Thursday, January 31, 2019

Experience is Not the Rx for Enlightenment

Stories of enlightenment experiences are incredible and get shared and retold. People beginning the spiritual quest read these stories and believe they are looking for an experience.

However, trying to reproduce someone else's experience is a big problem. As a unique human being, what are the chances that you can reproduce someone else's experience? Seeing this issue many assume that the experience they will have will be so powerful, so beautiful, so intense, that they will know they are enlightened. When that doesn't happen they feel lost.

When people realize their true nature they have a variety of experiences, often blissful, intense, and sometimes debilitating. It is easy to see how the intensity of the experience is taken for realization. This is a problem because no two experiences are the same.

Experience is not the bottom line for enlightenment. There is a reason that enlightenment is called "Realization." It is the realization "I am That." It is the understanding  at a deep level which causes the variety of experiences to arise. When the understanding and truth of non duality is seen, any sort of experience can ensue. Don't mistake the experience for enlightenment. It is always the realization "I am That," which is key. 


Emiliania huxleyi said...

This post is so well put, and I cannot read these sentiments often enough.

This is probably because I was 'waiting' for many years to be somehow changed, or struck by the enlightenment thunderbolt, or have an understanding of the workings of the universe downloaded into my being, and henceforth be forever changed, and I didn't even realise I thought that. Not to mention how centralised 'I' was in all that, which is in the opposite direction of realization…

However my 'rational' thoughts on the subject of awakening were couched in all the usual non dual language, and I didn't see all the fluffy, magical thinking that kept me waiting for 'something' to happen, and not noticing what was already here.

And now? There is quietness, flow, relaxation, and all the usual emotions, but not usually not experienced personally… sometimes, yes. The most noticeable freedom thus far is that I no longer mind either way, and the clinging is quickly seen and seems to release itself. I am not calling this enlightenment, but it's a big change…

Maury Lee said...

Nice to hear from you. Yes, people need to disabuse themselves from thinking enlightenment is an experience. The sages say non duality is a word mirror for seeing your true Self. It is only ignorance that prevents us from seeing and knowing our true Self. What does the trick is knowledge. When that knowledge is seen, understood, and taken in deeply, the knowledge begins to work. It's that knowledge, known deeply that entices the experiences people have. It is a grand knowledge and seeing it truly can't help but change your perspective. Sounds like you are on the right track. God bless!