Spiritual Awakening Symptoms Volume 1

Spiritual Awakening Symptoms Volume 1- The raw unhyped truth about spiritual awakening enlightenment, how to attain it & what to expect.

Spiritual Awakening Symptoms Volume 1

What are some of the unhyped  symptoms of spiritual awakening or enlightenment?

I wanted to use this post (and hopefully others like it in other volumes) to describe some of raw unfiltered unhyped symptoms of spiritual awakening.  “Symptoms” is a pretty lame word in this case – like awakening is a disease or sickness.  So why use it? – blunt truth- because many of you google this term and –  I wanted you to find this article.  I wanted you to get real descriptions of awakening – not the usual new age super sap trying to convince you of some nondual neo-advaita LaLa- Land.

This post is more of a diary and memoir than anything.

I don’t believe in enlightenment- not in the way you believe in it, at any rate.   The best way I can describe enlightenment or spiritual awakening is to call it en-human-ment  or blue collar enlightenment.  It’s no big deal.  It’s growing up.  It’s being a human adult.  It’s being real, raw, unfiltered, honest.  It’s living, breathing, dancing, fucking, shitting, eating, working, suffering and surviving – right next to the colossal truth of who you truly are.  Right next to YOU.  It’s LIFE  with the recognition of the ONE who is living this life.  It’s love and hate and chocolate and coffee and whipped cream all swirled into one gigantic universe sized cup of cappuccino.  Are you enjoying it? Are you drinking it?  Or are you just sitting there hoping-wishing-dreaming and  seeking it ????- Hoping -wishing that  someone will finally serve it to you?- when all the while it’s sitting right there … right on the fucking table … right in front of you … easily grasped … yours and yours and yours and yours.

It’s always been yours – because there is no “other” who could own it.  You created it.  You served it.  And now- you drink it.   So grab it why don’t you? … Sit back, relax and enjoy it and all of the wild, crazy, weird, fantastical flavors that IT comes in….

How to attain it?

This post doesn’t go into a lot of HOW details but below is a free video course, several E-books, and a lot lot more that will get you well on your way to IT.  Download it now while supplies last 😉

My dog Lilly died and I’m heart broken

All dogs go to enlightenment

Lilly- her last morning- with my son Jeremy

Lilly was about 11 years old when we had to euthanize her.  Our vet, my wife Elisabeth and I all held her as she passed quickly yesterday @ 10 a.m.  (I’m writing this on Saturday April 15th 2017) Lilly had contracted cushings disease about 9 months ago and went down hill quickly.  Cushings disease is a pituitary/adrenal gland breakdown where the body constantly produces the stress hormone cortisol.  It made Lilly constantly hungry and thirsty and overtime robbed her of all muscle strength.  In her last few weeks she was barely able to walk.  We tried homeopathic natural remedies, which had little effect.  We also came close to trying regular pharmaceuticals, but opted against as the side effects were/are as bad as the symptoms and there was little guarantee that the drugs would return her strength.  Her quality of life was very poor. She was suffering.   So a week ago our family made the tough decision.  I cried quite a bit.  I’m still feeling very raw.  There’s a huge empty psychic space in our life and only time will mend it.  (and probably never fully)

What does any of this have to do with blue collar enlightenment?  I don’t know- nothing really.  I merely wish to convey that during this process (yesterday and today) that spiritual awakening has not imbued this experience with some sort of all-positive, uplifting, transcendental quality; as if I’m some sort of distant yogi-sage viewing all this petty human-material  stuff with an arrogant shit-eating enlightenment grin. On the contrary- I feel pretty miserable.  Not once in the last day have I bypassed any bit of it by using the old nondual, neo-advaita, jedi jerk-off  trick of just being the witness.  Fuck the witness.  Fuck consciousness.  And fuck awareness.  What awakening demands (and you have no choice once you’re awake) is that you fully CHEW, EAT & DIGEST everything put on your plate by life. You don’t get to bypass emotions.  You don’t get to bypass feelings.  You don’t get to bypass heart-break.  You don’t get to bypass mental anguish.  You don’t get to bypass the death of a loved one.  You don’t get to bypass all of the ups and downs of life.  You get to  EXPERIENCE all of it….and then some.

You might be asking…okay…so what’s the point of awakening then?   That would be good question.  That would be a question that if you didn’t ask after reading the last paragraph would have me a little worried.  So what’s the point?  Why bother?  If enlightenment doesn’t solve all your problems then why all the fuss to attain it?  Damn good question.  The answer:?  Because you can’t help yourself.  Because you must.  Because you’ve had it with conditional existence.  Because you’re tired of your own heart’s separation, suffering and existential unhappiness.  Because your heart demands freedom.

Related to this, about a week or two ago I received an email from a very nice young guy who asked some questions about awakening.  Here’s a little of our exchange.

