What is 'Enlightenment'?
What is 'Enlightenment'?
May 07, 2003, 04:49 AM
Joined: Jan 22, 2003
Member No.: 9
It's certain that enlightenment means different things to different people, and so I'm curious what it means to other people, and also to throw out a few questions to provoke thought.
Is Enlightenment an experience, process, realization, way of living, or what?
Is Enlightenment a multi-faceted word that is context-dependent and relative, or are there absolute truths that are invariably associated with any type of Enlightenment?
What are the 'truths', if any, that would invariably be realized/experienced thru Enlightenment?
Is Enlightenment an all-or-none experience (AHA experience) or is it a gradual accumulation of wisdom?
What is the relation of Enlightenment to mystical experience?
Please note that the above constitutes a partial list and is not meant to exhaust the range of questions that could, and should, be asked.
Personally, I believe the statement, "We are the Universe conscious of Itself", is on a par with Buddha's "All that we are, is the result of what we have thought" from the opening of the Dhammapada, and that both constitute part of a collection of truths that are invariably experienced during what I think many would call Enlightenment. The task at hand, though, is to clarify this notion of Enlightenment to the best of our abilities thru mere verbal communication. Is anyone up to this challenge?
May 28, 2003, 03:26 PM
Contentment is all anyone wants isn't it.
The Self would seem like a belief to those that haven't experienced it as probably would anything else. Where one has an experience and tells the story it might attract others towards the same type of experience in hope that they may also achieve something similar. However the Self can be experienced. With guidance and the proper tools and the desire anything is possible.
At first it may seem to be just the imagination at work but the subtle realities are very real and the Infinite self is more real than the illusiory manifestations of the relative world.
You may look into the world and see something but as it changes then was it or is it the same world after the change. Like looking in the mirror what you see may seem similar from year to year, even while the process of aging takes place but is it the appearance that remains stable or the person looking into the reflection?
Take any two people and put them together and although the two may share similar experiences the perception is not exactly the same. This individuality sets each person and experience apart, coupled with the free will that is within the choice to believe or interpret the experience the directions of the thoughts are rarely the same for each individual.
Impressions based on the foundations of beliefs color the perceptions. This may seem the same for all that is interpreted in life but within each interpretation is an anchor to the essence of what is percieved.
Sacred languages had at one time tonal qualities that when spoken would come close to imprinting the pattern of the idea into a common awareness. Where the human nervous system at times within the history of civilization was anchored in a common element of the Self and the infinite awareness, one who experienced and described a cow could imprint the experience into the awareness of another who had never heard of or seen a cow. Today say cow to someone who has never heard the word and the word has no value unless it is associated with a memory of the cow. The whole present system is based on memories.
Todays languages and levels of consciousness have lost some of their luster in the more grounded basics of plain ol' here and now, what I can see hear and touch is all there is. And yet everyone sees hears and feels differently in all situations.
I'm sure you are intelligent enough to give possibility to the unknown, to the ideas that what you have not heard of or experienced may be possible, admitting that you have not had the experience.
Anytime someone places a boundary on lifes possibilities they close themselves off to experiencing beyond the lines they have drawn in perception and beliefs.
Beliefs come from the 10% level of the mind and it is pretty obvious that without the other 90% of untapped resource we as a society have barely risen to any potential. Although some are very much impressed or content with the way things are and spend most of their time finding ways to substantiate the present with reason there is always more. We experience this at a painfully slow rate as we allow ourselves to integrate small changes into our awareness. Without a post to grab onto the mind would have a hard time with the multidimensional processes of the interconnected realities that form the structure of creation. For the majority this reality is enough to handle and they don't care about anything else.
This is not bad but it is not the end of it.
This reality doesn't have to minimize the present reality it can enhance it if one can find a way to integrate what exists already and find peace with what is.
My experience is that once freed from the world of memory the universe unfolds in all its glory. Like putting down what you carry in your hands so that you can embrace more. You don't have to give up anything, you can still be happy with the things you like but wouldn't it be glorious to be freed from the aversions and feelings from the ideas and things you don't like or fear?
People are still trying to rearrange the things that are on the outside but are unwilling to change the source of the ideas and fears that created what they want to change and so they rearrange and create it all over again only to try and rearrange it again. Some would say this is part of human nature. I would say human nature is not limited to repetition and habit.
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