Is Spiritual Enlightenment Earned?

In my perspective, the answer is no.

To be enlightened, all an aspirant has to have is a pure desire to be enlightened. Desire is the key. Without the desire for anything, that desired thing does not occur in one’s reality. Hence, I found it ironic that Buddhism shuns desire when it is the very act of desiring that summons experience, that summons life. And to determinedly rebuff having a desire is itself an intense and arduous desire. Perhaps Buddha was misunderstood.

Spiritual enlightenment is not earned. That is, if ‘earn’ entails doing some specific steps, processes, or special actions to earn points and merits to make enlightenment happen.

When I was little, my catechist Catholic mother and Baptist brother passionately discussed whether the grace or the mercy of God is acquired through good works. The Bible stated that the grace of God is not acquired through good works, but through faith – and faith alone. I found this to be true in the case of spiritual enlightenment.

Amidst all the unfairness, injustices, strife and tragedies we see around us, it seems to me that the fair, merciful, and just Creator made sure that the Kingdom of God is accessible to everyone, regardless of who they are and what they do, or not do.

ego-enlightenment-quote

If spiritual enlightenment is attained only by doing certain good works or any of the so-called preconditions to enlightenment, it would be unfair since not everyone is in the position to act in certain ways to get enlightened.

For example, some people can’t afford to attend spiritual talks and seminars, buy certain books, or travel long distances to meet a certain guru. Does it mean then that these people are unfortunate (have bad karma) and are farther from being enlightened (or are more distant from the Kingdom of God) than those who are in the position to do one or all of these things?

Those who dress in certain ways, eat only certain “spiritual” foods, speak softly and calculatedly, offer money and incense to a deity, live in an ashram with a guru, meditate long hours, chant mantras – are they any closer to God than those regular-looking people in the street?

Third Dimensional tools and processes do not guarantee that one gets closer to the truth, or to God. Tools could be helpful up to a certain point, and then if one clings to them, like most seekers do, they become the trap of the seeker.

So what to do then?

There is no one right or even wrong path to God. There is no secret method available only to a chosen few. There are no specific steps, procedures, or hallowed practices that one must strictly adhere to in order to get closer to God.

But in every thing desired, whether it be spiritual awakening or any other wanted thing or experience, all one needs is a burning desire that is so pure and focused. This intense desire itself is what summons the means for one to access all that one uniquely requires for his or her journey towards enlightenment. If one needs to meet a certain teacher, or to travel to a certain place to get to the goal, what is needed to do all these things will be provided for, in expected and unexpected ways.

However, if the means towards what is wanted does not show-up, do not despair. This only means that you do not really need what your physical mind thinks you need in order to be what you want to be or where you want to be.

After all, if it is God you seek, if it is the Truth you seek – know that It is within. And the one who looks inward, rather than outward, is the one who will find It.

The Kingdom of God is very much open for those who seek it. There is not even a gate or a heavy door to push open in one specific fashion or another in order to get in.

Just enter.

 

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Unconditional Love

waterbabe

I love, honor, accept, respect and approve of you as you are.

As you seek to find your own special way to relate to the world the way you feel that is right for you.

It is important that you are the person you choose and desire to be, and not someone that I or others think you should be.

I realize that I cannot know what is best for you, though perhaps sometimes I think I do.

I have not been where you have been, viewing life from the angle that you have.

I do not know what you have chosen to learn, who you have chosen to learn it with, or in what time period.

I have not walked life looking through your eyes.

So how can I know what you need?

I allow you to be in the world without a thought or a word of judgement from me about the deeds you undertake.

I see no error in the things you say and do.

I see that there are many ways to perceive and experience the different facets of our world.

I allow, without reservation, your right to make the choices you make in each moment.

I make no judgment of this, for if I were to deny your right to evolution, then I would deny that right to myself and all others.

If you would choose a way I cannot walk, whilst I may not choose to add my power and my energy to it, I will never deny you the gift of Unconditional Love that the Creator bestowed within me for all creation.

As I love you, so I shall be loved.

As I sow, so shall I reap.

I honor and respect the universal right of free will: that you walk your own path, following your love, light and truth, creating steps or sitting awhile if it is what is right for you.

