Enlightened


What do we do with the gift of life in this form that has been given to us?

There are a lot of religions and teachings that say it’s a curse to be in a human form, that somehow to be human is one of the worst things that could possibly happen.

Well, that may very well be—but for now we are here. We’re here. We have a form. We have a body. So what do we do?

By separating these conversations

about absolute things and relative things,

we can see with much more clarity.

We are here in this world on a relative basis. We have a certain amount of time that we are here. And this is a gift—a great gift. When we look at the required conditions that have to take place in order for us to be what we are, it’s astounding. It takes an incredible combination of things to be what we are here.

Maybe we don’t like this or we don’t like that, but still it’s an amazing set of circumstances. To be able to see and to speak, to be able to feel and to touch, to be able to cry and to laugh and to have emotions, to have a consciousness and to be able to decipher things, to be able make decisions—these are incredible gifts!

We’ve been given a gift of having free will.

We have tremendous free will.

We’re not pawns in the game of life.

We have free will. Therefore we can decide on things. We can create things. We can do so many things. But we don’t stop for a moment to say, “Thank you, my Beloved, for my being here.”

Instead, we spend our time in wondering what we are going to be doing when we die. Well, when we die, we’ll die. But right now we are not dead. Or maybe we are dead—even though that doesn’t appear to be the case!

There are practices that say in order for us to be enlightened we have to die while we’re still alive. They say, “Die before you’re really dead, then you can live.” What they mean is for us not to attach ourselves to a lot of things because hard-held attachment causes us much unhappiness. But there is a caveat in this too because, if we don’t attach to anything, we also don’t feel anything. So we have an important choice about what we want to do and how we want to balance these things.

All the ideas that we have pertaining to enlightenment, freedom, improvement, and anything else we want to think about and discuss belong over here (holding up hand) in this subject called relative truth.

On this other side called absolute truth (holds up other hand) everything is mystery and perfection. What can anybody do to improve on That? Nothing! It’s an insult to think that we’re going to improve on it. There is nothing we can do to it or for it. But improving on our daily, relative lives—that’s another subject!

Knowing how to live our lives and improving the way that we live is truly a different situation. As long as we are here, we might as well live here in a way that gives us happiness and joy—as opposed to living here in a situation where every day is a difficult day.

With this way of looking at things, there are fundamental changes that we can make or things that we can look at in different ways. As time passes and we do these things, we learn from our experiences and we become wiser—until we can eventually say that we are enlightened. We are enlightened from the point of view that we understand the situation. We are enlightened to the way of life.

We’re enlightened. We are wise.

We are going to take advantage of this life

and live it in such a way

that it is meaningful to us and to others.

We examine this idea of a self, of a personality, of an ego in order to understand what it is. We take our memories and our experiences and we work on these things until the time comes that we can see things from a larger perspective and we come to peace with them.

But on an absolute basis,

the word enlightenment is meaningless.

There are no words in the absolute,

no terms of enlightenment or non-enlightenment.

So while we are here in a relative world, if we have a goal to become enlightened because we think that at the time we are no longer in this form that we are going to go to this place of absoluteness and have a badge on our shoulder saying we are enlightened, we are making a big mistake.

If we say we are going to try not to have a small-self and then at the same time we want the small-self that we don’t have to have the title of being enlightened—how can that be? This is why it’s very funny when people say, “I want to be enlightened because I will have a special place in the world of enlightenment, now and forever, where everybody will know me as an enlightened being.” It’s sad and it’s funny—and it’s the truth of the way we think.

I don’t know how many people I’m going to make angry today with all these things that I’m saying, but eventually all these things have to be looked at.

One of the reasons we’re here in satsang is that sometimes somebody else’s experience may save us a lot of time and a lot of heartache. Then we might possibly say to ourselves, “Well maybe there is no point in continuing in this particular concept because, if I do, then what happened to so-and-so will be the outcome for me also.” I think this is a great gift.




TOLERANCE


I know people

who are not involved with nor attracted to

the spiritual journey.

They appear to live happy, healthy, normal lives.

That is something to consider

when thinking that spirituality

is the only avenue to bliss.

And so I see that the only thing I need to know

is what works well for me in my own heart.

My path may not be the road for you.

But our destination is surely the same.

I think we will have many interesting tales

to share with each other.


Shivakti



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