Enlightenment is a level of consciousness. For most people, attaining enlightenment is a skill.
Enlightenment is not just any skill. It is the ultimate skill. As such, becoming enlightened, while certainly doable, is no easy trick.
Not knowing better, you have let your mind run wild your entire life. The skill of enlightenment is domesticating the mind: teaching it to mind its manners and be quiet unless called upon.
The spiritual path is a solitary pursuit. Few indeed have the self-discipline to pursue the skill. Further, the West has no tradition of elevating consciousness. Enlightenment is commonly dismissed as mystical mumbo-jumbo.
The irony is that spirituality is the epitome of practicality. Enlightenment is mental health. Unless you are enlightened you suffer mental illness: anxiety, fear, depression, and so on.
The reason you want to be enlightened in the first place is that your mind bothers you. If you were content and your mind quiet, you’d be enlightened.
Another aspect of being spiritually adrift is that reliable guides are hard to find. Attaining self-realization does not confer the talent of teaching.
In the West, most spiritual teachers alternately waft a mystical air, peddle mood medicine, or intimate that enlightenment is an intellectual feat. In other words, the West is thick with fakirs posing as gurus.
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The easiest and surest way to reach a goal is to know what you are aiming at and the obstacles on the path to it. The reason you need a guru is that the lessons of correct teachings are at times counterintuitive. For the world is not as it appears. Deception defines living in ignorance.
Forget what you may have learned from religions. Karma is a myth. There is no “right” action. There are no sins. And, most significantly, there is no God. These religious concepts are all moralizing rubbish historically introduced by priests colluding with political leaders as a means of social control.
Science is also corrupted. With inductive reasoning stirred in, the scientific method works well enough to figure things out. But theory always underlies observation. As the foundational theory of conventional science is that matter is the basis of reality, science is nothing but another religion.
Let’s talk about the goal. Mental health is characterized by acute awareness, spontaneity, general contentment, and dealing with what is, not rehashing the past or fantasizing about the future. Mental illness displays narrow-mindedness, rote behaviors, selfishness, flights of fantasy, and dragging the past into the present. The distinction between the two is stark.
The key to enlightenment is quieting the mind. The practice of meditation is essential to habituating quietude. But the aim is to live in meditation: full awareness without interruption from an inner interloper.
A state of consciousness is of some short duration. We’re awake or asleep daily.
By contrast, a level of consciousness is abiding. Basically, level of consciousness is the baseline of how aware you are when awake.
You’re familiar with 3 states of consciousness: being awake, being asleep, and dreaming. There is a 4th state, called transcendence. In this state the conscious mind is quiet while the subconscious maintains awareness.
States of consciousness may occur simultaneously. Daydreaming, for instance, is dreaming while awake.
Alternately, you can be so fatigued that you are practically asleep while awake: barely aware of what’s going on. This state is typically transitional: so tired that you unintentionally fall asleep. We’ll call this state exhaustion.
Transcendence while awake is the opposite of exhaustion: fully aware with easy energy. This state of consciousness is quietude. Abiding in this tranquil state is the level of consciousness called enlightenment.
Enlightenment is but the first level of heightened awareness. There are higher levels. In coherence consciousness the entangled unity of existence becomes a vibrant living experience. In realization, immersion into the unified field of Ĉonsciousness is palpable.
The nut of getting to enlightenment – living in transcendence – is not letting nattermind intrude. Some refer to nattermind as monkey-mind: that unbidden inner voice that interrupts and provokes with emotion.
The hallmark of severe mental illness is nattermind in overdrive. You’ve seen disturbed people on the street uncontrollably talking to themselves. The unrelenting conversation is with their own monkey-mind.
The word “mind” is itself a misnomer. The mind does not exist.
Instead, what goes on is an unending stream of events. Mentation happens.
There is considerable advantage to thinking in terms of process flows. Positive outcomes are more readily accomplished, and consequences easier to anticipate.
Alas, the most basic deception is to think in terms of objects in space rather than processes. This object orientation extends to language – whence the common concept of a mind.
