Q. What is enlightenment?
A. It’s an archaic term, not one I use or like. In one way, I think you can say you have experienced enlightenment, when you have experienced some bliss. I’d say to be fully enlightened, this bliss must be permanent and also accompanied by a strong ethical understanding but that’s just my definition, and such definitions always seem to centre around what closely matches oneself! So I’d take it with a pinch of salt.
From first experience to full bliss this can take around a year to two years.
There is also ‘dark enlightenment’ – maybe that should be ‘endarkenment’? for selfish use to harm others, I’d say enlightenment should be used to protect the welfare of oneself and others.
Q. Why don’t you use the term enlightenment much?
A. I think it’s a very grand word that steeps people and an achievement in grandeur and makes them seem different. Getting here, you see it was you that was most in need of work – not everyone else like you though! You feel very wonderful, but somehow, just normal like everyone else. Most that have obtained enlightenment will tell you that you don’t have to be special to do it and that anyone can do it. The word itself isn’t so useful for students. It has connotations of spirituality and gurus, mystics, stories and things people don’t really understand. The experience I can help guide you to is the same, but when one sees it can be brought about by a little understanding and practice it becomes a lot more normal just like going to the gym, more like brain exercise!
For me, enlightenment is retuning the brain to experience bliss as well as a firm understanding of the interrelatedness of everything and ethics that involve the protection and well-being of all.
Q. I have heard that enlightenment is not natural, and we have thoughts and feelings for a reason, so it’s a fool’s errand.
A. There’s no need to change feelings or thoughts, observing them or being mindful of them, brings peace. Enlightenment is the most natural thing on earth – but perhaps how we live today is making it seem a lot less natural. It is the education, the society, and the language we use that begins to cloud it all from a very young age. Lack of wisdom, deliberate or otherwise, fails to introduce children to proper management of themselves and how to interact with the world.
In the end, you see a lot of how people are is just blindly passed down without ever being questioned. The way people are brought up and treated is to serve a privileged few or the mechanistic elements of today’s society – money is in control now and there’s but a handful of people who are outside of it’s control. Much of what we do is not for the real benefit of our own inner well being, but for fulfilment through outer objects and resources — other objects and resources that others control and benefit from the supply of.
Q. It has been said enlightenment is a state that cannot fade, and to reject all states, what are your views?
A. No matter what I say or others say, it is relative to your consciousness and cannot be the absolute in you. Perhaps listen to your own consciousness over what others say and find the absolute within? That can certainly be accessed right away – so what causes enlightenment cannot fade – but there’s much to do beyond that if you want to change your brain and your experience – you need a lot of work. My views from experience are this. Were enlightenment, a state that could not fade, it would also describe ignorance. If this was true, then you and all others are enlightened now. That is not true from your stand point because you likely do not experience it.
Do not reject all states, focus on creating bliss, then focus on the bliss, then be the bliss, and then, when bliss and something other flickers in and out, be that which is constant. Bliss will increase to permanence.