Wouldn’t you know it, just as I keep trying to focus on the Academy Awards and Aura Reading Movie Reviews, Enlightenment keeps rearing it’s dazzling head.
So inconvenient! But who would have it any other way? I brake for Enlightenment.
With SANDRA and now MYSTERY WOMAN moving onto my Enlightenment Life List this week, another Enlightened member of our online community was inspired to write today’s blog post.
Australian ADAM is one of our community’s so-far-13 explorers of Householder Enlightenment. I’ll add headings, links and copy edits. ADAM will add the words and the wisdom. Incidentally, I tried five times, in various ways, to twirl his photograph right side up.
Phew! Just turn your heads a bit, Blog-Buddies. That ADAM is worth seeing right side up.
What is really special in today’s post is the straight-up honesty
As an Enlightenment Coach, I am honored and thrilled to be able to publish such articles as this. More and more websites and blogs are devoted to Enlightenment, Awakening, Non-Duality, Self-Realization. Except uh-oh! So frequently:
- Folks romanticize.
- Or they are such enthusiastic beginners, they lack even the most basic discernment between having a sweet experience of “Awakening” versus the massively significant ongoing state of consciousness called “Enlightenment.”
- Or they describe an ideal experience of consciousness, paying zero attention to their humanity.
- Or they describe renunciate Enlightenment, living in the middle in a kind of householder-renunciate life. As though that were ideal, or even appropriate, for a householder
Trust down-to-earth ADAM to tell it like it is.
Since Moving onto Rose’s Enlightenment Life List
It’s been an interesting year and 3 months since I became eligible for The List.
In my opinion… Enlightenment is not solely, or even primarily, an experience of perfect ease, comfort and calm.
Such experience can arise; to differing extents and durations, for some more than others. For some there may be only brief flashes here and there. The ease and calm is a side benefit – not, I think, the whole point, or even the main point.
Still Learning about Householder Enlightenment
For my first year, I wondered if I am supposed to be Enlightened, why do I feel so much conflict, struggle and negative emotion inside me? Why do things still feel so hard, sometimes harder than they did when I was apparently not Enlightened?
Enlightenment is not endgame, it is not static, it is not a gold watch given to you on your retirement from the wheel.
In many respects, Enlightenment is very much like a black belt in a martial art many people see it as the pinnacle of achievement – Game over, everything meaningful has been accomplished, total victory.
In reality, it is just one checkpoint. Yes, Enlightenment signifies a certain degree of achievement and maturity.
However, a good martial artist will understand that their work is not finished; their work will now merely be different. Possibly more advanced, but there is still always work to be done, life to be lived, new techniques, abilities, attributes to develop.
Key Myths About Enlightenment
Why have some reported that their initial experience of Enlightenment is surprisingly difficult?
In part, I think this is because of some of the prevailing myths around Enlightenment.
The key myths, in my mind, are this:
- That all life’s difficulties will be removed
- And that your previously troubled spirit will be magically able to handle every issue on earth with perfect equanimity.
This does not sound like life on earth to me.
So I spent some months in Enlightenment sorting out the contrast between this expectation versus the reality.
Life on earth continues with all of its illusions and difficulties.
This contrast can itself be a cause of new suffering.
Many of you have read my articles about crossing the threshold into Enlightenment at this blog:
- Divine Help, Moving towards Enlightenment, a Guest Post by Adam McIntosh
- Moving into Enlightenment, a Guest Post by Adam McIntosh
- How can Enlightened people do bad things? A guest post by Adam
- And a fascinating Guest Post on another topic, Your Weight Is None Of My Business, a Guest Post by Adam McIntosh
What I did not have the perspective to write about at the time was… Well, quite a few things actually.
Dunked in God, as part of moving into Enlightenment
The first month after it happened, I was completely submerged in God. I felt completely at peace and calm and confident, in a way that I have never felt before, in a way that nothing seemed able to shake.
When this gradually began to evaporate, giving way again to many of my more familiar feelings of anxiety, anger and sadness, I began to panic a little bit. If that feeling of peace and calm and joy was the core element of the enlightenment experience, and it was now leaving me, was I still Enlightened? Had I ever been Enlightened at all?
Looking back, I believe that this intense first month of zen bliss was perhaps a preview, or maybe a “welcome aboard” gift basket. A firm first impression of “this is how your life could/can be.”
However, there is still a lot of work for me to do. Some of that work involves relieving the suffering of others. Evidently, this work was not best served by my having a complete and immediate disconnection from my own experience of human difficulty and sorrow.
Enlightenment is a threshold, yes, but a threshold is not valuable in and of itself. It is merely a demarcation. Its value is in what it signifies, what is on its other side.
Coming to terms with Enlightenment
For some time, I was somewhat embarrassed about my position as 157 on the list. I kept it secret.
I feared the people in my life would be unable to reconcile this public declaration with their actual experience of me day-to-day.
Me, as a person who still got upset, got angry, as a person who didn’t have it 100% together, as a person who fucked up semi-frequently, who still hurt people sometimes.
How could people read the list, read my prior articles, and then look at me now,? How could they not, I felt, see a display of overwhelming hubris or delusion?
Consequently, I only shared this info with a tiny number of people I know personally (and only if a situation arose where not doing it began to seem dishonest).
I am gradually developing perspective – enough that I am now more comfortable with the list, and my being on it.
To our newest additions to the List – welcome aboard.
And a few words from Enlightenment Coach Rose
Sometimes people move in and out of Enlightenment. A Blog-Buddy recently described that to me. It does happen.
However, I had the privilege of facilitating several sessions with Adam over this past year. He has been STUFF-free, permeated by bliss, strongly connected to the Divine. And yet also human.
Seems to me, ADAM just got used to living this way.
That juggling of human, earth, learning can cause us to not pay attention much to the Divine presence. Yet it is there instantly when we stop to pay attention.
Being householders, we can get so caught up, we do not pay attention.
Not unlike having your foot falling asleep. Suppose that you were excitedly playing a computer game. It so happened that you sat in a position such that your left ankle was bent at an awkward angle. Who noticed? Not you, so caught up in that game.
Eventually it got to the point where your left foot fell asleep. You feel uncomfortable. You reposition yourself a bit. Everything comes back just fine.
And, like my doing Skilled Empath Merge with ADAM during some of those tough times, an objective observer would see that the ankle remained — wasn’t going anywhere — was basically doing just fine.
What was needed? Just reposition, recirculate, let the natural flow resume.