As we’ve mentioned in past posts, enlightenment—the condition—has been maligned and misunderstood. What is it about its achievement that is such a preoccupation among those of us with a spiritual bent? What is it about “enlightenment” that innately beguiles us and speaks to our core? Three words: Service, Purpose, Meaning.
The fact is, we were sent into this world to serve this world.
“There is no enlightenment outside of daily life.” —Thich Nhat Hanh
Enlightenment “is not about surrendering your life and just being guided along as if you were a trailer and God was the truck pulling you.” No. We have to be powerful, honest, stable and self-determined to be effective in this world. It’s the only way we have even a chance of fulfilling our purpose in being here.
The way of, or to, enlightenment prepares us to take on the responsibilities of life if we are paying attention. With that inner guidance—Knowledge—within each of us, we learn as we go. We are held back here, moved further there. We become unburdened of what is not important so that we may take on that which is, “avoiding complacency and ambivalence, these two plaguing maladies of the human mind.”
“If you think your life is just for your own growth, you will become self-absorbed and miss the whole point.” —Wisdom from the Greater Community Volume I, Chapter 8: Preparing for the Future
Maybe we consider the way of enlightenment as a way to avoid responsibility for the harsh conditions of the world: the conflicts, the injustice, dwindling resources, migration. The list seems endless. Sure, it would appear be easier to go off and become enlightened. Let others higher up the food chain do the work. Let God do the work.
But God has sent us here to do the work. And God has endowed us with the best possible tool to do our work: Knowledge. The way is provided in the Steps to Knowledge.
May you find this way.