People seem happy to talk about enlightenment telling you their stories of things going bump in the night, thoughts about religion or some idea they read somewhere. But it seems very few will do anything to pursuit enlightenment for themselves ie sit and mediate do yoga or similar ideas. Why do you think this is and what is the most enlightening thought you have ever had?
well who says that enlightenment can ever be achieved anyway?
people, in general, are very lazy and want instant gratification, seldom are people willing to go out venturing for something or working for it
what is enlightenment really?
communication and understanding with an ultimate reality, basically: wisdom.
it all depends on your mindset and if you believe in anything spiritual, i dont but that doesnt mean that i cant obtain wisdom. though i dont actually believe that wisdom can ever be fully obtained, theres too much of it and seeing as we only use about less than 10% of our brain power i dont think we’ll ever really obtain wisdom.
people, as a whole and individually, perceive things differently, no two people think alike. so i think enlightenment is just self realization, we can never fully know ourselves, never.
we will always be searching for things within ourselves but can never hope to find them all becos the human psyche is much to complex.
so what then? what do we do? WE LIVE!
I think eccentric (the second answerer) has it right. People think it takes some work and they do not want to do it. Actually reading is the main thing to do.Conversations With God books are a good place to start. Listening to other people, via tv or the web, who are at higher levels than you is key also. I took a college class, The Quest For God, and learned alot. I can not really pinpoint the most enlightening thought I have had as it is a continuous mind set changing process I am going through in my journey to enlighten myself.
Debt! Our lives as consumers does not leave the time for such things as meditation. There is always another day for that. More important things to do today. When we are in financial debt it makes our minds focused on money, getting and paying. Which is why so many philosophers emphasize a “simple” life. It costs less, requires less time to achieve, and frees our minds for pursuits such as enlightenment.
I think it is more important that people are thinking about enlightenment. The means by which they achieve it (or don’t) is irrelevant.
I agree that meditation (or yoga or chanting or whatever) is very significant to reaching your higher Self, but i think people are more fascinated with being enlightened with the knowledge and teachings than they are with the “religious” process of enlightenment itself. I’d say a lot of those people also might not believe in rebirth.
I feel like the fascination could go spiritual if they chose to practice meditating, or do yoga.. because the benefits of both are mind blowing (literally) But, I simply find solitude in the fact that people are seeking enlightenment, because I associate seeking enlightenment with seeking peace.
and peace is good. : )
this is a beautiful question, thank you for that.
enlightenment means self reaization and in enlightenment “dies” the persona, the ego, the bundle of thoughts comprised of the identification with the bodymind and its mental and material possessions.
this persona is not at all interested in dying, it wants to sustain itself and adds momentum to itself by accumulating more and more thoughts, possessions etc. these possessions can also mean mental possessions such as philosophising about something (for example enlightenment) and comparing all viewpoints, everything they have heard and read, everything they assume and think about it. like this, the ego, the persona adds thoughts and mental chatter to itself and therefore sustains itself and might be perceived by others as impressive (by enlightened ones he is perceived as a fool).
in the pursuit of enlightenment this persona fades away and a much higher presence awareness enters.
but in order to pursuit enlightenment, one has to be tired of this ego, of this persona, one has to be really desperate and sick of this mental play of peak and valley experiences, desires and greed versus fear and anger etc. and one has to long to awaken from this dream that one takes for the reality.
once it is seen that you are not what you think, you cannot be, for you are here, even if thoughts come and go, in the morning you have a happy thought, in the afternoon a sad one, but all these thoughts are happening in you and you are aware of them coming and going. once this is seen, the light of awareness starts to enlighten you.
“that what you are can never be lost” was one of the enlightening thoughts i received from my guru.
We’re on a facility that represents a cross section of those who are openly involved in the technological age – these people have far more distractions forcing them further into apathy and stopping them thinking and acting mindfully.
the most noteworthy (un)mindful single action i ever took was to physically attack and verbally abuse a mountain in the Himalayas. i beat it until the hardwood stick i was carrying broke – I attacked it for not helping me, my reasoning being that I and it are one – so it should lend me some of it’s strength when i am really struggling ,.alas while i got the unity thing right I forgot about relative value, i forgot who’s the boss – i had the mountain and I down as equals – Wrong. lesson then provided when I no longer had a stick and we were far above the tree line !
And, man, did a passing sherpa find the whole idea of a white guy ‘losing it’ with a mountain hilarious !
Why do you say that people are doing nothing in the pursuit of enlightenment? There are many sentient beings putting a lot of effort, sacrifice and practice to achieve it. There are many who are enlightened here at this current time. Just as there are many very close to it. My most enlightening thought = ‘Would I recognize a Buddha if I met one? Therefore I treat all beings as if they are a Buddha.
May all beings have the sources for peace and happiness. Yeshe Tsomo