Enlightenment Happens! By Divyaa Kumar
When I began my so-called spiritual journey, enlightenment was far from my mind! What I was looking for was a better life and at the most some abstract notion called peace of mind. And oh yes, most certainly a quick fix method to jump start me out of my current problems! But enlightenment? That sounds an impossible concept and one usually leaves it for another life time …or for those we perceive as holier than thou!
And yet if we could only become aware, that it is our preconceived notions of the term that comes in the way, perhaps more of us might make it our reality. Enlightenment is not something for the sages, it is not an impossible dream and it does not imply a distancing of self from all that we have held dear.
Life, even our very contemporary life and enlightenment are not mutually exclusive states. And this to me is true spirituality- something that includes and not excludes my day-to- day life! Something that blends with, and indeed optimizes my humanity and its purposes and desires, rather than opposing, suffocating and suppressing them! Thereby deeply fulfilled do we extend the same to ‘others’ around us and extend from self to selves to the Godself within!
Indeed one soon realizes that impossible (sounding) concepts are not really so! Unconditional love, non-judgment, forgiveness, oneness and the like might appear idealistic, impractical, impracticable indeed when read off the pages of a book, but once you are on the journey they become unexpectedly user friendly!
Ask me! I used to think unconditional love was only a sop for those who had no ‘real’ personal lives of their own! And being the much touted ‘witness’ seemed to me a concept Shiva created so that no one could copy him! And yet, a few years into this wondrous path, all these qualities ‘happen’ more and more naturally.
One discovers that it was largely our misconceptions, rising from a half –baked understandings of these concepts, that made them loom so large and forbidding; and the rest of the gap is easily bridged by a growing awareness that literally changes the way we think and feel. And through it all we are moving towards what en ‘light’enment is best known for- increasing awareness… inner illumination… though a series of tiny almost silently building up eureka’s beyond the words that brought them about.
In more modern and scientific terms enlightenment is a re-mapping of our neural pathways, a literal expansion of our minds, into consciousness! With literally new brainwaves, our perceptions begin to change, reflecting in enhanced ways of being almost automatically; as consciousness we become one with all things as they are-and Unconditional love, non-judgment, forgiveness, oneness…happens!
And suddenly, ‘enlightenment’ is an escalating lightening of the heart, reverberating through our personal lives and environment and indeed our world. Individual journeys spontaneously become spiritual service towards humanity for you are 24/ 7 transmitter of this new consciousness wherever you maybe placed in life, through whatever tasks your day –to- day life may comprise of! Without needing to be guru or teacher…!
And the best part! Enlightenment happens in individual ways, tailor made to you! Enlightenment does not need following a prescribed set of must do’s; neither does it imply becoming some impossible ideal like the Gods and Masters we revere or resonate to for we have each individuated to be what only we could be for the whole…. and this awareness- embracing & playing our role in the cosmic play not fighting to get out of it –is enlightenment! We do not lose self but indeed revel in Self in being what the whole chose to be through to us; we do not lose self as much as find Self… in ways perhaps we were not even aware of! And life becomes an Arabian night’s journey …and mindlessness …often considered a sign of enlightenment… is not doing nothing, being nothing, or being indifferent…but entering more wholly into whatever every now comprises of-allowing the play to flow through ‘you’!
Nothingness yet another term connected with enlightenment- is really not ‘nothing’- but no thing other than I! In no-thingness we become all-thingness! Thus nothingness is not feeling empty but full and so we don’t cease to exist or function in ‘normal’ ways but indeed live our day to day life …accepting of all things in our now….blissfully. And this Bliss is not some orgasmic state of unqualified ‘joy’- but beyond joy itself where the seeming ups and downs don’t appear as opposites and this paradoxically ‘neutral’ all accepting state is the unqualified bliss. And yet thoughtlessness is not about no thoughts….but about no thoughts about our thoughts! And enlightenment which cannot be defined, for each will describe the paradoxes differently, becomes the paradox of ‘finding’ that there is nothing to find; ‘reaching’ an understanding that there is no where to reach; ‘becoming’ aware that there is no one to become!
It is the all pervasive stillness and momentum of the dawning that all is perfect, as it is, in every now and everything is happening as it must so really there is nothing to do or not do towards it! And yet this is not divorced from day to day life-whatever yours may comprise for there is infinite scope for inner expansion, reflecting in external areas of life panning out more and more to our individual ideas of what they can best be! And then …there is more…!
And one realizes that ‘enlightenment’ is not some perfect end …something that is a finish… but a dynamic state of being… like consciousness itself! And we realize that ‘enlightenment’ is not one magical moment but a series of these happenings… which have been happening somewhere along the way……and this realization permeates us in a manner quite like the beautiful music that has been playing all along in our neighbors house…but we only become consciously aware of it at some seemingly sudden ‘point’! And the sacred permeates our day-to day life in minute ways – awake, asleep, and playing, at rest or working. …indeed the sacred and mundane lose their demarcations…