Opening one’s eyes may take a lifetime, seeing is done in a flash. – Anthony de Mello
The word spiritual refers to one’s consciousness, one’s awareness of reality. Awakening is about opening one’s eyes.
When you are sleeping you are unconscious of the world around you. Your eyes are closed and your mind is closed to the outside world. This is the picture of the person who is unawakened. They are asleep. They are living in a dream world.
The metaphor is really quite powerful. Asleep in life. Walking unaware. Going through the motions. Sleepwalking through life. Living in a dream world, fighting shadows and phantoms. The symbolism is deep.
Now imagine waking up in the morning. You open your eyes. You become conscious of the world around you. You see reality. You hear the birds outside. You feel the heat of the sun through the window. Your senses are alive. You feel alive.
This is what it is like to wake up spiritually.
The reality you wake up to is not some supernatural otherworld, it is the reality that is right here and exists right now. It now looks different because you are fully aware of it. You see what was ignored before. So much was never noticed.
Have you ever traveled a road a thousand times and then one day you notice a little shop that you never noticed before? The shop has been there for years, but you had never saw it before. That is part of what waking up means. Noticing reality for the first time.