The conditioned mind will initiate confusion, conflict and suffering as long as we are not conscious of what we are doing. The word enlightenment is used more and more throughout the world, especially in eastern countries to express spirituality. Gods or a God have been the symbol for what we define as salvation. Enlightenment and salvation are often mistakenly placed in the same category. It is assumed that without God, there can be no salvation. A similar belief pattern is true for Enlightenment. The two are mistakenly confused as being the same.
I write, from time to time, about the affects of belief symbols and dogmas concerning God; any God. There is a strong conflicting reaction from given individuals, on occasion, due to something I may write. I wish to express that I have no agenda or no wish to prove, disprove or convince anyone of anything, whether this is the faith in a Christian God, Allah or even the practice of atheism.
This is the constant danger of words and believing, assuming or knowing anything. We usually belief or assume that we know what the “word” means; thus this means that the word has to be true. I share many topics, ideas and insights in my writings. Does this mean that I know, for example, what enlightenment, consciousness or salvation truly mean? No, I do not. I do sense that we invest too much mind and life energy on trying to define and defend such words.
Enlightenment: God and You
Every person understands enlightenment, salvation, God, no God or anything else to the best of their conscious abilities at any given moment. People assume and use many different definitions and words to express something that is universally true for everyone and everything. And yet we become so obsessed with the word, symbol, belief or conditioned behavior that we forget that it is all the same. We should simply be aware and then we would remember. Some people will remain in a content existence loop, others will perhaps awaken consciously. Everything is fine; whatever there may be in that one precious moment.
It is understandable obvious that there are many people that are not awakened or enlightened. This is not something that is good or bad; it is as it is. Perhaps we should consider the word enlightenment shortly before I continue to write. Enlightenment, as it has been defined, began during the 17th and 18th centuries. It was a European intellectual movement emphasizing reason and individualism rather than tradition. This is the official definitions for eastern countries.
The experience of enlightenment however has been known by humankind for much, much longer. Buddhism describes it as Prajna or pure and unqualified knowledge. The church although not expressed through the word “enlightenment” uses the word “salvation”. The European intellectual movement caused a shift in our perspective relating to “enlightenment”. Religion and science were suddenly determined to clarify what enlightenment meant through established Dogmas or scientific methods.
What would happen if we practiced not using the established dogmas and methods to seek clarity and knowledge? Enlightenment (life) is not a symbol, faith or religion. There should also be no dogmas or true methods used to experience it. There is also no one that truly knows what it means.
Our practice is to experience “enlightenment” as the awareness to and acceptance of, the “now”? The awakened knowledge of the “now” is enough.
Best wishes to everyone