Laziness and a Wasted Spiritual Awakening

Spiritual awakening seems like a one-way ticket to spiritual freedom, but it is only the start.

Awakened energy also seems like it'll do everything for someone, but it doesn't.

In my years of working as a spiritual teacher, I've come across more than a few people who think that awakened energy is a guaranteed transformation. This expectation hides a kind of laziness because it often masks itself as surrender. The person thinks:

"I don't have to do anything. Awakened energy is already transforming me."

But this is not true surrender. Surrender is not a lack of action or an inability to act. Surrender is accepting what is. In accepting what is, there are choices and actions a person needs to take as awakened energy transforms them. If they don't, things can only go so far, and in some cases, people can even become more unconscious.

The result is that this wastes the opportunity of a spiritual awakening.

The Deluge Comes and Learning to Swim

I often describe awakened energy as a dam break. Suddenly, a person is swept up in a surge of inner emotions and physical sensations. The mind can be bombarded by realizations, but it is often resisting and fighting what's going on. That creates even more emotions and physical tensions, and during this time, a person has to learn to swim through this radical spiritual transformation.

The metaphor of swimming is particularly accurate. Just like in a river, with awakened energy, you learn to surrender to what is. That means paying attention to the current and the general state of affairs. Once you do that, then the amount of action or inaction you need to take becomes clear, and then you do/don't do that.

If you don't swim in a river, you'll get pulled into whirlpools, onto rocks, into low-hanging branches, and under water. Sure, there are sections of the river where you swim less and float more, but both action and rest are important in swimming as they are with awakened energy.

Spiritual Transformation and Seeking Spiritual Help for Your Process

Bogging Down in Spiritual Laziness

However, as I mentioned, many people misunderstand surrender. They misunderstand a spiritual awakening as some predestined ride. Nothing is predestined. Choices need to be made, and one of the more important choices is around how to engage with awakened energy.

Without that choice, the awakened energy can and will subside with far less positive impact. In my experience, few people flow very far with it in general due to a lack of understanding and lack of proper engagement. Those who are lazy can bog down in particular. They bog down because they don't learn to inquire into their ego structure. They don't figure out how to release old emotional issues held in their body, and they certainly don't deal with the more primitive impulses and primal instincts that are the foundation for the ego.

Instead, they get pushed along through a few spiritual realizations, and then their ego decides that "they are where they are." Which sounds like accepting life as is. But it is actually the ego saying, "I don't want to put any effort into this, and this looks like a place where I can get out of all this inner work."

Getting off the Spiritual Plateau

The Westerner and Spiritual Entitlement

One of the issues that can be at work in this hot lazy mess is entitlement. There is a lot of spiritual entitlement that is basically just re-casting Western entitlement with spiritual ideas.

These days, Westerners have so much. They have so much that they don't even realize how much they have. Certainly, there are major issues in how fairly resources are spread around, but a lot of the people reading this blog post don't ever worry about eating, getting water, having shelter, getting clothing, having reliable electricity, having emergency services to call upon if they need them, and so much more.

And they even more rarely even consider the supreme gift of being alive!

The absurd number of situations that had to happen to have you be alive on this planet is beyond fathoming. You are a miracle beyond your own understanding!

Yet, many Westerners are still not happy. They continue to crave and demand that life gives them even more things, experiences, and so forth. They feel they deserve it, hence the word entitlement.

Those who are lazy may feel that awakening should just give them what they want. Some who are less lazy only do spiritual inner work with the idea that they are entitled to a certain outcome.

But awakening shows us only what is real; it is not here to give you everything you want. If you really surrender to it, it'll take away the ideas that you deserve and are entitled to anything.

Dissolving Entitlement and Other Issues in Laziness

The person who has awakened and is trapped in their laziness needs to deal with the beliefs and fears that have created that issue. Laziness is a major obstacle for spiritual development, and as such, it needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. It is unlikely to just evaporate, which is what the lazy person hopes of laziness and all their other issues.

While I talk about surrendering and doing less in a lot of my blog posts at the beginning of awakening, the lazy person is very likely to need to do the opposite. They typically have a long list of neglected duties, chores, obligations, and issues to address. Now is the time to do them. In so doing, they will likely find all kinds of ego resistance. The lazy ego does not like to act, and so action is some of the best medicine for it.