“I know that projecting future is taboo in nondual circles, but here is what I assume will happen: Once this heavy, molasses-slow energy feeling (calling it fatigue is easiest) is dissolved, there will be nothing but joy and lightness in the body”

My reply:

Well, I might as well burst your enlightenment fantasy bubble from the get go.   Nope.  Nothing but joy and lightness is a fantasy concocted by mind.  That’s like thinking you’ll sprout wings and fly….  Have 17 virgins in the afterlife…. or go to the 9th circle of heaven.

Here’s what happens when you wake up- (and you won’t get this completely until you do wake up)- On an existential level all unhappiness, separation, depression, low-energy goes away completely and forever.  On a relative level– you’re still susceptible to the ups and downs and bullshit of life.

Shit still bothers you.

You’ll still get angry.

You’ll still have  low energy days.

You’ll still have days when you don’t give a fuck about anything

You’ll still have mind  chattering away…

But with awakening-  indeed all of  this BS takes a back seat to the clarity, emptiness and nonduality of the real YOU.

Awakening is not an escape from life or its problems.

Awakening is a deep dive  into the heart of life where YOU experience it all 100%

And paradoxically you also transcend it.

Spiritual awakening is for the dog

I am missing Lilly today.  I am heart broken.  My feet are untethered.  I am weak, vulnerable and grumpy.  AND- I am totally okay experiencing this.  I would have it no other way.  Spiritual awakening would suck if it robbed me of this.  This is life.  This is real.  This is my heart honoring Lilly’s heart.

I will always miss you Lilly- my very sweet- wouldn’t hurt a flea-  beautiful, silly, pitbull dog.

I don’t like Easter and never have.


easter bunny hunts for the eggs of jesus

Many of you will read this on Easter, because I’ve sent you the link to read it on Easter.  I don’t like Easter.  Easter is the celebration of the death of an enlightened guy.  The end.  It’s the epitome of a creepy, cultic, symbolic, nonsensical, confusing, misleading, seething, religious display.  Jesus was an enlightened guy.  The Romans killed him.  The end.  It’s all just silly- all of it: Holy Week, Maundy Thursday, The Last Supper, Good Friday, The Crucifixion, The Resurrection- and it’s cartoonish sidekicks- easter eggs, eater bunnies, chocolate and baskets.

I know. I know. Zero tolerance points for this awakening teacher.  I suppose if I were a nice neo-advaita nondual teacher I’d throw out an olive branch (yep- another Christian term) and try to find some simpatico for this holiday.

If I  were a nice neo-advaita nondual teacher I’d draw some analogous connections between the death and resurrection of Jesus and the death and resurrection of ego & self.

If I  were a nice neo-advaita nondual teacher I’d find a corollary between the suffering that Jesus experienced on the cross and the suffering inherent in the human condition.

If I  were a nice neo-advaita nondual teacher I’d see the eternal value of the renewal of spirit in Jesus’s resurrection and the renewal of spirit in awakening.

But ya know what?   Today, I don’t feel like being a nice little neo-advaita nondual teacher.  Jesus was an enlightened guy who got killed for his enlightenment.  The end.

What does any of this have to do with blue collar enlightenment?  More specifically,  what does my asshole opinion about Easter have to do with blue collar enlightenment?  This too is a really great question and bravo!! if you haven’t hung up on me, unsubscribed or sent hate email to me thus far.

For those of you have have dared to stick with me here’s the answer:  Awakening doesn’t  lobotomize you.  You will still retain ego, personality and asshole opinions- just like mine above.  BUT- you won’t and don’t identify with them.  They don’t stick.  You don’t believe them and you won’t give them much credit.  They take a back seat to who you truly are.

Here’s another point:  Awakening doesn’t  turn you into a homogeneously expressed robo-enlightenment automaton.  Have you noticed the difference in personalities among awakened individuals?  (You should if you haven’t) Enlightenment and awakening are like art.  All true art is uniquely expressed.  This is a fancy way of saying that when you wake up – you will most certainly retain your own ego/personality/asshole opinion through that awakening and should you choose to do so- you will express that awakening in your own unique way.  It’s a paradox.  We’re all ONE in the nugget part of the egg and we’re all different in the dyed shell part.  Happy Easter.

Today’s also my Birthday.


awakening easter birthday

I also turn 48 today. (What a weekend right?)   I gotta tell ya, no amount of awakening makes this body feel anything less than -old fuck.   Sure, in spirit (like most of us) I don’t feel a damn bit different, but in body- especially my back and knees-  I’m feeling the age thing.  I said to my wife the other day:  I don’t mind getting up in the morning with  a hangover, after a night of good drinking ….but what I can’t stand is getting up in the morning with a hangover …caused by absolutely nuttin except work and old age.  Ugh.

So yeah, if you thought spiritual awakening was the fountain of youth, think again.

You’re gunna get old and die and rot with the worms like the rest of us.

