The teachings of pretty much all non-dualist spiritual teachers I have read can be summarised as follows:
Advaita Vedanta (Wikipedia): “Advaita refers to the identity of the true Self, Atman, which is pure consciousness, and the highest Reality, Brahman, which is also pure consciousness.”
Ramakrishna Paramahansa (Wikipedia): “Ramakrishna emphasised God-realisation as the supreme goal of all living beings.”
Ramana Maharshi (Wikipedia): “What is finally realized as a result of such enquiry into the Source of Aham-vritti (I-thought) is verily the Heart as the undifferentiated Light of Pure Consciousness, into which the reflected light of the mind is completely absorbed.”
From EckhartTolle.com: “The work of Eckhart Teachings is in response to the urgent need of our times: the transformation of consciousness and the arising of a more enlightened humanity.”
So here’s my problem. Here are my questions I never had answered in my long search for answers:
I apologise if the irreverent tone of the post offends anyone. I am just a tiny bit fed up that no spiritual teacher will address the fundamental questions. They will make lots of lofty speeches and tell us how to live our lives, but sidestep the questions that I want answered.
Your questions are valid and I understand where you're coming from.
In my opinion, the problem with these spiritual teachers and other "enlightenment guys" is that they usually come from a following background:
To come straight to the point, I think it's valuable when one realizes that it's not the world or people that determine how good or bad a physical experience can be, but only one's own thinking process. Because this empowers people fundamentally. And these spiritual teachers offer valuable knowledge when they point to the inner self and the thinking process, and not to the outer world... as most in society do.
However, I think there are some faulty premises in some of these teachings that lead to illogical questions and answers and become limiting at some point.
I hope these ideas give you some food for thought.
answered 28 Aug '14, 21:52
Enlightenment is actually a big deal! It's also called Self-realization which means seeing the reality with real eyes (realize). We all have a wonderful vehicle called our physical bodies. Once the driver (the self/consciousness/soul/divinity), leaves its seat, body becomes a horribly foul-smelling trash that provides a feast for micro-organisms and worms. This means the divinity, or the soul is more important than the body, and the most fundamental factor of our existence is the consciousness of existence. This means it's very easy to become spiritual because all it takes is UNFOLDING like a wound-up spring, not actually about effort! When I have the above understanding, my values and priority too will change, many spiritual qualities will surface one after the other:
1) In this AWARENESS, I know that my spirit (conscious energy) is superior to material energy that make up the physical body, hence have to re-establish my sovereignty over my body-senses, and begin to act with PURE motive towards others as I am one with them in make-up (spirit + body). 2) In this PURITY, there emerges JOY. 3) In this JOYFULNESS, I want others also to be joyful as I am, hence I should begin to care for others' needs without being asked for and without even expecting anything in return (which is called LOVE). 4) In this LOVE, I give and receive love, as a result of which PEACE is experienced by me and others around. [In all these five basic qualities of spirit, there are positive side-effects--they make me powerful (POWER) against any relapse, like butter extracted from milk will not merge with water any more. They will also help me to remain blissful/balanced (BLISS) towards all circumstances and all beings!] See the wonderful benefits of enlightenment. With all those qualities, you become beloved in the eyes of others! But more importantly, you better enjoy your life!
Your three questions need a detailed answer. Please have patience, start reading:
If a rich man is told by his Doctor that he would die in a month because of some dreaded disease, his attitude towards life will immediately change—he will stop viewing his body, his relatives and his assets as source of security, and he will likely become more humane and spiritual. And what if the same Doctor, after two weeks, tells him that hospital staff made a mistake in the diagnosis as blood-sample was interchanged between his and another patient, and he is perfectly alright? Once again this man will likely become materialistic. Because the special circumstance that forced him to change no longer exists! His attitude changes, so do his values! Is this is true of world history too?