I make no judgement of these steps, whether they are large or small, or light or heavy, or that they lead up or down, for this is just my viewpoint.

While I may perceive that I see you do nothing and judge it to be unworthy, I honor and respect that it may be that you bring great healing as you stand blessed by the light of the Creator.

I accept and honor that I cannot always see the higher picture of Divine Order, and that it is the inalienable right of all beings to choose their own evolutionary style.

And with Unconditional Love, I acknowledge your right to determine your future.

In humility, I bow to the realization that the way I see is the best for me, but that does not have to mean that it is also the best or the right one for you.

I know that you are led as I am, following the Inner Excitement of your own path.

I know that many races, religions, customs, nationalities and beliefs within our world bring us great riches, and allow us the benefit of diverse teachings.

I know we each learn in our own unique way in order to bring that love and wisdom back to the Whole.

I know that if there were only one way to something, there would need to be only one person.

I love you, unconditionally, whether or not you behave in a way I think you should, or believe in those things I believe in.

I  Thank you, unconditionally, for being YOU, and for the many blessings your Being brings to me, and to the world.

– A rampage of unconditional love by Abraham Hicks

 

 

 

 

 

The Man And The Beast

Albert-Einstein-judgement

I decided that God is testing men, to show them that they are no better than animals. After all, the same fate awaits men and animals alike. One dies just like the other. They are the same kind of creature. A man is no better off than an animal, because life has no meaning for either. They are both going to the same place – the dust. They both came from it; they will both go back to it. How can anyone be sure that a man’s spirit goes upward, while an animal’s spirit goes down into the ground? – Ecclesiastes 3:18-21*

In the evolutionary ladder, humans are said to be the “peak” of creation. This idea has taken a very deep root in the minds of – guess who – humans, of course. Humans take so much pride in being called God’s magnum opus. On the other hand, the animal and plant species couldn’t care less if we think of them as lower life forms.

Who occupies the top of the evolutionary ladder is decided on the basis of an organism’s ‘intelligence’. But who is clever enough to measure and rank each species intelligence? And using whose standard of measurement?

It is the Homo sapiens with his advanced tool – the yardstick.

Both the godly (religious) and the reasonable (scientific) have often been inclined to support the notion that humans are the fairest of them all. We are the top creatures – God’s masterpiece. After all, it was stated in the holy book that God created Man in His own image.

To so-called thinking humans, it does appear very rational that we must logically be the pinnacle of evolution. We have intricate scripts and languages which set us apart from other species. We could create and use complicated tools to build cities and civilizations. The advancement of our technology was not due to the genius of the apes. Humans have stepped on the moon; plans to colonize other planets are on the way. The argument, or evidence, supporting the theory that humans are the apex of evolution, could go on and on.

There is no doubt about humans’ brilliance and unending ingenuity. But what if the measure of evolution is happiness rather than intelligence?

Who could say for sure that a man is happier than a cat, dog, or fish?

The cat, in all its self-contained feline glory, lounges luxuriously all day – an enviable state of existence, I must say. A dog has no bills to pay and yet every day is a vacation. The fish does not stress worrying about the future, even if in the next moment it is caught and thrown into a sizzling frying pan. For letting itself get caught and preyed upon, who could say that the fish is dumb or less evolved?

In this ephemeral existence we all share, the beasts seem to only care about enjoying their moments. Measured against the human yardstick, their simplicity, their being-in-the-moment-attitude, and their lack of prudence attest to their lower-ranking status. But what if these simple beastly attributes are what they are here for to show the intelligent (sapiens) human (homo)? To take life easy, to enjoy the moment, to act only when urged (or inspired), and to let God/Universe take care of us?

In the end, after all is said and done – humans, animals, plants – we all die. In our short lives, perhaps caring about feeling good (like the animals do) is the most intelligent choice to make after all.

*Ecclesiastes is a very thin chapter in the Bible, which I tried to imbibe after being confronted by Death – the compelling event which had set in motion my very intense search for the meaning of life.

A Dangerous Story

dalai lama on paths

We may believe that stories are only stories. That they are fantasies thought of by innovative, clever minds.

