I have often been asked: what is Enlightenment, and am I Enlightened.
I have no real idea about what is Enlightenment.
I seem to have more ideas of what it is not. At one time I did investigate the
phenomenon, and I didn’t come up with anything substantial.
In the Buddhist tradition, which seems to be the most successful in this area, there are
many and varying states that are declared ‘Enlightened.’
The people I have visited or heard about who were declared Enlightened – either by
themselves or by others, seemed to have blind spots. (An Eastern tradition says if you
declare yourself Enlightened, then you are not.)
These blind spots may have to do with them, or perhaps they come from me and my
idea of how these people would be if they were in such an exalted state. Or maybe they
were not revealing themselves to me because I was not ready.
Yet I do feel there must be people who are clear.
A combination of my ideas and classical ideas of this state is that the person lives in
absolute truth, inside and out, has no feelings of revenge, resentment or anger, holds no
judgments, lives in a permanent state of unconditional love, and doesn’t take anything
seriously. There are other attributes and these are additions as far as I am concerned.
Classically it is said that an enlightened person can pass on the state to suitable people
by transference. They can manifest, heal, walk on water, disappear and reappear in many
places simultaneously – whenever and wherever they want.
They are aware of, and can live in, all the ‘levels’ at the same time. I think that is the
traditional perception of Enlightenment. I don’t think I have met anyone like that. Of
course I may have and they didn’t tell me because it was not appropriate.
My overall feeling is that there are many different states that are declared Enlightened.
I think that The True State, whatever it is, is very, very rare – much more rare than we
would like to admit.
The True State
I have come to feel that there may be several stages to this event, and even the so-called
final stage is not final. There seems to be no beginning and no end. All is changing.
More common than The True State seems to be ‘The Satori’. The duration is short,
and it is not so deep, and it is a wonderful glimpse into the beyond. And it is very nice.
Life changing. I think when this happens, it is so strong people think, ‘This is It.’
I don’t believe it is.
Another event could be called Realization: the realization that we are not just the body,
mind, and emotions. We realize that the body mind and emotions have a life of their own.
This does not mean that we are not responsible for them, but that we were born with
inherent programs, and we pick up a lot more during our childhood conditioning and
programming from religion, education, politics, the social position of our parents, and
general experiences in life.
We are recycled with parts that have cellular memory of their own. Yet something, that
is not any of these things, can watch all this. When we realise this, there is a great sense
of freedom. And still, we are not yet ‘There’.
Another stage is just watching our behavior and being responsible. Not judging it, not
supporting it, not suppressing it, just watching. If full responsibility is taken, without
judgment, without trying to change anything, conditioning, character, personality, ego,
pride, all start to disappear.
And still we remain unique. I think that this stage is fragile and if we do not take care we
will become disconnected from whatever it is we have realised and slip ‘back’ into a state
that is less aware.
Another stage could be called ‘No-Self Realisation’. Who is the one watching that we are
not the body, the mind or emotions? And who is watching the watching?
At some stage a complete disappearance seems to happen. A dreamless sleep. The
Unformed. There is nobody there to know that there is nobody there. And then it becomes
a lovely game. Just floating in between ‘here’ and ‘there.’ And much more….
Is this stage permanent?
It may be that a Satori is a short experience of an altered state of consciousness,
and Enlightenment a longer experience. In both cases, it ends when the experiencer
decides not to continue with the endless expansion. It is very overpowering.
The state leads to the dissolution of what we call “our self”. So there is no such thing as
“self-realisation”; this state is the realisation that there is no separate self.
So, the short experience of the state is usually called Satori, the longer version,
Enlightenment. In both cases the experiencer decides to terminate the continued
expansion of the event.
The true seeker
Something I would like to add. The majority of people do not seem to know that there is an
alternative way to live other than the way they were given.
Some people decide to ‘improve their life¹; others decide to ‘Search for the Truth.’ Both
these states can be based on survival – safety, security and predictability – even though safety,
security and predictability do not exist in this dimension. (We have invented these terms to
pacify ourselves. These approaches are attempts to escape life just as it is, in each moment.)
Most ‘Spiritual Seekers’ are attempting to escape life as it is. Very few are true seekers.
In my opinion, a true seeker is not seeking. A true seeker is living life fully in all its aspects,
unconditionally, gratefully, with awareness, and is continually open for anything that happens.
A true seeker has come to see that life is about living in each moment just as it is. Not thinking
about, understanding, working on, or surrendering to it. Not even accepting it. Just living it with
unconditional awareness. A true seeker knows that life is as it is, in each moment.
There is no alternative to this moment, just as it is. A true seeker has come to see that free will, as
we think of it, is an illusion. What we call and like to believe to be free will is the temporary illusion
that we are able to say yes or no to situations. We can of course, but if we need to experience any
situation, we will draw it to us, time and time again, until we take responsibility for it.
I am not intending to say that it is all one way or the other. Someone who is focussing on survival
can include expansion into more consciousness; and the seeker can include the material world
(he has to.)
Nothing on the outside, in itself can bring a life without fear. As Jesus said, it is The Peace That
Passeth All Understanding. I am not intending to infer that one state is better than another, seeker
or survivor. Everything just is. And no matter what – are we having fun?
Explaining the Unexplainable
One other thing Lao Tzu is quoted as saying: ‘The truth cannot be said. If it is said, it is not the truth.
‘I feel that it is true that it cannot be said, but it can be heard. Although it cannot be said, in the
attempt of saying the truth, from a pure source, with the hearing of it, we can connect with the state
that is already with us.