Monday, October 24, 2011
I have discussed the question of enlightenment before, but now I wish to turn to this topic once again, viewing it from the perspective of more years and experience, perhaps of more wisdom.
During my experience of deep spiritual transformation in l981, I became enlightened. This may seem like a grandiose claim, so I want to explain more precisely what I mean.
When Kundalini arose—totally spontaneous, totally lacking any of the disciplinary preparations of those who follow rigorous paths to awakening—my energies—ecstatic and sensuous—literally shot from my root and second chakra into my head, which itself became enraptured in a totally sensuous way. My crown opened, and I literally felt the “ten thousand lotus petals” unfolding within as an ecstatic flow of energy entered from above. It was then, at this crucial moment, that I became enlightened.
The culmination of the experience came as an overwhelming insight. The insight was the realization that I did not exist, that “I’ was a fairy tale, something I had in fact made up myself to carry me as a psychic construct along in my role as an “actor” in this world. If this invented “I” did not exist, then what was real?
And the answer flooded in: the only reality was this overwhelming, all consuming, all enveloping and totally rapturous “energy” now flowing through my head and through my body. My physical form, my thought system, my “me”—these together made up an infinitesimal particle in this great, surging, all pervasive conscious and utterly blissful energy. I was now privy to a small taste of this mighty force, for to confront it in its full intensity would be to court death. There are many myths and stories of those who “came too close” to divine essence and were annihilated as a consequence. Even Moses was allowed merely to see the backside of God as He passed by.
So—for a few minutes I realized this incontrovertible truth: only “God” (creative source) is real, and we are insignificant “molecules” in his vast body.
And thus it was that I became enlightened.
Now, many who undergo such illumination are quite disturbed, even embittered by the truth they have encountered. They are incensed to think that they are insignificant “players” on a manufactured screen. They want “enlightenment” to mean a state of perpetual bliss, all problems solved, all wisdom theirs. They wish to think of themselves as those who have transcended the human condition and attained a superior state of being.
But the opposite is true. “Enlightenment” as I encountered it is a totally humbling experience. It occurs when we realize our ultimate insignificance as separate entities apart from our source. It brings about understandings which reduce us to our proper dimension in the great scheme of the universe.
My illumination did not last in the sense of a continuing state of bliss and of “tne thousand petals opening.” I ultimately “came back” to what we on this plane call “reality.” But I did retain a strong memory of that pivotal episode in my life. And from then on I had to learn to walk in the “two worlds,” the mundane and the sublime,
And I came to realize that, although in the absolute sense, I was “nothing,” on the human plane, my life—like that of each of us—had meaning and purpose. I realized that compassion itself was the highest expression of divine service. Though we could not fathom the totality of “God’s”
nature, we could each dedicate our gifts and our spirits to the service of humanity, for this was our rightful destiny, despite what some might call a contradiction of logic. This dedication without expectation of reward was how we redeemed ourselves, how we proved our worth to ourselves and to our fellows.
Thus, though I experienced a brief taste of enlightenment, I make no claim to “be” enlightened. I am grateful for that experience, as if I had been, momentarily, lifted to the top of the mountain and given a glimpse of the Edenic realms beyond. And I wonder, even though we are “nothing” on this plane, what will we be when we ascend in light to source once we leave behind this level of existence?