Defining words gets tiresome, but it’s essential for context when discussing concepts such as ‘enlightenment’. For this short piece, we will define enlightenment as – “The full comprehension of a situation”. (see the rest of the definition here.)
Etymologically we have the following:-
en = In
lighten = Light
ment = Mind.
(A Mind Of Light)
The Destructive Nature Of Unknowing
The mind cannot understand knowledge. It’s a seeming paradox but very simple nonetheless. Nobody has any idea what knowledge is or where it comes from in truth. We’ve had some of the brightest minds share their epistemological philosophies, but it’s all ideas and concepts. Is it true – no.
Therefore, I’d ask – what is thought? What is the mind? Is thought of any value if it’s just interpreting ‘reality’ through the lenses of mass programming?
What if we purposefully destroyed our knowledge and relinquished what we think we know? That simply leads to the recognition that life is a complete mystery. There is no way of knowing what this is because anything linear cannot grasp the non-linear.
We’ve got enough books on this planet to fill oceans trying to figure all of this stuff out. Funnily enough, we always seem to run around in circles, repeating the same things in different words. I’d suggest this is because we don’t have any idea, and the people who ‘become enlightened’ recognise there is no point in talking about it.
Let’s bring a few things out of the closet here. Spirituality and ‘consciousness evolution’ is an apparent step on the non-existent ladder. Some ‘spiritual’ practises can make you feel a bit better for a while. Meditation, for example, brings a sense of stillness which seems to help slow the minds incessant chatter – but it doesn’t bring about ‘awakening’/’enlightenment’.
The vast majority of spiritual texts and ‘stuff’ that’s so freely available nowadays are barriers to ‘enlightenment’. It’s just a repeat of more ancient spiritual, psychological and philosophical ideas regurgitated and watered down to satisfy the minds need to know more and more. ‘Then, I’ll finally arrive’ – thinks the mind.
No Individual Becomes Enlightened
The ‘purpose’ of self-development (in its many guises – including spirituality), particularly in western philosophy and mysticism, is the study of Self to enable one to live an authentic life.
What is known as spirituality tends to hold ‘enlightenment’ as the holy grail. The paradox is that when ‘enlightenment’ apparently happens, there is no seeker to be ‘enlightened’. There is the recognition of No-Self, which has always been the case.
This is waking up from the dream, not waking up within the dream, which is the case with mystical experiences.
Upon No-Self, there is the recognition that there is nothing to be enlightened, and therefore the entire path of ‘seeking’ is entirely unnecessary.