Define Enlightenment/Define Awakening

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heidi
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Define Enlightenment/Define Awakening

Post by heidi » Mon Sep 08, 2008 12:08 am

Define Enlightenment/Define Awakening - be my guest. I'd love to hear what your brains have to say about it. :)

Some say it is the release of suffering. I'm being pragmatic here. Some say it's release of little self/ego (which causes suffering) and entering into a non-dualistic state despite our dualistic nature - by whatever means they contrive, as the path to such a goal - hence all these books and sites and works and pointers.

Some would agree that it's consciousness of the human condition and the bigger oneness of all - everything - and with that consciousness - pure simple consciousness/witnessing - comes understanding, realization and release (no judgment) - transcendence. But release of what? Suffering? (well, then that's judgment) Certainly not thinking. :lol:

Non-Thinking - I think not, as recent posts posted by enlightened or awakened folks prove. :) Are enlightenment and awakening the same thing? Or does one awaken to realize his enlightenment? Or, does one awaken to see his humanity and accept it without judgment (is that enlightened?) And when he does, does not his ego still help him to realize and define whatever it is?

To me, it's all about peace.
A few questions to wrap your enlightened minds around.
Heidi
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Re: Define Enlightenment/Define Awakening

Post by HermitLoon » Mon Sep 08, 2008 3:19 am

In the absolute peace of the experience of "The Real", the compulsive urge to label and define the indescribable experience evaporates - "stillness speaks".
Peace

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Re: Define Enlightenment/Define Awakening

Post by Sighclone » Mon Sep 08, 2008 6:34 am

Buddha said it is the absence of suffering - a convenient negative definition, leaving much unsaid. Eckhart said it is the natural state of felt oneness with Being, and also that business of "an emanation of love and joy and complete presence and openness toward all beings."

Not being enlightened, I can swing the axe at those who make that claim without risking attack to my "status." I'd like to add humility and modesty as being a demonstration of enlightenment. I never see that in Ram Dass, for example - I consider him to be very egoic, and I always have. So the non-egoic demonstration of true humility and welcoming acceptance of all people will be the "fruits" of true enlightenment.

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: Define Enlightenment/Define Awakening

Post by heidi » Mon Sep 08, 2008 3:13 pm

Thanks HL, nice to see you here again. :)

Ha ha ha, Andy. ;)
Not being enlightened, I can swing the axe at those who make that claim without risking attack to my "status."
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Re: Define Enlightenment/Define Awakening

Post by James » Mon Sep 08, 2008 10:21 pm

God's eye and my eye, are one eye...

One seeing, one love.

~Eckhart Von Hochheim (Meister Eckhart)

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Re: Define Enlightenment/Define Awakening

Post by dagobert » Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:44 pm

Hello Heidi - guys,
my ego can't wait to drop his two cents, and he believes he has truth so I'll let him do so :

To awake is to be free of identification with the mental (and emotions), which makes room for observation. Being in this peaceful state of observation opens the door to go beyond the observer which is a non-state.
To arrive there, you need to let go of all conditionning with your mind patterns and emotions, when you do so you truly are enlighted.

As you are enlighted (which is permanent) you are no longer, and will never be again, identified with your mental and your emotions, the ego is gone. Nothing governs you anymore and you are TRUE, this allows your source (which only means love via acceptance) to emerge in and beyond yourself.

You are Jesus, You are buddah, you are everything, you are no-thing.

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Re: Define Enlightenment/Define Awakening

Post by heidi » Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:28 pm

Nicely put dagobert. :)
I just had a 3 hour face to face discussion with a woman in her 80s who was my professor in college. We hadn't seen each other for over 20 years. She grew up in communist Russia and has been in America for 30 years. In our discussion, especially dealing with politics and ideals, it was so clear to me at how non-dualistic I have become, and how love intercedes above ego. We had discussion, no argument, just great discussion. We had opinions, but the ego was far off the stage. No one had to convince anybody of anything because opinions were accepted. We just talked. That's what we are doing here. Learning from each other. Thank you. :)
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Re: Define Enlightenment/Define Awakening

Post by Sighclone » Wed Sep 10, 2008 1:53 am

Being enlightened does not mean being "perfect." I think that is a problem I have been having. An enlightened person can make what appear to be "mistakes." They are "mistakes" by some egoic standard - either a collective egoic mistake (like breaking a law, or being "rude"), or even making a mistake in translating an impulse from Source (Eckhart warns us about this even in his writings.)

