What is Your Spiritual Quest? 4 Common Types and How to Ease Your Way

By Nikki Harper

Staff Writer for Wake Up World

Many people will experience some kind of spiritual quest in their lives, whether they consciously recognize it or not. This quest may manifest as a kind of inner hunger which is very difficult to satisfy, or it may show up as restlessness or even irresponsible behavior, driven by something you can’t quite put your finger on.

It can be difficult to ascertain whether what you feel is the stirring of a spiritual quest or simply unease with your life circumstances or something in your mental health that needs attending to. However, if you’re also experiencing other signs of a spiritual awakening, there’s a good chance that what you’re feeling is connected to your instinctive need to resolve something spiritually.

Common signs of spiritual awakening include:

  • A desire to connect more with nature
  • A sense of interconnectedness with other people and animals
  • An interest in new belief systems or philosophies
  • Unusual sleep patterns and vivid dreams
  • More insight into your own behavior patterns
  • Less materialism
  • A desire to learn more about wellness
  • Deep emotions which appear to arise from nowhere

If you’re nodding along with the above and you also feel a restlessness or a sense that something within you is unanswered, then perhaps you’re at the beginning of a spiritual quest.

Four of the most common types of quest involve a search for:

  • Knowledge
  • Acceptance
  • Forgiveness
  • The Divine

But how can you tell which of these you are searching for, and how can you ease your path towards answers?

The Quest for Knowledge

If your quest is for spiritual knowledge, you may notice that you question everything more. Things you used to take for granted are suddenly fodder for endless queries about why things are this way, why they can’t change, why you must do this, that or the other, and why your past experiences have led you to this point. If you were brought up with a particular faith or set of beliefs, you may be in the process of rejecting it, consciously or not. You will feel drawn to other religions or other belief systems, even if – or perhaps especially if – your family or your community do not approve.

To ease your path on this journey, an open mind is your key asset. Don’t limit yourself to looking into one or two paths. Feel free to find out as much as you can about all of the world’s religions, and about the many spiritual paths which don’t match up to any of them. Don’t dismiss anything out of hand. Notice the things all of these beliefs have in common, rather than focusing on what divides or separates them. If you can discern a common set of core values or ideals, then you’re on your way towards a greater understanding of the spiritual realm.

It will also ease your quest for spiritual knowledge if you recognize and understand that you will never find THE answer. There are many answers, and the answer you stick with now may not be the answer you work with a decade from now. It also may not the be the same as the answer your loved ones find.

Never stop searching, but above all, remember that no other person has THE answer either – and run a mile from anyone who claims that they have.

The Quest for Acceptance

All humans have a basic need to ‘fit in’ somewhere, somehow and to feel that they belong to a group of family, friends, colleagues or some other kind of community. As much as anyone may like to think of themselves as a rebel who doesn’t follow the crowd, even rebels need to find their own rebel tribe. None of us thrive in total emotional or psychological isolation. If your own life thus far has been low on true acceptance and if you have never really felt that you fit in, then your quest may well be one for acceptance.

To ease your path on the quest for acceptance, understand and recognize that you won’t fit in everywhere, or indeed even in most places. And that this doesn’t matter. The whole point of your quest is to find the handful of souls where you do fit. To do this, you’ll have to try out many different tribes of people until you find the right one.

Finding the right place for you involves a deep understanding of who you truly are. You’ll need to ditch the labels you attach to yourself. You may think, ‘I’m a vegan and I’m into yoga and alternative lifestyles’ and therefore you seek out the company of people who also label themselves this way. This can work, for a while, on a superficial level – but you are so much more than those labels. The acceptance and the soul connection you truly need may come from a very different direction and from other souls who superficially don’t share the same labels. So, if you’re struggling to find your tribe, go beyond the obvious. Look laterally.

The Quest for Forgiveness

The quest for forgiveness is a hugely varied one. Some people who feel a need for forgiveness may well have done something wrong or even truly awful in their lives, but others who feel they need to be forgiven have not really done anything wrong. The way we are conditioned plays a part here – if you grew up feeling that you were in the wrong all the time, then you probably feel that you need forgiveness for things which were never really your fault. That’s OK. It’s what you feel, and nobody can change that.

Many people who sense a need for forgiveness turn to traditional religions and their promises of redemption – however, many of those find that this still doesn’t satisfy their quest. It doesn’t feel real. To ease your path on the quest for forgiveness, it’s important to understand that what you need forgiveness for – let’s call it your crime, for want of a better word – does not matter. Whatever you did or feel you did or may have done is not relevant. This is about satisfying something in your soul, not satisfying someone who thinks they need an apology.

To ease your path on the quest for forgiveness, recognize that this forgiveness does not have to come from any one particular person. Sure, if you feel the need to deal with one individual, do so – but overall your desire can be satisfied by acting well now and in the future. You may find satisfaction in undertaking charity work or volunteer work, or simply carrying out random acts of kindness. By striving to lead a compassionate, mindful, thoughtful life from here on, you will be always making amends for your perceived ‘crime’, whether it’s real or imaginary.

The Quest for the Divine

This quest arises when you have an over-riding desire to experience god or the divine for yourself. You are on a quest for mystical experiences – but it’s important to understand why. This quest, above all others, has the potential to go badly wrong, because if you’re seeking divine experiences for the sake of an ego boost – if you want to become a medium, for example, for the attention and kudos it will get you – then your inner hunger will never be satisfied and you’ll simply be creating more problems for yourself. Check your motives before you consciously decide to seek the mystical.

If your quest for the divine is genuine and is to satisfy your own need to experience divinity and nothing more, then there are many paths you could pursue. Some people experience divinity via psychedelics, or via meditation, or through synchronicities, or in their dreams. Others are content to experience that magical sense of oneness through immersion in nature. Sometimes the simplest of things, such as witnessing a spectacular sunset, can bring a breakthrough in this quest – a sudden sense of awe and wonder is very close to an experience of the divine, and is often the closest we’ll get. In itself, this breakthrough in understanding can change lives.

To ease your quest for the divine, therefore, don’t set yourself impossibly high goals. Understand that your connection to the divine can and does reveal itself in everyday details, if you allow them to unfold. Don’t always be seeking the next one, a bigger one, a better experience – accept that your divinity is a part of you, and that is there to be revealed when the time is right.

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About the author:

Nikki Harper is a spiritualist writer, astrologer, and editor for Wake Up World. She writes about divination, astrology, mediumship and spirituality at Questionology: Astrology and Divination For the Modern World where you can also find out more about her work as a freelance astrologer and her mind-body-spirit writing and editing services. Nikki also runs a spiritualist centre in North Lincs, UK, hosting weekly mediumship demonstrations and a wide range of spiritual development courses and workshops.

Say hi at Questionology.co.uk or on Facebook.