There are two aspects to what is called enlightenment. First, there is enlightenment that comes through understanding. This includes receiving realizations on the nature of transcendence and oneness. The word enlightenment is used very loosely today to apply to a lot of different spiritual practices and mental states.
The second aspect to enlightenment comes through the heart. It is talked about considerably in the Buddhic, Vedantic and Sufi paths, and to a far lesser extent in other paths. Enlightenment of the heart is a different focus from that of the mind, and, in my view, enlightenment through the mind is incomplete without the enlightenment through the heart.
In order to bring our soul into the physical dimension, we have been clothed in a garment which can live in this degree of density. This garment is our personality which is composed of physical, emotional, mental, and etheric bodies. What happens in the process of life experiences is that our soul becomes caught in the personality, which, in turn, gets caught in the pain and other myths and illusions that are characteristic of the physical dimension. The experiences in this plane which could be of love, beauty, and fulfillment have become distorted into deep experiences of limitations and the deepest limitations are pain, suffering and disease.
Every time someone throws their emotions at you it challenges you to see if you can maintain the love within you that is the core essence of your being, in spite of what the other person emotional upset. If your lover or boss comes in screaming at you, can you hold the love? If you get hooked by the other person’s emotions, you loose your center and your love, and become entangled with like emotions. This further encases you in the illusions of the lower emotions. Ask yourself why you fell into this trap? Why did you forget? Why did you loose yourself? Go inside yourself and clear that place so you don’t forget the next time it happens.
To progress on the enlightened path you must become equal-minded or neutral and unaffected by any pairs of opposites. When you are equal-minded you will experience joy and feelings of love and satisfaction regardless of outer circumstances. When you reach this state, others can no longer hook you with their emotions or illusions. This is a very high way to live, and brings great freedom with it. If you are not living with that freedom, you are like a cork floating on water in a storm being pushed around by the projections of everyone around you letting their illusions rule and create your reality. If you live this way, you are letting the blind leading the blind letting another person’s illusions create deeper illusions, and you both live in a state of limitation and pain. Be free. When someone throws something at you, you recognize it as an illusion, and say to yourself, “I’m not interested in loosing my love and leaving my heart.”
Somehow humanity has lost track of its spiritual essence and became lost in personalities and living according to the desires of the personalities. We are all trying to get out of the limitations we have become ensnared with, and so we pursue multiple paths to relieve the suffering. What if we were to orient our efforts totally to seeking deep spiritual truths and clear the veils of illusion that cover our hearts from the full experience of our spiritual nature?
Most are confused by their emotions, and so they live in mental worlds of constant thinking, plotting, reasoning, wondering, analyzing, and scheming. But the mind creates illusions, and that is all it can ever create. The mind creates illusions about who and what you are, and they run very wide and deep. Each person’s illusions are then projected on others, and every illusion has a core of followers. So, in life you find a confusing choice of options to distract you from your goal. If you, yourself, live in illusions and not your spiritual core, you will be easily distracted by the philosophies and projections of others which can often manifest as lack, limitation, and pain.
Your energy field is formed by your thoughts, and your thoughts create energy patterns in your subtle bodies. These energy patterns create and attract conditions and situations based on the character and quality of those thoughts. Those patterns also coalesce into the physical body itself. Depending on the nature of those thoughts a person’s life and health will eventually reflect the quality of the thoughts.
The Wandering Seeker
Since you have free will, you can choose what to think and how to live. You can play your illusions out for years or decades, but they will eventually show up in your life as physical disease, emotional pain, psychological neuroses, conflicts, confusion, and an overall limitation on the quality of your life. The path of surrender is the common thread woven through all the major religions and it is also the fastest and safest path to freedom and enlightenment, yet few know how to practice it.
The majority of seekers take convoluted paths of lateral movement forever seeking the mysterious hidden alchemical keys to open the gates to the Kingdom. Seeking and searching from the timeless teachings of the mystery schools to modern brain machines; from new age music to mysticism; from Eastern religions to Western religions; from ancient civilizations to aliens, and a whole lot more. Is the seeking fun? Probably. Is there some enrichment? Of course. But at the end of trail, enlightenment is still elusive, and the seeker is left still wondering about life after decades of searching.
After a lifetime they discover that they did not experience a celebrated life of ecstasy nor did they transcend, or experience the spiritual satisfaction they were seeking, but rather they face the grave after a lifetime of searching with a resignation that they lived the best life they could, yet never reached what they wanted. Life was not meant to be this way, and it doesn’t have to stay this way.
