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Enlightenment. What is it and how do we know when we have achieved it?

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posted on Jan, 13 2009 @ 11:26 AM
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Originally posted by ScarletNyx

It simply is the absence of deep fear, of deep resentment, and even deep love.


Now that I can agree with, although I will clarify the "love" part as I see it.

I think we use the word "love" in a way different from the way the mystics and masters do. "Love" as we use it is "positive regard for" or "desire for" or even "want." Love as it is, really, is a deep unconditional acceptance of.

I do not know if I would say that enlightenment itself is synonymous with Love, I think you can Love and not have had that "ah ha" moment where you see "what is" for "What it/we is/are" but I do think that Love is the state of being one experiences after enlightenment. Deep, unconditional acceptance of What Is.

I think one can cultivate Love without enlightenment, but I do not think one can be enlightened without Love. If you see what is, it is impossible not to feel Love for it/us.

[edit on 13-1-2009 by Illusionsaregrander]




posted on Jan, 13 2009 @ 11:31 AM
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Originally posted by Illusionsaregrander

Originally posted by ScarletNyx

It simply is the absence of deep fear, of deep resentment, and even deep love.


Now that I can agree with, although I will clarify the "love" part as I see it.

I think we use the word "love" in a way different from the way the mystics and masters do. "Love" as we use it is "positive regard for" or "desire for" or even "want." Love as it is, really, is a deep unconditional acceptance of.

I do not know if I would say that enlightenment itself is synonymous with Love, I think you can Love and not have had that "ah ha" moment where you see "what is" for "What it/we is/are" but I do think that Love is the state of being one experiences after enlightenment. Deep, unconditional acceptance of What Is.

I think one can cultivate Love without enlightenment, but I do not think one can be enlightened without Love. If you see what is, it is impossible not to feel Love for it/us.

[edit on 13-1-2009 by Illusionsaregrander]


Maybe Love is the soft glimpse of the Enlightened for the "layman", everyday man on the street? I have known plenty of people who have Love, but not have been really Enlightened as it were. Everyone is already tapped into the Bigger Picture as it were, but some do choose to lead a simple life so, to them, Love is Enlightenment.

Unconditional acceptance is -exactly- how I would describe Love! It is one of those words, and ideas, that each and every person has a different definition too. At least its more constant than some other words!

My first "friend" on ATS. Hooray for me! Its been so long since I've expressed my thoughts on something like this!



posted on Jan, 13 2009 @ 11:38 AM
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Originally posted by ScarletNyx


Maybe Love is the soft glimpse of the Enlightened for the "layman", everyday man on the street? I have known plenty of people who have Love, but not have been really Enlightened as it were. Everyone is already tapped into the Bigger Picture as it were, but some do choose to lead a simple life so, to them, Love is Enlightenment.



I think it could be. Perhaps there is a reason so many of the spiritual teachers try to focus us on Love rather than the pursuit of enlightenment.

Perhaps you could think of enlightenment as the tree, and love the fruit. Perhaps not everyone will have the tree, but anyone who wishes can have the fruit, or benefit of that tree, and so the masters focus us upon that which we are certain to have the ability to attain.

And, if you can have the benefit of enlightenment, the fruit, without having a tree of your own, what would you have lost?



posted on Jan, 13 2009 @ 11:54 AM
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Originally posted by Illusionsaregrander

Originally posted by ScarletNyx


Maybe Love is the soft glimpse of the Enlightened for the "layman", everyday man on the street? I have known plenty of people who have Love, but not have been really Enlightened as it were. Everyone is already tapped into the Bigger Picture as it were, but some do choose to lead a simple life so, to them, Love is Enlightenment.



I think it could be. Perhaps there is a reason so many of the spiritual teachers try to focus us on Love rather than the pursuit of enlightenment.

Perhaps you could think of enlightenment as the tree, and love the fruit. Perhaps not everyone will have the tree, but anyone who wishes can have the fruit, or benefit of that tree, and so the masters focus us upon that which we are certain to have the ability to attain.

And, if you can have the benefit of enlightenment, the fruit, without having a tree of your own, what would you have lost?


Absolutely nothing, which brings us back to really what is at the core of Enlightenment - everyone is deserving of even a glimpse, and for some it comes easy and others have to move to a mountain and pray their entire lives to lift the veil. I know a friend like that - easygoing, simple, always happy, and I will say I envy his easy going nature when I have to mediate a hour a day to cool myself down from the world. Some people are more plugged into the other side of the veil for whatever reasons. Are some people closer to a greater power than others? Of course. Does that mean that its off limits to people like me who have to work? No, for in the end Love is Love, and we all will use our Enlightenment to save our fellow humans and fellow animals.



posted on Jan, 13 2009 @ 12:19 PM
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reply to post by ScarletNyx
 


I think there are clues in many of the great spiritual traditions on what sort of soil is required for the tree of enlightenment to grow.

