Now that our latest contest is complete, we are all winners. Cosmic drumroll !!!!!!!!!
Mr. Enlightenment has answered a whole lot of questions from our previous contest, “Ask Mr. Enlightenment.”
Not only is a full transcript below. We have a great supplement. For those of you who enjoy HEARING the voice of an Enlightened human, someone who also happens to be a professional musician and has a glorious voice, guess what? An audio file is included as well. Click here for \”Ask Mr. Enlightenment\” interview with Jeffrey Chappell and Rose Rosetree.
Listen to the first audio file ever at Deeper Perception Made Practical. Or simply keep on reading. Questions from the blog contest have their own headings. (A few questions from Rose slipped in, too, but I didn’t give them headings.) Just couldn’t resist following up. A little light editing was done for the sake of flow.
Thanks so much to everyone who submitted questions. And thanks for understanding that we didn’t have time to respond to every one of them. I chose those with the most universal applicability for all you Blog-Buddies.
RR: Ask Mr. Enlightenment. Thats what were doing, Jeffrey Chappell!
JC: Hi, Rose!
RR: Hi. Yes, its Rose Rosetree and Im interviewing you with questions posed at my blog in order to just find out things that people want to know the most. And this, I should mention at the outset, is a supplement to a book you actually wrote and published called Answers From Silence. So this is not attempting to duplicate what is in that fabulously helpful book, but more practical questions that people have had about you. And so here we go.
JC: Sounds great.
Do you dream any more in a symbolic way?
JC: Yes, sometimes I do have dreams like that. And I also have all the other sorts of dreams that are just plain silliness and totally forgettable. There hasnt been a big change in that facet of living.
RR: Do you have wakefulness during the dream state?
JC: Sometimes I do. Sometimes Ill think what a wonderful creation of my mind the dream is while Im dreaming it. Sometimes Ill be more or less awake in the dream. But its not a skill that I am trying to hone or increase or that I take a lot of note of. Its just something that happens once in awhile.
RR: You know, I wonder if as we talk, if it will come up in context like this that there are things that some people think of as the ultimate path to Enlightenment, or the equivalent of Enlightenment, that are not necessarily a big deal… to particular specimens of Enlightenment like you, huh?
JC: Well, I think that are a lot of ideas that people have about what enlightenment is and what it should be, and I dont know that those are always the accurate kind of ideas to have about it.
RR: Well, whats the very first kind of definition that youd like to put out there in our conversation now?
JC: I think the main element of enlightenment is a change of identity. Enlightenment is about identity.
Enlightenment is not about being in a good mood all the time, or anything like that. Its not about the sudden appearance of supernatural powers. Its none of that. The central issue, the way I see it, is identity.
How crowded is it in there, Mr. Enlightenment?
RR: In terms of your own identity and your subconscious mind or what might be called your unconscious mind, is there a lot in it now? Did you gain access to it in a different way after you became unenlightened?
JC: Ive noticed nothing there at all in terms of aspects that would answer that question. In other words, its not a region that pulls my attention in any way, shape, or form. The question on the blog was if my unconscious was, I think, something like calm…
RR: …and quiet.
JC: Yeah. Thats a very accurate description.
RR: Are you interested in unconscious or subconscious phenomena in other people compared to before you became enlightened?
JC: No, not any more than I used to be.
RR: And how would you rank that interest?
JC: Well, you know, I went through times when I would keep dream journals for myself, I went through training in different kinds of counseling people as well as alternative healing methods, so in those regards you might say that I had that kind of interest in the unconscious and so forth.
In dreaming, of course, a lot of the time that is the unconscious speaking to us and giving us messages and expressing what is going on in our lives in a symbolic way and so forth. And in terms of alternative healing, that would mean bringing things to awareness, bringing to consciousness things that were formerly unconscious for someone; as well as the releasing oneself from being stuck in time, particularly being stuck in the past.
So in those ways, I have brushed up against this topic. At the same time, its not a major, central focus for me at this point.
RR: So, Mr. Enlightenment, you made an allusion to healing modalities, and I wonder with the kind of identity that you have as someone who is Enlightened, how do you view your role when you facilitate healing now?
JC: I view it the same way I did when I was trained in it, which is to say my role is to exactly do that, which is to facilitate the moving forward of that persons evolution in whatever way is coming up spontaneously at that time.
Vanished birth trauma?
RR: What happened to your birth trauma (and any traumas during childhood)?
- Did it fall away?
- Was it felt and cleared quickly?
- Or did you feel connected to Source and not have to go through it at a certain point?
JC: Im sure I went through it, and out of the three choices given in that question, the one that feels like the bullseye to me is the falling away option.
