“Enlightenment is a state of perception beyond the thinking mind, and it is free of all psychological and emotional unhappiness. It is a completely non-problematic state of being beyond the thinking mind.”
That would be my briefest of summaries on the topic. Many people think that enlightenment is a very distant and mysterious or even mystical subject, but in my experience it is a very practical state of being to enter. It is a mystical state in the sense that it is beyond the normal level of everyday experience, but it is not unattainable. Why do I say that it is not unattainable? Because I, and many, many others have had, and are having, the direct experience of this state in our everyday lives right now. So I speak from experience on the subject of enlightenment, even if I have my limitations, like not being able to walk on water or heal the sick for example. I am however free of unhappiness. I do live in a state of pure and clear perception in which there are no more psychological and emotional problems being created in my life.
And so I would say that enlightenment is a joyful and clear state of pure perception containing within it direct knowledge about life’s purpose and meaning, and as such it is a state of being which is free of fear, doubt and worry.
But is knowing the answer the same as being the answer? An interesting twist on the subject has arisen with that question.
Q. Is knowing what enlightenment is the same as being in the enlightened state?
Hmmm, good question. Enlightenment is not a theory, it is a state of being, therefore one has to have the direct experience of the state before one can know it. Does that make sense? To me it makes complete sense because I have spent many years breaking down the psychological and emotional conditioning within the thinking mind. To another it may simply sound confusing, especially if they have never experienced a state of being beyond thought.
I had better expand on that.
Q. What is a state of being beyond thought?
It is a state that is centred in stillness. When the thinking mind it perfectly still, then, and only then, is a new state of being, realised.
You have to understand that the thinking mind is never still for long. It is always on the move. Thought is movement in the mind. When the mind is still there is no thought.
One has to have the realisation, which is a direct experience, of a still mind before one can know what the still mind knows. Up to that point all that anyone has is an opinion born of a mind that has not been stilled!
Q. What does a mind that has not been stilled know?
It knows its own conditioned thoughts, attitudes, beliefs and opinions.
What else could it know? It can only know what it thinks it is or thinks it knows. To know what it actually is would require it to be in a fully awake, intelligent state of perception, which means it would need to let go of the past.
Q. What is the past within the un-stilled mind?
The past within the mind that has not been stilled is its conditioning, which equates to all its thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, opinions and existential attachments. Meaning everything that has been tagged onto an individuals mind since it entered existence at birth.
The conditioned mind is a thinking mind, and as such it is a mind that creates its own unhappiness, but only the mind that has been completely stilled is aware of this fact. The thinking mind very often would argue against what I’ve just written, well why wouldn’t it, it doesn’t want to be found out as the phoney it is, does it?
Q. Why do I say that the thinking mind is a phoney?
The thinking mind and personality is living under the 'pretence' that it is you. In fact you probably think that you are all those thoughts and emotions that you experience everyday of your life, don’t you? It would be crazy for anyone to suggest otherwise, wouldn’t it? But the past in you is all those thoughts and emotions that you experience everyday of your life. In other words thought and emotion is the past repeating itself within your mind. It is a repetition of past experience, it is never fresh and new like the still mind is.
The enlightened mind, having separated from thought and emotion, is free of the past [or the last moment] as a burden.
The enlightened mind does not react into the world through thought and emotion, therefore it does not inflict unhappiness on the people around it.
The enlightened individual responds from a place of truth-reality-integrity within, and beyond the thinking mind, which is a joyful and loving state of being. This state of truth, reality and integrity is the creator of harmony in the world.
Q. If I say, and I do, that the only way anyone can know what enlightenment is, is to still the thinking mind, would that create a barrier for you, the reader?
Here we go again. Is enlightenment a theory? No, it is the most practical of all states and it requires one to enter it! There is no other way for anyone to enter the enlightened state of being, as that great man Barry Long used to say “Stillness is the Way”, there is no other.
If you don’t take practical action, by bringing stillness to the thinking mind, then for you enlightenment will remain a subject of conjecture. Something to have a chat about with friends, or argue about, and have beliefs and opinions about . . as the thinking mind tends to do. That is the world of thought and theory, it is not a place of truth.
