Monday, March 20, 2017

Can One Claim Enlightenment?

One aspect of spirituality that I find entertaining is the question of enlightenment. There seems to be some confusion. No two answers the same. Without a common definition, who's to say what enlightenment is? There is also the myth that "He who knows doesn't say and he who doesn't know, blabs all over town."

The statement, "Everyone is enlightened," also creates a lot of misunderstanding. If this were the case, we wouldn't even have the word "enlightenment." Saying "Everyone is enlightened" simply means, whether you are enlightened or not, you are That. Well, that may be the case, but since most don't know it, they are not enlightened.

This quandary, I believe, can be explained by using the expression "Realization." Already being "That" is of no use if one doesn't know it. The enlightened one knows he is "That," and the rest don't. That's the difference.

Enlightenment is simply the realization. "You are That." It doesn't change the fact, it's just an understanding. There is only one reason everyone isn't enlightened and it's that they don't realize their identity as That. As long as anyone holds to the idea of separateness, of individuality, realization of the fact of non duality doesn't happen.

Because duality, separateness, is an appearance only, it can only be a misunderstanding. So if you don't know all is one, you are in ignorance only. That's why all the ancient sages called Vedanta knowledge. When you get the knowledge and you bring it home, you understand, you realize, "You are That."

If you understand non duality, and you know "You are That," I believe it's okay to be bold and admit it.  It's not stupid to be enlightened. But it is ignorance to be unenlightened. To summarize, there is enlightenment or realization, and it is an understanding. Yes, it doesn't change the fact that everyone already is That. But there is a difference in those who know and those who don't. So let's not keep saying everyone is enlightened. It's not the fact. Let's admit everyone is "That," but some know, and some don't.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Time to Know

You can't see the Oneness because of all the concepts you already have. These concepts were taught to you, consciously and unconsciously before you were three and they stuck. All these concepts are the veil you are looking through. You are not even cognizant that you have never examined those concepts. You think you have to look from there. How can you see Oneness through that?

But that is why you can't see. You are imprisoned in a web of concepts that you think are true. Standing on that platform, non duality, enlightenment, is not visible from that stand. But you don't know that.

First, that house of cards needs to come down. And since it is your home, the place you know, your security, you  only dismantle it a piece at a time. That creates a process that wouldn't take any time at all, if seen directly.

A second factor that adds to this dilemma, is the fact that you do not know what you are looking for. No doubt there is a strong urge for something; something that is missing. A known unknown. This not knowing the goal, and being caught in a web of unexamined concepts, creates a double whammy that will leave you seeking for years. Only in hindsight will you laugh your ass off at how simple enlightenment really is.

Once you know, it is amazing when you read the sages and realize that they were saying the Truth in numerous ways, in the most subtle and obvious ways possible in words. And how those words, at that time, were paradoxical, and strange, and confusing. And now they are not.

So many phrases now make sense.

"You are not the doer."
"You are That."
"Awareness is all there is."
"Nothing is really happening."
"You are the Absolute."
"You are everywhere."
"Nothing exists without you."

All are factual statements once you realize.

So, what are you looking for? Yourself. Not the body. Not the mind. Not your personality. But your real Self. And your real Self is not even a person! That's too small. In fact, you are the impersonal Absolute, Awareness itself, masquerading as all that is.