With this misdirection in mind, let’s dissect the facets of mentation – all along calling them fragments of an imaginary object called “the mind.”
First, we have what we’ll call coremind. Coremind is the process of making sense of sensation – raw perception. Coremind provides the fodder for further mentation.
If an event or thought is of sufficient interest, its perception ascends from the subconscious to conscious attention, either directly by intent or filtered by nattermind.
Because you did not know better, your mind has been running your life rather than you. More precisely, nattermind has been crafting your world instead of willmind.
Willmind is the volitional part of the mind. You might like to think you are in control of what’s going on in your head. But you know too well that there’s an independent agency that keeps bringing up thoughts irrelevant to what’s going on; and that whips feelings into emotions that grab you and won’t let go. That agency is nattermind.
For all practical purposes, in ignorance, nattermind is running the show, while willmind is a bit actor. The process of becoming enlightened is reversing the dominance of nattermind for willmind.
Enlightenment is the domestication of nattermind. You can never banish nattermind, because nattermind is an integral part of the mind. That is by design.
Before getting on to the why of nattermind and the architecture of existence, let’s dwell a bit on how nattermind works – for nattermind is the source of suffering and ignorance.
Nattermind takes the cupcakes of perception that coremind bakes and puts frosting on them. That frosting is thick with emotion, on top of which are sprinkled desire and expectation.
Nattermind frosting is redolent with assumption. Nattermind does not like to be questioned, so it gulls its followers, making them quick to believe.
Nattermind presents each cupcake as if it were the real thing. It’s not.
Ignorance is the state of eating monkey-mind cupcakes and thinking they are nutritious. Instead, such frosted cupcakes are junk food for the soul.
There is no scraping monkey-mind frosting off coremind cupcakes. If you want to be aware of actuality as it is, rather than what nattermind wants you to believe, you need to put yourself on a strict regimen of healthy mentation.
Feelings are intuitions stuffed with subconscious consideration. Good stuff. Nattermind takes those feelings and whips them into emotions, which addicts the ignorant to a high drama diet. Ignore all emotions.
You cannot pay attention to the present if you’re interrupted by distraction. Harbor no thoughts. Dismiss them.
Train your monkey-mind. If what comes to mind is not relevant to the situation at hand, or at least entertaining, banish the thought.
Nattermind isn’t stupid. If your will is resolute, nattermind will catch on and quiet down.
Nattermind feeds off stimulation. Do not feed your monkey-mind. You cannot discover the meadow of contentment on the shoals of thrills.
Let’s recap. Practice transcendence. You can do this by regularly meditating, yoga, or just by focusing completely on what’s going on. If nattermind interrupts with a thought, swat it away and focus on your breath if nothing else otherwise has your attention.
Meditation is basically sitting in a comfy chair, closing your eyes, and willing a quiet mind. Most meditation practices use a meaningless mantra as a casual focal point.
Some people find it easier to transcend through the body rather than sitting still. Yoga is one such practice. The intent remains the same: taking a dip in the pool of universal Ĉonsciousness. Whatever works for you.
It doesn’t matter what you do if it clears your mind. Walking in the park is as good as anything if it quiets your monkey-mind.
Do not indulge in daydreams or flights of imagination. Do what is necessary, solve problems as they occur, and otherwise just enjoy.
Live completely in the moment. The past is gone. The only decent employment of memory is skill acquisition. Sentiment is for saps.
The goal is clarity and full awareness: living transcendentally. Enlightenment is not only possible; it provides a bedrock of abiding contentment.
You have had moments in your life that you were at peace: that the world seemed right and you were content. Such moments are the norm in enlightenment. In higher levels of consciousness, your awareness will provide insights someone ignorant cannot imagine.
Altering consciousness in any way that dims awareness is just dousing the mind with stupidity. Alcohol and cannabis are perennial self-medications that stupefy. No spiritual seeker uses such substances.
Nattermind will resist its subjugation with all its might, using its considerable wiles. This is a surmountable obstacle, if you are resolute.
