Personal Enlightenment

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Personal Enlightenment

Personal enlightenment isn’t really possible, or even desirable

The quest is always for personal enlightenment. Isn’t it funny how no one says they are searching for public enlightenment or an enlightened relationship?

Enlightenment is a solo job so it seems – like climbing a mountain or writing a book. But even mountain climbers need partners and teams to help them up the mountain. Writers need editors, proofreaders, publishers and fact checkers.

Enlightenment is just another word for accomplishment, to me. Enlightenment is a deeper understanding of yourself and the world.

So, where does this idea of personal enlightenment come from? It seems to be a extension of our cultural myths of the lone cowboy that saves the town from criminals. Or, the solo genius like Einstein that creates a fantastic invention.

Like any myth, these stories aren’t true. Every Lone Ranger has a faithful “Tonto” beside him all the way, supporting his every move.

Every inventor has a partner. Alexander Graham Bell who invented the telephone, made the first successful phone call to his trusted partner: “Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you.”

Personal Enlightenment Stems from Successful Separation

So, despite the ample evidence that nothing is done alone, why do we insist on searching for personal enlightenment?

I think it’s the investment we have made in our separate identity. We achieve (or don’t achieve) success in school by our efforts mostly alone. We achieve (or don’t achieve) success in our careers by our efforts mostly alone.

This creates the illusion that we are all by ourselves in this world and if we don’t take care of Number 1, no one else will.

But this sense of Separateness is just a myth. Our deeper lives are closely intertwined with others. Our success in school is largely determined by caring parents and teachers. Our success at work is largely determined by coworkers, and mentors.

And so the same is true in terms of spiritual enlightenment. There is no personal enlightenment. All our progress is made in conjunction with others who we know, who we don’t know and even those who we can’t see.

This is the path that leads to the Mystery of our lives. This is the path of complete inclusion with life – not separation. This is the Journey that returns us to ourselves, to others and to God.

For more about the intertwined nature of our deeper reality, see the book Secrets of Heaven.

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