It makes me smile to write this post.

I know that if I were surfing the net or reading a book, or talking to someone, and this phrase came along, my eyes would start to twinkle and I’d gird myself to hear some ridiculous bullshit.

Nobody gets enlightenment right, not even the Buddha.

(the Buddha was a conflation of various individuals, but we will leave that alone)

Most people seem to believe that “Enlightenment” with a capital E involves some semi-divine state, where one becomes permanently vaulted beyond normal experience, and knows everything worth knowing.

The aforementioned is total bullshit.

On the other hand, there is often a seed of truth to be found in bullshit.

One cannot obviously known everything.. only the unbounded totality of everything might know *everything*, and when people think that they have become “Enlightened” or even “enlightened”, they generally just learn a bag of tricks which impresses the rubes.. including themselves.. they are just deluding themselves in a fancy manner.

My old teacher was always telling me that his guru was something approaching enlightened, and that one evidence of this was his unchanging personality.

HMMM.

One could certainly assume that when one “gets everything right” that one would then be unchanging. Unless of course always changing is the essence of “getting everything right”. We see the world around us endlessly changing..

HMMM.

Of course there is one type of behavior which might be excluded from this endless changing.. at least usually.. and this would be behaviors which would keep one
ignorant. One must imagine that an enlightened person (I don’t like “E”) wouldn’t do those very often, or at all.. unless they felt like it of course..but once the “truth about enlightenment is learned”, it’s very difficult to go back to being ignorant.

The truth about enlightenment? Yes.. let’s discuss that.

Everything is constantly changing… and most people choose to resist that.. the Buddha had it right; resisting change causes suffering, as change cannot really be resisted.

So what suffers?

The sense of self suffers when we resist change.

But we won’t focus on that.

What we will focus upon is the search for “God” and “Truth” and “Theories of everything”.

Why do people search for these things? Pretty much everyone does this? But why?
Does it put food in our belly? Does it put a roof over our heads?

Nope.

What is it within us that makes us do these futile searches? Are we “made for God” and won’t rest until we have found Him?

Nope.

But there is a sliver of truth in that previous nonsense sentence.

Humans look for God and seek the Big Picture as a way of defining themselves.

If one is not certain who or what one is, one great way to get started is to define the borders and boundaries.. to define what one is not. Once one figures out the Universe, then one might know what oneself is and where they are headed.

Whatever else they are.. humans are self-making machines. If you look around, you will see that nearly everyone is constantly busy with that activity…

When people get to “build themselves” without much opposition, then they tend to be happy. When people are not free to “build themselves”, then there is suffering.

Like any good Buddhist can tell you, the way to escape psychological suffering is to stop building a sense of self in defiance of a constantly changing world.

So let’s get back to enlightenment.

Does one need to know everything to be enlightened? Or might one simply need to know the most important thing to perfection?

The conscious rational mind endlessly whirs away away, in an effort to figure everything out, so that the boundaries of “self” may be understood and maintained.

While in this pathological state, one is so obsessed with this activity, that one is unable to see anything clearly.. the mandate to build and maintain a self colors everything a dark shade, and keeps one in perpetual opposition to both the world and other people.

Just imagine if one could halt this activity.. then one might see the endlessly changing world without feeling threatened. When one is not obsessed and threatened, then one’s perceptions are not sabotaged before one even leaves the gate.

That state sounds rather enlightened does it not?

People obsessed with building a self are tied into a knot. If they see a pattern around them, they immediately bolt it into place as part of themselves, or go hysterical and refute it, to “maintain themselves”. But in neither case do they see things they way they really are.. they seem them as pertaining to their sick obsession only.

I don’t know what percent of the brain is dedicated to forming and maintaining a sense of self in conflict with the world.. but it seems to me that 50% is a good number.

If one were to stop wasting that 50%, then one might do something wonderful with perceived patterns.. perhaps advance science or help someone else.. or maybe just enjoy it just as it is.

That state sounds rather enlightened does it not?

Building and maintaining a sense of self in opposition to the world and all those around us.. is like sweeping the desert. It brings nothing except failure, suffering and death.

But if one were not to do that.. where would the failure, (psychological) suffering and death be? If you don’t worry about defining yourself.. then what could possibly die?

Deathless…

That state sounds rather enlightened does it not?

Enlightenment (beginning of a sentence must be capitalized) is exactly the opposite of what you have been told.. which is why you’ve never become enlightened.

Enlightenment is not knowing everything.

Enlightenment is when you cease attempting to know yourself.

Kevin Pretty Bear