Are You Enlightened?

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Are You Enlightened?

Postby snowheight » Thu May 05, 2011 11:05 am

Are You Enlightened?

If one wakes up we all wake up so if this question is asked of one it is asked of all.

I offer two answers, one from the mind, stated here, the other from the heart, in the form of a question:

Am I not a living being?

As Mooji said, one man awoke to his true nature 2500 years ago and since then we have not been able to forget him. Bhudda’s ultimate non-dual pointer, which he had under the bodhi tree right on the threshold of Nirvana, is re-expressed those 2500 years later in the uncontrollable laughter of these young men to the question “Once the ego has gone, will there be just a spontaneous flow, of the Universe manifesting?”.

All living things have Bhudda nature. There is your answer.

Gratitude to Ralph for his links to those two videos, and to rachMiel for giving the most profound possible non-dual counter-point to the mind-answer, and very very special thanks to my dear friend Andy for having asked this question, which is just self-enquiry behind a wisp of a disguise … just the question “Who am I”, wearing glasses and a fake mustache (thanks WhatsMu!).

There is no reason to read beyond here. You cannot understand this answer, you can only know it.

I'll now entertain a conceit -- Andy often times says “go have a beer” at similar post-points to this. Alcohol is bad for you. You have your answer now … so go meditate.

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The mind answer is a simple recognition of the limitation on language and as such there are a myriad of different ways to present it. The most common of these is to simply not answer the question … to “go away when pushed”. I look forward to a long and tortured debate-thread with enigma on the validity of this asserted equivalence.

To answer “yes” to the question is valid, as explained above. To answer “no” to the question is equally valid, as the question is formed by and delivered mind-to-mind. To give this non-answer is to reduce the question down to the basic elements and nub, to torture the question until it pleads for the mercy of the Rose, the blessed presence of which shatters the diamond-hard perfect expression of crystallized “knowledge” with one motionless swipe of it’s sweet, soft velvet pedals.

Yes there is plenty of “mind-stuff to chew on here” (Midnight, Ralph) … that is as it is.

Sometimes the mind must break itself on the Rock of Presence that is Paradox.

But sometimes bill just likes a good drama, and if you are honest, no matter how quiet your mind is, you will admit this about yourself as well. Jesus taught us to see the antics of these contemptible and yet lovable little entities as expressions of our Bhudda nature with his final pointer “they know not what they do”.

If erict was to add an optional icon to characterize each thread with some moderator-controlled label (perhaps you can do this by moderator consensus, by discussing the rules, I violate them :lol:, this is recursive!) containing a judgment of dualistic vs. non-dualistic content. I guarantee you that any threads marked “debate” would have high view counts and high reply rates. Many sublime non-dual pointers, on the other hand, will quietly gather dust, but happily, there are many great threads here free from strife which have seen wide dissemination.

There are at least two interesting paths that mind can take from here.

One of those myriad ways that the mind can deal with this question is to re-direct it .. to change the subject. The master of this tactic, enigma, re-characterized the questioned as “Are you a teacher?” … this is echoed in Walken’s assertion that he looks for the posts of “the enlightened guys”.

As with all mind-based answers to the question, this is equally as valid. When I read a post by kiki, Ananda or Rick I am likely to have my mind quieted, and debate is the LEAST likely response which arises.

When obviously gentle and loving souls like Kutso or eputkonen ask the question “Who are You?”, it causes minds to come to screeching HALT’S in the middle of the tracks and the roil and boil of intellect is immediately replaced with a cool mentholated silence.

:lol: when snowheight asks this question, fresh from some blood-stained philosophical battlefield, his login reeking of the scent of hardened crystal, the result is pollution. :lol:

Then there are voices like SighClone and WebWanderer and enigma who sometimes tease the mind with a poke or two, voices that will deliberately put on the garb of the other for the purpose of reflecting back the light of what is right back to you. Sometimes their posts challenge, while sometimes they gesture, and the gentle wave is brought that much more starkly into relief by the slap that this hand had dealt you a moment before.

And there are many many other teachers here. There are Ralph’s aphorisms, rachMiel’s sudden insights, the soft and profound wisdom expressed in experience and knowledge by heidi, ‘trails and Natalie, and the mystic, ghostly fugue-like and sometimes tragic tales of smileyjen. And who can forget the third-person rare earth of HermitLoon?

