Best/Worst Candidates for Enlightenment

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Best/Worst Candidates for Enlightenment

Post by Sighclone » Thu May 15, 2008 6:41 am

Eckhart suffered deeply for many years, then 'pop' he was free. Byron Katie has a similar story. Several times they and others mention suffering as helpful in creating a shift.

And certainly seeking is helpful. Adyshanti was a great seeker. Same with Gangaji, Maharaj and de Mello. So was Buddha (who suffered only by choice).

But what about the generally content middle-class "average" person, without a huge ego or pain-body. Sure, we cannot know their karma. But there are people who go through life without deep profound stress. Sure, they are generally unconscious, but may be helpful and considerate. They might start into ANE and put it down, saying..."I kind of like myself. This guy says the self I know and seem to be is insane. Nuts to him, I'm going to have a pizza."

I guess I'm saying that there are great numbers of people who have no obvious reason to be interested in enlightenment. Even though it is the 'natural' place where we all reside in Presence, there are enough pleasures in most unconscious lives in the West, that big blocks of people are not great candidates, Oprah's little shows notwithstanding. Especially since this Being thing is pretty weird. If I told a cop that I was God and so was he, he haul me off to the joint.

But that's just me babbling...your thoughts?

Namaste, Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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Re: Best/Worst Candidates for Enlightenment

Post by Awareness » Thu May 15, 2008 8:05 am

There is a vast amount of people with even bigger pain bodies than Eckhart, and there is an even vaster amount of truthful seekers,
yet realization is happening utterly regardless, for if there was a prescription it would be known by now but this little dysfunctional thinking
machine makes all kind of false assumptions totally unaware of what it does not know that do not know.

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Re: Best/Worst Candidates for Enlightenment

Post by erict » Thu May 15, 2008 8:48 am

Adyashanti says that the only reason to get into the business of enlightenment is if you absolutely can't avoid doing it. That if you are content with your life, you should stay away from this.
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Re: Best/Worst Candidates for Enlightenment

Post by James » Thu May 15, 2008 11:18 am

Hi Andy
You ask a lot of good questions, I have pondered that one too. And on the surface it does seem that a great many of people that awaken, experienced considerable strife prior to it. It seems to be the breaking down of the ego structure. There are a few rare instances of people suddenly awakening in childhood like Ramana. Although I am sure that is only a partial awakening as maturity has not integrated that awake state in those cases.

Over the years I have had awakening experiences, followed by periods of back peddling or resistance, but I always found myself coming back, as if the choice was not mine to make. I tried to get away but couldn't :>) I came back because I found nothing else to be satisfying. Without truth the world had an empty quality to it. In reality, where else is there to go? There are two choices, truth or dreams. Did you ever see the movie The Matrix? The line about taking the red pill or the blue pill? In the movie, one pill gave you reality the other kept you in the matrix, a dream world. Some people enjoyed the dream world and were not ready to give it up.

It does raise issues of destiny and free will. This is a line from A Course In Miracles: "Peace is a natural heritage of spirit. Everyone is free to refuse to accept his inheritance, but he is not free to establish what his inheritance is." (Ch 3, Sect. VI, Par. 10) The ultimate destiny for all of us is to awaken, time is not an issue to spirit, but rather a concept of human thought; although time seems to matter relatively in our experience. In the sense of time we can delay our awakening, that is our choice.

This may be of interest, I have heard testimonials at retreats, from people middle aged and older that claim to have had a normal, happy life. Successful career, loving wife etc; And then suddenly found themselves interested in truth, because the other things were no longer satisfying.

I believe the only prerequisite to being awake is willingness. Honesty with oneself helps too, although that does not always come right away for most of us, due to complex conditioning and mind structures; but with willingness that type of honest self understanding develops. Integration becomes easier when we see clearly what is going on within, what our stumbling blocks, resistance and ulterior motives are.

James
Last edited by James on Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Best/Worst Candidates for Enlightenment

Post by Webwanderer » Thu May 15, 2008 2:06 pm

Excellent post James. You write with beautiful clarity and depth. I'm glad you're here.
(But then, where else could "one" be]? :wink: )

And Andy, I agree with James on you insightful questions. They always bring an enjoyable and revealing discussions. I'm glad you're here too. Thanks for your contributions.

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Re: Best/Worst Candidates for Enlightenment

Post by HermitLoon » Thu May 15, 2008 3:22 pm

Great Discussion!

The question seems to pre-suppose "becomming"? Something in the future? So would the "best candidate" be someone who is dissatisfied with now - or is that just Ego wanting more? Would the "worst candidate" be someone who is already "Awakened" - Who lives in the now and has no need to become more - to seek more - no need to apply this label to themself or others?

I don't know. Words are so imprecise - especially mine!

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Re: Best/Worst Candidates for Enlightenment

Post by Sighclone » Thu May 15, 2008 6:08 pm

Hermit -

Unfortunately, in this forum, all we have is words...oh, we also have a couple of pictures...and you are right, I did presume a 'shift' from being 'unconscious' to being 'conscious.'

James -

Your comments are always wonderful. Thanks for each of them. In my case, I was a seeker, from about age 16. My bookshelves are jammed with spiritual, psychological, and self-help books. I managed to build myself a pretty well-integrated ego (which shows up from time to time) and I can mumble psycho-babble with the best. When I ran into ET, I was not on the non-duality path, rather working on micro-particle entanglement and its meaning for the mind...one of the many sideshows, while the 'big picture' was playing the whole time.

