Are you enlightened? For me to tell you what enlightenment “is” when I am not enlightened myself would be a horrible thing to do to you and make me feel like a phony.
But I can talk about enlightenment because I have looked through the key hole of enlightenment’s step-child, epiphany. And what I saw was brilliance, courage, forgiveness and love. These little sparks of enlightenment are now the foundation of my life. I found that real brilliance is seen by many others as stupidity, real courage is not in resisting but surrendering, real forgiveness is not something you can give to others—just to yourself for thinking you can, and love… well love is just plain fun and the more your heart breaks the more open it is to real love.
These are the gateways that were opened to me at times in my life when I needed them the most. These are the revelations that I never would have guessed would be the result of my Fool’s Journey that began with me trying to be a tough guy martial artist and businessman.
As a result, I have come to see that enlightenment is totally misunderstood. Our “all or nothing” brains link it to some exalted state of being “one” with all of life forever more! We liken it to some final state of winning the game of life with total inner and outer control.
That’s a Fools Journey that has led many to disappointment rather than enlightenment. But to aspire to be “more” enlightened and reach for that inner state of bliss and peace in a world that always seems to be a few inches away from coming off the rails, is truly a noble cause worth fighting for.
So, being “more” enlightened is the key. A single real increase in awareness will make a permanent shift in everything you do. So if you can appreciate one more thing in your life that you never appreciated before then you are that much richer.
Look at the journey to enlightenment steps I talked about in the last two e-mails and videos. Each stage, from Fools Journey, to student, to expert, to master and then finally to enlightened has one thing in common… the realization that the “art” is not doing more or getting more, but it is in the letting go of what you thought would make you enlightened. Amazingly, that is actually your enlightenment!
They say the highest Zen masters attain an enlightenment that is called, “Don’t know state of mind” where if you ask them who they are or why they do what they do, they will laugh and answer, “I don’t know.” And then with a big smile, turn the question back to you, “Do you know who you are or why you do what you do?” We have a statement in our culture that “ignorance is bliss,” but I think it would be better if said as, “the consciousness of our ignorance is freedom from always having to have an opinion about it.”
The truth is that nobody knows enough about what makes the universe work to be disappointed in anything that happens around us. So to let the externals of your world and what you think about it decide your life seems simply unenlightened.
A great Zen patriarch once said, “The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences…The struggle of what one likes and what one dislikes is the disease of the mind.” While author Paulo Coelho said, “The two hardest tests on the spiritual road are the patience to wait for the right moment and the courage not to be disappointed with what we encounter.”
So in beginning your journey toward enlightenment you might be a fool who knows nothing. But if you let your soul call you in some unknown direction, and end as a master who has turned over many rocks to find treasures, then you will realize that the company of your soul is all you were ever after. This is enlightenment.
But perhaps there is a way to skip the 10-20 years of rock turning it takes to come to this realization. I think there is. The work I do through the 5 Life Purpose Profiles, the 12 chakra gateways, Energy Medicine and coaching passes by many of the steps.
Keep your eye on your inbox for a tele-class I am going to do on the practical daily life of an enlightened master. It may be just what you need to let go and live more fully in your power, energy and passion!