Many of them dissuade one from "striving." Mind you the Tao te Ching is not the only source of this idea, it is just put very succinctly and easy to source.

academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu...

14

Approach it and there is no beginning;
follow it and there is no end.
You can't know it, but you can be it,
at ease in your own life.
Just realize where you come from:
this is the essence of wisdom.


64

Rushing into action, you fail.
Trying to grasp things, you lose them.
Forcing a project to completion,
you ruin what was almost ripe.


striving/desiring..............unconditional acceptance..............rejecting/hating

If you cultivate Love, or unconditional acceptance, you have the fruit and you are in essence tending the seed of enlightenment, it is the middle way. If you seek to speed it up, by striving, trying, you move away from that which nurtures the seed of that tree. No matter how elaborate the striving is, or what substances are brought in to assist. If you reject, it is the same, you are moving your being away from the condition in which the soil of your soul is fertile and conducive for enlightenment.

You cannot know for certain when the seed will sprout, how long that will take, but if you create the correct conditions you will enjoy the fruit while allowing the seed to do what it needs to do to grow into a tree. You cant hurry along spring. But you can spoil the seed by digging it up, looking at it, dumping this or that on it, etc.


When the masters set someone at a task, a koan, or meditation, they had specific reasons for doing so. Like Milarepa whose master had him build and tear down towers. It is to eventually break a stubborn mind from the idea that "doing" does anything. It is to bring about the condition of surrender through exhaustion. Surrender, unconditional acceptance of "What is" is the place where enlightenment occurs.



posted on Jan, 13 2009 @ 12:20 PM
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reply to post by Mr Green
 


If you're truly interested in the esoteric world of enlightenment, you should study Alice Bailey's book, "Initiation, Human and Solar." That will clarify things for you. Basically, an initiation is the conquering of a certain level of awareness. When you have conquered the physical realm, you have passed the first initiation. When your emotions are totally under control, and you are functioning consciously on the Astral plane, then you have passed the second initiation. When you have total mental control, and have built what is known as the Antahkarana Bridge - you have passed the third Initiation. The enlightenment that we are most familiar with - Buddha's enlightenment under the Bodhi tree - is the fourth Initiation - which is conscious awareness of the Buddhic, or Intuitional plane. Masters of Wisdom have all taken the fifth Initiation and are functioning in what is known as the Spiritual Triad: The Higher Mental plane, the Buddhic Plane and Atmic Plane - Also known as Divine Intelligence, Divine Love, and Divine Will. That's why The Buddha, when asked who, or what He was, said, "I am awake." Average man's consciousness is like being asleep, because he is unaware of the higher realities. Enlightenment is relative. We are enlightened, in relation to our animals. A great Teacher once said that our consciousness in relation to the ants, is the same as a Master's consciousness in relation to our own.



posted on Jan, 13 2009 @ 12:25 PM
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Originally posted by Illusionsaregrander
I do not know if I would say that enlightenment itself is synonymous with Love, I think you can Love and not have had that "ah ha" moment where you see "what is" for "What it/we is/are" but I do think that Love is the state of being one experiences after enlightenment. Deep, unconditional acceptance of What Is.

I think one can cultivate Love without enlightenment, but I do not think one can be enlightened without Love. If you see what is, it is impossible not to feel Love for it/us.


Very well said. And for me that was one of the most amazing parts. That whole "in love with it all" sensation. I am somewhat of a misanthrope, so that mindset is never typical, which is what made it so striking! I was thinking at the time "wow...this is so amazing" because it was so unlike me! Driving and seeing people I normally would have been wary of (i.e. locked and loaded around) and thinking "they are just such beautiful expressions of the one mind".

And likewise, the "acceptance" of "what is" lasted at least on an intellectual level, but the universal love part was short lived. : )

[edit on 13-1-2009 by Sonya610]



posted on Jan, 13 2009 @ 12:40 PM
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Maybe it's as simple as beeing truly happy with who you are and what you're doing, knowing your good an bad sides.



posted on Jan, 13 2009 @ 12:57 PM
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I agree with all the posts regarding love. Once we have felt it, surrendered to it and accepted unconditional love a base is set for enlightenment to grow from. Without total acceptance of this unconditional love we are shown we will struggle to grow and may be stuck at this part for ages. As hard as it sounds the acccepting of unconditional love within can be a hard thing to take for some people. People question what it is, why do they feel like this, where is it coming from? Once you start to feel it more and more you'll find you alter your out look on life, the way you reacte to people and situations. I also think people who give out this positive love energy change the people around them in very subtle ways. I hope its like a ripple effect and others pick it up possibly changing them in some small way too.



posted on Jan, 13 2009 @ 02:39 PM
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I believe that in 'enlightenment' all of the conflicts (inner and outer) that seem out of control when we are stuck in lower planes of awareness, become revealed for what they are...illusions.

