July 11, 2018 at 3:44 pm #216317
“Enlightenment”, that term makes anyone who claims to have reached it seem like a pompous ass. You can’t actually reach enlightenment but I’ll get to that in a bit.
First a little about “me.” I’m writing here because I want to share and what that means is that the universe wants to share because we are all the universe. I’m not a teacher nor do I claim to understand everything. I work a “blue collar” job at a manufacturing plant. I receive things as they come in the door, this includes the toilet paper for the bathrooms. Yes if “I” am indeed anything it is “she who handles the toilet paper.” Why am I telling you this? Because it’s a good way to let it be known that I’m just a “regular person.”
So what does it mean to be “enlightened?” It means you realize something that you didn’t know before. In this case I now know that everything that exists is actually a single entity, the universe or some people might say God. This entity has for whatever reason convinced itself that it is separate from itself. This is why we see things from a perspective of “me” or “I” and put so much value on individuality.
If “you” reach this state there are some really good benefits to it but also some things you probably won’t like a whole lot. Lets start with the things you probably won’t like. First “you” can’t reach enlightenment. If you reach this point the “you” you thought you were will cease to exist because you will realize that “you” never existed in the first place. If this experience is not something you were looking for and instead something that for reasons unknown was given to you then it can feel like being hit by a Mack truck. Your sense of self will be gone and because you based your whole life around this sense of self you will probably not know what to do. You will have to start over as “no one” and this may sound morbid but it feels a lot like dying only your body does not stop.
Next as you stand there with your identity gone you will look down and find that all your beliefs about spirituality are in pieces on the floor in front of you. Yes this is a metaphor but damn if I couldn’t almost see my former beliefs shattered at my feet. No matter what your beliefs are from organized religion to spirituality on the fringes to not believing anything at all you will find that you were wrong. So on top of loosing your identity all the beliefs that upheld your world view will also be gone. If you handle this like I did you’ll walk around dazed for a while and then contact a mental health therapist asking if you are insane. The therapists answer to me was that though my views certainly were different than most I did not seem to be insane. This was when I knew I had a lot of work to do when it came to my new found reality and how to navigate it.
You will want to tell others but you’ll know they won’t listen. The only place I’m open about any of this is this message board, with my girlfriend and of course the above mention therapist. No one else knows. The quickest way to end up on a friend or co-workers “enemies” list is to tell them that they don’t exist.
So now what is good about it? There really is a sense of bliss and you can take it with you where ever you go. There is also a deep sense of peace that comes from breaking out of the narrative that was your life. All those wants you had will fall away because if this is all an illusion why do you need that illusionary luxury car or illusionary big screen TV?
Without your ego at the wheel of your life you won’t feel the need to impress anyone. This doesn’t mean you won’t care about things but having to tell everyone at the party about the time you jumped out of a plane without being afraid will no longer be something you feel the need to do. After all if you don’t exist then who jumped out of the plane? Also though you will still take care to put yourself together in the morning having to look perfect before going out will not be something you feel the need to do anymore. Who needs to be perfect? Without a self there is no need to look like a fashion model. The person looking back at you may be you but so is the mirror, the sink and yes even the toilet. 😛
You will realize that everything is a matter of perspective and that problems are just resistance to experience. If you leave for work in the morning to find your car has a flat that’s just an experience. You experienced having to change a tire and being late for work. If however you start to yell about how unfair it is and how this shouldn’t happen, how your tire should be flat proof etc etc. then you have resisted the experience and turned it into a problem in your mind.
You will also realize that almost everything is a concept that we have all agreed on. Race, gender, nationality, property, sexuality, ownership etc. are all simply concepts. Even you being human is a concept. We all agree on what a human is and you have been told that you are one so you believe you are. In reality you simply “are” You are nothing and by nothing I mean you are free of labels. You are not a guy or a girl or receptionist or a clerk. You do not have brown eyes or blue eyes or green eyes, you don’t have any eyes. Someone told you that you have eyes and you believed them. If no one had told you then you would still be able to see but you would not have eyes because the concept of what an eye is would not exist in your mind.
I’ll end this here and yes I believe that being in this state of consciousness is a positive thing but it it is hard getting used to and what is “positive” anyway? Another concept.July 12, 2018 at 8:07 am #216387
I enjoy your posts.
When I was 17 there was a moment when I thought I was hip and cool. (I know those words age me) Anyway one day I mentioned to someone just how cool I was… that was the end of my coolness. It seems if you think your cool you’re not. My thinking on the idea of “Enlightenment’ is the same, if you think, let alone say you are, your probably not.
After the Gautama achieved enlightenment he had a choice to make, end his cycle of “rebirth” and remain in nirvana or return as a Buddha and teach what he knew cannot be taught (only pointed towards). I took from that story that, as you suggest, enlightenment as being in a state of nirvana is not possible as a persistent state of being in life. Perhaps a monk who lives as a hermit meditating 24/7 might come close to this state of enlightened being but only because life is avoided. (It is un likely that Gautama would have become Buddha had he not left his family)
Its always interesting watching someone who says they are enlightened step in dog crap.
“All things appear and disappear because of the concurrence of causes and conditions. Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relation to everything else.” Buddha
“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.” Buddha