There’s a lot of talk around spiritual stuff about enlightenment. Seeking it, whether to seek it, what it actually is… I’ve met a lot of people over the years who seemed to me to misunderstand what it means in the spiritual sense. Often people attend a workshop or two, read a few books, have an amazing meditation and start referring to themselves as enlightened. In the ordinary sense of receiving knowledge about a subject, they have learned something about the spiritual realm that they didn’t know before and are thus enlightened. But in the sense that Buddha meant enlightenment, which is attaining a level of spiritual knowledge that frees you from the cycle of rebirth—or I like to think of it as attaining a level of consciousness at which you live as your divine self—I have the impression that the number of enlightened people on the planet is miniscule.
I’m actually fascinated that so many people really seriously want to become enlightened. Oddly enough, for as long a I’ve been on this journey and as much as I’ve done practices and worked to move along the path, I’ve never had even a bit of interest in becoming enlightened. I started out on the journey just deeply unhappy and struggling with health issues. When introduced to New Age thinking as part of therapy I fell instantly in love, but the thinking and the tools just served my purpose of feeling better.
I wound up taking spirituality more seriously and understanding the intertwining of body, mind and spirit enough to realize that I needed to address all three in order to get out of the health issues and into a happier space. Actually my mind turned out to be the easiest thing, in some ways, to impact because the deep unhappiness disappeared almost as soon as I learned a new way of looking at the world. And the more I understood that the way I looked at the world would determine how my life progressed, the harder I worked at holding a positive view.
Along the way I learned that emotional issues can create blocks in your body and spirit and tend to influence the mental chatter that carries on all the time. So even if you’ve decided to be positive and are careful to make only positive statements out loud, unresolved issues can keep a lot of negativity running in your head. Later I also discovered that ancestral patterns of thinking and physical holding can be passed down so that your body and thoughts can be impacted by things that happened many generations back. Until you start exploring those things are hard to note as they’re usually so ingrained in your family that you don’t question them.
I also learned that a lot of practices that move and balance energy impact both your physical being and your spiritual being. I’ve been faithful at lots of practices like yoga, the 8 Key Breaths, the Five Tibetan Rites, the lovingkindness chant, etc. because they help to move along the progress at restoring my twisted, knotted, intertwined muscles to health. I’m aware that my energy is shifting and transforming as I do the practices and that those shifts re-balance far more than just my body but the point for me is never about enlightenment.
I would say if I have a goal spiritually it arises from my belief that we’re divine beings who are here in physical bodies and we’ve forgotten our divinity. I would like to connect with that divine self, but in order to live in a body with my divine abilities. Enlightenment and reaching a state of consciousness that takes me out of the cycle of life and death—just don’t feel interested. Don’t have anything thoughts against enlightenment, just don’t personally care.
I’m curious to hear what people who DO long for enlightenment expect from it or why they want it or anything they have to tell me about why it’s desirable.
- Enlightenment Is A Story (dorfmanhealing.wordpress.com)
- Enlightened Beings ~ The Secrets To Walking A Spiritual Path (shiftfrequency.com)