The very fact that nearly all cultures in the world have stories that keep the memories of a Golden Age shows that it really existed sometime in the past! Then somehow attitude of the individuals changed, accordingly world too changed—from being good to bad. Deterioration happens without external help whereas restoration on a global scale can happen only with the help of Almighty God! It is not for God to forcefully change people as this is against the meaning of His very name—SHIVA (WORLD BENEFACTOR). He shows the right path and then brings in an ideal condition on earth whenever decline reaches its peak. (Gita 4:7) This truth is hidden also in the ancient word for REST (aram, combination of come + God, meaning: we will have real peace only when God comes). Let us see how this happens:
When man lives in awareness that he is basically a spirit being (soul, or conscious energy that is “superior” to the material energy that makes up the physical body, Gita 3:42; 7:5), he rules over his body-senses. Thus he is in harmony with everything (Supreme Soul, fellow souls, and physical world) and soul’s qualities will be dominant in his life. This harmony will keep his body and behavior healthy, bringing happiness and peace to himself and others around. Just opposite happens when he changes into falsehood thinking he is this body (a mere material entity). In brief, soul-consciousness brings in unselfishness and body-consciousness brings in selfishness. The more selfless one is, the happier he becomes; and the more selfish one is, the unhappier he becomes. When the individuals change, the world changes! This principle of one thing leading to another (called Drama) is eternally fixed: if an action is CHOSEN, its effects are FIXED and CANNOT BE CHANGED—but are to be experienced by the doer in the present life or in any of his future lives. (Gita 2:22, 47)
One who practices serious Meditation experiences first-hand the truthfulness of the above principle of one thing leading to the other! And in the process, he also experiences how simple and beneficial is to be spiritual; because when he takes one step, he finds other qualities easily surface one after the other, as shown below: 1) The very first day of the course, one comes to KNOW that we are all children of God and are actually immortal souls whereas our bodies are merely costumes we use. 2) In this TRUE KNOWLEDGE, he re-establishes his original sovereignty over his five body-senses, and begins to act with PURE motive towards others whom he has now started considering as his own brothers and sisters. 3) In this PURITY, there emerges JOY. (Murli 22/3/86) 4) In this JOYFULNESS, he wants others also to be joyful as he is, hence he begins to care for others’ needs without being asked for and without even expecting anything in return (which is called LOVE). 5) In this LOVE, he gives and receives love, as a result of which PEACE is experienced by him and others around. [In all these five basic qualities of Soul, there are positive side-effects—there is great POWER in each of them (Murli 18/1/94), hence they make the practiser powerful against any relapse, like butter extracted from milk will not merge with water any more. They will also help him to remain blissful/balanced (BLISS) towards all circumstances and all beings!]
WHAT A WONDER! Within no time one has seven (sath) good qualities—one has become satopradhan renouncing his former wasteful tamopradhan life; thus he has a very meaningful and fragrant life befitting his original nature. This new life is very light, yet very different and dignified from the mere materialistic living for one’s self and his family (something that even birds and animals are doing)!
Thus, when a person chooses to display soul’s qualities, he, in effect, leads a golden-aged life. And if all humans living at a given time display qualities of soul or Atma (negative prefix A + tama = that which does not have darkness, or a luminous point), that part of history will be Golden Age. In fact, there were many Golden Ages, according to revelation given by God Shiva! He testifies that history repeats like DAY and NIGHT, both of which make up one Kalpa (cycle of 5000 years). The first half of the Kalpa is made of Golden Age and Silver Age where people display the qualities of Atma, hence is also called DAY. The second half of the Kalpa is made of Copper Age and Iron Age where people display the opposite qualities of soul, hence is also called NIGHT. Interestingly, this change-over from DAY to NIGHT too happens with just one step!
Towards the end of the first half of the Kalpa, humans somehow become more and more focused over body. When they take this one false step, other negative qualities follow one after the other, as shown below:
1) When people FORGET that we are all souls and think that they are merely physical bodies, they begin to be ruled by body senses. 2) In this FORGETFULNESS, people begin to consider others as male and female, feel separated and more important [EGO] than others who are now viewed as mere objects or instruments through which they can satisfy their passion or accomplish their goals. 3) In this EGOISM, they develop LUST (intense desire especially for flesh, or assets, power, fame …. etc.) 4) If met with obstacle, this LUST becomes ANGER. 5) If fulfilled, this LUST becomes ATTACHMENT and GREED both of which will further make one feel more important [EGO]; and cycle of vices repeats with more force finally plunging the world into a moral downward spiral. [In all these five vices, there are negative side-effects: In ATTACHMENT and GREED, one has FEAR of losing what has been accomplished. And if one sees others accomplishing more than himself, ENVY sets in].
