For those interested in the topic of Enlightenment

Discussion in 'Religion, Beliefs and Spirituality' started by PilkyHigh, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. Here's a brilliant article I stumbled across. Tell us what ya think.

    Why I Am Not Enlightened | Reality Sandwich

  2. #2 LittleJacob, Feb 4, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2011
    That is an awesome article. This is something that I have encountered big time in my spiritual search. "What am I still searching for? This searching itself is the function of my mind, as is keeping me away from what it is I am trying to find."

    As Wei Wu Wei said, the first step in volition takes you a thousand steps away from enlightenment, or something in that context.

    Just ask someone, mainly yourself, "Who are you?" If they point to any object, be it in the mind or in the physical world, like a body in the mirror, that is false, they are misidentified. Who they are contains ALL objects, yet is no object. It is the empty awareness. It cannot be pointed at because it is nothing and everything. If it can be pointed at or observed, it is an object. It is not any movement or feeling of the mind. It is the awareness that sees it all, contains all, gives it a backdrop on which to exist.

    The times that I have had my nondual experiences has only been when I have precise NOT-TRIED so hard that eventually I just rested in a natural state of ease and bliss, aware of the fact that I was no longer caught up in this silly game of identification. Identification with "Oh I am not enlightened, Oh there is this thing called enlightenment." It was just a deep relaxation on all levels and all that was left was this blissful ease. I could laugh at my mental movements, they are nothing, they are not me, they are conditioned. They are the nature of the mind, to store things in the subconscious. But the mind is not I. The nature of relative existence is cause and effect - dependent origination, everything depends on everything else for it to exist. The true self, awareness, sees it all, contains it all.

    All that was left was this "I", but not the I as in the ego but the "I" as in awareness. Open, expansive, and free. Relaxation, even in movement. As the Taoists say, "relaxation in stillness is not the real relaxation. relaxation in movement is the true way." Non-doing, wu-wei. They say the highest yoga is self surrender. Give it all up and continue on. Notice how light you feel.

    Anyways, got a little off-track perhaps (the original post i had got deleted lol, oh well). But a very good article. It is such a dilemma in the spiritual quest and I can't tell you that I've made it or that I know for sure what I am talking about, just relaying my experiences. But i have stopped searching and started just healing and living life as an open expanse instead of a worrying contracted mind, and life has gotten so much better, I've find inner peace, so that's all I really care about for the moment.

    Great article. This is a quote I really liked from this article I'm reading by James Swartz (actually a free chapter from one of his books, chapter's called "How To Attain Enlightenment"_ Page Links/Chapter 2 How to Attain Enlightenment.pdf
    Shining World Home Page Very helpful site for me.

    "And one important fact needs to be taken into account when we are considering the pursuit of this kind of enlightenment: all experiences are in time so nirvana or samadhi can never become a permanent or continuous experience."

    You can't expect to live in bliss forever. You can't expect to not feel your subconscious tendencies come back. You just have to see them as they are and don't get stuck to them, realize that they are the nature of relative phenomenal existence, cause and effect, and just let them be. And when you aren't expecting to life in bliss and peace forever, they you don't suffer. That's what I have been finding. You just ahve to come to peace with everything, even the challenges.

    edit: or maybe u can live free forever. i have a slightly different perspective now. maybe u can master your subconscious tendencies.
  3. #3 LittleJacob, Feb 4, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2011
    Sorry, I hope I don't come across as hijacking your thread here. I just feel that this quote is very helpful and relevant to the above post.

    Source: enlightenment experience

    When you experience something you believe that what you are experiencing is something other than yourself. But when you investigate the nature of the object that you experience and its relationship to you, the subject, you find that there is no difference.
    Could you give me an example?
    Sure. Where do you experience that tree?
    Over there by the house.
    Wrong. You experience it in your awareness. Stimuli come from the tree and pass through your eyes and are recorded in your awareness.
    You are correct. I just spoke without thinking.
    OK. Now, answer this question.
    I'll try.
    How far is your awareness from the tree?
    How far?
    Yes, is there a gap between your awareness and the tree appearing in it?
    No. The experienced tree is awareness.
    Very good! The awareness takes the form of the tree. Now let me ask you one more question.
    How far are you from awareness?
    (A long silence)
    Wow! That was incredible.
    What happened?
    I realized that I am awareness, that the tree is me but I am free of the tree.
    Yes, this is what I meant when I said you were not John. John is only a name that appears in awareness. It is not you.
    I get it. It seems so simple. I always thought enlightenment was a big deal. This is quite natural. In fact I was always awareness. I was never incomplete.
    So what should I do now? How can I maintain this state?
    What state?
    This state of awareness.
    You can't maintain it.
    Don't tell me that. You mean it is just like all other experiences?
    If it is an experience, yes. But is it?
    Well, a few minutes ago I was experiencing frustration. I was dissatisfied with myself and my life and now I feel just fine.
    And you are afraid that the feeling will go.
    It may go, but will you go?
    Will I go?
    Yes, will you disappear with the feeling?
    No, of course not.