There are still many other voices on here to which I am grateful (some, like Ashley and goldie for at least their fellowship) and if you don’t find your name on these lists and are disappointed then I, with all of these foolish words, have become for that brief instant your teacher.

And what of the rest of us? Well, when we share our reactions to one another and thereby open up about what we’ve taken away from here we share the teaching with everyone. When we drop the fear of being labeled something negative and don’t hold back we give a gift. (Ahem) … thanks Walken!

This forum is indeed a special place, a hallowed haven, sacred virtual ground, if you will. While the only thing certain is change, I pray that the light that is here endures for a long time indeed and yes, I have faith in the good gentle people who run it.

Another direction the mind can take is to confront the answer head-on with another question:

Ok, so if enlightenment is the stuff of life, what of dead-mind? What if that post or that reply I’m reading is the result of a conditioned response (such as a dogmatic acceptance and dissemination of the concept of “no-self”)? (<-- haha enigma, this is another recursive paradox!)

Namaste All,

Bill
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.
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Re: Are You Enlightened?

Postby ashley72 » Thu May 05, 2011 12:00 pm

Your presence here is a gift my friend... Where did all that manifest from?.... It doesn't matter!

Thanks for sharing i thoroughly enjoying reading your perspective on those moments we shared- in this timeless Interconnected world of ours.
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Re: Are You Enlightened?

Postby ashley72 » Thu May 05, 2011 12:18 pm

uncontrollable laughter of these young men to the question “Once the ego has gone, will there be just a spontaneous flow, of the Universe manifesting?”.


Ive just spent the past 10 minutes laughing my chops off at that video... It's absolute gold!!!
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Re: Are You Enlightened?

Postby Rick » Thu May 05, 2011 2:38 pm

Enlightenment/salvation/rebirth is freedom from the Ego. It is a gradual experience for most, like the gestation period in forming a baby. It seems that it can happen all of a sudden for some but for most of us it is a slow process. Eventually, by hook or by crook, we come to live and function from the Place outside our mind completely. It is a journey that can be summed up like this - unconsciousness>budding consciousness>fully bloomed consciousness - How long does it take? It takes as long as it takes but meditation can be a great facilitator of this.

An enlightened soul may not look or sound any different than he did before enlightenment. Enlightenment is not a big deal really. It's just stepping outside your mind and stepping in the place where mind is not, many many times until eventually coming to live there completely. So it seems to me that an Enlightened person speaks (and writes) with the authority of one who has experience living outside his mind. A purely intellectual understanding of enlightenment will be devoid of such authority. The sheep know the Shepherd.

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Man 1: "The brain thinks. If God did not want the brain to think he would have made it so it could not."

Man 2 "The poisonous snake strikes, the black-widow spider bites, the nettles sting, poison ivy makes you itch, the alligator will eat you dead. God makes alot of things, some you would want to be involved with, some you would not."

Man 1: "There is no one who has a mind that does not think."

Man 2: "Thinking is not the issue. Everyone has thoughts. Where you are in relationship to the thoughts in your head is the issue. Being lost in thought, or being objective to thought is the issue. Being outside your mind looking in is one thing. Being lost inside your thoughts is quite another.

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From "A New Earth" by E. Tolle

"To become free of the ego is not really a big job but a very small one.

All you need to do is be aware of your thoughts and emotions - as they happen.

This is not really a 'doing' but an alert 'seeing'.

In that sense, it is true that there is nothing you can do to become free of the ego.

When that shift happens, which is the shift from thinking to awareness, an intelligence far greater than the ego's cleverness begins to operate in your life.

Emotions and even thoughts become depersonalized through awareness.

Their impersonal nature is recognized.

There is no longer a self in them.

They are just human emotions, human thoughts.

Your entire personal history, which is ultimately no more than a story, a bundle of thoughts and emotions, becomes of secondary importance and no longer occupies the forefront of your consciousness.

It no longer forms the basis for your sense of identity.

You are the light of Presence, the awareness that is prior to and deeper than any thoughts and emotions."
Daily life IS spiritual exercise.
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Re: Are You Enlightened?