RR: Falling away with insight, or falling away like a dog shaking water off of itself when it came out of the pond?
JC: Like a dog shaking water off.
RR: Not relevant to your identity and experience in the present?
(Comment 31 from Jordan, also Comment 32 from Carol Mories and Comment 36 from Heather Crawford)
What is sex? What is the big deal? Are you at all interested in sex personally?
JC: Well, thats a great question. And Ill directly answer the question and then kind of add a context to it.
What is sex? I think that it is one of our most powerful energies that we have as human beings. And I dont see that theres any contradiction or conflict between having a powerful sexual nature and a powerful spiritual nature. Lets see, did I answer the question yet?
RR: Are you interested in sex personally, or did it just end when you became Enlightened?
JC: Enlightenment doesnt stop you from being human. Everything that is human about you is still right there on the scene and is still happening. Ive always had a powerful energy that way, so its still there.
RR: Well, back at identity, one incentive for sharing sexual energy with another person, especially someone you love, is that there might be a shift to your sense of identity doing that. And has that altered?
Was that the case before, is that the case now, or do you have no idea what on earth I mean?
JC: I will say that the crux of the question is again the question of identity. Its not that sex in itself is a particular topic that gets a certain kind of attention. Its just one more of the phenomena that take place, and all of those phenomena are on equal footing.
So, in terms of identity, what happens in Enlightenment is that identity goes to that which is changeless, that which is timeless, that which is eternal. It doesnt matter what the circumstance is, the identity remains the same.
So that means that an Enlightened person would be just as changelessly Enlightened during one activity as during another activity.
RR: Choosing activities, then, would you say that for the Enlightened person… if you are having a wonderful session of making love, would that be exactly on the same scale of interest to you as vacuuming the carpet?
JC: Well, no. Vacuuming the carpet is obviously something that is more of a mundane activity. But you know this really goes to the question of what happens to your relationships after Enlightenment happens.
And I remember at first being very confused about as to what it was going to be like.
“Here I am, this reborn creature, and whats that going to mean in my primary relationship? Whats going to happen?”
And what I found was that nothing different had to happen. Things go on as normal. And that was what developed in that case.
RR: On to a different relationship, can you please describe in 10 words or less what is your perception of God? (Just kidding about the 10 words.)
JC: My only perception is God. Thats all I perceive.
RR: Does the intensity of that change throughout the day or in different situations?
JC: No, because thats always a constant. What does change sometimes in intensity is the degree to which qualities of Enlightenment are lived out on the level of the senses, and particularly the level of sight.
I do have times when light seems to be just coming at me from all directions. If I look around the room, Ill see light reflecting off of different surfaces. It just has more of a gleaming quality, and at the same time more of an enhanced three-dimensionality about it. And thats just what I would consider to be a bonus of the state that Im in. Its not a quality, again, to seek to cultivate. But its just a side benefit, or a sideshow, if anything.
RR: Or a ripening maybe?
JC: Yeah, but I noticed it immediately when I crossed this line.
RR: If I might add a question that was not asked at the blog, you know Ive been your friend and Ive been reading your aura off and on for years [i.e., doing skilled empath merges, aura reading techniques, various forms of energetic literacy].
When I compared your latest set of photos taken in conjunction with Answers From Silence to the older photos that were at the Jeffrey Chappell website, it seemed to me that I noticed a greater sweetness and a kind of intensity of the presence of the Divine in that state of Enlightenment in you. Any comment there, dude?
JC: My sense of it is that if that is happening, then its happening pretty much without my noticing it.
I feel that Im in this changeless place and that nothing has changed all this time. So, if Im evolving, its definitely happening by itself.
RR: Happening by itself, but what you described about your senses shifting a little bit, and slightly shifting or ripening experiences of light is something that has been going on…
JC: …ever since.
RR: Ever since. So there hasnt been any real shift in that, its just random?
JC: It is, kind of, and its a nice little reminder sometimes, but thats all it is.
RR: Got it. Now, if you were brought up within a particular religion, does that theology remain in a kind of a separate compartment of understanding of Who God is as a description, or does being Enlightened just make it all clear and very personal now?
JC: It makes it all clear and very personal.
I think its worth saying that there are different kinds of understanding.
- Intellectual understanding is one kind of those kinds of understanding. So to have a theological construct or an idea of who God is would be something that is happening on the level of the intellect.
- Whereas, when were talking about Enlightenment, were talking about something that happens in a more all-encompassing way. Its not just limited to the intellect. The other kind of understanding is direct experience.
RR: I wondered when you were going to drop that other shoe.
