What does Enlightenment mean to you?
@zen1, that was a good how you put that. to be one with the energy of everything. i like you r scientific viewpoint. it comes together with the spiritual one!
To me enlightenment is the period where your eyes are opened and you’re inspired and you know the general path that you need to take to progress in this world. Simple as that.
Does enlightenment really exist?
Of course. People don’t just bullshit religious concepts and perpetuate them for countless years. Wait…
How does one become enlightened?
By detachment from the Ego. Or fully understanding the connection between the outside world and the senses that perceive it. Or, to reference a story of zen, being told to wash your bowl. I personally believe there are many ways to achieve Enlightenment. I started on my path before I had ever researched the topic. I believe that going through basic training and living the military lifestyle has crippled or possibly even retrograded my progress, but that’s nothing that cant be fixed.
I believe Jesus was enlightened, and am beginning to suspect that his claims of being God, or the son thereof in the New Testament are largely fabricated, or misunderstood and inaccurately paraphrased by those who wrote it.
I’m sure there are many others from religions and cultures not based on the concept of enlightenment that were in fact enlightened, but I have yet to see or research any other examples besides Jesus. We all have our own path to follow, and all our own destination, but if you back up far enough, it all condenses into the same thing.
Have you ever met some one who is enlightened?
I cant really say. There have been people who I’ve met in life that I have gotten the most amazing vibes off of. Just pure goodness. Men and women of inexplicable wisdom. If they were enlightened, they never said so. That’s not usually a topic of small talk.
Do you think you are enlightened? If so, why?
No. But that wont keep me from seeking it. If I attain it, then it was a life well spent. If I do not, it was a life well spent and I’ll try again on my next time around.
So… how does exactly Enlightenment help other people or is it just a selfish goal, and if it is… what’s the point of it? It seems like enlightenment is just the blissful need to be always right.
You can’t let go of your ego. Even enlightenment seems like a choice taken in relation to one’s ego, to describe experience with different or no words. Maybe it means total inner peace. Maybe I’m enlightened :)
Two things I think show you are either enlightened or on the way: Losing interest in conflict and losing interest in judging others. Or yourself, for that matter.
@epath, Losing interest in conflict and losing interest in judging others is like the death of humor. So I’d rather not be “enlightened”. Or just sometimes.
@beyond, Oh, I agree. But I am not very enlightened!
Being enlightened, to me, means to have a connection and to feel the energy of the whole world/universe/etc, and to move with it harmoniously and to encourage the dissonance to become harmonic. Much like a great musician may have become musically enlightened and put the sounds he/she heard into a harmonic sequence.
Lao Tzu said, “Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” Those are hard words to follow, but when I stopped thinking that happiness was just around the corner, when I stopped waiting for happiness, I became happy.
@beyond, I think enlightenment is the lack of wanting to always be right. Rebbe Nachman said that because of human nature being what it is, we can’t always be right and win, so if you always have to win, you can’t always be right.
Then again, I could be wrong.:)
@bongodeburrito, I agree. I don’t think Jesus said he was the son of God. We have lost a lot of the writings done in his time. We will never know exactly what he said.
Of course, there is also the saying, “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.” (Sorry if I didn’t get the quote exactly.)
Enlightenment means freedom from your LIKES and DISLIKES i.e. when you no longer see the world through the goggles of your LIKES and DISLIKES. In other words one enters this world to act. Anything you do involves an action, whether mental or physical; and once you perform this action (or inaction) there will be a result or some fruit of your action. If you can accept such results without liking it or disliking it then you are on the enlightened path. It is the Karmic Principle of action and the result of such action – similar to Newton’s 3rd Law of physics.
@epath, If my Catholic schooling serves me well, I believe he said at one point that he was the Son of Man, and at another, when asked if he was the Son of God he said “I am what you say I am” but if you look into it, he may just be saying “In your reality I am” or something of the sort. But who knows what he said in all the Gospels that were burned. It could be anything.
To me enlightenment is about better comprehending everything. Establishing some sort of perhaps not understanding but rather comprehension. Seeing things the way they are instead of labelling and assuming and accepting them. To me enlightenment is becoming more aware of everything and in the process becoming more and more contempt with your situation as you realise the inconvenience of stubbornly picking and impossible fight with reality. I think it’s a very general thing and I am convinced that it comes from within. You can’t teach anyone anything, you can simply put something out there for them to use. It’s realisation of everything.
@koin3190, to me, enlightenment is a process. One of gathering and internalizing the facts of the universe, which broadens are ability to see other landscapes of awareness. When we plateau at one of these plains, enlightenment to me dictates we should apply logic and master that landscape. The infinite nature of the universe, means that just applying the process, equates us to all others on journey regardless of their particular landscape of awareness, at the end of the day we are all still infinitely ingnorant.
