Monday, September 10, 2012

Enlightenment, Ascension, Awakening, What Does it Mean to You?

I have believed for a long time that mans efforts to attain a new level of enlightenment is admirable but it is probably not realistic to think that we can do this completely on our own. How exactly would it work, would one person at a time have an epiphany or does every man woman and child wake up on the same day and say.............oh, now I get it!

More importantly, what is it that we are going to get. What is enlightenment, what exactly are we going to awaken to, some might say to a higher level of understanding, that's great but what are we suppose to understand.

Some people, in particular Immanuel Kant, said to achieve enlightenment our lives must be devoid of church and state paternalism so each person would be free to use their own intellect. Well, that's nice but use our intellect for what purpose, to what end.

If you look at Buddha's teaching it defines enlightenment as awakening to a great reality most of us never perceive. No disrespect to Buddha but what good is that if most of us will never reach this great reality. Buddha goes on to say that a person who has 'it', has nothing and has something. I don't mean to offend anyone but that sounds like double talk. It is a bit like reading the bible, it is left up to interpretation so everyone has their own take on what 'it' is.

Others put enlightenment in a spiritual or religious context. In spiritual terms the word (enlightenment) seems to mean a deep understanding or insight into the mind of God, a profound spiritual understanding or a fundamentally changed consciousness whereby everything is perceived as unity. Well that sounds wonderful but what does it really mean. Once again it seems (at least to me) to be double speak. Nice words full of wisdom but nothing tangible that you can get your mind around. What in the world are we suppose to be unified with, the universe, God, Mankind, love, aliens, the earth, environment or all of it! Please don't interpret this is being atheist or anti Creator or God but I believe organized religion has done more harm to the enlightenment process than any other institution on the planet. You would have to be barren of your senses not to believe in a Creator but 'organized religion' has its own doctrine and its own agenda and many times it is completely at odds with what the Creator (God) wants us to understand.

Ascension, what exactly does that mean, ascension to me is found in the new testament, it means that the resurrected Jesus was taken to heaven in his resurrected body in the presence of eleven apostles occurring 40 days after the resurrection. It is also suppose to happen in reverse with the second coming of Christ. Now that is a really strange thought............................ reverse ascension.

So the conclusion that I have reached is that enlightenment is different for different people. Each person has to come to grips with certain things in their life while living in world that is both wonderful and tragic at the same time. We are bombarded with negative distractions almost every minute of our lives, politics,news, war, organized religion, sickness,famine, death and corruption to name just a few. At the same time we see the wonderful charity of mankind, heartwarming stories about man's kindness and generosity, art that touches your soul, religious stories that make you believe that there is a creator or higher being, new and precious life being brought into the world, food, pleasure, warmth and love.

So how are we to make sense of life to attain a higher level of enlightenment in the midst of all this intentional chaos. The answer, I believe, is that we have to prepare ourselves and no matter how hard it is we must stay focused. Many people are already doing it through meditation, talks, lectures, forums, classes and yes, even studying some aspects of religion. The internet has probably been the biggest and most useful tool to help us prepare for this new higher level of understanding that has come along in our lifetime. There seem to be more people searching now then ever before, so many have reached the conclusion that ..........'there must be more then just my everyday existence.' No one road is the right or wrong road, they all lead to the same place.

Then what happens if your physical body expires before you reach this new stage of enlightenment. I truly believe that if you have made the effort, the knowledge and the wisdom you have gained goes along with your soul to the next level of existence.

I don't think this stuff is hard to get but I do think that it is elusive. It is a bit like riding a bike for the first time or swimming, skiing, learning a language, if you can remember far enough back it's like learning to read. You certainly can expect some bumps and bruises along the way but eventually say......I get it, that is how it works and you realize that your life is so much better for making the effort. When you finally get whatever it is that you are putting the effort towards you say.......I want to live in this moment for the rest of time and to a certain extent you do!

So we do the prep work, we read, we study, discuss and is it enough, for some people it probably is. People that are truly committed to believing in their 'cause or way of life'. This is probably true of deeply religious people, monks, nuns, priest, rabbi's. Where does that leave the rest of us.

I think we need a nudge or a jolt from an outside source. Knowledge of other intelligent rational life in the universe is probably the fastest and most effective way of destroying most people normal and recreating a new reality, in essence lifting people consciousness or attaining the first level of enlightenment. I believe deep with my being that we were born with knowledge that we spend a lifetime trying to unlock. I truly believe that we are children born in the stars and we are but one species of life in a cosmos that contains thousands if not millions of others intelligent rational species. We were born with this information imprinted on our DNA, on every fiber of our being but this truth or information was somehow blocked from our consciousness. For lack of a better term a 'collective amnesia' that we must spend a lifetime attempting to break through!

Once you attain that knowledge and make that commitment you want to live in that moment for the rest of time but you can't help thinking if I have only learned to stand up and I am not even walking yet what other knowledge is in the universe, it must certainly be beyond amazing.

Life is a journey of sorts and if you never put your first foot on the road you will never reach your destination.
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