What is Enlightenment?
Is it practical spirituality? Personal, soul-oriented growth and evolution?
Could these formats be experiences? Are those who claim such experiences in a constant state of otherworldly sensate immersion within worlds beyond the ken of most?
All the time? In every moment of every day?
If you peruse the teachings of the universal sages such as Jesus or Buddha, or any of the modern gurus like Adyashanti, Mooji, Amma or Tolle, you find a denial of this continuous state of experiential immersal within Mystery.
Rather, they say that life is comprised of the moments we each live and that transcendence of that moment is in experiential fullness. Of being Present in each moment of the Now, rather than being lost in contemplations of the past and future. And that this perceptual quality is cultivated consciously over time and practice, alongside a certain element of Grace and divine bestowal.
Until the point at which the Now becomes perceptually continuous. And the body, a steady-state, resonant conduit of the Divine in every lived expression.
There are many who aspire to such Nowness who preach and crow their accomplishments to the world, seeking fame and fortune. This path is inimical to the real expression of enlightenment because it is indicative of covetousness and narcissistic self-aggrandizement.
And yet, true teachers and experiencers are also compelled to share their knowing and to seek to open doorways for those yet mired within the swirling sandstorm of Maya manifest.
How does one tell the difference? How do you know when someone has had real, transcendental experiences and have internalized the wisdom gained therein?
Many have experienced alternative perceptual realities by way of plant teachers, artificial drugs and real and synthetic brain chemicals such as DMT. These experiences are valid but also prone to misinterpretation and overestimation of their importance in the context of spiritual enlightenment. Because you’ve seen the world shift during an acid or shroom trip does not mean you have then become Enlightened, in other words.
Experiencing things the mind and soul are not ready for is also dangerous. Those who seek to raise kundalini who have not done the soul work necessary at each chakra to raise their level of consciousness can achieve higher spiritual experiences, but can also do long-lasting psychic, mental and even physical damage to themselves. If serious enough, this damage can last a lifetime or longer.
The sidhis – or powers – such as telepathy, bilocation, telekinesis and astral travel are tools with very specific psychic requirements that can be accessed with practice by some, not all. Most yogis and gurus warn against their specific cultivation as doing so is indicative of growth yet to achieve along the road to spiritual wisdom.
Sidhis occur spontaneously amongst those who travel the Pathless Path seeking the highest expression of Cosmic Citizenship. To express them carelessly or selfishly is to cultivate negative karma and to step sideways along the path. Which is the reason why true teachers do no such thing.
Empaths can tell when they are in the presence of true sages, gurus, teachers. They can just feel the auric emanations of love, compassion and expansiveness. The words of such individuals speak to empathic souls, whisper intimations of innerstanding to their deepest levels of conscious beingness.
The expression of these teachers are consciously cultivated to align with that of their chosen audiences. They can be, therefore, crass or saintly, inscrutable or vivacious, sensual or austere. One thing they all share in common is a lack of adherence to societal norms and taboos as these are primarily human laws and mores and not divine in origin.
Enlightenment does not look like what most people think it looks like. When you have been to the Mountaintop, experienced Kenshō, have been a student in Shambhala, have visited Nirvana, that boundless, infinite and eternal space of beingness within the very heart of love and consciousness manifest, you are not supposed to stay there. That looks like death to the physical body.
You must return.
To life. To the world. To the Marketplace of human involvement. And seek the enlightenment of ALL sentient beings.
By any means necessary.
The Enlightened are, at heart, trickster spirits. Irreverent and undefined. Willing to appear any way to achieve the end of breaking down personal and societal boundaries to reveal aspects of the ineffable to those mired in the mundane minutia of the daily grind.
You never know who you’re talking to.
Especially if you’re not paying close attention because you are caught up in yourself. But you don’t encounter the Enlightened within the span of a lifetime unless you are, in some form or fashion, ready to grow and evolve past the limitations of the unexamined life. Ready to take the next step in your own personal, spiritual evolution.
So pay attention. Let the synchronicities lead you. Meditate. Cultivate the Now.
By doing so, you might discover that your crazy sister or brother, cousin, friend or acquaintance might be something other than you thought.
And wouldn’t that be something?