Myths, legends and folklores are used both as educational aids and as past time entertainments listened to mostly by children. And we think these stories are harmless. To children with pliable minds, stories could be easily outgrown and discarded; thus could be harmless.

Adults, however, are different. Unlike children, many adults have fixed mindsets. They are hard to outgrow and let go of stories told  to them by formidable authorities. Out of fear or ignorance, adults tend to stubbornly stick to certain stories – for years, for lifetimes, for generations, for eons.

Stories are only stories, but when you give a man or a woman a story, he or she can become dangerous. Not only that stories are used as weapons but are also the source of much bigotry as when a singular story is glorified, defended, upheld as the one and only true story. People swear to fight for it, and die for it.

Stories are born of people’s actual experiences, as well as their delusions and fantasies. There exist all sorts of stories as there exist all sorts of people with all sorts of experiences. However, in the course of human history, there are a group of people who took upon themselves the authority to select certain stories and make these the “official” stories for all humanity to believe in. Their gods have become the official gods; their rituals are the only sanctioned rituals.

This select group of people act as the grown-up leaders to the rest of us who they regard as mere children to be herded. In order to propagate only one story, the story that serves and sustains them, they killed other competing stories. They burned ancient libraries, distorted the Teachings, and silenced and demonized other storytellers.

The singular story is being preached in pulpits, broadcasted in the media, and taught in schools. It gained so much influence and many mouthpieces that it became almost impossible to think beyond its contents. Any other story that diverged and conflicted with the official story is branded as madness that must be destroyed before it spreads and poses a real threat.

As long as we keep believing in only one story, we are tuned in to only one limited frequency, which continues to trap us in a singular, limited reality. This reality is an invisible prison. This is why, in spite of our “authorized freedom”, many of us feel like we are not truly free.

Yes, stories are more than what we think they are. They are not only for entertaining children and the unsuspecting masses. Myths, legends, epics have always been cleverly used as mediums of control and manipulation.

So never take stories for granted.

 

public education

Post Enlightenment

awakening

The question is: what does one do after Awakening from the great dream?

It depends on the awakened one. There are unlimited things one can choose to do depending on what makes one tick. Following one’s passion, excitement, or bliss is usually what one does. Following one’s bliss is the most coherent conclusion an awakened one can arrive at.

It is because someone who has Awakened has penetrated through the thousand veils and has seen what stuff ‘reality’ and the world is made of.

The awakened one has come to know that Waking Reality is just another dream.

And thus, knowing that it is just another dream, one no longer acts like as if what one sees around her is solid and absolutely real. One no longer takes anything too seriously. One no longer clings to anything.

There is a fear that after Awakening, life becomes bland or empty as one loses attachments, desires, visions, dreams.

Quite the opposite. After Awakening, life becomes filled to the brim. One encounters boundless potential.

One would desire, and dream, and continue to have visions that are pleasing. One knows that this is how reality comes into being.

One plays.

While fully living in matter, one plays.
While deeply immersed in the dream, one plays.

One plays in full awareness. One is a lucid dreamer.

. . . No one realizes that One is merely playing.

We Play A Game

blame-game

For love of One’s Self

Acting like a child

Play is God’s nature

.

I have a story

You have a story

We tell different stories

Squabble!

.

I am the hero

You the villain

You the hero

I the villain

.

You and I

We play this Game

In God’s eye

There is no blame!

.

[Journal entry: scribbled on a scrap of paper,
don’t know when it was written and who inspired]

. Continue reading

Childhood

And he said:

“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”  – Mathew 18:3 NIV

innocentone

~

I long to return to the world of my childhood

where there is no care in the world

playing, alone, self-contained

fully present in the now moment

moving by impulse, pure, innocent, curious

bright-eyed, frisky, exuberant

no worries, no judgement of right and wrong

no guilt feelings, no baggage

light, free, unconditioned

wounded from the game, but holds no grudges

no self-pitying, just accepting, and moving on

no projecting into the future

no lingering in the past

indeed, to enter the kingdom of God is to become like a child again.

[journal entry: 6-30-14]