    So tell me. Is the feeling there because you are awareness or is it there because of some experience you just had.
    It seems to be there because of the experience of myself as awareness.
    Yes, it seems that way but tell me this: how do you know that feeling?
    Because I am aware of it.
    Correct. So are you the feeling of oneness with awareness or are you the awareness of the feeling of oneness?
    I am the awareness.
    Right. Enlightenment is not an experience of oneness with awareness. It is the knowledge that I am awareness.
    Therefore it is pointless to try to regain this feeling.
    Absolutely. When the feeling stops it does not mean you are no longer awareness. It means that you, awareness, illumine the feeling that replaces it. All experiences take place in time, in the apparently dualistic reality. They do not last. The only thing that transcends each and every feeling...the whole procession of feeling/experience you call your life... is you, awareness. You are not a feeling. You are not an experience. So stop worrying about loosing something that you are sure to lose. This is not to say that you won't have this feeling again, that it cannot become a more or less permanent fixture in your awareness. But whether or not you feel good all the time has to do with the nature of your mind. If your mind rests in awareness, draws its inspiration from you it will bascially be happy.
    But whether it is happy or not does not really concern me as awareness. Right?
    It seems to me that there is nothing I can do from now on but I feel that this is not the end of it.
    It is the end of it but if you feel that it isn't then you need to make your self knowlege firm. You need to gain confidence in it.
    How does that work?
    The knowledge of who you are takes place in that part of awareness called the mind. Until now it has been habitually thinking of you as an incomplete and limited being. Yet now it has another idea: that you are limitless, whole and complete awareness. The mind is like a muscle. It has grown big and strong by thinking the same limiting self thought for your whole life. It is this idea that produces all the boredom, depression and frurstration. It is not going to easily accept this new self understanding. It has become accustomed to the old identity. So it needs to be retrained. It needs to learn to assert this new identity. Right now, as you are in the midst of this experience, it is clear to the mind who you are. But when the experience ends your self knowledge should not end. It should serve you no matter what state the mind is in.
    This make perfect sense so what should I do?
    Study the teachings of Vedanta that are on my website. Keep your mind fixed on the Self. And when you have a doubt come visit me or call me or send me an e-mail.

    Shining World Home Page
  4. #4 Perpetual Burn, Feb 5, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2011
    Well, this guy has explained quite well why he is not enlightened... not that he knows why that's the case either. If he really knew why, he'd be enlightened.

    He missed the points of those stories early in the text. Chopping off your arm or drowning yourself will not prove anything. Being willing to sacrifice your life to obtain something does not prove anything. Enlightenment is the abandonment of dualistic notions. As soon as dogmatic practice comes into play, it is inherently futile. Or as YEM put it, "Searching for enlightenment like driving around looking for the car you're in."

    Which is what Andrew Cohen was talking about. Becoming enlightened is an egoic practice for many people. So that they can escape their ideas of who they are, so that they can impress people, so that they can become something they are not... futile.

    In the last paragraph, he creates another trap for himself. Either we're already enlightened, or we are a long way off. Not realizing that both options are simultaneously right (and wrong.) As he mentioned, it is better to just get on with your day.

    Making the attempt to obtain enlightenment a 'deadly serious' issue is again inherently egoic. This person is clinging to notions of how serious or irreverent they should be which is quite the distraction. As he mentioned, enlightened masters laugh often because as they say, "The practice is the virtue."

    Besides, who would want to be enlightened if it was depressing?
  5. Excellent post:)

  6. Nice article. I don't think I would ever give up my life (or an arm... or leg...) for enlightenment. The only reason why I am curious with Vedanta is because I am trying to figure out a different conception of the world. I have panic disorder, so it's really difficult to stay peaceful all the time.
  7. #7 Fresh Error, Jun 16, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2011
    a big problem i have with people who consider themselves "enlightened" is that they often assume theyve reached some sort of universal ideal in life.

    people's lives are dedicated to all sorts of different things and people are connected to other people and themselves through all sorts of different means.
    just because you've found something that works the best for you and something that you consider to be an "ultimate truth" doesn't mean that another person who hasn't discovered your "ultimate truth" doesn't have their own ultimate truth that works equally well for them as yours does for you.

    assuming "enlightenment" is essentially assuming superiority lol
  8. #8 Postal Blowfish, Jun 16, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2011
    Interesting. According to you, I am closer to the stated goal of the chasers for refusing to chase. It's a little disconcerting to consider, but at least it would make some sense.

    ^ it sounds from the article and from some posts that it could be the "becoming" that is the real problem with "enlightenment." the trying, the reaching... reminds me of the second chapter of the old Chinese classic... why strive for beauty when you are already beautiful?
  9. #9 Magic Flight LB, Jun 16, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2011
    Enlightenment doesn't assume superiority.. it assumes oneness. If anything, unenlightenment assumes superiority. (however I know this isn't always the case)

    If someone assumes enlightenment, that doesn't mean they automatically force it on others. They just do what works for them.
  10. #10 Fresh Error, Jun 16, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2011
    i'm aware of this. but if someone starts calling themselves enlightened to other people i can't help but find it conceited. i'm not sure if anybody who could actually be considered enlightened has ever called themselves such.

