Much has been said on the topic of enlightenment over the thousands of years humans have been musing as to the purpose and potential of their existence. Every religious and spiritual system promotes some version of enlightenment and yet the bones of what this is remain still somewhat obscure. If enlightenment is what our human being-ness is capable of, why aren’t more of us enlightened? Why isn’t there a clearer notion of what it even means to truly live enlightened? It seems to me that enlightenment has largely become both a topic of philosophical mental masturbation amongst scholars and a taboo word amongst spiritual aspirants.
On one hand we have Indologists and Buddhist scholars practicing the notorious art of armchair philosophy, calling upon the image of the old white balding men smoking cigars and drinking scotch on the rocks in luxurious dens whilst dissecting the logical potentials of enlightenment. On the other we have the new age spiritual movement of hippies turned modern entrepreneurs branding and marketing spirituality as a tool for balance and better business performance while never really even touching on the possibility of enlightenment. Calling to mind the image of a hot yoga class with a spandex clad vata deranged instructor abruptly closing a 45 minute sweat drenched “power-flow” yoga class with three piercing “OM’s” without any discourse on the teaching of mantra or what “Om” even is.
And of course we are speaking of enlightenment, and so naturally our deity has many hands, symbolizing infinite realities. So on the other other, we have a society of over-grown adolescents in adults clothing pretending to know what they are doing here on planet earth in hopes of avoiding death and embarrassment, never even coming near the topic of enlightenment. On yet another other, we have people going deep into spiritual traditions, practicing all kinds of different adaptations of traditions while still not claiming the word enlightenment. Why this lack of clarity? Why this hesitation towards the realization of enlightenment?
What if enlightenment is your sole purpose?
What if there is nothing more life-fulfilling and meaningful in the entire Cosmos than Your enlightenment?
What if the entire Universe is conspiring to bring You into your own enlightenment, for the benefit of itself?
What if you have been being born and reborn for millions of years only to arrive at this incarnation as a human consciousness, finally capable of understanding itself as the Origin of the Divine itself?
What if the amoebas have been working tirelessly to turn nitrogen into oxygen to give You the chance at waking up and seeing things as they are, but you’re apathetic?
What if enlightenment is completely possible?
If it is, would you devote yourself completely, offering yourself at the feet of its essence to give everything you are to its realization?
If not, Why not?
What would keep you from such devotion?
Would what would keep you be something you were moving towards or away from?
What if if you don’t go for it, you’ll have to come back in another form and try again? Then would you commit yourself?
What if God doesn’t care either way?
What if God really cares?
Do You care?
Do you care to Enlighten your Self?
To become enlightened is to awaken to things as they are. It is to live in a state of seeing clearly the nature of reality, of the metaphysical reality that lends you your existence. It is to see this completely, and to live in an awareness of yourself as the entire universe. Enlightenment is a state of being, which once awakened to, can never be forgotten. It is to turn on a light switch in your consciousness which illuminates the true nature of your being as a limitless, infinite, Divine Being connected interdependently to all of Creation in a never-ending web of changing forms.
It is a Re-Cognition of the Self as the Formless force that lends all forms, the Spirit which illuminates Matter to create Life.
Enlightenment leads to a state of continued peace and compassion for yourself and all beings. When the perspective of Monism (worldview as Oneness) is integrated into the subconscious the separation between self and other is regarded as an illusion, and thus all creatures once seen as ‘other’ are now honoured as One-Self. This is the meaning of true compassion. Enlightenment leads naturally to compassion, which is why the buddhists advise cultivating compassion as a tool for getting closer to enlightenment.
If Enlightenment could be described in words and given intellectually it would have been by now. There are many sacred texts describing it, in countless versions of metaphor and allegory, all fingers pointing at the moon. And what is it that makes it click for one person over another, when both read the same text? Would it be that Creation itself is evolving ceaselessly and thus each apparently individual consciousness is in fact just an aspect of a unified field of consciousness, so that if even one apparently individual being En-lightens himself all beings are thus enlightened? What if as you lean closer into enlightenment the whole universe leans along with you? What if it doesn’t matter if it is one person or all of humankind because one person alone is enough to complete the return path of consciousness from descent into manifestation back to knowledge of Self as non-separate, un-manifest, Absolute? What if all that matters for You is You, and the Great Legend of the Guru is this aspect of Self within you which speaks to this Truth within your very own inner world?