JC: Right. So, when you directly experience something, then you also have that sort of understanding of something. And that is the division that is inherent in that question that was asked.
A theological idea would be an intellectual knowledge, and then the living it on a day-to-day, moment-to-moment basis is the experience aspect of the knowledge.
RR: Well, what about other peoples theologies? For example, if someone goes on and on in a very impassioned way about God exclusively belonging to people with a particular understanding, do you find that adorable, flattering, insightful, ridiculous, or what?
JC: I think that there can be a lot of dimensions tied up in that. One is that people can talk about God and be very emotional about it, and what theyre really talking about is their emotions.
Or they can talk about God as if they owned the only right idea about God, and in that case they are talking about being an authority about something or being infallible. Theyre not really talking about God. Theyre talking about their issue around God.
RR: So is it charming, adorable? When they do these various things –they meaning sometimes us — does it just depend on the box people are putting God in, or is it always cute?
JC: Well, no, its not cute, for example, in politics, being used as a weapon against other people. Thats not cute.
You know, it would be nice if, instead of boxing God in, people would let God come to them and really allow an experience of grace to enter their hearts.
Remembering the weird old days
Now that youre Enlightened, what is your perception of your life pre-Enlightenment? How do you feel about all that karma?
JC: I have no feeling about it whatsoever. And usually if I think about that pre-Enlightenment life, I think, Gee, Jeff was a really nice guy.
RR: Ill vouch for that.
JC: And thats about it. You know, the karma thing is so totally burned off that there is really nothing to react to any more.
RR: You know, a lot of people in pursuit of Enlightenment talk a great deal about the alleged importance of finding your purpose. How do you respond to that idea of purpose as a supercharged or evolutionary or important piece of life?
JC: I think thats a great question.
RR: Thank you. That wasnt from the blog, exactly (though influenced by Sunny’s Comment 26) but you just made me ask it.
JC: At a certain place — this will sound probably strange, but — the ideal, the goal, is to have no purpose.
So finding a purpose is an intermediary step. Its leading you on your path of enlightenment.
But the end of the path is that simple aspect of Being. And Being in timelessness, and Being as the potential of all things that take shape, and Being as the true nature of what is.
Its very hard to say that Being has a purpose.
Also, in timelessness, all moments are totally full and complete. Theres a sense of fullness, a sense of completion.
The only time you have a purpose is when there is something lacking, and the purpose is to fill the lack. So if theres no lack, then you dont need a purpose.
These are statements being made from a perspective of timelessness. And I dont even mean perspective, because that implies a choice in adopting a viewpoint of some sort. And Im not talking about that. Im talking about knowledge in the sense of direct experience.
So, what I want to do is to speak of what that is as clearly and as straightforwardly as I can and just get that out there so people know about it.
Lets go into some questions about the process of becoming Enlightened. Could someone become Enlightened without ever noticing it?
JC: I doubt it. Although I imagine there might a possibility that it could happen to someone who has absolutely no intellectual framework to interpret the experience.
They might be Enlightened and not be able to say thats what that is. And that would be fine! It might be better to have the intellectual framework to say thats what that is, to be able to have a name for the experience.
RR: Do you know any reasonably public figures who might be enlightened and not notice it and not have that intellectual understanding?
JC: No, I dont. Thats not to say theyre not out there. I think its a gift of yours, for example, to be able to do that. And again this comes back to this question of, Well, youre Enlightened and therefore I would expect that you have this or that skill or ability.
Skills and abilities and gifts that people have are the ones that they have. For example, I am a wonderful musician, and thats a gift that I have. I dont have the gift of looking at public figures and knowing whos Enlightened and whos not, and who does or doesnt know that theyre Enlightened. Thats a gift that someone else has, for example, Rose.
RR: Well, I dont know who knows if theyre Enlightened, but that literacy thing, yeah.
JC: Well, Enlightenment doesnt give you talents that were lacking before, necessarily, or tune you in to certain things in different ways. Its not about that so much. Its primarily about a change of identity.
Once that identity has changed, is there a set of exercises or daily practice or routine thats required in order to stay at that level, sort of like maintenance exercises?
JC: I honesty dont know the answer to that, because I still do my meditation twice a day that Ive done ever since 1974, and so its possible that that has something to do with maintaining it.
However, I dont have the sense that it does whatsoever. I mostly do that still out of gratitude, and its more of a way of resting the physical body than doing anything else. Thats the benefit I get from it.
But the question is backwards in a way.
Its not that Enlightenment needs to be maintained, its that Enlightenment maintains everything. The source of all existence is maintaining existence. Its not that you have to do something to maintain the Source. Its already there.