The Neglected Spiritual Awakening and its Results

Moving Through the Lazy Ego's Resistance

If you've never gotten into good physical shape before, exercise is a grind. The fact that you feel bad while exercising is not a sign you're doing it wrong (so long as you've been properly advised on exercise). The discomfort is a sign that you are out of shape. Once in shape, that sense of discomfort and difficulty goes away.

The same applies with the inability to act. A person will find all kinds of ego issues and fears about taking actions that could hide out when the person wasn't doing anything. In this way, the spiritually lazy person may think they're all enlightened or whatever when doing nothing, but if in taking action they find lots of resistance, then their ego was just in hiding. When the ego gets what it wants, people tend to feel good. If we take new actions outside our ego comfort zone, we start to find out how spiritually conscious we actually are.

In time, a person learns to hear the shouts and screams of the protesting lazy ego without giving them additional energy. Later on, those shouts and screams can disappear.

Choosing the Conscious Path

Ego Justifications for Laziness

Yet, many people will still not choose to transform. It's a waste because awakening gives such focused help that cannot be replicated externally. There are a lot of spiritual practices that try to create this external impetus, but it isn't like what can happen on the inside.

Reasons for not acting to embrace awakening are many, and they include things like:

"I don't have the time."

"This is too hard."

"I am where I am. Everything is happening perfectly."

That third one is one of the many ways that the ego attempts to co-opt spiritual truth to hide itself. If I had a nickel for all the people who try to manipulate spiritual words to hide their ego issues, well, you get the idea.

Laughing at Your Ego's Absurdities

Wallowing in Weird Ideas and Spiritual Practices

Eventually, the push of awakened energy subsides, and the lazy spiritual person is left with a strange and unique array of experiences and ideas. They do not express truth well, although there are fragments of truth mixed in. It's like the third statement in the earlier paragraph. The lazy spiritual person has some sense of truth about being here now, but it so badly skewed by their ego that the truth is unusable and a kind of nonsense.

Which other people sense. For many people, they are turned off from the spiritual path precisely because they've run across these types of people who don't really understand the spiritual truths they're saying, and humans are sensitive. We tend to have a sense of if someone really knows what they are talking about or if they're just full of crap.

So the wasted spiritual awakening leaves a person in a strange land with strange ideas and maybe some strange spiritual practices that don't really serve the path to spiritual freedom. The way out of this mess is the way inward and probably starting all over again.

On a brighter note, this is how to succeed on the spiritual path:

6 Reasons People Succeed Spiritually


  1. Would like to know the process of complete surrendering.

  2. Thank you so much for this post. I had my äwakening experience" a few weeks ago and so am still settling. However the funniest thing happened a week after that i looked at myself and realized how unhealthy i am, how inconsiderate and unmindful my treatment of my body is. so the first thing i am doing is creating a healthier lifestyle. the funny thing is it is not as hard as I thought it would be i am not drawn towards criticism or perfection but simply on giving nutrients, movement and rest for my body.

    1. You're welcome. The body needs to be moved, rested, and properly nourished. This is key to being able to understand its signals and messages that it sends us.

  3. Thank you for this post! This has been on of the steps that I have found hardest to overcome. Since so much of my coping before the awakening process started was wrapped up in passivity, laziness, eating, watching tv. I have had so much resistance in letting go of these things and moving towards action and movement. I have been able to face a lot of demons and hard emotions but somehow gotten stuck here. In dealing with other processes I have gone towards surrender and action. Yet I have found it hard to understand how to surrender to action, but ended up not so much surrendering as giving up. I've finally realised that I am in a prison of my own making. Taking away the things I enjoy, and that will help me grow as a person and isolating myself and giving myself no challenges that I am afraid I will fail at. I was guided towards this post and I am very grateful. Because you gave me the straight up answer that I needed to hear! Thank you!

  4. Thank you for illuminating some of these issues for me. I have been lazy in my daily life lately---in part because it's just uncomfortable, but I think underlying it on a deeper level is that I think I need to know who I am through some grand spiritual endeavor before I act, yet I have no intuitive sense of what that act might be. And like literally I am seeing that I believe there is no point in cleaning my apartment unless I reach some point spiritually. My intuition seems to be actually that to dissolve the belief that I need to know who I am first requires actually acting without knowing why or the outcome. I think it requires me to do a craft that I know is more aligned with truth than my traditional job. I'm also seeing a subtle joy in cleaning the apartment, but I think how can that be possible if I have so many issues to work through. Thanks for getting me to see that these beliefs are crazy.


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