In my opinion, enlightenment is something personal. You can be enlightened about your own journey in the sense that you understand your quintessential self, and how to create a life that achieves happiness. The point is there is no point. Your just a bunch of fucking atoms. No one cares about your life a fraction as much as you do. Psychedelics helped me to discover this ultimate truth about the universe, as well as my place inside it. I feel enlightened about my own life, but other people still scare the shit out of me. I have trouble taking my ideas and philosophies and translating them into something the average person can comprehend. All i know is i can only speak for myself. Maybe true enlightenment means being able to communicate it to others
The fastest meditation method is to live in the company of an enlightened human being. Enlightened teachers can expand your consciousness without the slightest effort on your part. All you need to do is to be open to the spontaneous transfer of energy. Fully enlightened human are very rare. There may have been as few as seven fully enlightened teachers in the 20th century. I do not know of any fully enlightened teachers still living today, but that does not mean they do not exist. More enlightened souls will be coming in the future and it is your challenge to find them while avoiding the many fakes.
When it comes to teachers, even fully enlightened teachers, take the best and leave the rest. No human being has ever been perfect and without major flaws and limitations. Only myths can give the illusion of perfection and that is why most of society continues to worship invented myths rather than accepting reality as it is, warts and all. Enlightened humans are vastly expanded human beings, not perfect human beings.
It is my educated opinion that the traditional guru-disciple relationship is now passé and inappropriate for Western students of meditation. The East has always had an imperial and authoritarian model for the teacher-student relationship. The West must develop its own Jeffersonian model based on science and fact, not on myth and tradition. Be a devoted disciple, but make your ultimate guru the all and the everything, the ultimate truth of the total cosmic existence. Use teachers as temporary tools on your path to self-realization, but do not allow yourself to become the captive servant of one fallible human mind.
Note Opinions expressed on this page must be viewed as the ideas of an ordinary student of meditation. While I truly believe everything I say, you should not believe anything unless you see it, feel it, and know it for yourself. I make no claims of infallibility. In fact I absolutely claim fallibility.
Truth is a sword that cuts in all directions.
It is a mind that is unprejudiced by religion, philosophy, and cultural conditioning. It is going naked in the stars
We do not “come into” this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean “waves,” the universe “peoples.” Every individual is an expression of the realm of nature,… a unique action of the total universe.
You are unique.
Of course enlightenment has many forms and definitions depending on the person and context. For me, Kundalini rising was definitely the most intense experience of my life and is now what I consider as an “enlightened state”. For me the awakening was spread on a two years period with 2 or 3 different marked stages or jumps. The second part was the most intense one as I experimented Ego death that felt like actual death.
This author I found after the experience wrote exactly, in the smallest details what it felt like. I was very glad to stumble upon that website and find words on the feeling and see that I’m not going mad or the only one out there.
It was a first for me but apparently after the first time, you get a few years recovery before the cycle goes off again. I’m no expert but the book is very complete and helped me out a lot to understand.
This is a perfect article on the subject.
The western understanding of enlightenment seems to be really, really twisted. I bought that whole notion of “enlightenment = ultimate happiness and understanding all of the time” for a brief while and did my best to get to it, ending up as another rat in the maze. Enlightenment as a product. Is it truly impossible for us to see things as anything else these days, except for things to be “achieved”, “had”, “bought”? It’s painful to look in the mirror and see yourself on a treadmill. And by mirror I (sometimes) mean other people.
Enlightenment isn’t, as someone pointed out earlier, a happy state of mind. Enlightenment is when “you” realize for good that your ego is an illusion. That means no one can “attain” enlightenment. It’s not “getting” something, it’s “removing” an illusion.
Buddhist monks in monasteries are said to sometimes “reach” enlightenment, yes. Do they then walk around helping people? Nope, that’s a boddhisattva – or rather, one who didn’t become enlightened, but backed down at the last moment. The enlightened ones do what, then?
I once thought I wanted to be enlightened. Now I realize, even during the darkest of times, that I would rather be than to not be. I realize I didn’t really want to be enlightened in the actual sense of the word, I just wanted to be happier and kinder. I still meditate, but to clear my mind, not to become enlightened.
A clear mind is a different thing altogether, and I think that’s what people experience on psychedelics, later (or on the spot) falsely attributing that to the notion of “becoming enlightened”. Once while coming down from mushrooms, it seemed my head was utterly void of thoughts, and they’d emerge only when I coaxed them – but the rest of the time it was just purely still and silent. It was a sort of “state”, that I couldn’t get out of – I tried, out of interest. Sort of like my mind had “locked on” to a “higher” “level” (really have to use a lot of quotation marks here) – perpetually, it seemed. That meant no need for self-speech, no need for explanations, naming, no need for any sort of suffering whatsoever. It was pure bliss, and when I woke up the next day, I was back to normal.
I think this is something every “spiritual aspirant” should really reflect upon. Is this sort of “achievement”-addiction really compatible with the notions of enlightenment? Does it come from a “deep spiritual yearning” or is it another part of our programming: the search for the ultimate rush/goal/pay? Should we just focus that kind of energy into getting ripped and intelligent?
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