Influential friends, contagiousness
(Jim Curry’s Comment 10 Also Suzanne’s Comment 21)
Could you improve your chances for becoming spiritually Enlightened by socializing with Enlightened people much in the way that people might join a tennis club or play bridge or that sort of thing?
JC: I think that the answer to that would be yes. I think it could only help to hang out with people like that, to have friends and associates who are putting out good spiritual vibrations.
RR: However, what about the idea of hanging out with people and that [alone] making somebody Enlightened?
JC: You know, I had a student whom I worked with quite a bit. His name is Gideon. Hes mentioned in Answers from Silence. I met with him many times. And each time, I brought another way that I had thought up to advance his consciousness.
I think that there must be a way to do anything; all you have to do is think of how to do it.
I am absolutely not in favor of being bound by traditional ways of doing things. So, if theres a way to bring somebody along with me, then I would love to find that. In fact, when I sit in silence with someone, Ive gotten reports from numerous people that they feel an energy coming to them. So I think that something can go on there.
Enlightened or simply goofy with happiness?
How can you prove to yourself that you are enlightened and not simply in a very good mood? Whats different?
JC: Moods change. Enlightenment doesnt change. Changelessness does not change. You can be in a good mood, but if you want to prove that youre enlightened, its when youre still Enlightened when youre NOT in a good mood.
RR: And speaking of not a good mood, heres a small assortment of, I think, very eloquent paragraphs that speak to a certain discontent. (Courtesy of Jim Curry’s Comment 24.)
“I am certainly not the only person in the world who has a poor or perhaps distorted notion of what the New Testament says. Listen to or read any evangelical sermon in the country, and you will see clearly that even most (not all) of those who scream harshly, ‘The Bible and only the Bible,’ have no clear idea what the New Testament says.
“Clueless. Totally clueless. If you ask me to be kindthat IS the kind phrasing. Clueless.
“Surveying the literature, I find that mystics and high order spiritual people write in two veins. Some write endlessly and rhapsodically about how good God is. Others say at length what a good deal it is to be Enlightened. Both of these are probably true. Neither is at all useful (to me).
“Why is it that enlightened people tend not to write practically and usefully about the road to Enlightenment?
“Is it the case, then, that people with excellent verbal skills and an ability to communicate well are somehow never the persons who obtain enlightenment? Are verbal/communication skills somehow an impediment?
“Phrased more cynically: Why cant an all-knowing God pick a prophet who can actually write decently?”
J.C. Yes, Jim, I enjoyed all of your questions tremendously, and I get from them the sense of someone who is a very powerful seeker who is hitting different kinds of frustration with the Enlightenment question.
I think that there are some writers who have written very clearly about it. And in particular, addressing the Christian aspect, I refer you to Alan Watts, and the name of his book is called, Behold The Spirit. This is a discussion of Christianity from an enlightened viewpoint, and it is very clear, at least to me when I am reading it.
I also think that Eckhart Tolles book, The Power of Now, is very clear.
And also Thomas Merton, another Christian figure, wrote, New Seeds of Contemplation.”
So go read those, and then tell me if its not clear, and Ill see what else I can do about it. But it is not the case that Enlightenment interferes with verbal communication or writing skills. I just think you havent hit the right books yet.
RR: And one of those books might, of course, be yours, Answers From Silence. And the best way to get that would be what?
JC: [Purchase Answers from Silence] at Amazon.com, and you can also go to answersfromsilence.com, which is the website dedicated to the book, where I have also been putting some articles–at least on a monthly basis if not more frequently–dealing with some of the things that have been coming up in these questions, in fact. So, of course, I highly recommend those.
RR: Is there anything else, Mr. Enlightenment, you would like to say in conclusion for this conversation?
JC: I found that the question [asked by you Blog-Buddies] went into certain categories.
- Curiosity was one of them: Whats it like for you? Kind of implying Whats it going to be like for me? [Note from Rose Rosetree: Because Enlightenment comes from internal validation rather than external validation, I didn’t emphasize these well meant questions during the interview.]
- There were also questions about Why am I being excluded from Enlightenment? Why is it being withheld from me as being a secret? and so forth.
- There were also questions for guidance, and the questions that had to do with kind of assumptions about what it is like to be Enlightened.
For those who were curious, I hope that we answered some of those here.
For the frustrated, I would say: Know that you are blessed, and dont blame yourself for any seeming lack of progress.
And for those seeking guidance, I would say: You have a part of you that already knows the answers to your questions, and so you should ask that part of yourself for the answers that you need.
RR: Thank you so much, Mr. Enlightenment.
JC: My pleasure!