego structures that will help us cope without it.
Psycho-spiritual development is about reversing that process – removing the blockages, bringing things into the light and turning the repression into expression. Self-realization only becomes possible when sufficient psychological “undoing” has been completed – when our conditioning has been neutralized and our awareness has been purified (ie. dis-identified from exiles and ego structures).
Even though Self-realization is an instant event, there are several stages leading up to it that can be used to gauge our progress and guide us onto the next stage of our journey:
Stage 1 involves consciously noticing our thoughts, emotions and body sensations.
Stage 2 involves realizing that these thoughts, emotions and sensations are not us.
Stage 3 involves realizing that we are the awareness that is noticing these things.
Stage 4 involves developing a felt sense that we are this awareness.
Stage 5 involves experientially knowing and feeling that we are pure awareness.
Stage 6 involves experientially knowing and feeling that Awareness (God/Life/Universe) is being us.