Is enlightenment different for everyone?

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Is enlightenment different for everyone?

Postby Ervin » Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:19 am

There is a Sufi saying that says that there are as many paths to God as there are sons of Adam.

Also, once on a Buddhist forum, someone once said that Sakyamuni Buddhas enlightenment was his own experience and that it might be different for others.

Now my understanding is that Eckhart Tolle's teaching is that once you enter presence, karma stops and you don't suffer any more. To be honest with you, I haven't been able to achieve intentionally that bliss that Eckhart mentions, or I might not be able to understand what he is trying to bring across.

So, is it same, or different for everyone. Or is it that enlightenment is experienced differently?

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Re: Is enlightenment different for everyone?

Postby Onceler » Sat Feb 04, 2017 1:08 pm

I think what you are referring to here is a mystical experience.....although there are many definitions. In my experience, the cessation of suffering does not equal bliss. To me, the cessation of suffering means that the meta-emotions and meta-cognitions cease, not negative emotional states. I believe that humans in the natural state, I prefer this term to enlightenment as I believe for most people enlightenment is a mystical state that is rare and rather out of reach, continue to live their life in the typical manner, but they no longer experience emotions about their emotions. In other words, they may experience anxiety in response to a typical anxiety producing situation; public speaking, going to the dentist, but they don't get anxious about their anxiety. They don't spiral out of control into a panic state because their anxiety amplifies itself. Without the meta-emotional response, anxiety is just anxiety, it runs its course and is integrated smoothly into life. It doesn't cause worry or suffering as it serves a function, then evaporates. The same with sadness. Those in the natural state are less likely to become depressed about their sadness creating an emotion/cognitive pattern that feeds on itself. It's just sadness in response to life and is allowed to run its course without worry or fear.

This holds true for thinking as well. Thinking in the natural state is probably diminished quite a bit because much thinking is fear based and worry. With fear gone, there is no need to ruminate or meta-cogitation about ones thinking. Negative thinking doesn't spiral out of control, rather thinking is used to solve problems. If ones thought are not productive, then attention can easily shift to more productive thoughts.

I chased the dragon (enlightenment) for 30 years. For me it was quite a rabbit hole......interesting, but ultimately futile. I don't know anyone that has achieved enlightenment, but I know quite a few, including myself, that are living in the natural state as described (roughly) above. To me, it's not about bliss, but something better, living life without fear and without buffering filters that dampen the experience (bliss could be one such filter). We can experience the full range of being human without suffering. As the Zen folks say, we can live so completely that we burn each day to ash and carry nothing into the next day. That, I guess, is the cessation of Karma. I'm a newbie to the natural state and am still figuring it out (I just realized the meta-emotion thing had stopped). It's not a permanent thing, but rather a spectrum of learning and openness to life that continually evolves. For me, my life is pretty much the same in content, but it gets easier, smoother, as my patterns change over from the fear based system. Its the same life which caused me so much grief and suffering in the past! Now this same life is fine, no worries......go figure. It's a strange feeling of being completely immersed in your life, in the moment I suppose, that grows each day. Good or bad, it's all interesting and absorbing.

So, yeah, I guess enlightenment is different for everyone.
Be present, be pleasant.
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Re: Is enlightenment different for everyone?

Postby eputkonen » Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:22 pm

Ervin wrote:So, is it same, or different for everyone. Or is it that enlightenment is experienced differently?


Even with Eckhart's awakening - just entering presence was not enough. He speaks of "not being able to live with himself anymore" and then questioning "who is me that can not live with myself...and is there really two?" In the end, it was a change of identification...along with being in presence.

Likewise, from my studies of various awakenings, it seems that they are all much the same in that there is a change in our fundamental identification. We cease to believe we are the "I" we had been taking ourselves for. Suffering is derived from this fictitious "me"...the mirage called ego...and projecting into the future or past. Once realization occurs and there is a seeing through the mirage and understanding it...then it no longer causes problems.

If you deeply understood mirages and realized how and when they occur, you would not be fooled by a mirage when you encounter one. You would just say, look at that mirage. You would not crave the water that appears to be ahead of you, nor would you suffer when no water was found there. In this way, seeing through the mirage of ego results in never being fooled by the mirage of ego again. Then too what comes with being fooled by the mirage of ego also vanishes. Worry ceases. Fear of death ceases. Suffering ceases.

I have found a fairly consistent consensus about this. I started studying this only after seeing through my own mirage. So I found most of the accounts I could find were fairly consistent and it seems enlightenment is the same for most. I could say it is the same for all only if the parameters were more generic. For some, it happened all at once. For others, like Adyashanti, he talks of 3 different awakening where each deepens the prior. But he also agrees that it is a change in identification. Seeing through this "me" is the constant through many awakening stories.

It is true there are many paths to God (also enlightenment), but it does not mean that ultimately there is more than one God (or enlightenment).
As for different experiences of enligthement...take Eckhart and Adyashanti...both are difference experiences (how it happened) of the same thing (realization). Many who have woke up come from deep suffering, but for me...I was not suffering at all and life was good at the time. So the experiences were different...the how it came about is different...but the realization (seeing through the "me" and the effects of suffering vanishing and such) was the same.