Likewise, I don't think it's necessary to overcome the ego in order to achieve enlightenment. On the contrary. I believe the ego must be transformed by contact with the divine self. Transcendence does not eliminate that which it transcends but includes it in a more comprehensive vision if you will.

David



posted on Jan, 13 2009 @ 02:45 PM
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Originally posted by mightymouth
Likewise, I don't think it's necessary to overcome the ego in order to achieve enlightenment. On the contrary. I believe the ego must be transformed by contact with the divine self. Transcendence does not eliminate that which it transcends but includes it in a more comprehensive vision if you will.

David


I read somewhere that if we totally lost our ego on this plane we would be unable to function, so in a way yes your right we cant escape or overcome it completely. Maybe shinning the light of the inner divine on it is all we need to do to our ego, let our inner being transform our ego to one thats totally accepting.



posted on Jan, 13 2009 @ 03:11 PM
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Originally posted by mightymouth

Likewise, I don't think it's necessary to overcome the ego in order to achieve enlightenment. On the contrary. I believe the ego must be transformed by contact with the divine self. Transcendence does not eliminate that which it transcends but includes it in a more comprehensive vision if you will.


I would phrase it slightly differently, but in essence I agree.

I would also say that you do not need to "overcome" the ego, (overcoming is a form of striving) nor really do I think the ego needs to be transformed. (which is a rejection of what it IS) What one can do is to realize that the ego is not YOU.

You are the watcher, the observer. That is one thing meditation can do that can be beneficial. In the futile task of trying to "silence the mind" one can have a realization that, "If I am watching my mind, can I be the mind? Am I the watcher? Or the watched?" The "silence" one can experience is not that of the mind suddenly ceasing its chatter, it is the silence one realizes when one realizes that one is not the chatter but the listener. Not the actor, but the audience.

When you transcend a thing, you rise above it, you dont change it, or eliminate it. You discover who and what you really are.

[edit on 13-1-2009 by Illusionsaregrander]



posted on Jan, 13 2009 @ 03:11 PM
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reply to post by autowrench
 


I suggest we're mixing apples and oranges here. It's one thing to be enlightened as to what's actually occurring socially and politically. That's a good thing, but not the kind of enlightenment suggested by the originator of this thread.

The kind of enlightenment the first poster refers to cannot be taken away by governments or people. It exists as a non-verbal awareness of the infinite Life Force within us all, which is "closer than a brother," and so utterly simple as to be illusive.

People who have the social/political enlightenment may or may not be enlightened in the spiritual sense. Most people aren't enlightened at all, but cleave to ideas and objects they associate with spiritual enlightenment, but which do not constitute enlightenment in any sense, and, in fact, may insure that enlightenment doesn't occur. Enlightenment is a strictly individual process, and there is no "one-size-fits-all" approach. The only real knowledge about enlightenment is immediate, non-verbal experience of enlightenment. Knowing descriptions of enlightenment or methods of enlightenment is not enlightenment.



posted on Jan, 13 2009 @ 03:40 PM
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No, no, & no.

Love and Wisdom are the Two Portals of Mind.

Love is the Container.

Wisdom is the Power.

You are not released or Realized by Love.

Love is Realized by Wisdom.

Mind IS Silenced. It's called the Pivot or cusp point.

Any who do not know this , just Do Not Know. Very Sorry.
I could show you, but you wouldn't believe, anyway. Darkness Falls, and Rules. It's called Unknowing (Unknown), or ignorance: It's also being Lost In The MAZE.

What is the Maze? Know Power. Read it again. Thanks.

I have Stood Before the Single Eye (all caps!): In this Absolute Stillness, the Inner Silence, I have been the Observed Observing the Observer.

The Observed Observing the Observer.

That's Right. This Single Eye (not the 3rd Eye) is the Blazing of the Pineal that Becomes the Single Eye: It is Large (about 1-1/2"), Round, and has an Iris (mine is green, what's yours?).

Some see this eye closed. They are Asleep.
Some see this eye open. They are Awakened.

Immutable. Real. Experiential.

Turn the Lights On. Go See.

Love, Love and More Love to All.

Did that Feel Good?

POWER to KNOW the ALL!

[edit on 13-1-2009 by SS,Naga]



posted on Jan, 13 2009 @ 03:48 PM
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Knowing brings love. understanding and recognizing their path brings love.

To stretch your mind out to infinty knowing that you will always have this love that is the light of knowledge.



posted on Jan, 13 2009 @ 03:57 PM
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Originally posted by SS,Naga


Mind IS Silenced. It's called the Pivot or cusp point.