What if nothing could be more important than your enlightenment, yet even the very notion of achievement applied towards it would ruin it’s potential realization? What if struggle were the very antithesis of enlightenment and any attempt to grasp at enlightenment would only stray you further from its realization? How then would you approach it?
Might you approach it as a devotee with head severed symbolically from the body as if to say, “God, I come without my false-self. I sacrifice my limited self in honour of your greatness”, all while realizing that what is being said and offered is being said and offered to no-one aside from OneSelf. Might you approach it with the purity and patience awarded through the discipline and determination of a mind cultured through the wheel of time. Might you never thirst for it, never hunger for it, yet not be idled by the inertia of wholeness starved of even a pulse. May you approach it naturally, as the river must approach the sea all in its own time.
Imagine a little spring, the first trickle of water from the mountain. Imagine it in a hurry to reach the sea. What an absurdity.
Imagine the bud of a flower. Just beginning it’s blooming evolution. Imagine that bud rushing it’s opening. And yet they never do.
The opening and closing of the lotus flower happens in a rhythmic flow completely in harmony with all of creation. The rising of the sun with the setting of the moon. So it is with your enlightenment.
Perhaps you are aware that you are in an evolution of enlightenment. Perhaps you are only just considering it. Regardless of where you are on your path, you are an incarnated being manifested with the capacity to enlighten yourself. You have all the necessary tools of sense-perception and mind states to return your identity to its Divine Origin, and thus know the Bliss of LIberation in this lifetime.
And so what are you concerning yourself with? What are you focusing the alchemical potential of your awareness upon that it may come to bear what fruit?
Are you placing your awareness on the realm of the finite, and thus as Patanjali puts it “becoming finite”? Or, or shall I say And, are you placing your awareness on the realm of the infinite and thus “becoming infinite”? Noting the key word And in this equation. For it is not the work of the enlightened one to disregard the finite as inferior in any respect. No, that would be another bought of ignorance, for the true nature of the seemingly finite is infinite after All. It is simply that to live without the knowledge of the Infinite Realm, to be completely hoaxed by the mirage of illusionary separation, is to be bound to karma and thus suffering. To be enlightened is to live without a sufferer, and thus without suffering. To live enlightened is to put an end to the flowing stream of the blood and tears of a human race having forgotten its place in the kingdom of Heaven.
Heaven is not a mythical place. Heaven is a state, a realm, that the enlightened ones live within. Once it was called Shambhala. Once it was called Eden. Once it was called Moksha. The enlightened ones are living there, tirelessly and timelessly, “holding down the fort” if you will, for the rest of the beings to satiate their desires. On Earth as it is Heaven is a code for enlightenment. All humans have the capacity to live on earth as it is in heaven. It is their awareness of the realm beyond Good and Evil which will carry them home.
When Eve bit the forbidden fruit it was an act of service. She took on the task of seeing the world as dual, as a polar expression of Good and Evil, so that manifestation could be. Without the contrast of Good and Evil, without the appearance of separation, No-thing would be. There would be just the Tabula Rasa, the blank slate. This knowledge is poison when it is only the fruit and the spell which are remembered. This knowledge is again medicine when the Origin of the tale is called into memory. When the Garden of Eden is brought to awareness, and it is understood that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is but one tree in a garden of endless Bliss.
Enlightenment is understanding, better yet is Knowing, that everything is True. For someone. And that all the possibilities of worldly experiences must be, will be, and are being been. There is nothing to strive for beyond what is, for everything is becoming exactly as it is. And it Is as it Is. Enlightenment is relaxing knowing that there is nothing outside the kingdom of heaven. Even the Devil was God’s brother at first right?
So honestly, why focus on anything else? You’ve been cycling and circling around this for billions of lightyears anyways. So you may as well go for the big show this round, and En-Lighten Your Self.
“A spark of the Divine flame descends into matter and forgets its divine origin. Like an exile it wanders into distant lands and in different forms. At the human stage, it acquires the gift of speech and mentation. It has now reached a definite station in the evolutionary march. The human being as now known sows his wild oats, reaps the consequences and learns the inexorable laws of life in the bitter school of experience. A time comes when he is filled with nostalgia, and now begins his journey homeward. He has not to go far. He has only to throw off the mask of the pseudo-I and enter his essential, real I, which is the Spanda, the heart-beat of Siva. He now becomes what he always was. The universe is no longer a foreign land. The I and the This, the Subject and the object become one. That is an experience for which there is no word in the human language. “