For most people
enlightenment (Enlightenment) means nothing whatsoever. If
they think about it at all or even consider it for a little
while, they are likely to confuse it with some mystical
state or attainment of wisdom. Or, they may remember the
“Enlightenment” of the rationalists of the eighteenth
century who misappropriated this term from the religious
traditions to claim apparent victory of reason, logic, and
knowledge over mere belief, doctrine and ignorance. At best
those who consider it to any degree will view it as having
no immediate relevance to their own life. Others of course
will see it as a goal of meditation or a hatha yoga
discipline and believe after 6 months of such
practices,themselves enlightened. But for the most people
who only watch the ‘news’ and read the daily papers consider
it a questionable mental state characteristic or religious
zealots, mad gurus, crazy cults and only for people of a
very unstable psychology.
In fact, people are likely to misinterpret Enlightenment
in any conceivable way, provided it ends up having no
personal significance. Enlightenment, it would seem, is
acceptable to them only so long as it far enough away from
personal lives. To ponder Enlightenment as a present
possibility is experienced as a threat. It is only
conceivable or thinkable is is contained in a very socially
democratic, egalitarian context. In this context
enlightenment can be kept in a mythological, mystical and
ancient way of life which has very little applicability to
the 21st century except in it’s colorful artistic thankas
So what is paradoxical about the general ‘unenlightened’
view of Enlightenment is the people who consider it rather
odd are also very much believers in God. Now that is very
strange since enlightenment has very thing to do with
God, Truth or Reality are all names for the same ‘thing’.
Of course this ‘thing’ is neither easily comprehended and
almost never agreed upon. And so we are in an interesting
dilemma when it comes to talking about matters such as
Enlightenment, God, Reality and Truth.
The paradox is this. God or Reality is not obvious to the
un-Enlightened mind. Enightened minds are seen a psychotic
or deluded and yet God, Truth and Reality exists!
God, Truth and Reality exists not as an object, an idol
for example. Nor does God, Truth of Reality exist as a
subject, a mystical state or vision. God, Truth or Reality
is of a Transcendental nature, In Truth, God, Truth or
Reality is the Source and Condition of All of Nature, even
our own True Nature.
So why isn’t this obvious? It is not Obvious because we
are not Enightened! We are deluded, confused, angry, fearful
and continually looking for something that is Only Obvious,
like the breath under ones nose.
What makes it not so Obvious, and therefore Enlightening,
is a ‘little thing’ called “I’. This ‘I’ or another word for
it is ‘me’, is the only ‘thing’ that stands between what is
true and real and what if false and illusory.
The current understanding of philosophy, psychology and
yes even science, that grand god of the 19th and 20th
century, is based on principles and beliefs very much like
the understanding and beliefs of religion and spirituality.
We are in a very mad time as we enter the 21st century.
We are mad with ourselves and our lack of understanding
of what is True and Real. We then take this madness and view
the world as mad and then try to control our little portion
of it with the best means we have available, ourselves.
Now that’s a paradox! I’m mad at me and that makes me mad
at you. You make me mad because your mad at you and so our
madness is confirmed because I don’t understand ‘me’ and you
don’t understand ‘you’.
And so we tone it down with form of belief, some forms of
control, some forms of satisfaction and lots of walls of
security and plenty of weapons for defense.
This is our present state of the world, our communities,
religion our psychology. We have opted out of Enlightenment
and sold it to Security. We are now is a questionable and
demanding time. Either we begin to understand the underlying
principles of our fears, our sorrows and our anger or we
will continue to back ourselves into our corners, protecting
our homes, communities, families and beliefs all the while
pushing away all foreigners, foreign objects and beliefs
which will create a tension that can make an inside boom or
an outside boom! Our choice, our challenge. Enlighenment or