Postby enigma » Thu May 05, 2011 7:56 pm

There are folks like Eric, Ananda and Kikki who stop by somewhat sporadically to offer us their wisdom, and then return to the shadows. Rarely do we do we see them engage in the back and forth discussions that lend themselves to such variable interpretations as to their usefulness and intention, and perhaps partly because of this, their comments are all the more valued and their presence is greatly appreciated.

Many others regularly impress me with their kind, gentle compassion and helpful guidance, and they are really the ones who make this forum a safe, inviting place where folks can be open and honest as to the obstacles they encounter and know that they will be embraced and accepted whether or not they find what they are looking for, and sometimes that's all they're looking for.

Both of these approaches are needed and in my opinion are what make this forum an exception to the rule of diversionary spiritual forums. And yet, between these two approaches there forms a conspicuous gap, and the larger the gap, the more likely God is going to come along and try to fill that gap. I'm talking about the gap between the wisdom of the masters, and the compassionate healers. The gap between 'There is no me' and 'My life is so empty I can't bear it'. The gap between 'Ego is illusion' and 'I live in existential terror of the ending of something that doesn't seem to have even begun'.

Those extending sympathetic compassion are standing on the solid ground they've found on one side of the gap, and these are the wounded healers who know full well the nature of this pain and are eminently qualified to assist. Those who offer a transcendent perspective stand on the other side of the gap and do not point to solid ground, nor do they map a course to traverse the gap, because they know there is no gap.

Right, there is no gap, and so there is no practice that will carry you over it. Sometimes I stand in that illusory gap with you and measure it's depth and breadth. The gap seems real because we cling tenaciously to something that is dissolving in our hands and we don't even what that is, so sometimes we take a look at what's in your hand to see if it's really something you want. Sometimes we hear voices from the other side of the gap and turn them into obstacles like paradoxes that have no answer or a powerless 'no me' that can't move or can't know because I don't exist, and so we stroll up to those obstacles, give em a swift kick and tap on them to see if they're actually as solid as they seem. Sometimes we imagine if we we can create a mental bridge with enough layers, we can use it to get across the gap, and so we crawl under it and peel back the layers to see if they really have enough strength to stand on.

So many here dealing with emptiness, anxiety and depression, and while this is auspicious, it also breaks my heart. My own wounds are still fresh and I carry the reminder that your pain is as real as reality ever gets, but I have no healing practices because I know the wounds are self inflicted. Some stand ready with bandages to bind your wounds and others are here to say there are no wounds. I'm just suggesting you can put down the knife.
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Re: Are You Enlightened?

Postby Ralph » Thu May 05, 2011 9:22 pm

enigma wrote:
Some stand ready with bandages to bind your wounds and others are here to say there are no wounds. I'm just suggesting you can put down the knife.


.. but , whatever you do, just don't pick up the gun .

Instead, why not embrace yourself and love that wounded inner child that most likely still lives with you today. I'm talking about the one that lives in the cellar of your mind but occasionally comes upstairs and shows itself every now and then.

Why not remove the bandages and see what is truly there.
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Re: Are You Enlightened?

Postby rachMiel » Thu May 05, 2011 10:27 pm

snowheight wrote:Are You Enlightened?

Definitely!

Problem is I forget it 99% of my waking life.
“At the still point of the turning world.” T. S. Eliot
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Re: Are You Enlightened?

Postby snowheight » Thu May 05, 2011 10:38 pm

rachMiel wrote:Problem is I forget it 99% of my waking life.


:lol: (... dare I? ...) ... ahem ... who is it that forgets? ... :lol:
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.
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Re: Are You Enlightened?

Postby Webwanderer » Thu May 05, 2011 10:57 pm

snowheight wrote:Are You Enlightened?

We've been around this track a few times. Seems we always end up where we start.

To answer fairly one must know:

What are the qualities of the enlightenment to which you inquire?

Is it a definable state of some original consciousness?

Or is it a relative one? In other words, is it just a place on the consciousness scale that is somewhat clearer than some previous state?

Can one be enlightened and not know the qualities of enlightenment?

If, as some claim, that everyone is enlightened, does that mean that enlightenment has little to do with one's conscious state?

