What Is Spiritual Enlightenment?
Your analysis is limited, biased, and i think very conditioned on ideas of what enlightenment should look like, while at the same time claiming it doesn't exist as such.
Check out this very insightful text written by a commenter on another blog, I found it good:
"Jed. Jed. I first read his books in high school like 9 years ago. I loved them, they resonated for me, but I didn’t really get them. I worked with another spiritual teacher for quite a while, an off-the-radar enlightened woman who does not “teach” but instead does therapy, which I think is pretty appropriate really…anyway…several months ago I lost someone very close to me and it left me questioning everything that mattered to me…family, friends, interests, etc. I picked up his book again and it was like I was reading it for the first time.
I’ve spent over 9 years working through my shit. I’ve waded through my feelings, my thoughts…I’ve spent years trying to accept life, to meditate through my thoughts and to sit and fully experience my feelings, but I think that all of it was vital to reaching the point where I could hear Jed. Jed likes to say that everything that isn’t his “bolt of lightening” is worthless, probably because that’s how he experienced it and so he assumes that’s how it works. Where he would probably dismiss all those years of soul searching, it was vital for me to reach the point where I could even hear him.
I think his problem is that he’s not so good at expressing what you have to do to work through your crap. He just says it’s hellish, but anyone who’s ever seriously tried to burn through ANY of their ego will tell you it’s not fun. He’s not a terribly helpful teacher, but I think he’s right about what enlightenment is; a state in which you’re free from suffering brought on by your ego, but everything else is optional.
What I’m coming to realize, as a “student” that’s finally making it to the other side of “the exit of the theater,” is that people don’t become someone different when they reach enlightenment. They are free from their ego which means
that they don’t care what you think of them. Thank about that. If you always sounded arrogant before you were enlightened, there’s no reason why you would lose that tone unless you’re thinking in terms of the guru fantasy role of an all-loving soul…probably the only difference would be the motivation. Before, you might have been arrogant to make yourself feel better than others, when you really felt small and frightened. After, you have something that others want to find. Why wouldn’t you boast? The only real deterrent to not sounding like an asshole is the fear that someone (whether it’s a stranger or your mother) won’t like you. If you don’t have that fear then you’re free to do and say whatever you want. I’m guessing that’s the point Jed tries to make all throughout his books, by donning such an arrogant ‘my way or the highway’ tone; that just because you’re enlightened doesn’t mean you love everything and everyone.
But I think that if you’re a loving, compassionate person in the egoic sense of the word, you probably won’t lose that either. Unless your love of others is entirely ego-driven there’s no reason why you wouldn’t still love them when you reach the other side. I think whoever the real Jed is, he probably wasn’t the warmest guy to begin with. But I think he doesn’t want to say that kindof thing because he knows a lot of people will mishear him. They’ll hear ‘you’ll be compassionate and loving’ and think that’s the only option; it will reinforce their stereotypical guru image, when the truth is you might walk away from humanity and never give them another moment of your time.
By donning his image of an arrogant, truth-obsessed tough-guy he’s just saying, ‘this is a personal trip, and who you are doesn’t change, only the motivation, so you don’t have to spend your life trying to perfect yourself; figure out the truth and just be free.’ And that’s not a message you hear very often. I think Jed, or the persona of him, is a pretty cool dude with a good way of expressing that.
Or, of course, I could be totally wrong, ha ha."
hope that helps!