If I might just add some illustration or a bit of my own experienced "illumination"...Everyone has an experience not many have what A.A talks about an awakening.
"The terms 'spiritual experience' and 'spiritual awakening' are used many times in this book which, upon careful reading, shows that the personality change sufficient to bring about recovery from alcoholism has manifested itself among us in many different forms." (Appendix II)
The term "spiritual experience" = "personality change sufficient to bring about recovery from alcoholism"
For those who experience it, that is something like a "lightning bolt" at about Step Two or Three -- "Ah, God is!" -- and then the remaining Steps "keep it charged" and develop it still further.
The term "spiritual awakening" = "personality change sufficient to bring about recovery from alcoholism"
Same deal overall, we just get "zapped" at lower voltages or with "mini spikes" at moments of clarity or recognitions of truths taking place in our minds over a longer period of time.
And also (as at least in my own case): "Quite often friends of the newcomer are aware of the difference long before he is himself."
"When we drew near to Him (by taking the Steps) He disclosed Himself to us!" (page 57)
I just took the Steps and then eventually began realizing something was happening that was not coming from me.