Enlightenment is not a ‘Get out of Jail’ free card
We often have a deluded opinion that with enlightenment comes a release from all your pain, issues, defenses, resistances and troubles. Often the literature on the topic insinuates this directly by referring to the freedom and the letting go of ego that occurs once enlightenment happens. We then come away with a very rose tinted perspective that enlightenment will afford us the kind of freedom that our ego imagines – the one with angelic harps and rainbows where we will feel eternal bliss and eat as many marshmallow coated donuts as we want without piling on the weight. The issue is the literature is written from the enlightened perspective, not from the ego perspective! When they talk about freedom it is not what you think it is!
Freedom to the enlightened being is freedom from the mind’s control. And that’s the good news! You are no longer identified with the beliefs your mind holds, so from that perspective there is a huge relief and a very different form of gratitude and wonder begins to pervade your energy. But it does not mean the mind shuts up. It does not mean the human conditioning disappears. It simply means the being sees itself as an expression of consciousness/source/awareness and therefore is not imprisoned by the mind’s monkeying about. But monkeying about still occurs, and continues to play out even in an enlightened being – so just because you know that you are source, does not mean you don’t have the same issues as everyone else!
Just look at the evidence. Even the most enlightened beings are quite deviant. Many highly spiritually evolved gurus are notorious in their egoic manipulations both through sexual activity and general behavior. It does not mean these people are fake in their insights, it means they see absolutely no issue with their ego’s monkeying about. Our ethical or moral standards have absolutely nothing to do with enlightenment.
I love Adyashanti’s catchphrase “Always being, always becoming”. This entire life is a journey of discovery. From the moment we are born we are learning to identify with objects, people, concepts, thoughts and then we begin the maturation of wisdom that allows us to begin the detachment from the same things. We then come to the space of awareness of what we truly are, our ‘sourceness’ and then the continued releasing of old programs, karmic bonds, energetic ties….it really is a massive undertaking, but essentially it has no end, and it has no purpose.
Most of you will reject this outright, the ego hates the idea that it has no purpose. All our lives we have been told our purpose – learn this, learn that, go to school, get a good job, start a family, build a nest, achieve career goals, build for retirement…on and on we go (where we end nobody knows ;-)). Being told that life is simply a flow of life force, a game of awareness, a wonderment of experimentive creativity, is really just too much! The mind only works when it is working something out, so we constantly live in the past or future. The mind has no purpose in the present. To think is to be in the past or future. You know you are totally present when you stop thinking.
This is the freedom enlightenment gives you. The freedom to just be, the permission and the knowledge that this is enough. The ability to stop thinking and just enjoy, totally and fully, the moment. And knowing this is all you need to do, for the rest of the gift you call your life.
There are thousands and thousands of people who are enlightened, meaning they know they are source. It is not nearly as rare as you would think. The vast majority of enlightened beings struggle with their egoic structures just like you, in fact it is often even more painful. It is much harder to realize you are source and still a jerk, then to be asleep and a jerk. When you are asleep at least you can blame your family/friend/neighbor/government. When you are awake, it’s all yours, 100%.
Realizing all this you can choose to throw up your hands and give up, or you can feel gratitude for all the releasing and spiritual work you have already done. Although enlightenment is not something you can force or make happen, it is something that you see in a moment of openness. And it really is just a moment; it doesn’t have to take years of practice or preparation. But it does take a total allowing, when the mind is not ‘efforting’, not ‘trying’ to do anything. So make it easier on yourself and let go of limiting or control freak thoughts, work on your resistance, work on your immune system and nervous system – resistance and lack of allowing is as much a physical condition as a mental one.
Any type of growth has a positive effect, nothing is wasted, isn’t that wonderful? Everything you put energy and time into now has an impact on the unfolding of the next moment, the key is to do it with the freedom of the enlightened ones, without agenda or goals. Unfold for the joy of unfolding. Unburden for the joy of unburdening
When you do Reiki or meditation let it be a practice in allowing. Allow all the emotions, all the physical sensations, all the noises you hear, all the thoughts just to be as they are. This is not the same as daydreaming or thinking. Allowing thoughts to be does not mean following or adding to them. Allowing just means resting in your very open nature. Just enjoy the not doing. In this very moment, there is nothing for you to do, just be.
photo credit: Bhudda Bokeh via photopin (license)