What changes in spiritual awakening?
In a conversation with my friend about "what is the basic experiential / conscious / existential element that changes when one awakens spiritually?" we found out that our answers somewhat differed.
We both agreed (based on our own experience and talks each of us has had with many spiritually awakening / awake people) that the awake person's experience is pretty similar to the normal experience in terms of its contents. She or he has the same feelings, sensations, thoughts etc. like the rest of us. But something fundamental is different in their relationship to the contents of experience. What is it?
My friend thinks the the more awake or enlightened a person is, the more their attention shifts from the contents of experience (the "what" of experience) to the way these contents form and appear (the "how" of experience). As a result, the person discovers (again and again) that the whole world (and her- or himself included) are born afresh every moment from nothing. As a result they meet (discover) the world and themself afresh every moment.
I think that the more awake or enlightened a person is, the more their "I", that some-one that is normally at the center of our world and around which our world revolves, simply becomes another "item" in the world. One item among many, fundamentlly not different than other items. As a result, the person's mind and feelings are no longer (or to a lesser degree) caught by that "I"-sense. As a result they are available to meet others and the world with an undistracted, clear and open mind and heart.
These two versions are quite different from each other. Maybe ultimately they complement each other.