Why is Life so Difficult?
Consider all that you have looked at or studied. You have probably looked into some aspects of: Native American tradition, Tarot, Astrology, Buddhism, Cabalah, Yoga, Hinduism, Mysticism, Huna, Mythology, Numerology, Psychic Development, Theosophy, World Literature, Religion, Philosophies, and Zen. Probably everyone has spent time with several of these studies and others besides. There is an incredible amount of diversity available today, and most seekers are scattered not knowing where to look next, but always searching for the missing key. Of course, it is OK to study all the systems you would like. That is your free will, and there is certainly some value to it, but why not also take the direct non-stop flight to an enlightened life. That is your goal isn’t it? That is the stated underlying goal of nearly all systems, yet they are filled with an obstacle course of mental illusions on the road to enlightenment.
You have a personality and you also have within you a heart and soul center. To reach through the layers and find your depths, you must align all the components of who you are, and bring them all back to the purity of your truth. This is best done through meditative practices, which stop the searching and side-to-side movement. Yes, you will move forward, and fall back a little, but your overall movement will be forward and direct. If you invested the same time and energy into directly seeking depths of truth within you as you have been investing in your side-to-side searching, you would be much, much further ahead than you currently are. Don’t waste your life seeking side-to-side anymore. The quickest way to enlightenment, is through love, surrender and trust.
4 LEVELS ON THE PATH TO ENLIGHTENMENT
On the direct path, there are four main levels with various stages in each. The first level starts at the level of the darkest aspects of self, and progresses to the fully integrated self. For example, when a person hears an inner voice say, “Lie, cheat, and steal,” and that person goes out and does those things, then that person is listening to the lowest stage. When a person hears the inner voice say, “Lie, cheat, and steal,” but he responds, “I don’t think I should do that. I don’t think it is right,” he is operating out of the second stage. When that same voice comes in and says, “Lie, cheat, and steal” and the person responds “I know that isn’t right, I wish to live a more responsible life. I won’t do it.” That person is in the third stage. When a person reaches the fourth stage that voice is quiet, the temptations go away, and another voice is heard. A person living in the subsequent stages is listening inside their heart to the voice of truth that emanates from the soul.
When Level one is completed, that person jumps to the 2nd level, which is composed of opening the heart center. These are levels of deeper and deeper connection with the spirit of truth. This level is so beautiful that many people reaching this level believe they have reached enlightenment. They are no longer living for satisfaction of the personality and what the personality wants. This person is living with surrender and deeper levels of deep love. In time, if they continue on this path, they will come to another quantum jump into the 3rd level composed of deepening into the Soul where the soul and God merge.
Each person is individualized with unique qualities, colors, purposes, and vibrations. Deepening into the soul is about merging and integrating the soul into the highest realms of truth. By this point in your development you will know you are hearing a clear inner voice not of your subconscious mind or spirit guides, but the voice that comes from the essence of the Divine within you.
Now, at this level the soul begins to disappear, until there is nothing left but complete unity, love, and light. Your soul merges back into the essence of the ocean of all awareness. At this point your soul stops to function as an individualized self, and instead lives in truth, which is the greatest love you can have. This movement is described as the extinction of the individualized soul and it’s movement back to the unity. The Hindu’s call this Nirvana. Nirvana means emptiness. This is the state of emptiness that exists before one fills with the Divine Presence. It is the releasing of individuality before one comes into the fullness of realization. This can be a difficult time because it is one thing to say, “I’m going to give up my ego,” and another, to be actually willing to really extinguish the individual. In Nirvana, there is nobody there. You as the soul are gone. This is a very deep experience, because now you disappear.
At this point you enter the fourth level where the qualities of beauty come in to fill you, until you are completely and totally filled with the presence of love. When you cross into this level you enter the world of unity. At this point you can now say you have reached enlightenment. You have really disappeared now, you are not in the void, but living completely in the nature of awareness filled with deep love, and it is holding you eternally. The Vedantic call this Nirvikalpa Samadhi. This is the journey of the self to God until you become completely full of the many qualities of the divine, and this is called complete enlightenment. From the fourth level a person no longer creates problems. But from third level and downward there can be disease, struggle, difficulties and problems in increasing amounts the lower you go.
To follow this path requires a process of meditation, clearing, and commitment to living a pure and respectful life.