Faces of Enlightenment

Enlightenment is being one with the light. Light/energy is the essence of everything (E=M*C*C). When we realize we are one with the light, we are one with everything. As one with everything, there is no duality, no friction; just peace beyond our understanding.

The word “enlightenment” is the Western translation of the Buddhist term “bodhi.”  The verbal root budh- means “to awaken,” and its literal meaning is closer to awakening. Presumably, prior to awakening, we are asleep. Asleep, we see the world through our mind, not our eyes. Our mind shows us a world based on the memories and stories our mind creates. Our eyes reveal the universe as it is.

Human beings are a transitional species, part animal and part divine consciousness. As animals, we are finite in space (our physical being) and time (birth to death). As divine, we are one with the light and its manifestations, the universe; infinite in space and time; eternal. This realization is enlightenment.

We are born as animal consciousness and as we develop we can access divine consciousness; sometimes for short moments, sometimes for much of the time. However, we cannot be fully liberated from animal consciousness as it is the cost being in bodily form; so we all toggle back and forth. As such, even those who are enlightened much of the time are still animals some of the time. As animals, they may act in ways we don’t associate with enlightened beings. They may get intoxicated, lie, cheat or be abusive to others. Such behavior has resulted in the shaming and dismissal from leadership roles of many presumably spiritual/enlightened masters.

That said, the faces or characteristics of enlightened beings are:

Gratitude. They are grateful for their circumstances, however dire, as they know that their circumstances could always be worse.

Optimism. They know that in time their circumstances will improve as the present will always be better than what’s passed.

Forgiveness. They forgive all who have not done right by them as what’s past is passed. They don’t seek retribution. They may however feel that whoever has not done right by them might not do right by them again and avoid that person.

Laughter. They find much of how others think and act as funny; funny as odd; funny as laughable. What’s funny is others taking their illusionary selves seriously.

Childlike. They are childlike as they experience the present as unique, unlike anything they experienced that’s now past;

Humility. They don’t perceive themselves as better than others regardless of their talents or whatever good fortune has brought their way.

Non-judgmental. They accept others as they are, not grading them, holding them up to certain standards.

Acceptance. They make the best of what comes their way without distractions of what could or should have been.

Empirical. They learn through observing.

Insightful. They have interesting insights into the nature of consciousness. The enlightened are enlightening. Those who are highly enlightened have the greatest insights.

Wisdom. As they identify with the infinite manifestations of the universe, they have many perspectives. The synthesis of perspectives is wisdom.

Compassion. As they don’t differentiate between themselves and others, they treat others as they wish to be treated.

Karmic liberation. Karma, the stories our mind has created about the past, frame our experience of the present. The enlightened experience the present free from the prison of the past.

Calmness. As they meditate regularly, they are calm and clear and have little internal conflicts in making choices. Moreover, as they identify as one with everything, their lives tend to be less volatile as the universe is less volatile than any of its finite manifestations.

Integrity. They do not have internal “self” conflicts where, for example, one self inside their mind tells them to have a cookie because they’ll enjoy it while another tells them not to because it’s not good for them.

Confidence. Clear in making choices, come what may.

Divine. As one with the light, the enlightened are one with God. They realize the true nature of the universe: the universe is one, a manifestation of God; it is what it is whatever it is; no beginning, no end; eternal. This is the ultimate purpose of enlightenment, to not suffer in life or death as everything is one forever.