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What is Spiritual Enlightenment?
Enlightenment has been written and spoken about since the beginning of man. Even the ancient Vedas has 1000 of pages written describing this in great details over 5000 years ago.
So many great teachers has put it in words such as:
Enlightenment is the shift of identification from the small self to the big Self. From small mind to big mind. Or no mind. It’s the moment when the wave stops thinking it’s a wave and realize it’s the whole ocean.
It’s when the drop merges with the ocean and sees no separation anymore.
Or…. Imagine a grain of salt is your false identity of ego structure. It then dissolves in the ocean and becomes the ocean.
Jesus, Buddha, Krishna and many other saints and Sages have spoken about this. Even in todays world we have “Self Realized” beings walking this Earth. Most of them you wouldn’t even know of. Just because your enlightened, doesn’t mean you automatically become a teacher or even speak about it to anyone.
You will find them at the supermarket, at the gas station, or simply in all kinds of various professions. I have met many enlightened beings in my life that you wouldn’t think for a second that they have come to the realization that this is all a dream.
This brings me to a very important point:
There are various levels of what could be called enlightenment. Every single one of them is unique in their own expression, just the same way each personality we encounter is different.
There is a saying:
Many ignorant people may speak the same words, but they all mean different things.
Many enlightened people may speak different words, but they all mean the same thing.
So…. You will get ALL kinds of flavors when it comes to the awakened state. Although it’s all based on the same base “reality” of unity consciousness.
Most people have these projections and belief systems around how an enlightened being is supposed to talk and act. It is no wonder that the new age movement surely has had a large part of this misinformation and misunderstanding. We easily project our “story” upon anyone stepping forward trying to invite us to look inward instead of outward.
Oddly enough, often the opposite happens in the process.
Here are a few reality checks on what enlightenment isn’t that might trigger a thing or two in you:
Just because some person is truly and fully awakened to their own inner essence of being, it doesn’t make them an expert in health, politics, what’s going on in the world, the human psyche or anything else for that matter.
I have too often seen these teachers being asked for advice around things that has nothing to do with the awakening itself. This is a great mistake.
Another bubble to burst:
They may have realized their own true being, but this doesn’t mean all samskaras (imprints) and personality patterns etc. have gone away. It’s totally possible to meet a very awake being with a problematic personality. They can get angry and have opinions, thus feeling the whole bandwidth of human emotions.
Yes it is true the deeper this process has taken a hold of the person, the more these things fall away over time. But you never know the amount of baggage that has to be processed first. I have seen enlightened Guru’s totally loose their cool and shout at their followers.
Being enlightened doesn’t mean you’re not addicted to anything. For example, Nisargadatta who is one of the latest & greatest Saints of India owned a tobacco store, smoked cigarettes non stop and died of lung cancer. However, he delivered some of the most direct teachings the world has ever seen in a very long time.
I have heard words spoken by enlightened beings that was absolutely incorrect and came from ignorance of the topic.
So Abiding in Self is just that, Abiding in Self. Nothing less and nothing more!
If you understand this fully about these teachers out there, you’re in a better position than most. You can follow, listen, learn and get tremendous benefit out of spending time with the enlightened ones. In fact, I personally think it’s one of the most effective ways to further your own process.
There is nothing more powerful than sitting in silence with someone who already broke through the veil of the Maya (illusion). Something happens on a deep core level within if one is ready for it.
Now this brings me to another misunderstanding around enlightenment. To me there are 3 kinds of people:
- Those who are completely unconscious and unaware of their own true self.
- Those who have had glimpses into infinity, but continue to get trapped into the dreamer again and again.
- Those who are Abiding 24/7 365 days a year in the Absolute.
It’s the number 2 people I wish to bring your attention towards. Chances are that your are one of those reading this article right now. You had your mystical experiences. You sense there is something more than just this little ego self. You had those moments of total silence where all fall away. The sense of an individual self was completely gone. Maybe for a few moments or maybe even for hours, days or weeks.
There are a LOT of people in the “in-between lands” these days on Earth in these times. Humanity is waking up step by step. This is a pretty difficult place to navigate, that is this half awakened state. Or rather in and out like ping pong. There it is……. Oops, now I lost it. This can go on for decades and can be pretty confusing unless you get the right guidance and understanding.
There are also some pretty big traps in this. The Ego suddenly can think it’s enlightened as it wants to be part of the “show”. A new spiritual identity is being build up around it. Most often, I see young ambitious men wanting to “prove” something to themselves and the world and start declaring their newly found “enlightenment” to anyone who cares to listen to them.
I mention this as I have seen this on so many occasions now. The “woke” movement is the newest fashion now.
The falling away of personal identity is in most cases gradual and almost unnoticed unless you pay attention and have learned how to look for it. We usually don’t notice if something is missing unless we need it.
Also just because the personal identity starts falling away, that doesn’t mean the person itself disappears. The person is there interacting with the world. There just isn’t any identification with it.
You can say the lights are on, but no-one is home. You’re playing this character regardless. Now you just know it’s a play and you’re not caught up in it.
You’re IN the world but not OF it.
So before enlightenment, chop wood carry water.
After enlightenment, chop wood carry water.
But with a subtle difference.
So things might have changed very little on the outside. Still doing what you’re doing but slowly the sense of self is dissolving and goes unnoticed. I think this is happening to a lot more people than we realize right now. They themselves may not even realize this.
I think this new revolution has already started on Earth. It’s a silent revolution. Unnoticed.
The potential for true awakening in its deepest spiritual essence of the word, has never been more available for humanity than it is right now.
The entire cosmos is conspiring towards this. There is no escape from it. You can delay the process, but sooner or later it’s going to happen to you either way.
The only question is: You’re on this rock flying through space. Are you going to enjoy this ride or go out kicking and screaming?
I suggest to just surrender this little precious Ego of ours sooner than later.