21 Jan Faces of Enlightenment
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 (some call this God) and its manifestations, the universe; infinite in space and time and 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 the past.
Forgiveness. They forgive all who have not done right by them as what’s past is past. 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.
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.
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.