Namaste, Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
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Re: Best/Worst Candidates for Enlightenment

Post by pondering » Sat Jan 10, 2009 8:11 pm

Sometimes I've wondered whether all those people who don't actively seek (I'm assuming of course) are enlightened and that I, a seeker, just missed the boat. I've always been a seeker and lately I'm wondering whether my seeking is part of the problem. I now have great solace in accepting everything right now. This to me is a fundamental teaching of ET. I have nothing to achieve or learn. I can just exhale with a big sigh of relief and do nothing because nothing needs to be done. This is very relaxing and I become present.

We're all candidates for enlightenment; we just get wrapped up in the world and forget ourselves. Maybe for some people being wrapped up in the world is acceptable for now. I always struggled with the world and sought something. The biggest gift I can give myself is to stop seeking so hard and enjoy the moment.

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Re: Best/Worst Candidates for Enlightenment

Post by Craig » Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:16 am

pondering wrote:Sometimes I've wondered whether all those people who don't actively seek (I'm assuming of course) are enlightened and that I, a seeker, just missed the boat. I've always been a seeker and lately I'm wondering whether my seeking is part of the problem. I now have great solace in accepting everything right now. This to me is a fundamental teaching of ET. I have nothing to achieve or learn. I can just exhale with a big sigh of relief and do nothing because nothing needs to be done. This is very relaxing and I become present.
The great paradox is that seeking is part of the problem, insofar that it makes you keep looking and searching, doing and efforting, and yet it can also be quite necessary too. And no, I don't think you can say they are enlightened. Strictly speaking, of course, they are enlightened, because they are always effortlessly the Self no matter what they take themselves to be. But that doesn't mean that they've realized it, and it doesn't mean that they're living from their true nature. They can still be suffering and causing others to suffer living in their "I-am-a-unique-mind-body-personality" mindset that leaves them separate and isolated from the world. So, while seeking certainly part of what keeps the seeker going, don't assume that everyone who simply doesn't even consider any spiritual seeking is awakened.
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Re: Best/Worst Candidates for Enlightenment

Post by kiki » Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:41 pm

Yes, Craig - that sums it up nicely. Discover within you that which doesn't seek, which is already here. Know that to be what you are and then the one who seeks will be exposed for the illusion it is.
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Re: Best/Worst Candidates for Enlightenment

Post by Larryfroot » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:08 pm

Gangaji came out with a brilliant line as regards searching for peace.

"Search for peace and you will find a search."

The very act of searching destroys the peace for which we search. Yet the impetus, the motivating force that drives many of us can be anything but peaceful. I suppose (in my own case) it was at the absolute rock-bottom that I let go of..everything. And found that peace is not to be acquired but instead is something one accepts, as an intrinsic aspect of ones own Self beyond self. Yes, there are those who reach a point in a "happy dream" where that divine discontent manifests, and the thought that there must be something more arises. I have met people for whom that holds true, yet for the most part it seems as if the 'breakdown model' is prevalent.

And then, well sometimes we can be blinded by the light and lay claim to a genuine, total and sincere awakening, and in telling others about it, we are telling the truth. But it seems that (for me at least) it is a beginning, not an ending. The beginning of bringing that light to the the dormant ego that can lay, much reduced but still functioning, in the recesses of our experience. Many times on this forum I have seen the reflection of my own experience. A state of grace that has lasted for months suddenly stops. That, I feel, is where the path really begins. To build a bridge between space and form, so as to allow that pure, open, pristine and utterly beautiful space to flow and see itself within the heart of all things. It is in this task and the lessons it brings that we amass our own spiritual treasures to share and impart.

I remember waking up one morning and the incredible peace I had experienced for the previous few months was gone. I was just about to collapse in bewilderment and abandonment when I felt a voice within. Odd turn of phrase, I know. Butthats how it was. I felt a voice. And the voice said "just accept" and so I did, and regained a measure of what I had experienced previously.

And that experience of awakening, of utter and total peace that stayed with me passed away, unmourned. For now I had some work to do, one in which I hope many useful and kind realisations can be unearthed for myself and others.
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Re: Best/Worst Candidates for Enlightenment

Post by Cleis Pearce » Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:28 am

Lovely to hear from you again Larryfroot.Cleis

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Re: Best/Worst Candidates for Enlightenment

Post by Sighclone » Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:44 pm

Indeed - nice to have your voice back here, lf.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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Re: Best/Worst Candidates for Enlightenment

Post by Tony-S-Ma » Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:19 pm

Seeking Enlightenment is a free choice. Being Enlightened like Eckhart Tolle does not seem to be his personal choice in this life time. If karma is reality, he must have chosen to seek Enlightenment in past life, and being Enlightened in this life is the manifestation of that previous choice. Buddha said that its is rare to be born human, it is rarer to have heard Enlightenment, and it is even rarer to pursuit It.

For sure, Enlightenment brings not any selfish outcome. When one genuinely prefers selflessness over selfishness, one is a candidate for Enlightenment. Sooner or later such a candidate discovers Enlightenment is being selfless permanently.

The worst candidates for Enlightenment are those who have jointed Enlightenment seekers but are motivated by the essence of ego. Sooner or later, they will find they are in a perceptively worse position than where they have started. In other words, the essence of ego will have a greater hold on them than before. Their lives will become perceptively more miserable :mrgreen:

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