WHAT A MISERY! Man has lost all seven good qualities one after the other, and has become tamopradhan, making life miserable for himself and others, as picturized in the Mahabharata Epic! And we know the time in which we now live exactly fits the description of NIGHT where most people are leading tamopradhan lives that will soon climax in a 3rd World War, and wide-spread Civil Wars and Natural Calamities.
Now what is next? Answer is hidden in the teaching of TRINITY found in almost all cultures. Trinity symbolizes three roles of GOD as Generator, Operator and Destroyer [the first letters of which, some believe, make the word GOD]. Whatever happens in our body and in the world around us is this: generation, growth and decay which are repeated eternally. These three things happen in an orderly way as though they are being headed by three divine beings who fulfill the above three roles as representatives of the God Almighty! So when man destroys the earth, God will bring in a Golden Age!—Gita 4:7; Compare Bible book of Daniel 2:44.
As I look at this question I see a rather interesting paradox! Enlightenment is about losing the small ego self for the true I Am self. But it is a journey that needs be done by the self for the self. So who wants enlightenment but the self which makes enlightenment a desire! But the Buddha said to be enlightened you must lose all desire, that is an interesting paradox.
It is said that Gautama Buddha wanted to find the cause of suffering, that was his desire. He found it in that desire causes suffering as he said, but wait a moment his desire lead him to the answer he sought. Had he no desire to find the answer would he have found enlightenment?
I think that desire leads one to what is desired if it is pursued with enough effort, the Buddha did pursue his desire with every moment he had to give to the meditation on the subject.
Now it is known that he became enlightened and has taught how to become enlightened and so on and on this goes and has gone for thousands of years. You would think by now everyone on planet Earth would be enlightened but that is not the case. In fact, technology has done more to advance humanity through constant progress than the quest for enlightenment has. Simply put, technology is for every human being, whereas enlightenment is only for each person who chooses it by him/herself.
When we achieve immortality by our technology, maybe then enlightenment would start achieving some greater value to all humanity. Until then, it will always be for a very few, sort of like one at a time, once in a great while.
Now this is the big enlightenment I am talking about, not the many little enlightenments we all reach everyday to help make things a bit easier.
First question: You are in pain and don't know it. Enlightenment removes the pain and replaces it with utter satisfaction and lack of fear. I say this being a spiritual atheist. I don't believe in God. I have found something far better (universal consciousness).
Second Question: I think you misunderstand. Enlightenment does not take away your identity. It ADDS to it. What's it like. It's like I was living my life in a twilight reality and then one day I plugged into an energy source so powerful that it lit up all of reality. I could suddenly see things I hadn't been able to see before. I could suddenly understand things I couldn't understand before. I could see the things I had been bumping into and move them out of the way. I was aware of so much more. This allowed me to explore possibilities and probabilities I hadn't dared conceive of before.
It has been a long time since I experienced a negative emotions. Imagine life without fear, without sorrow, without anger or shame or self-doubt or jealousy or angst of any kind. When I became enlightened, and began living the new life it offered me, I found out that I had been spending an INORDINATE amount of time in painful emotions. Now, all of that same time is spent doing wonderful things that give me wonderful consequences.
Third question: The god you refer to does not exist. It is the figment of some people's imaginations. I'm a spiritual atheist. Until I became an ex-Christian, it wouldn't have been possible for me to become enlightened. Not only does the Biblical god not exist, but it is depicted as a sadistic monster. When I refer to universal consciousness - an energy field common to all of life - I refer to what quantum physicists call the quantum field or the unified field. It is more like gravity than God. It does not have any power over my life. It is the source of my power in life. (severely over-simplified)
answered 26 Sep '14, 09:57
Yeah, what's the big deal?
I won't go as far as saying that I'm enlightened however I've found momentary bliss now and then. Sometimes through meditation, sometimes through mindfulness. Now to answer your questions, which as a whole is "What's in it for me?"
I'll share what I get when I'm blissful or kinda-enlightened. When my solar plexus starts to crush itself by big-jawed resistant thoughts and I try to replace those thoughts with the jolly ones, I create chaos. When so many thoughts of fixing this or that are going through my mind, and I get conscious of them I get centred in present moment. Thoughts keep pulling me towards future again and again and I keep coming back, now that I'm conscious. So after a while I feel peace and relief from mind.