Any who do not know this , just Do Not Know. Very Sorry.
I could show you, but you wouldn't believe, anyway. Darkness Falls, and


I am curious, if your mind was silenced, how did you KNOW it was silenced?

Can a silenced mind think, "Well now, there is utter silence?"

Or rather does the thinking about silence still involve thinking which is not silent?

Edit to add; From the "Hymn of Creation" in the Rig Veda, an allusion to this idea;

www.boloji.com...


Who really knows?
Who will here proclaim it?
Whence was it produced?
Whence is this creation?
The gods came afterwards, with the creation of this universe.
Who then knows whence it has arisen?

Whence this creation has arisen
– perhaps it formed itself, or perhaps it did not –
the One who looks down on it,
in the highest heaven, only He knows
or perhaps He does not know.


[edit on 13-1-2009 by Illusionsaregrander]



posted on Jan, 13 2009 @ 05:05 PM
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Originally posted by psycho81
'A Zen Master was troubled by depression before he was Enlightened. He was asked if his depression had disappeared. He replied, 'Before Enlightenment, I was depressed. After Enlightenment, I am still depressed.' 'So, what has changed?' queried the student. The Master answered, 'I now look at depression differently!'"


I find this quote to be particularly fascinating.

I have always “assumed” that Zen Masters, and others that have reached enlightenment stayed there. As in they didn’t just flicker in and out, they actually stayed in that mindset for the rest of their lives.

But the comment about depression certainly does NOT imply that is the case. I mean, carrying wood, carrying water etc…makes perfect sense because if they plan to keep existing in this world they do have to maintain some basic physical needs.

But depression? When one sees the world as the observer, I can’t imagine depression factoring into it. It is the exact opposite. It is bliss and detachment.

Now I am wondering if all of these “masters” defined enlightenment by having seen it once, even if only briefly, and not by managing to maintain that constant state.

IllusionsareGrander what are your thoughts on that? Did you think they stayed and maintained that constant state of mind?


[edit on 13-1-2009 by Sonya610]



posted on Jan, 13 2009 @ 05:29 PM
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" By Mightymouth: Likewise, I don't think it's necessary to overcome the ego in order to achieve enlightenment. On the contrary. I believe the ego must be transformed by contact with the divine self. Transcendence does not eliminate that which it transcends but includes it in a more comprehensive vision if you will. "

I haven't found myself listening so carefully in quite a while. Very good point! I have never thought about this. I will be pondering on it for a few days no doubt. I hope you will try to answer my question I ask at the end of the post.

"By Illusionsaregrander: When you transcend a thing, you rise above it, you dont change it, or eliminate it. You discover who and what you really are. "

So the ego is transformed into something else. It's still the ego, but it's not the ego as it was.

Just trying to understand both of your perspectives, frankly I don't have much to offer on this but questions that may bring more light to the issue here (the issue of transcending yet including the ego itself)

Because basically the ego starts out and continues to just attach self-manufactured baggage to the truth of your experience. I understand and do my best to live by point A) we must always transcend AND include, but point B) is that the ego gets in the way of the (truth of) experience. If I am to say that I will include the ego in my future experiences, then I must change the definition of the ego if I am to transcend my old way of experiencing things.

So how do you reconcile this?

Very good discussion going on here, very impressive.



posted on Jan, 13 2009 @ 05:35 PM
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SS,Naga Has redirected me to this thread what I have told him about this in a u2u.

(This Is a quote of me, that I sent SS,Naga in a u2u)


Last night I did a little bit of visualizations with the pyramid while laying down, and I was Getting Intense Inner Pressure where my 3rd eye is located at, and while all that was happened, you know those energy flashes? well those were coming, but they weren't flashing, they were sort of watching me and suddenly a crystal clear Egyptian eye came out of no were and was looking down at me in my head.




When I sent him a u2u about my experience with this, He replied quick telling me about this thread and helped me out some
.

The Experience was quite amazing to me, never been in a situation like that before.



posted on Jan, 13 2009 @ 05:42 PM
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Originally posted by Novise
B) is that the ego gets in the way of the (truth of) experience. If I am to say that I will include the ego in my future experiences, then I must change the definition of the ego if I am to transcend my old way of experiencing things.


I don’t think one can strive to eliminate ego. The mere act of trying to force it is in fact ego-based. I think it requires well....grace.

However the idea that “ego” gets in the way of “the truth” of experience seems inaccurate to me. There are two viewpoints, that of us as separate (ego) and that of the observer (universal mind).

Trying to mix the two, trying to get the deeper meaning out of the individual, ego based experiences is just the ego playing.

Or maybe I misread what you were saying.


[edit on 13-1-2009 by Sonya610]



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