Must admit to really enjoying reading your words. So thank you for posting them for us all to share in them as well.
Just thought I'd throw in some other thoughts into the mix:
Just my opinion - and again I certainly claim no 'supreme authority' regarding the concept of 'enlightenment' - but I also see enlightenment as in
some ways being a path of sorts...a journey from darkness if you will...and also in some ways synonimous with the whole onion analogy.
The variation however is that with this *onion* as each layer is peeled back to the next layer the onion doesn't grow progressively smaller in size -
quite the reverse, it grows progressively larger.
A quick side-track for a moment:
My own culture has a 'creation story'...which is similar to a few other cultures and also in some ways hold similarity to the Biblical creation
story...but more around the creation of difference, of the universe and I guess all things.
As the Biblical story goes, from an all-consuming nothingness, an all enveloping darkness came the first spark of difference - light. "Let there be
My culture terms that void, that nothingness if you will Po-Whawha
(pronounced Poor-far-far). Po = Night. Whawha = endless, infinite,
So in some ways 'Po-Whawha' essentially means being within a night, a darkness, that is all that exists to the depth there is nothing...not even the
dark, for there is no 'other', no 'difference or reference for comparison' to even comprehend *dark* in relation to anything else.
...the next step in the creation story for my culture is Rima
(pronounced Reh-mah). Ri/ma = speck, minute, miniscule, tiny. Ma = to grab, to be
able to grasp.
So...Rima is a speck. It is the most miniscule speck of dust, of something...in this usage the most minute miniscule speck of light. But perhaps most
importantly it was a 'speck' that was able to be *grasped* - to be realised.
Within Po-Whawha appeared this Rima - the very first realisation of difference. The very first reference point of comparison...a *something* that
wasn't there before. A *something* that denoted some form of separation
within that Po-Whawha.
...there are another five steps after that.
Well, actually a few more (depending on if you follow/are taught the esoteric or the exoteric knowledges of our culture) ...but anyway...the first
point of difference, of light, was this step/stage of 'Rima'.
Much like the onion.
As each step/stage happened...as each step was enlivened...Rima increased, light came, emergence from darkness into perhaps *enlightenment*
...I really love this bit you posted in a previous reply:
I am just in the state of mind that I was before I was born. I am still the same person and yet I am not.
...awesome. Really really loved it.
Which leads into this next bit I'd really like to throw out there also:
The journey...the path...from Po-Whawha, through to Rima, through to the next steps and stages.
I personally believe that the steps do in some ways 'take us back'...back to - if you will - a level of purity of essence.
However its like the onion, layer upon layer.
Its also not about losing...but learning...and from that addition...as much as that may seem a contradiction on the surface - the stripping away to
actually become both *less* and *more* simultaneously.
That said - I also don't believe there is *wastefulness* in life, the universe, all things, whatever and however you define it to be.
I don't believe anything is superfluous.
Everything - I believe - has reason and role. We may not understand what the reason and role is at the time, or ever...but I do believe everything and
all has it.
...so...I guess...again regarding *enlightenment* being process, being journey rather than destination...IF any of us reaches *enlightenment*...is it
the end product? The completion? If it is...why do we still exist within the physicality of these flesh containers we call bodies? Perhaps we remain
so as our next steps require it. Who knows. I'm more just thinking aloud.
Or maybe its just the next layer of the onion.
Either way...thank you again stevedel0 for creating this thread and sharing your thoughts. Very much appreciated.