Sunday, January 15, 2006


What is enlightenment?

Is enlightenment a permanent condition that becomes part of the fabric of consciousness once achieved, or a fleeting state that can arise in anyone at any time?

Once one has true enlightenment it is part of them, it does not flee or hide.
There are however various levels of enlightenment that can arise in any one at any time.
Every time you find something new you have become enlightened to that thing.
Enlightenment is different for everyone, but it is a deep understanding of something.
If a person knowingly and carefully seeks mature thought, then (once attained) that hard-won enlightenment should remain as part of the fabric of his consciousness because of his seeking it and viewing it as something valuable to be attained. It would be like trying to keep a candle lit, seeing that it doesn't go out.
But someone who has not carefully traveled that path can have a glimpse of enlightenment. That person could choose to take up the path to further enlightenment or revert to being one of the herd.
It can be permanent or fleeting.
When a lesser body enters a greater, though the two are inseperable, the smaller constitutes a fragment of the whole. The mind that returns to the source becomes the source.
Enlightenment is another word for insight. It's just more "touchy feely" to say "I've been enlightened". "People are silly". With that statement I proclaim you "enlightened".
The idea of enlightment generally is used in two different ways; there is enlightenment in the purely educational sense (thus the "Age of Enlightenment", with its humanism & scientific methods) & there is enlightenment in the spiritual sense, which makes it something roughly synonomous with "transcendance." In the latter case I'd say that enlightenment is definitely a fleeting thing. I may experience an epiphany, or moment of spiritual clarity, today & tomorrow feel confused & full of doubt again. In the former sense I think the kind of enlightment that comes with education stays with us in life but we can, unfortunately choose to be willfully ignorant of the implications of such enlightenment. As Nietzsche suggests, falsehood is sometimes a survival mechanism.
It's interesting to think about this question in terms of "collective consciousness," as opposed to just an individual's. In that sense, it seems that enlightenment is fleeting, since the same lessons must be learned again and again throughout history. Some societies have apparently achieved a kind of enlightenment (Ancient Egypt, Greece, parts of Europe during the Renaissance, parts of the West during the Age of Enlightenment, etc.) only to fall or have those ideas subverted, misinterpreted or forgotten by later generations.
Knowing others is wisdom. Knowing yourself is enlightenment.

Lao Tse
Yes, it is, grasshopper.
enlightenment is always there and you have to open your eyes very wide to see it clearly.
For me enlightenment comes from understanding how subjective our understanding of reality is.
Experience and a lot of book knowledge tells me that, even though enlightenment pretty much sticks to you like a bad rash, enlightened zen masters still need to meditate after crossing the great abyss. Though this doesn't seem like a chore to buddhas and the like.
Enlightenment is like a full tank of gas. Once obtained by search, drilling and refinement, if one operates with great efficiency and discretion, without wasting the resource one may travel relatively far without refueling. The prudent traveler tops off the tank often with the limitless little infinite rests that alex mentioned
Here I have a question for you - how do you recognize an enlightened person versus a person who is not enlightened?

I know my answer, but I want yours.
Enlightenment is as much an occasional thing as anger, confusion, understanding, etc. It's best spelled with a lower-case 'e'. The upper-case-'e' Enlightenment sought after by Eastern-religion aficionados is as pretentious and snobbish as high society.
I have unmade the whole world
I have unthought everything I was
Now everything I am is love
Enlightenment is being conscious of being exactly when and when you are supposed to be. It can come and go, but once experienced it cannot be unlearned.
Enlightenment is knowing who you are.
I think it's like any other kind of learning...use it or lose it.
I think the word "enilghtenment" by itself refers to any situation where a person comes to a deeper understanding.
Knowing a definition or having a surface knowledge doesn't even touch understanding.
People quote quotes everyday & have not a clue to the true meaning.
When it really happens, you will know it. And remember it very rarely has anything to do with religion. It has to do with life.
"Enlightenment" is defined & described in so many ways. To me, if it is fleeting, it is little more than an upwardly mobile thought. To others it is a much better understanding of an issue or field of study.

I believe "true" enlightenment must revolve around the spiritual self.

"The greatest power anyone can possess is the power over oneself" is one of my favorite quotations. And I believe it to be totally true.

The complete understanding of oneself is the closest anyone can come to enlightenment.

I do not know of anyone living today , by name, who has achieved it.
its a lie, like everything else. ill tell you this much: whatever you think it 'is' it 'isnt'.isnt it?!!
enlightenment is nothing. 'is' is a hallucination.
Missing the point completly, realising enlightenment means you that are nothing, simply said.

In other words you have to strip away your beliefs,ideas,labels your issues and a whole lot more to get to the real you.
Enlightenment is the opening of one's eyes to what is. If someone attains Supreme Enlightenment, from that moment on they will come to see what is inside the principle that makes things of the world exist. They all see and say the matters through which what is, is made.
Full article here :-
Written by Tathagata - the man with the third eye - a lump that appeared on his forehead after he passed into enlightenment.
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