I come from this old-time Christian relgious tradition and conditioning. (God and Jesus are perfect.) So how can Eric be enlightened if there is a typo or grammar error on his website. "There, you see... an 'error' - so he's not perfect and therefore not enlightened."

"Perfect" is the quintessential egoic word. It is essentially defined as "free from flaws" ...by any measure.

Now, "I" know better, but there has been some lingering association of enlightenment with perfection, which is an abstract thought, really, and not something we have ever seen. Certainly not in a living human being. Poor Eckhart...has to wear sunglasses now and people come over to his restaurant table to see what he is eating. :) ...Better not be one molecule of meat on that plate...

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: Define Enlightenment/Define Awakening

Post by James » Wed Sep 10, 2008 6:03 pm

Yes Andy it is an interesting thing how we like to put enlightened people on a pedestal, as being something distinct and separate from what we are. In western culture most of us have been influenced by the bible stories, and allegories, tales of walking on water, saints and angels. Saint Paul himself was quick to point out, (according to scripture), how imperfect he was in his humanity; yet that is probably not how many think of him.

James
"Awareness is already present, already here, already now; before you try to be more.... In that recognition there's no effort, there's just acknowledgment"..."Awareness is not something you can understand, it's something you are."

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Re: Define Enlightenment/Define Awakening

Post by Sighclone » Wed Sep 10, 2008 6:29 pm

Ok, so "enlightened" is not "perfect." But it is also defined as "not egoic." And when we go there we get tangled up in the definition of ego. Maharshi called it the "I-thought." Adya talks about "no self." Eckhart warns that even he has a little bit of ego lingering.

From the Clurman 2001 interview:
ET: It does seem that in my case the sense of me dissolved almost completely. Remnants of the little me remain, and the tiniest remnant is enough for it to grow into a fully blown little me again.
I'm still reading John Welwood's fine book "Toward a Psychology of Awakening" which elaborates at great length on what the ego is, and how it is defined East and West. But I think we can say that a truly enlightened person doesn't have much of one. Poor Ramana, sitting in the cave. I guess the consensus is that without help from his friends, he would have just rotted away there. No ego and no body neither! But lotsa bliss? Bliss? Bliss? Exactly what part of enlightened is bliss?

Moonmissy has sent us to a rather cool discussion of the stages of enlightenment by a reiki master:

http://parama.com/html/body_stages.html

I had to keep going back to the first page and then to the bottom of that page to read the successive sections. Well worth the time.

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: Define Enlightenment/Define Awakening

Post by Craig » Sat Sep 13, 2008 8:58 pm

Andy,

Something else to consider: "perfect" dloes not have to mean "flawless". Perfect can also mean, and this is common within theology, "most complete". And when you- the real you- are all, one with everything that is, one without a second, what could be more complete? :)
Who am I?

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Re: Define Enlightenment/Define Awakening

Post by Sighclone » Mon Sep 15, 2008 5:46 am

I believe I understand that definition...an old chair with a sturdy back and seat and four sturdy legs is a perfect chair...perfect in its "chairness." Same with a carrot - a fat one and a thin one are equally perfect as carrots. We might make small distinctions - "oh, I've never liked that color of stain." The chair, even with the undesriable stain or small chip on the back of the seat is still perfectly a chair. Is that also what you mean by "most complete"?

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: Define Enlightenment/Define Awakening

Post by moonmissy » Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:48 am

I cannot speak from what I think of enlightenment, but of what I experienced to be a glimpse of enlightenment.

After being in a state of no-self for over a day (which is truly liberating beyond description, no bliss, no observer, no self, no problems, everything just flow and there is only oneness that is peace), I was back with ego identification and the body feels heavier and the freedom was no longer there.

I called my Zen teacher and asked him: "How come I couldn't sustain that state? I lost it after a day or so?"
He laughed and replied: "If you are permanently in it...you're the Buddha. The brief glimpse of it gives you a taste of true surrender so that you continue your practice. Keep going!"

I am truly humbled. The way home can be so far and yet it is just there, so close in a split second when I surrender in the now. I am reminded by a common saying among Zen masters. "The problem is not when unconsciousness (ignorance) begins, it is how long you take to be awake again."

:lol:
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Re: Define Enlightenment/Define Awakening

Post by dagobert » Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:50 am

Hey moonmissy,

can you explain us how you attained this one-day awakening, we want details :mrgreen:

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Re: Define Enlightenment/Define Awakening

Post by moonmissy » Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:14 am

Surrender!

Wherever you are, whatever you do, whatever happens in the now. Make it the most important thing of your life...like breathing.
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