[This journal entry is from January 31, 2005. As always, Jay’s current thoughts about this entry are in the post script. And the Pre Script to the Post Script. The #WordyMoFo strikes again! – Dawn]
There are so many words and phrases that get misunderstood when the enlightened address the unenlightened. It helps to remember what a fool I was just a few short years ago… a word like “unenlightened” would’ve been far too kind. Yet many good, striving people have only seen the world from the human side… in their unenlightened state, they strive to reach enlightenment. Yet so many things the masters speak of only truly make sense to another master.
Detachment is a state many spiritual people think they wish to attain. It really isn’t so. LOVE is the state we’re striving towards here, folks. It’s just that LOVE in its spiritual sense feels like detachment from a human standpoint.
It’s understandable, how many have jumped on the detachment bandwagon. If you’ve been living life as an ignorant human for twenty to sixty years, you haven’t really had a break. You get a little joy here, a little sorrow there, some pride over there… yet it’s all mixed into a pot of goo. There’s the darkness and confusion of thinking that birth is the beginning, death is the end, gotta get a good job, need a decent wife, kids to bear and raise and AAAAAH!!! It’s no wonder we think detachment sounds like fun, let’s all wish for a day of… BLANK.
Yet detachment that is referred to in the spiritual realm is not really detachment per se. A truly detached person is completely catatonic, there is no stimulus that can rouse them. They’re not attached to life in any way, shape or form. There are no goals to be reached, not even the goal of having no goals. They respond the same to being kicked in the groin or kissed on the cheek… BLANK.
The problem is, some beautiful being lived a lifetime of seeing things as a human, then either became enlightened or simply had a peak experience (we’ll discuss the difference later). Since the only frame of reference this person had was a human one, his or her newfound perspective felt like detachment. Their old perspective suddenly seemed childish, and they suddenly felt themselves detaching from all of the childish concerns of the human perspective.
There’s something else I can guarantee that they felt as well, however: the Love and Light of God. They didn’t call it that, and that doesn’t really matter. There are more ways to describe the feeling of Infinite Intelligence running through your veins than there is room in this notebook. The point is, catatonia is not enlightenment. Living a life that is bathed in pure Love is. You’re attached to many things when you’re enlightened… just not the things that bog you down when you’re unenlightened.
Pre Script to Post Script
I totally stole the whole “BLANK” rant from Ayn Rand, one of the most spiritual writers of all time (and a self-proclaimed atheist). Just to give credit where credit is due…
I would like to start off by addressing my use of the word “enlightenment”, here and anywhere else. I do not currently use the term “enlightened” to describe myself. I’d love to say that I never did, but I did. I admit it. I had no idea that there was any social model to work with other than an “us and them” mentality. I considered those that were consciously and deliberately pursuing some kind of spiritual path to be enlightened, and I considered myself one of them. Then I met a bunch of people over the years, and I realized a couple of things…
First, some of the most intelligent and thoughtful individuals I have met don’t meditate or pray, have never read a scripture or philosophical discourse, and don’t think of a path as anything other than a place to walk. Second, some of the most small-minded and inconsiderate people I have met have meditated, prayed, read books and considered themselves not just on the path but sometimes qualified to teach it. The people that consider themselves enlightened often consider those not in their group to be unenlightened. There are few things more amusing to me than hearing a self-proclaimed Pagan or Buddhist talking shit about Christians, poking fun at the crucifix while they clutch their mojo bag or finger the little jade Siddartha in their pocket.
We’re all manifestations of the same consciousness pretending to be something that we’re not. Your pretend game is cool with me as long as it doesn’t interfere with my pretend game. Feel free to poke fun at my philosophy and I will feel free to poke fun at yours when I am done poking fun at my own. Are we cool? Never mind; I don’t care.
Moving on… the next thing I got stuck on was how I brushed past the difference between a peak experience and enlightenment, saying we would discuss the matter later. I probably never did specifically write about that, and if I did it was surely different than what I would write now. Let me explain, not because I assume you don’t know the difference but because I may see it in another way.
To me, a peak experience is a moment or string of moments in which one’s old identity becomes a stranger and a new and unfamiliar perspective takes the helm. Though unfamiliar, the perspective feels natural and true in a way the old identity never did. You suddenly see without being shown and know without being told that the Universe is a place of love and light and beauty; as a part of this Universe, you are a being of love and light and beauty. The peak experience fades, but the realizations and the possibility of living in that place of realization often sticks with the person. It may change the course of that person’s life forever, or it might just fade into dusty memory. I had a peak experience when I was twenty years old, twenty years ago. It did not just change the course of my life, it defined it. It took a long time to discover what I already knew, that I had visited a place that I could find my way back to and learn to live in. (By the way, if you did the math right, you know I am not forty years old. I am eternal.)
I haven’t used the term “peak experience” for years, because I think it is a little misleading. “Mystical experience” serves me better these days when referring to what I just described. So it is with “enlightenment”. I have taken to calling the state that my spiritual scientific process generates “awake” or “awakened”.
The awakened state, according to me, basically consists of a mind with little or no thought whose primary function is to stay focused on the Infinite Intelligence in all things at all times. The human self, with it’s fun but silly little games, continues to exist without being the hands on the wheel or the source of one’s identity. Sounds kind of detached, doesn’t it? It’s funny, since the way it feels can easily be described as “fully engaged”. One’s inner compass stops swinging wildly and pointing us to one “carrot on a stick” scenario after another and becomes fixed on our own True North, a path that promotes growth by raining constant scintillating True Happiness on us. There is no end to discovering higher levels of Awakening, no glass ceiling preventing us from becoming happier every day.
If the true meaning of the word “enlightened” were “a being made of light”, then we are all enlightened. If it were “a person who deliberately fills themselves with light”, I would say enlighten yourself on a regular basis if you like feeling awesome. Me, I’m going to detach from the human perspective as much as I can because I gain more being attached to my regularly scheduled mystical experiences and ongoing Awakening. All while surrounded by Buddha statues and Mojo bags and Bibles and psychedelic paintings and Infinite Intelligence.