Enlightenment is finding that there is nothing to find. Enlightenment is to come to know that there is nowhere to go. Enlightenment is the understanding that this is all, that this is perfect, that this is it. Enlightenment is not an achievement, it is an understanding that there is nothing to achieve, nowhere to go. You are already there - you have never been away. You cannot be away from there. God has never been missed. Maybe you have forgotten, that's all. Maybe you have fallen asleep, that's all.
Do not think that enlightenment is going to make you special, it's not. If you feel special in any way, then enlightenment has not occurred. I meet a lot of people who think they are enlightened and awake simply because they have had a very moving spiritual experience. They wear their enlightenment on their sleeve like a badge of honor. They sit among friends and talk about how awake they are while sipping coffee at a cafe. The funny thing about enlightenment is that when it is authentic, there is no one to claim it. Enlightenment is very ordinary; it is nothing special. Rather than making you more special, it is going to make you less special. It plants you right in the center of a wonderful humility and innocence. Everyone else may or may not call you enlightened, but when you are enlightened the whole notion of enlightenment and someone who is enlightened is a big joke. I use the word enlightenment all the time; not to point you toward it but to point you beyond it. Do not get stuck in enlightenment.
Many people, through diverse spiritual practices and disciplines have sought enlightenment. Various phenomena, some of them potentially quite captivating, may occur along the path of spiritual development whether it leads to true enlightenment or not. They can be helpful if used wisely, but are neighed the sign of enlightenment nor the requirements for enlightenment. These can includes extrasensory perception (sometimes called ESP), remote viewing, or "miraculous" healing. However, the essence of enlightenment, above and beyond all phenomena, is a big understanding, which gives you a deep and wide perspective to see the world as a whole, and a capacity to accept with compassion all that is.
Enlightenment means literally aligning to the Energy of my Source. And genius is only about focusing. Law of Attraction takes care of everything else. Physical humans often want to make enlightenment about finding some process and moving through the process that has been pre-described. But true enlightenment is moving to the rhythm of the internal inspiration that is coming in response to the individual desire. Enlightenment is about allowing my Connection to the Source that is me for the fulfillment of the things that I have individually defined here in my time-space-reality.
Enlightenment is a paradoxical phenomenon. You need to be commited to become enlightenment, and to do whatever is necessary to make it happen. But at the same time you can not force enlightenment to happen by sheer will. It is like the situation with happiness: you can not force happiness to happen, but you can create the right circumstances for happiness to happen. You need to be willing to die, to let go of your limited sense of 'I', to achieve enlightenment. I can feel a deepening thirst to die, to dissolve into the silence, in my heart and being.
Swami Dhyan Giten
Whether or not enlightenment is a plausible goal for us is a vital question for our lives. If it is possible for us to attain such perfect enlightenment ourselves, our whole sense of meaning and our place in the universe immediately changes. To be open to the possibility is to be a spiritual seeker, no matter what our religion. Enlightenment is not meant to be an object of religious faith. It is an evolutionary goal...
I have searched everywhere to find an answer to my question, 'Is there enlightenment?' but have never questioned the search itself. Because I have assumed that goal of enlightenment exists, I have had to search. It is the search itself which has been choking me and keeping me out of my natural state. There is no such thing as spiritual or psychological enlightenment because there is no such thing as spirit or psyche at all. I have been a damn fool all my life, searching for something which does not exist. My search is at an end.
In the process of burning out these confusions, we discover enlightenment. If the process were otherwise, the awakened state of mind would be a product dependent upon cause and effect and therefore liable to dissolution. Anything which is created must, sooner or later, die. If enlightenment were created in such a way, there would always be a possibility of ego reasserting itself, causing a return to the confused state. Enlightenment is permanent because we have not produced it; we have merely discovered it.
The world of enlightenment, and that which creates enlightenment, is much different than what most people would think. Most people have Hallmark Card descriptions of what creates enlightenment. And if their descriptions were correct, then everyone who is in religious practice would be enlightened.
The Enlightenment may have made its most lasting impact in the way we live and think today through its social history. Our institutions and laws, our conception of the state, and our political sensitivity all stem from Enlightenment ideas... Remarkably enough, at the center of these ideas stands the age-old concept of natural law. Much if the Enlightenment's innovation in in political theory may be traced to a change in the interpretation of that concept.
