In the path of Awakening in Life, maps, models and stages of awakening are used as practical support, some of which are discussed in this section.
No single map or stages of awakening is taken as completely inclusive and descriptive of all practices, insights, capacities, development, and integration. It’s impossible, undesirable, unhelpful, and ineffective for a few reasons:
1. Reality defies absolute pin-pointing, so we cannot be attached to the maps we create.
2. Maps are approximations for the human experience and reality.
3. Different approaches, paths, and practices will lead to different experiences and results, and hence different maps (not a singular map or model).
4. The unique experience of individuals and groups in different contexts will produce different shades of experience, if not different results.
Even though relying on a single map is problematic, having some maps are considered prudent and usually necessary for navigating a path of awakening.
Keeping in mind the caveats listed above, nevertheless there is enough observed consistency and persistency in the unfolding of awakening and development to make meaningful, valid use of stages and maps. Given that, maps of awakening are incredibly useful because they provide practitioners with:
1. Time-tested, reliable reference points to illuminate and consider one’s current life and practice experience.
2. Informing (not dictating) what and how one might practice in any given moment or phase of their path and life.
3. Solidarity and validation of experiences.
4. Communal practice points for sharing and learning with peers and teachers.
Because of these beneficial pragmatic uses for practitioners, Awakening in Life makes relevant use of maps and stages when helpful and needed.
Release Stages vs. Response Stages vs. Inhabit Stages
Because Awakening in Life includes practices of release, response, and inhabit, for the sake of pragmatism, different maps are generally used for each area of practice.
Again, it is not that these areas of practice and experience are ultimately separate from each other, but for practical purposes, when looking at maps and stages of development, it’s usually much easier to focus on one area of experience, taking more tailored, niche maps for refined practices, insights, and capacities in each area of release, response, and inhabit.
While we will generally take maps separately and compartmentally, in Awakening in Life, the higher/deeper/more inclusive stages of awakening and development become demonstrably more consciously integrative. At these stages, these models and areas of experience no longer feel compartmentalized in one’s experience, and instead a fluidity and spontaneity of living arises. These deeper stages are characterized and expressed with qualities of all three blending: release, response, and inhabit.