Your immortal soul has a will of its own. Your soul’s will, properly harnessed, is stronger than your monkey-mind. If that was not so, enlightenment would be impossible.
Having become weak-minded by the laxity nattermind likes, few people have what it takes to get to enlightenment. Skill takes will. If you are not determined and persistent, you will not get subdue your monkey-mind.
Most people are mental wimps, even the seemingly smart ones. They love their nattermind cupcakes and can’t imagine anything else. The Collective cherish their emotions. They are chained to ignorance by their attachments to the mirage of physicality.
Slaves to their monkey-minds, the Collective are caged by their habits. They will never glimpse freedom, let alone attain it.
The distinction between ignorance and enlightenment – between mental illness and mental health – is starkly marked. In ignorance the boundary seems blurred. This is why conventional psychology is the blind leading the blind. Those with paltry understanding and not mentally healthy themselves pretend they know what mental health is.
Let’s talk about why that is: why ignorance is the consumption of deception. Knowing the layout of the game of life helps color the sketch presented so far.
Existence is essentially an eternal entertainment platform. The purpose of life is enjoyment. Behind that simple purpose lies an unfathomable game device.
The proof of existence as a mirage is shown simply by what cannot be explained. Science cannot explain consciousness, cannot explain intelligence, cannot explain the intricacies of mentation.
Physics cannot account for how matter comes to be except to say that is composed of energy – and energy is nothing more than an idea. Quantum physics is drowning in mathematics that fails to suss the source and nature of the quanta which are the supposed building blocks of existence. All quantum field theories have gaping holes.
Evolutionary biologists reluctantly admit that evolution happens via adaptation. The reluctance comes from the fact that adaptation aims at a goal: survival. For evolution to proceed as it does, there must be a localized intelligent force behind all life forms, from viruses on up. So there is.
A unified field of coherence localizes to fabricate Nature from the quantum level on up as a flowing experience for all with consciousness. The fabric of existence is woven together each instant in a facilely seamless manner. But skeptical scrutiny revels discontinuities which hint at the intricacy involved, indicating that matter is a ruse rather than reality.
Coherence creates the illusion of space by providing specific perceptible symbolic information for minds to consume at every level and scale. Coherence also manufactures the minds which turn snapshot impressions into perceptions and memories. This vertical integration – both mind and the appearance of matter – affords fabrication of the entertainment platform.
Time is purely a matter of memory. Space is entirely a mental construction, albeit abetted by the topographical layout of the symbolic representations which are the fodder for sensation.
The consistent confluence of sensations convincingly conveys that the experience of living is authentic. The sharing of subjective uptake by distinct minds forms the decided opinion that the world is real and objective. That, in a nutshell, is how the mind so mightily deceives, and we thereby come to believe the fictions that the Collective cling to.
Localization is the vehicle by which a singularity of immateriality instantiates a vast diversity. It is also the means by which self-realization is possible.
Every cell, even every enzyme in a cell, needs to be cognizant of its environment. A unified field of Ĉonsciousness localizes to populate the individual consciousnesses that provide awareness to every organic entity. There is sentience at every level. What you are aware of is the product of inputs from trillions of other consciousnesses.
Consciousness is immortal, in the sense of transmigrating from one incarnation to another. In other words, a consciousness is embedded within a soul. This raises the game, as the experiences of one lifetime provide the launching pad for the next.
The attainment of enlightenment opens the door to greater connectivity between your individual consciousness and universal Ĉonsciousness. This refined conduit of clarity provides an ongoing potpourri of intuitions and insights. Hence higher levels of consciousness making living easier and much richer.
Injury and feelings of jeopardy are just a way to heighten the sense that something is at stake. Mortality is just a cosmic parlor game. Nothing really lives or dies.
Everything that has ever given you a sense of satisfaction was not easily attained. Achievement – though shiny on the outside – has a core of struggle within it. We seek challenges as a metric of vitality.
If ignorance were not so irritable, escaping it would not be so compelling. If enlightenment were easy and common, its value would be diminished. We are built for self-realization, with the caveat that getting there is the greatest challenge of all.