Or does it mean that an identified consciousness is not a valid and useful perspective simply because it is imaginary and temporary?

Are you enlightened? If there is no one there to ponder and reply (as some say), can there be anyone there to ask? .....Yet ask you did.

What does all this mean? .....Same as always.

WW
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Re: Are You Enlightened?

Postby rachMiel » Thu May 05, 2011 11:01 pm

snowheight wrote:
rachMiel wrote:Problem is I forget it 99% of my waking life.

:lol: (... dare I? ...) ... ahem ... who is it that forgets? ... :lol:

Ummmm ... the organ that resides in my skull and thinks it's "me?" ;-)
“At the still point of the turning world.” T. S. Eliot
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Re: Are You Enlightened?

Postby ashley72 » Fri May 06, 2011 12:09 am

Ralph wrote:
enigma wrote:
Some stand ready with bandages to bind your wounds and others are here to say there are no wounds. I'm just suggesting you can put down the knife.


.. but , whatever you do, just don't pick up the gun .

Instead, why not embrace yourself and love that wounded inner child that most likely still lives with you today. I'm talking about the one that lives in the cellar of your mind but occasionally comes upstairs and shows itself every now and then.

Why not remove the bandages and see what is truly there.


I have started the process of putting the knife on the table looking at the wound I just inflicted... And than picking up the knife and inflicting another wound again. It seems crazy but it helps me understand why I've been doing it for so long. I'm going to keep inflicting wounds, and using bandages until I come to the realization that it's a pointless dance. Hopefully than I can dispense with the knife.
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Re: Are You Enlightened?

Postby Ralph » Fri May 06, 2011 12:53 am

.. and sometimes we are so preoccupied and focused on the wound itself that we overlook the one who picked up the knife in the first place.
Last edited by Ralph on Fri May 06, 2011 12:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Are You Enlightened?

Postby smiileyjen101 » Fri May 06, 2011 12:54 am

I came late to view the topic from which this one was born, and in the sharing there as it was allowed to unfold, peace was found out of fear and confusion.

That is life.

I could say the same in finding the wisdoms of ET that helped me not to understand the oneness and the light, that I already lived, but to understand the workings of the mind and the ego borne of choosing fear instead of love. And with that understanding, to accept the reality of this. We are each doing the best we can with what we have.

On the gorgeous rose, every rose should be so admired - but are they? No, it takes 'someone' to plant it, tend it, feed it with their love and care and others to notice if they are sufficiently awake and at peace to notice the purety of the moment.

What we deem a rose and what we deem a weed are only labels on Earth, they are all beautiful expressions of nature.
Although the scent of flowers does not travel against the wind, the scent of a person who is good pervades everywhere. Dhammapada (1st century BC)


On the beautiful sharing of self that happens in this forum and Ashley, thank you for yours which allowed others to fully see the beauty of you as a contributor to that thread in peace and offering of your 'self' -
Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness (my note: or wisdom borne of experience) never decreases by being shared. (attributed to the Buddha c. 563 BC-483 BC)


On the
mystic, ghostly fugue-like and sometimes tragic tales of smileyjen

after I got over myself fppfffting :wink: ... maybe Tolle hasn't taught me well enough how to walk upon this Earth, I thought I blended in now :lol:

The 'sometimes tragic tales' are not tragic at all. They are moments of life lived. The gem of them is that love and compassion transmutes all experiences.

If you suppose them to be tragic you are viewing them through fear instead of the light of love in which they are offered. If you think them to only be my tales, you are viewing them in separation instead of the oneness in which they are offered that may allow you to see others around you in the joyous light of love and compassion rather than in that darkness of 'tragic'.

The gifts within the tales are that you need not suffer, you need not carry a burden of life lived well, you can rejoice that this moment is, that moment is now not, and through this the appreciation for this moment is all encompassing peace, regardless of what it contains.

The greatest gift watching my son not breathe for all my waking hours, often 18 hours a day, for 28 days was that each moment was all we had, definitively, absolutely. Through the teachings of Tolle we learn the preciousness of this moment.

We had that with an unmistakeable certainty, and we filled it with love, and laughter and joy (okay yes there were shitty times too, but ... that's life and they too were only 'moments'). Our acceptance of 'what is' love filled the nursery and flowed out to the wider hospital, and was taken home by staff, patients and visitors. Some of the tales of it helped others in their dark hours, some of it allowed others to choose love over fear, selflessness over self.

