With the increasing number of people becoming interested in spirituality, a question arises: How do I tell if I’m progressing spiritually? Spiritual Progression can be described as an inner process of transformation, which may be considered to bring awareness and harmony between aspects of an individual. However, it is not always easy to understand if we are progressing on the spiritual path or not.
The following list should help you to find out:
1) You are Calm under Pressure
Our physical body is a manifestation of our emotions and thoughts. If you always feel tense, if you’re always restless and cannot sit still for long at a time, then something is definitely wrong. If you are able to maintain composure even under pressure, you are progressing.
2) You are Humble
A sense of pride usually accompanies a lack of progress on the spiritual path. If you feel more and more confident about yourself as the days go by, then you are probably not progressing. In fact, the more prideful a person becomes as time passes, the further they move away from the truth of life.
3) You Have a Positive Outlook on Life
Cynicism is a manifestation of selfishness and egotism. If you find it increasingly difficult to get along with other people and find yourself complaining about just about everything, then you might want to take a look at your spiritual progress. A pessimistic person usually lacks compassion for others and this is a very big obstacle on the path to truth.
4) You Feel Compassionate about Others
The awareness of others’ suffering is one of the hallmarks of spiritual progress. If you are becoming more and more aware of other people’s plight, then it is very likely that you are progressing. Many people will lack this awareness because they are too busy worrying about their own problems.
In a normal state of mind, we are usually very concerned with ourselves and what pleases us in life. We look for pleasurable experiences and try to avoid pain. When we are progressing spiritually, our wishes and desires become more expanded and we start to notice and care about other people and the whole world around us. Our focus is no longer so much on individual pleasures, but more on the wellbeing of others and the world as a whole.
5) You are not Afraid of Dying
Fear of death is usually accompanied by fear for the unknown, which is exactly what keeps people from progressing to higher states of consciousness. If you feel that dying is just a natural part of life, then it’s likely that you are progressing.
Anyone who is afraid of death, cannot progress on the spiritual path. This is because fear is the absence of love. When you are afraid, there is nothing to worry about because God will take care of everything for you.
6) You Listen and Look Different
When you are progressing spiritually, people around you remark that something has changed about your look or way of being in this world. The changes are sometimes so obvious, that you can’t ignore them anymore. E.g. many spiritual people have a special shine on their faces, which is often described as Joy, Peace, or Love.
Often, the changes are not as evident, but more on the inside of you. Your behavior might be different now. For instance, once you feel the taste of joy or love, you are no longer able to go back to your old ways of living. Your life – on the outside – might look exactly the same as it did before. The difference is that you experience things differently than before, and are now able to share your joy or love with others.
7) You Feel Different
As the saying goes: “When the student is ready, the master appears”. Anyone who has made substantial progress on the spiritual path may feel different. He or she notices that something has changed. For example, you may notice that your perspective of life has changed, or that you are able to see more clearly now.
There are many people who have written about their personal experiences of spiritual transformation. A good example is the movie “Conversations with God”. In this movie, a father has a deep spiritual transformation after the death of his young daughter. Therefore, whenever a person who is deeply transformed holds a conversation with you, he or she may be able to take part in your spiritual awakening.
8) You Think Differently
In a normal state of mind, our thoughts are usually running all the time without us being aware of it. When we are not in a state of “no-mind”, we think about work, family, friends, or other people and situations.
As we progress on the spiritual path, our thoughts become deeper and sometimes reach a state of “no-mind”. This happens frequently when we are involved in activities such as meditation, running, praying, etc.
9) You become More Comfortable in Your Company
Though it is a sad fact, many people these days prefer to surround themselves with other people rather than spending time alone. People who are spiritual, however, are quite comfortable in their own company. They may even find that time spent alone brings them closer to themselves and to the things they believe in.
You may also find that, when you are alone, you meet many spiritual beings like Angels or God’s messengers (e.g. the Holy Spirit) with whom you are now able to communicate. Communication may be in various forms, like for instance through your thoughts, in the form of visions, in your dreams, or indirect conversations.
To wrap it up, spiritual progression is hard to measure. There are some more signs that you may look out for, but the nine listed above should give you a good idea of where you are at. Therefore, if you are able to experience these things, then you are likely to be well on your way to spiritual growth.