Israel's monomaniacal Spinoza worship is amusing and exasperating by turns. For a start, his insistence that Spinoza was the singular font of the Enlightenment leaves him without a story of the Enlightenment's intellectual or cultural origins. Every historian has to begin somewhere, but the fact that Israel begins with Spinoza, and then reduces most of what follows the philosopher to a footnote, leaves his account of the Enlightenment founded on something like immaculate conception.
It is an unfortunate fact that proofs can be very misleading. Proofs exist to establish once and for all, according to very high standards, that certain mathematical statements are irrefutable facts. What is unfortunate about this is that a proof, in spite of the fact that it is perfectly correct, does not in any way have to be enlightening. Thus, mathematicians, and mathematics students, are faced with two problems: the generation of proofs, and the generation of internal enlightenment. To understand a theorem requires enlightenment. If one has enlightenment, one knows in one's soul why a particular theorem must be true.
Herbert S. Gaskill
Whoever accepts the higher mission of art and comes nearer and nearer to it through his creative activity, will then go on from art to the Spirit deep within his own self... The philosophic search for enlightenment and the artist's search for perfection of work can meet and unite. Art can be a path to spiritual enlightenment but not to complete and lasting enlightenment. It can be born out of, and can give birth itself to, only Glimpses. For art is a search for beauty, which by itself is not enough. Beauty must be supported by virtue and both require wisdom to guide them.
The very desire to seek spiritual enlightenment is in fact nothing but the grasping tendency of the ego itself, and thus the very search for enlightenment prevents it. The 'perfect practice' is therefore not to search for enlightenment but to inquire into the motive for seeking itself. You obviously seek in order to avoid the present, and yet the present alone holds the answer: to seek forever is to miss the point forever. You always already are enlightened Spirit, and therefore to seek Spirit is simply to deny Spirit.
In Europe, the Enlightenment of the 18th century was seen as a battle against the desire of the Church to limit intellectual freedom, a battle against the Inquisition, a battle against religious censorship. And the victory of the Enlightenment in Europe was seen as pushing religion away from the center of power. In America, at the same time, the Enlightenment meant coming to a country where people were not going to persecute you by reason of your religion. So it meant a liberation into religion. In Europe, it was liberation out of religion.
Perhaps the most concise summary of enlightenment would be: transcending dualism . ... Dualism is the conceptual division of the world into categories ... human perception is by nature a dualistic phenomenon which makes the quest for enlightenment an uphill struggle, to say the least.
Enlightenment is not an experience at all, because the experiencer is lost. The "I", the ego is lost. Enlightenment is more like an experiencing. It is a process. It begins, but it never ends. You enter it, but you can never possess it. It is a deep merging and melting with Existence. It is a oneness. It is like a drop dropping into the Ocean.
Swami Dhyan Giten
By god the Buddhist means that from which the universe was born, the unborn of the Buddhist scriptures, and by soul that factor in the thing called man which moves towards enlightenment. Why need more be said of it, at any rate those who are not content with scholarship, but strive to attain that same enlightenment?
What matters is that you meditate, you're seeking enlightenment, you're on the pathway to enlightenment, and you're having fun. Don't look for reassurance in the eyes of others. Look for reassurance in your own eyes. Only you know if Buddhist practice is improving the quality of your life.
If you want to experience enlightenment, take a deep breath in and relax. As you are releasing the air forget, for a moment, about all your worries and desires. Just appreciate yourself the way you are in the very moment. Then, just lighten up. Keep doing it as often as you want to experience enlightenment. That is it.
Enlightenment is the mind that is open to anything, but attached to nothing. That is freedom. No values, no resentment, no grudges. Not carrying the past along with you. Not carrying memories from the past that are hurtful and shameful and embarrassing. Just let all that go and you are living in enlightenment, and you are free for everything.
One can be enlightened about proofs as well as theorems. Without enlightenment, one is merely reduced to memorizing proofs. With enlightenment about a proof, its flow becomes clear and it can become an item of astonishing beauty. In addition, the need to memorize disappears because the proof has become part of your soul.
Herbert S. Gaskill
It is easy to imagine that the Buddha, the awakened one, is something or somewhere other than here or that awakening to reality will happen sometime other than now. But as long as we continue to think in terms of time we will deceive ourselves. The you who is chasing enlightenment will never become enlightened.Instead of striving towards some distant goal that you will never reach, I invite you to stop and ask: How am I avoiding the enlightenment that is already present in each moment? How am I seeing separation where it doesn't exist?