Spiritual Enlightenment - What is it?

Spiritual enlightenment  means different things to different people. I associate becoming spiritually enlightened with the transcendence of attachment to thoughts and ideas. This involves a realization or seeing that thoughts and ideas themselves, have no inherent meaning or truth. Rather, we as individuals assign truth and meaning through our conditioning, personal values, and unique way of seeing/being.

Spiritual enlightenment involves awareness of when I am engaging my personal, individualized filter to assess or judge the world that appears to me. Being spiritually enlightened, means realization that the totality of Self includes everything we could ever come to see, feel or experience. Thus, it includes an understanding about the law of attraction and how everything that we come to experience has it's roots in Self.

A Sogyal Rinpoche quote:

I stumbled upon a quote by guru/teacher Sogyal Rinpoche. He often speaks of spiritual enlightenment and  expresses a sentiment shared by many spiritual teachers.

The quote is as follows:

"To follow the path of wisdom has never been more urgent or more difficult. Our society is dedicated almost entirely to the celebration of ego, with all its sad fantasies about success and power, and it celebrates those very forces of greed and ignorance that we are destroying the planet.It has never been more difficult to hear the unflattering voice of truth, and never more difficult, once having heard it, to follow it; because there is nothing in the world around us that supports our choice, and the entire society in which we live seems to negate every idea of sacredness or eternal meaning." Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying.

spiritual enlightenment - transcending the personal perspective

My initial response to reading this quote was, "I don't get it." Here is an apparently self described being who understands spiritual enlightenment,   whose view of the world in general is an extremely negative one and he's using that negative perspective to speak in a manner that seems to indicate that he's buying into his personal perspective about "the world", hook, line and sinker, as Truth.

The world he describes above is certainly not reflective of my own.

As individuals, we are capable of directing focus towards or away from goodness and appreciation. Clear seeing of this, makes it very clear that perspective itself is to some degree,  transitory and shifting. A perspective of seeing that has the world as a whole in obvious peril, is a perspective based upon a focus of lack and wrongness. 

The world as a whole, is only ever an idea in mind. At any given moment in experience,  we interface with one snapshot of the world  at a time, thus any attempt to paint the world as a whole with one brush, is based upon a temporary falling into belief, regarding a thought/idea.

The very idea of "the world en masse" is just itself an idea that exists in mind only, as at any given moment, we only have direct access to one frame of the world at a time.

Two people, supposedly living within the same world can indeed see things very differently.  In my world, spiritual awareness is on the rise.  I see a world where acceptance of Self in it's totality is resulting in a softening of self-criticism and an escalation of self love. I see a world of people who are understanding and embracing the role that law of attraction plays in their most basic experience. I see a movement towards being conscious, being free from attachment to thoughts, and in general, a transcendence of ego.

And, unlike Rinpoche,  I don't see 'fantasies' of success  as being 'sad' at all. Our ability to imagine something and then watch our desire manifest,  is a testament to the limitless nature of Self. It is as natural for human beings to aspire towards improvement as it is for a flower to turn towards the sunlight in support of itself. Spiritual awareness of that inherent natural propensity to turn in that direction,  is really  all that's required to  remain free from attachment to it. We are only slaves to the inherent aspiration towards betterment, if we remain unaware and get lost within it.

Greed and ignorance destroying the planet? Not the planet I experience.  I actually  see humans in my midst,  becoming more and more interested in joining energetic cooperative forces to do good and to seek solutions to problems.  Amazing technological advances await us and are are right around the corner that  will enable and support us and our mother earth to not just survive, but to thrive.

I live in a world where our choices are always supported. My world  in general is becoming more aware and accepting of the idea of the inherent sacredness of life itself.

True spiritual awareness and spiritual  enlightenment means transcending, as in, rising above and beyond thoughts, ideas and beliefs, but it still includes those thoughts and ideas, absent any attachment to them. Being spiritually enlightened, or spiritually  awakened, involves  a seeing and an  understanding  that  holding to any perspective, even if only for a moment,  involves making a choice.

As I see it, True spiritual enlightenment goes a step beyond the transcendence of thought, towards actively  'choosing' to see from a  perspective that highlights beauty, love and positivity.

If we see a world around us rife with greed, selfishness and negativity of all kinds, we must look within to realize that what we see is merely a reflection of our own inner beliefs and thoughts that we are clinging to in that particular moment of seeing. Truth is, there are infinite perspectives, all equally true, when it comes to assessing the state of  "The world." AT any given moment, there is war happening, but yet there is also Peace happening. The choice of focus really is ours as an individual.

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