Benefits of Semi-enlightenment
When mind is relatively empty or not pulling my energy in 10000 directions at once, I can now focus on what I want much better and flow energy more adroitly.
So first benefit by realizing that I'm not mind but the power which runs it, helps me get more focused. I don't fear for what I want to not be granted because I know that even if I don't get what I want it's no big deal. Because let's be real, we have a thousand people (egos) living inside us at a given time, who ask for different results on the same subject. When I or the super-ego take charge by being conscious of so many contradictory desires, it takes control by first negating all those desires by pulling the consciousness back to present. When so many parasitic egos dissolve for the moment then Buddhi (Super-ego) decides what's better for it. That's non-attachment for you.
But what happens is as we dissolve the many personalities inside us, the awareness then gets centred on the Super-ego. Awareness is a strange thing, now what it does is it starts to dissolve the very desire of being in meditation or being centred. That means that we've to have an ego for a desire and as our awareness shines through it dissolves even the super-ego hence the desire dies and you become meditation. Now there is nobody to do or think about meditation, real meditation happened and you become enlightened even if for a short period. For this very reason we need ego so we can be conscious of our power. When we realize that everything we thought to be myself is something that someone else told us about us we become peaceful. The peace is the result of suddenly being free of so many obligations of being good/bad, handsome/ugly, rich/poor or smart/dumb.
Awareness shows us that all these labels we created for ourselves were just that, the labels. And we realize that even if we do something or don't do it, a hundred thousand red Chinese don't give a ****! So we become relaxed.
Now you must be thinking that if we're completely free of ego and as the I dissolved so did You, because this I created You or the mine created others in first place, not even this body was mine you suddenly become free of forced responsibilities. You see all as one and singularity shows itself.
For a minute or two you're in this blissfulness or you are this blissfulness. Suddenly your crazy sister starts playing loud music and ego kicks in. "Oh SHE is taking away my bliss. I could have stayed in peace for a moment longer."
So what happens is as soon as you point a finger at her (SHE) as responsible for disturbing the peace, an I manifests. As long as there is Them there would be Us or vice versa.
And by this duality we again start giving our power away to others because for others to be real we'd have to give power to manifest them in our world. So as egos keep breeding, by and by our power dissipates or we stifle the very supply of it. We again become powerless noobs who can't even buy an iPhone.
The funny thing is as long as there is only me, I've no desire even for iPhone but if there are others I've to somehow be better then them.
The gist of it all would be that you sometimes need to go back to source and realise your energy, because by knowing that you've power, you'll be confident of your power. Fear will be less frequent in your mind.
But as long as you're on this physical plane the ego won't dissolve completely. The complete enlightenment would never happen and if it does, all your desires would go away and you'll get bored and die. I mean the body would complete it's programmed life time but there won't be nobody inside that head. So the best course of action is to be practising meditation or whatever once a day and keep co-creating new versions of iPhone, President and MacDonald's.The physical life is always new and I hope nobody would get bored by it, certainly not before we have no fossil-fuel or gas left.
Now that I've written this long mysterious answer I just feel that I manifested you so I can feel smart, Ha ha. Love. :)
perhaps an individual
answered 29 Aug '14, 05:57
Are you not your father son in this world? then why do you say it is not my problem but someone else problem let the father solve my problem? Let him make is choice. Do you not understand that is choice is made and that you are then one with the free will now that needs to make your own journey. so now your question is being answer. God is in the kingdom above and many of your brother and sister are all ready returned in the kingdom. some come back down for a little while to improve them self on their journey. Then they take the narrow door and go back up. Some other get lost and are on the wide gate going in extreme against them self and other and are stuck in that state until they become aware and solve their own division.
If they cannot help them self they are not able to help other also.
If they cannot be trust with the smallest thing they cannot be trust with the biggest things also.
you see For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."
What is enlightenment simply meditating solving your duality over 40 days until you are born of water and spirit when the two become one then you can enter the kingdom above, then you will know where you come from and where you are going.
are you now happy that you got a response to your question?
was it not said to you that the truth will set you free.
Let there be light , be the light that you can be, experience and enjoy.
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