It is not, and was never a 'tragedy'. Every moment is a gift to fill with love and compassion, to overcome fear and separation and BE the oneness.
That, is usually my point in mentioning it.

It absolutely 'trained' me to be absolutely grateful and present for this moment. To not judge a thing as it unfolds, to let it be and be love and joy and grace and grateful for each and every moment.

So --- ppffft if you don't 'get' this yet, this will make no sense either. ... when my 15 yr old daughter was suddenly killed ... we had absolutely no regrets. We had only moments of love and joy and yes some shitty times too, that is also life.

While we heard the 'shame for one so young' I could only genuinely smile in the knowledge that she had lived, truly lived, every moment having been raised in that light. An 80 year old friend of hers sat at her funeral amazed by the outpouring of love from people from all walks and stations of life listening to their tales of her love and compassion and naughtiness and mistakes and fearless living, and turned to me and said - 'Jen, I don't think I've lived as much as she did.'

I could only hug him and say, with a smile, 'Better get to living it then.'

Am I enlightened - well I'm not burdened by fear and separateness. What many mistake for being my ego is confidence and faith that all is well, what some mistake for my niavete and weakness is a willingness to let go of self and be transmuted love, what some see as 'stories' are seeds planting in a well tilled bed of love and compassion, so that others may stop and smell the roses of them - of course some will only recognise the whiff of manure/fertiliser and walk on by them, this too is okay.

As to the beauty or otherwise of the human mind - it's only use is to filter what you fill yours with in order to walk upon this Earth. I choose (okay enigma... I have no choice but) to fill mine with love and compassion.
Those whose minds are filled with compassion will never enter a world dark with woes. No real harm will ever come to anyone who protects all living beings and shows them kindness. (Tiruvalluvar pre 8th Century)

May I be a lamp for those in darkness, a home for the homeless, and a servant to the world.
May I be a protector to those without protection, a leader for those who travel, and a boat, a bridge, a passage, for those who seek a farther shore.
Shantideva (8th Century)


And if not, that's okay too :wink:
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
http://www.balancinginfluences.com
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Re: Are You Enlightened?

Postby enigma » Fri May 06, 2011 5:02 am

rachMiel wrote:
snowheight wrote:
rachMiel wrote:Problem is I forget it 99% of my waking life.

:lol: (... dare I? ...) ... ahem ... who is it that forgets? ... :lol:

Ummmm ... the organ that resides in my skull and thinks it's "me?" ;-)


Actually, the organ isn't doing the thinking. What you actually are, is. Thinking originates the same place as everything else, including the brain; in consciousness. The idea that the organ is what thinks is what leads to the idea that the thinker is in the body. In fact, the body is in the thinker.
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Re: Are You Enlightened?

Postby Sighclone » Fri May 06, 2011 6:38 am

Thanks, enigma, for the fine writing in the long post above! The metaphor of the gap/no gap was poignant.

I'm just suggesting you can put down the knife.


Have you? Was it hard? How did you do it? And to be clear, what form did the knife take for you?

There is no requirement to answer these, enigma...but my experience as a counselor suggests that even a 'mental' replay of hard times with the anonymity of this forum can help others facing similar challenges. Completely up to you.

* * * * *

Yes. Bill the "debate/argument" threads might get a lot of hits. The mods are even discussing labelling such threads, perhaps even changing the background color and moderating them aggressively. But the temptation of the ego is strong...it is so eager to 'claim' the knowledge that there is no progress, only arguing. The "free will" thread is a good example, granted it is a volatile topic, as would be one on "doership." Regardless, we are not happy with them, even if we have contributed. The background ego position is "No, I'm more enlightened than you, and to prove that, this argument is the truth." What is interesting is that Eckhart and others have posed their own questions and answered them as a style of writing, often disagreeing with the questioner...

But back to the topic here: Do we need to define terms? Is "enlightenment" the same as "awakening" and the same as "Self-Realization?" And is it abiding or does that matter or is it only real when it is abiding, or does it ever "go away?" or is there only one Zen Temple which can certify it, etc...

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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