Anyway...so I have seen it...others may see it differently.
Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
@EngagedNondual on Twitter
Blog at http://www.EngagedNonduality.com
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Re: Is enlightenment different for everyone?

Postby Webwanderer » Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:47 pm

I've found enlightenment to be a very relative belief construct. Ask someone to define enlightenment and you get many different perspectives. Even from those who think themselves enlightened. So is enlightenment different for everyone? In one sense yes. If you take the small view on enlightenment - that is an awakening to the realization that one is not who he/she thinks they are, but rather that they are consciousness being experiencing a human life - then enlightenment is very different from one to another as conditioning and belief systems still affect one's perspective.

The larger view of enlightenment generally comes from an actual experience of one's true being from the larger reality beyond the limitation of human experience - such as results from some NDE/TDE's and/or OBE's. These type of experiences bring a clearer view of Self. One that merely recognizing that he/she is not the thought construct that has formed over the course of a lifetime doesn't quite offer. Even then, the conditioning of human life experience tends to color one's perspective.

Don't get me wrong, awakening matters. I think it is what many believe is enlightenment, and in it's own context, it is.

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Re: Is enlightenment different for everyone?

Postby maaref » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:34 pm

Well, try not to concentrate on labels that much. What we are talking about here is beyond words and as such spiritual teachings resort to pointing towards the truth rather defining it. That is probably why the Sufi saying says there are as many paths to God as there are sons of Adam.

However, do not take these sayings literal. As they are pointers and not absolute truths. For instance, since you mentioned a Sufi saying, I would point out that the Quran says that "If the sea were ink for (writing) the Words of my Lord, surely, the sea would be exhausted before the Words of my Lord would be finished, even if we brought (another sea) like it for its aid." This means that everything, all the words, all the actions...etc leads to the one true consciousness. There is infinitew paths/words in the same way that the universe is infinite and expanding.

The universal consciousness would guide you towards the path, you just need to pay attention to the subtle queues. It is also says in the Quran that "Nothing will happen to us except what Allah has decreed for us: He is our protector": and on Allah let the Believers put their trust." This means that all that happens to us, even if we consider it as bad, are in fact happening "for us"; which is to say for our benefit. We just need to pay attention and realise it. If you feel that you are suffering (psychologically) in rejection to something that has happened, take a step back and question the underlining reason for it. It often points to an underlining problem, like an attachment to an object, person or feeling, or ignorance towards yours true nature as full, perfect, complete, non-dual awareness, which is creating the illusion that whatever you are seeking is needed to complete you.

Please bare in mind that this does not mean submission either, its more like non-emotional attachment toward something. You still can use your intellect and do things you think are appropriate. Thoughts and doing is not the enemy here.

Needless to say, you need to approach this with an open mind and interpret things in an intellectual and broader sense, in alignment with your common sense, your true nature, non-dual awareness. Always keep the door open to learn more, understand more and correct your mistakes.
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Re: Is enlightenment different for everyone?

Postby Ervin » Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:38 am

I have had a look into near death experiences in the past, and a bit this morning and they don't seem to be all the same. Some see Jesus, and some don't. From what I heard in the past, there are Buddhist experiences, there are Hindu or Christian experiences, or neither of them. People who researched it say that bad near death experiences are rare.

So, the enlightenment might be different, since the nde's aren't all the same.

Now, my friend who is a Christian, says that all the nde's that don't have Jesus are false, satanic/demonic. What would you say to that. Sorry, if that's a bit of the subject.

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Re: Is enlightenment different for everyone?

Postby Mystic » Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:50 am

Ervin wrote:I have had a look into near death experiences in the past, and a bit this morning and they don't seem to be all the same. Some see Jesus, and some don't. From what I heard in the past, there are Buddhist experiences, there are Hindu or Christian experiences, or neither of them. People who researched it say that bad near death experiences are rare.

So, the enlightenment might be different, since the nde's aren't all the same.

Now, my friend who is a Christian, says that all the nde's that don't have Jesus are false, satanic/demonic. What would you say to that. Sorry, if that's a bit of the subject.

Thanks


Enlightenment means to be filled with the light of life. Everyone is already enlightened but the dark veil of misperception can cloud our vision. Thus enlightenment is not a goal to be achieved. There is not a measuring scale nor a benchmark to reach a point where you can say "Eureka, I am enlightened!" Learn to let go of the things we no longer need on a journey without distance as reawakening happens in the here and now. Jesus said that the Kingdom of Heaven is all around you and within you. Go about your daily routine to practice being in the now. An old saying goes "before enlightenment chop wood and carry water, after enlightenment chop wood and carry water". All things are lessons and opportunities for awakening. The dense undertow of the ego has a magnetic effect which is the pull into unconsciousness. Satan means "adversary" which is also a good description for the ego. Some people remember near death experiences and out of body experiences along with lucid dreams and surrealistic dreams. There is more to reality than what meets the physical eye, this is true.
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