Q. Is there a greater Truth-Reality-Integrity than the thinking mind is aware of?
It is my experience that when the thinking mind becomes still it enters a state of being beyond its normal level of experience and that is the beginning of what I call the enlightened state. I say the beginning because there are many levels of being within the consciousness of wo/man, and the stilling of thought is only the first step in an ongoing process of self-realisation.
In entering this still state of being one becomes aware of the difference between who you thought you were, the personality, and who or what you really are, the individual consciousness and intelligence behind it all.
What you are, your intelligent state of being/consciousness, is a greater truth, reality and integrity than the person you think you are.
The only way that you can discover what you are is by separating from what you think you are.
If that sounds confusing to you then why not read it again and again until you get the idea. Let me put it this way:
What you ‘think’ you are is not the same as what you ‘really’ are.
What you ‘really’ are is far superior to what you ’think’ you are.
When you separate what you ‘really’ are from what you presently ‘think’ you are, you realise that what you are is this greater truth, reality and integrity.
This greater truth, reality and integrated state, is your very being.
The only way to discover who or what you really are is to go through a process of self-discovery, which requires you to become an observer of your self . You do this on a moment to moment and daily basis. I’m speaking of an expanding state of self-awareness now, an expansion of consciousness and an awakening of intelligence.
It is your intelligent state of consciousness which awakens and observes all that is unintelligent within your mind/psyche. It then separates from the condition completely to stand alone as your greater state of truth-reality-integrity.
This, the so called enlightened know to be the truth, but the unenlightened know nothing about.
Those who are not in the enlightened state are lost in the normal condition that mankind presently finds itself in. The enlightened are actually in the natural state. The normal condition is a barrier, which stands in the way of you experiencing the natural state.
The majority of people on earth are lost in their normal conditioning, which is fluctuating between opposite polarities of the mind and personality, so they are never happy for long. Only those who enlighten their minds, by freeing it of the ignorance of its conditioning, live in the natural state of being . . One which is free of all unhappiness.
‘Only the individual who enlightens his or her mind, by liberating it from the ignorance of its conditioning, lives in the natural state of being and is therefore free of problematic living and unhappiness.’
Q. What does the individual who wants to experience enlightenment have to do?
They have to go through the self-realisation process.
Q. What is the self-realisation process, can it be described?
To realise something is to have the direct experience of it. For example you don’t believe that you can think, you know that you can think because you have the direct experience of thinking. If it is raining outside then you don’t believe it is raining do you, you know through the power of direct experience whether it is raining or not, yes?
Q. What is it to realise self then?
It is to have the direct experience of what ‘self’ is, not partially, certainly not as a belief or an opinion, but in its entirety, with no stone left unturned. But how?
At this point, it is important to understand that within you now there is a real ‘I’ and a false I.
The false I is simply everything you think you are, but are not. Whatever you now think you are is not what you are, it is not your state of truth-reality-integrity. Only when you no longer think will you have the direct perception of what you are.
The real ‘I’ is what has to be real-i-sed. Do you see the words real and I within the word realise, yes? You have to discover and have the direct experience of the real ‘I’ within you, but in order to do that you must be willing to become aware of the false I, which is everything you presently think of as yourself.
I am speaking of self-knowledge now. To know thyself in totality is a mighty task to undertake, it is not for those who just want to dabble in it. It requires dedication and a desire to discover the truth of yourself above and beyond all else in your life. Anything less will get you nowhere, except more belief and opinion, which the enlightened mind has moved beyond.
The enlightened mind does not believe in anything. It does not have an opinion. It knows. It knows through its very state of being everything it needs to know on a moment to moment basis. But that is all it knows. What it doesn’t need to know right now with regard to any aspect of its life [and especially with regard to the man made world], the enlightened mind is content not to know. The enlightened mind rests assured that when it needs to know something, that knowledge is provided in the moment of need. If something is needed for its existential survival, that need is fulfilled. Nothing is lacking, even though to the unenlightened mind, which is looking at the enlightened mind from its position of conditioned ignorance, that might not appear to be so!