Final thoughts and recommendation

Thanks for hanging out with me in this post ! – Spiritual Awakening Symptoms Volume 1.    I hope you weren’t turned off by my brutal P. I. E. comments (P.olitically I.ncorrect E.nlightenment) What a strange weekend.  What a strange, beautiful crazy life.

So now what , you say?  Now grab the Spiritual Awakening First Aide Kit below and begin your own crazy awesome awakened life.  Best,- J. Stewart

About J. Stewart Dixon www.bluecollarenlightenment.com 

J. Stewart Dixon is an unorthodox nondual-advaita-zen spiritual awakening teacher and founder of Blue Collar Enlightenment. Born in 1969 J. Stewart began his spiritual search at the age of eighteen, urged on by a general sense of unhappiness, depression and an impulse that something was missing from his life. He passionately and actively continued searching (via numerous paths and dozens of teachers) until the age of forty-one, when while reading a nondual awakening article online, he fell into what is commonly reported as awakening and his search ended. Shortly thereafter he began writing and teaching.


Polite Comments Welcome...



  1. Why is the disrespectful, unapologetic, and unconventional explanation almost always
    the most interesting and the most accurate?

  2. Hi J. Stewart, a few things: First, I’m truly, truly sorry for your loss of Lilli. 🙁 So sad. And yes, grief is grief is grief is grief. Heartbreak is heartbreak is heartbreak, and it is fully experienced post-awakening. I love your honesty as always. Second, great to see your family here! Your boy! Your wife!

    Third, the irony of “Polite comments welcome” above.

    I love your freshness, your rawness, your willingness to tell it just like it is. Thank you. Happy birthday, FWIW. And again, I’m so sorry for your loss 🙁

  3. I enjoyed this post very much. I like your style!

    I suggest getting a puppy. We have four dogs, two of whom are above ground and two of whom are below ground. We always keep two at a time. One of them is five and the other turned 11 yesterday. Rat terriers both and both very healthy and beautiful. If you want dogs in your life you must be prepared to bury them. Mark Twain said, “Dogs have one fault. They don’t live long enough.” I think they live the perfect length of time. They can teach us so much about love and loss. Grief is inseparable from love and is absolutely dependent on it. A life without grief would be woefully forlorn: it would be a life without love. You can’t have grief without love. Nor can you have love without grief at some time or other.

    I hate Easter too but not nearly as much as I hate xmas. I stopped participating in 1990 when I suddenly realized that I didn’t want to and, hey, “I don’t have to!” What a relief!
    And I hate it when Christianity contaminates other spiritual teachings and traditions, when it finds its way into a Native American tipi ceremony, for example, or when someone like Adyashanti contaminates nondual teachings through an attempt to contort Christianity into it. It stinks. And it’s soooo unnecessary! The world would be better off if Christianity didn’t exist. Period.

    And Jesus wasn’t crucified for being enlightened. He was crucified for sedition against Rome, as far as we know. And his crucifixion was not special. He was one among thousands. And his corpse was most likely eaten by dogs and raptors and his bones thrown into a mass grave with all the others. So much for “bodily Ascension.” There’s no way in hell that jesus (a homeless vagrant who was put to death by the state for sedition) would have been honored with a personal tomb. Give me a break! And who’s to say that Jesus was enlightened? Who’s to say for sure that he existed or that any of the recorded parables came from this one man? Hollywood likes to give him blue eyes. Too funny. Something I love about Buddhism is that it makes not one lick of difference whether the historical Buddha existed or not. The teaching stands on its own.

    Happy Birthday. But I must say, 48 is not old! My son was born in 1969. You’re a child! And you know what, when I was 48 I was literally at the peak of my fitness. I did physique competition on stage through age 48 and competed against, and placed ahead of, women 20 years younger than I, literally. The 28-year-olds may have had more muscle but I was harder, leaner, more defined and better conditioned. I was never more strong, more flexible or had more endurance than at age 48. I never had a lower body fat percentage (10%) or more muscle. At 5’8″ I was 142# at my peak. Today, at 68, I’m 139# but naturally have more fat and less muscle. Age 48 was my all-time, all-around peak. I did 20 mile training runs in those days. And my body was never more hard, shapely or defined. I put a lot of work into it though. When I noticed the decline at age 41 is when I began to hit the gym seriously and devotedly. And I was natural. I wanted to still look like a woman, to remain feminine.

    You mentioned back pain. I tweaked my back badly when I was 18 and had chronic intermittent flare ups until I strengthened my back muscles in my 40s. The flare ups became less severe, shorter in duration and further apart until they stopped altogether later on in my 40s.

    I’m 68 now but you’d never guess it. 48 is not old. That’s ridiculous! It’s an excuse.

    Treat yourself today somehow. Enjoy. I take my BD as a day of special self-indulgent rights.

    Thanks again for the delightful post.

    Vonna Smithy

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