“In seeking there are several things involved: there is the seeker and the thing that he seeks after. When the seeker finds what he thinks is truth, is God, is enlightenment, he must be able to recognize it. He must recognize it, right? Recognition implies previous knowledge, otherwise you cannot recognize. So a man who is seeking truth lives a life of hypocrisy, because his truth is the projection of his memory, of his desire, of his intentions to find something other than “what is”, a formula. So seeking implies duality — the one who seeks and the thing sought after — and where there is duality there is conflict. There is wastage of energy. So you can never find it, you can never invite it.” ~ J Krishnamurti
Enlightenment has become a goal for many spiritual seekers. You read spiritual books, watch lectures of different gurus or philosophers, read articles on methods of enlightenment, follow practices recommended by different spiritual leaders in the hope that you too achieve enlightenment. After reading so much about it, you form an image in your head about how an enlightened person should be, the qualities and certain characteristics, the method and tone of speech, the manners, behaviour, so on and so forth.
What is Enlightenment? Is it a state of continuous bliss where no problems affect you in any way? Is it a state that transcends all knowledge and wisdom? Do you achieve it only when you live in a monastery? Is it a clear vision? You begin to form pre-conceived notions and ideas based on the information you have gathered on your journey as described by others, who have perhaps, experienced enlightenment.
How will you know what people are saying is from direct experience? You believe them based on your belief system or faith in that particular teaching. So the goal is to achieve a certain ‘state’ which you haven’t achieved yet, based on what others have ‘experienced’. How will you know when you actually find it because everyone’s experience is different? Due to our fixed concepts and beliefs ingrained in your mind about enlightenment, it keeps you away from finding or experiencing what it truly is.
I am not saying that the practices you follow are not useful in finding your true nature or dissolving your ego, but at the same time its not something you go looking for, it comes to you. Its like saying I am going to meditate and be enlightened. But, there is still a process of mindfulness and ruthless self interrogation and honesty that has to go hand in hand with meditation to ultimately go beyond illusion entirely.
“Do not cling to anything, to any idea; because clinging is the bondage, even to the idea of enlightenment.” ~ Osho
Talking from personal experience, we often get comments, mails from readers, well-wishers who have a fixed image in their head of how people running a site like Fractal Enlightenment should be. We receive comments like “You guys are enlightened, you shouldn’t be talking like that, you shouldn’t quote a particular person or put up certain content that (questions their beliefs).”
But the reality is, we aren’t and never will be the idea or image you may have of us. We are simple beings who want people to reconnect with nature, have a minimalistic lifestyle and a huge hope that we can all live in harmony with each other. To do so people need to be shifted out of their comfort zones, and we have the joy of ruffling a few feathers in the bargain.:)
This example was to make you understand that when we have an ‘image’ in our head of how things should be, it leads to expectations, which in turn leads to judgments and ends with cognitive dissonance.
Realize that your image or beliefs of everything is just another filter that affects your future experience. Only when you drop that image, stop holding onto beliefs, ideas and all the concepts of enlightenment, can you see what enlightenment is!
Its a constant process of evolving and dropping the veil of illusion, and seeing the interconnectedness of all things. “Enlightenment is man’s release from his self incurred tutelage. Tutelage is man’s inability to make use of his understanding without direction from another. Self-incurred is this tutelage when its cause lies not in lack of reason but in lack of resolution and courage to use it without direction from another. “Have courage to use your own reason” that’s the motto of enlightenment.”” ~ Immanuel Kant