Who is your enlightenment for? Really. Be honest.
Most people, if they are honest, would say that enlightenment is for themselves so that they can be the best they can be. That sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? And then there is probably some justification for their desire for enlightenment, like they want to be a better spouse. Or, they want to be a better parent. Or, they want to rise above their anger, jealousy and envy so that they can be a better employee, or a better boss at work.
And that may all be true, but enlightenment is really so that we can have a better life. We want enlightenment so that we can feel more happy or be more forgiving, or whatever it is we desire in our personal life. Although it can be couched in altruistic justifications, enlightenment is really about ME looking better and feeling better. After all, what’s wrong with that?
But here’s the catch: What if the world is collapsing around you? What if many people around you are hungry, or out of work, or don’t have clean water or air? What good is your enlightenment then? What is the point in being personally enlightened in a world that is running down, whose life sustaining resources are being destroyed, whose climate is changing violently which will cause suffering on a scale never seen before?
Enlightenment to Enhance Separation
So this idea of enlightenment for most people is fixed in a separate identity. It presumes that we can rise above the unenlightened masses.
I think the truer notion of enlightenment is seeing oneself as a tool, rather than a well-developed work of art. Now that isn’t very attractive to our ego (our self-image). But seeing our life as part of a greater fabric, a bigger expression of life is enlightenment by itself.
When artists or scientists are fully engaged in their work they usually don’t report feeling like they made a personal discovery. Rather they often describe the feeling of being led to and shown something that always existed as if there were other intelligent forces guiding their hands and eyes as they worked.
So the next time you consider your desire for enlightenment, try to think of those invisible forces, perhaps unseen spirits, that might enable you to be the tip of a very large pen that is making a mark on the world:
You are not just an individual now trying to fulfill yourself. You are something bigger. You are your entire Spiritual Family. Your life is like the tip of the pen that touches the paper, but what is feeding your life is actually the vessel that holds the reservoir of ink. – Wisdom from the Greater Community, Volume 1, Chapter 31: Healing
Marshall Vian Summers speaks in this video (at 1 hour, 19 mins.) about how our world is going to change faster than anyone anticipated and that there will be no place to go. There will be no “comfort zone” left to hide. But a greater life is waiting for us that is beyond personal fulfillment and beyond enlightenment.
When we know that we can’t be happy in our separate life in the midst of a crashing world, then we will know, “Who is your Enlightenment for?”
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