What does Enlightenment mean to you?
Different walks of life, philosophical views, theories, all hold it in a different light.
Does enlightenment really exist?
How does one become enlightened?
Have you ever met some one who is enlightened?
Do you think you are enlightened? If so, why?
If you want to know more about enlightenment before you answer:
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Does enlightenment really exist?
I like to think it does but who really knows until you get there(its like heaven you have to have faith)
How does one become enlightened?
I want to become enlightened and im working towards it, i don’t think its something that can happen over night because the way i have always lived my life, i believe that i am on the path because i want to be. Enlightenment is about understanding. (ones self and the world)
i feel like learning has helped me become more enlightened, learning about other beliefs because i wasn’t brought up practicing religion. learning about my self and trying to change what i dont like ( like being selfish, or needing things i dont really need, or having a high ego)
I haven’t found a conformed religion that i can truly believe in and i dont think i wiil, but i dont think you need religion to become enlightened, its about understanding the world and asking questions for me, asking all of the “what if’s”.
Have you ever met some one who is enlightened?
nope, but i haven’t met a lot of people who really think for themselves and ask the what if’s (question new ways of thinking) i think we all get to caught up in our selfs and the bubbles around us..
Do you think you are enlightened? If so, why?
no not yet, i will one day (i hope hah) reading and learning is helping me..
i feel like learning about the universe, the world, cultures, astrology, astronomy, and nature has helped me on my path:)
i feel you, thats what i though before i opened my eyes and started to question everything around me.. i think the media and life has taught us those things..
all i can say is i believe in it because i am living it, i dont think its about meditating every second of the day or giving up everything in your life, i feel like thats a bit ex stream (or something monks do to become better at it, to get rid of any temptations, its called dedication) but would get you there faster in my opinion
but from what i have gotten from it is..
finding out what i dont like in others and being aware of how others perceive me, i have changed soo much but all for the better in my eyes, mediation for me is a way to get the world out of my mind to stop thinking about all the things that in the end when im dieing im not going to be worried about anyways, for me its about living my life in a way that when im old and dying im not going to look back and say i wish i did “this”…
but i feel like becoming enlightened isn’t about giving up everything, its about realizing nothing is ever truly yours because when you die it stays.
I believe if one want to become enlightened, one needs to find out why they want to be, be ready because its kinda overwhelming at times, keep an open mind about life and everything you’ve ever been taught, i believe that were all connected to the earth and need to reconnect..(its like your phone you have to charge it once and a while..earth is our outlet :)
oh and i didn’t start to open my eyes to the beauty and sadness in the world, until i broke free of my comfort level and moved away from my family and friends who influenced me way to much..
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
i completely agree with you! its so nice to have others who think and believe things that you do ha…
i love that fact that you said you have to get to the root of your issues, thats something i learned last night haha..
i came to the conclusion that i help my self by helping others…and that i would rather help others before helping my self, i learned that i need to deal with the problems that over the years i have brushed under the rug…(like talking about my feelings about my parents and a divorce i blocked out) so i think its really cool that you said Once you have liberated yourself from these “Sankara’s” and you are living your truth not just preaching it, you will attain Enlightenment..because thats what i have been doing preaching it and trying to obtain it before ive been all the way liberated..
very nice word of advice:)
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
“When one speaks of awakening it means de-hypnotization, coming to your senses; but of course to do that you have to go out of your mind *laughter* ”
Alan Watts, “Out of your mind disc series, The nature of Consciousness”
What i understand by that is that enlightenment occurs when the symbolic, illusory you has stopped playing with symbols and its projection has ceased so that the senses are not disrupted, sensing clearly and outwardly, out of your mind no correlation, the senses flowing as directly one with reality…and that is saying far too much
I think enlightenment exists as a concept. Do I think there is a person who is actually ‘enlightened’? Not particularly. People by definition are always going to be corrupted by their surroundings. The world is a trick you see. Friends, family, health, war, love, hatred, violence, sex, etc. These things, good and bad alike, are distractions. Interaction vs. observation. But at the same time I think enlightenment is a dream that is altogether lofty, endearing, overrated and morally oblique. The pursuit of knowledge and true understanding of the universe from a philosophical point of view to the degree of ‘enlightenment’ seems to me to be a wholly self centered endeavor. Not to say that it is not the right fit for some, or that the degree of detachment required is morally wrong (and yes, I understand the world is not completely black and white).
Just that such a pursuit does not suit myself, and I can’t see how it would really suit anyone. Mind you, that is simply because I am yet to meet a person who has begun such a journey personally, so I admit this standpoint is based on a degree of ignorance.
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.
I am unique.
He(she) is unique.
We are an instrument in the orchestra of existence.
We have to learn how to tune it.
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.
sorry phil w. you are rite, i should say what it means to me.
well to me enlightenement means to let go of my own bullshit.
all of my stories. all of my judgements about myself and others. and like seeker explained just to be one with the sense offerings all around us.
it is very simple and for me the word FREE is in there.
it is very hard to explain.
thanks for asking me to be more specific on this
i also wish for all others to be free as well. this is part of the feeling.
Does enlightenment really exist? Yes but I feel like it comes from a lot of ignorance not saying that its a bad thing to be ignorant in some situations but if you are to become enlightened you must give up your whole life and all objects of pleasure.
How does one become enlightened? Completely detach yourself from material objects and possessions, learn to meditate so efficiently that you are able to basically meditate during your whole day. Completely detach yourself from society in order to be enlightened this is crucial. Be able to understand how small you really are compared to the universe.
Have you ever met some one who is enlightened? No I really don’t think it is possible
Do you think you are enlightened? If so, why? Hell no to be enlightened you must give up all pleasure in my opinion so I would never want to be. The ability to know that we have no purpose in life and that were here only as coincidence and this is all we will ever have once we die we are done and never will exist again. This is not a happy way of living life in my opinion, I love life and want to be happy not enlightened.
@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.:)
Enlightenment is any point or moment where complete concentration on that momement has yielded oneness with the Universe; the universe is as much a part of us as we are a part of it, and when we reach the revelation that the universe understands we realize this, we are enlightened. I have reached enlightenment several times throughout my life, from anything such as simply watching the ocean, to coincidence, to studying star formation and physics. Everything is interrelated, and when I have an epiphany, I usually feel the energy of everything around me from a rock to the air, from a tree to another human being, radiating throughout my soul. If you are seeking enlightenment, I find a background in science helps, as it is easier to realize that everything in the universe is made of the same things, mainly energy; when you can feel this energy from something you previously have not, you have become enlightened, even if only for that one split second.
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.
And here’s a fun fact: it’s basically impossible to do anything in the modern world without an ego.
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?
They sit, forever.
Because there’s nothing and no one inside of them anymore. They are everything that has ever been, will ever be, at the same time. It’s a singularity between your ears. All the pleasure, all the suffering, forever. It’s losing the perception of a limited perspective that makes us human. It’s becoming one with the no-perspective.
It is NOT a happy state of mind. It’s not really a state of mind at all, the way we understand it. And most importantly: there’s no coming back. Even the Buddhism that’s been mixed with the Hinduist idea of reincarnation states that once enlightened, you don’t come back. You’re not reincarnated (into your own body while it’s still alive or a random one after your death) after that. It’s done, finito.
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.
That’s a clear mind. That may be something to aspire for.
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?