  11. "All the Buddhas of all the ages have been telling you a very simple fact: Be - don't try to become. Within these two words, be and becoming, your whole life is contained. Being is enlightenment, becoming is ignorance."- Osho
  12. I did very much enjoy this. It made me think about those who are sad, and they know they are, and cannot do anything.
    I could say I'm one myself, and I wouldn't deny it but I do try my hardest to see things from a different light and be accepting of this life. I cannot take any of it for granted because this is a gift to be alive, and I know what I am.

    I'm a human, barely, more of a fish.

    Last night I was talking to an ex old boy friend, who has slowly changed. I used to love him, very much, but he is a different person now. He got arrested for drug trafficking and more, whatever. We used to have endless conversations and now we can barely talk, he doesn't have much to say, he in some ways destroyed that beautiful mind he had, that I had fallen for.

    Sad, really, but it's okay. Either way, he was on MSN last night and he was all pissed he lent a friend 150$ and his friend was going to jail tomorrow and he couldn't go to the bank ect so that's the only thing he's said to be in 2-3 days and I've tried to contact him. So I just try and brighten it up and say (well It was my day off work today) oh I hope it rains tomorrow . He said I don't that would fucking suck i said why he said cause i said court.. and I said oh well I hope it doesn't and he's just like :| and I said well if it's going to fucking suck I hope it doesn't then and hes just like :/ he didnt have much else to say except I said sweet dreams and he was quick to say bye but I didn't sleep for a few more hours...(it was 1am).

    I was outside, earlier today, going out with my sister for a little so I was waiting for her in the driveway, and it rained and was splendid and it spelled like roses so strongly and was wonderful and I knew it rained for me.

    I wasn't sleeping because my friend was bored watching freaks and geeks and he asked me to stay up to chat so I did because he's a friend of mine. I drew to keep myself satisfied and I ended up drawing a couple things, because I accepted he was gone, and might not come back.

    Not go to jail, gone. I could wait. But he changed from good to mindless. He doesn't talk the way he used to, think that way anymore, he thinks bad now, and doesn't see any good. Even when I try and cheer him up, he almost won't let me. The way he does things, he's so selfish. I saw why he was mad but he's so close-minded, now. Doesn't care about anyone but him. So I knew I had to let him go. Which was hard because I've been in love with the guy for years and I know he loves me but his brain is changed.

    One was an open boa's mouth, with 3 tongues curled up, with eyes going up then, and inside is a naked angel with no wings, her hands over her face, she seems like she might be upset or crying, and out is flying a human heart with angel wings.

    Thanks for the cool article, if what I said didn't make sense, well, re-read it. If it still doesn't, read this in a year or two, then see..

    Had to edit to tell y'all that it's raining, right now, on me.

    Thank you very much.... Really.

  13. Well your looking at it from a buddhist perspective. If buddhists want to listen to the Buddha to attain “true enlightenment”, so be it. However, I choose my own “true enlightenment”, not the Buddha.(for me) If I chose to follow Buddhism (as in being a monk), I wouldn’t feel I am living life how I would want to.. I feel attachment is necessary to enjoy life, not escaping attachment. The only religion necessary is your own.

    In order to become enlightened, you must think about “who you are”, so it really doesn’t matter if you strive to be enlightened or not. However, just like “who you are”, you will not find it. It is a state of awareness, not something within you.

    May I ask this question? Is an atheist not an atheist once they say they are?
  14. #14 Fresh Error, Jun 17, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2011
    atheism doesn't imply that you've achieved something lol. unless you choose to think of it that way.

    enlightenment can quite universally be interpreted as an "ideal state of awareness" to reach.

    you have to understand.. i'm not looking down upon enlightenment. that'd be pretty difficult to do.
    i just think it's all too easily assumed by people.
  15. #15 DBV, Jun 17, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2011

    If you choose to look at it that way.. but it is a belief structure(no matter how hard they'll try to deny it) none-the-less, just like enlightenment is.
  16. #16 Fresh Error, Jun 17, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2011
    i'm not so sure if enlightenment can be defined as just one belief structure(or.. lack of belief structure.. since a lot of the people i've seen consider themselves enlightened only really acknowledge the truths that place no faith in our ability to deconstruct our world through science).

    i think somewhere down the line, the word enlightenment took on an all too finite definition.
  17. Me either... haha. It is a pretty broad term. I only say it is because the one common denominator for all enlightenment is the realisation of "oneness". (IMO)
  18. So enlightenment is really just living in the present, and not trying to reach it? Just living in the now? I'm still confused ;/

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  19. Following your own flow?

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  20. If I'm a natural smartass does It mean to continue to be like that and just be who I really am and have always been since I was a kid?

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