I was just going to respond to a post, but then decided to make this reply its own blog.
Thank you Lonnie & Steve,
I really appreciate it. Wise? LOL I'm not sure though I do really appreciate the compliment. As I came back to my ramble and read it, I have to be honest. It reads a little incoherent for me. LOL Huh that's strange, LOL. My thoughts seemed to jump around.
After writing this, I picked up the book Love Does Not Condemn and there was a passage that reminded me of what Meister Eckhart said about saying as little as possible about God. It is from Plotinus.
He said, "Therefore, when you have said "The Good" do not add anything to it in your mind, for if you add anything, you will make it deficient by whatever you have added. Therefore you must not even add thinking, in order that you may mot add something other than it and make two, intellect and good."
There runs a universal truth within this world with this. Just as the story with the Zen monk and his student walking beside the river and the student asks his teacher how to enter zen. The teacher asks the student, "Do you hear the river?" The student strains his ears and after a few minutes he can hear the rushing of the water. He exclaims "Yes teacher! I can hear it!!" The teacher then replies, "Enter zen from there."
It seems that we're so used to doing, that un-doing is alien to us. "I need do nothing and I'll reach my goal? And not only that, what I'm being told is that there is no goal, except in my mind? That I'm already there? That's absurd!" And yet, when I have these moments of deep peace, a feeling of an enveloping love. An awareness that feels so sharp and alive. These are times, when I have done nothing. All of my defenses, concepts, and resistences have just dropped away, leaving me with being in the Now.
I remember first picking up ACIM. After reading Tolle, so I had a foundation and I thought, "Could this be the book that will finally do it for me?" Keep in mind that at the time, I recently stumbled upon Tolle. I had no desire (consciously) to come upon a spiritual path, but when I did, I knew that I did want this.
And then I came upon ACIM. As I read it, I was excited! To me, as I started to understand it, I felt it very profound and I thought, "Wow maybe this is the book to answer all my questions!" And I read the text and then re read it and then again. With excitement each time I did. But I didn't do the workbook yet.
Finally, which seems like some time ago, maybe a year now, I started to do the lessons. Today is 149 so, I'm doing them at a slow pace (I'm ok with that) There is two choices as of today. Accept or resist the fact.
And as of today, I believe that this book will answer nothing for me. Because there really is nothing to answer. The intellectual mind will never be satisfied with any answer. Maybe temporarily, but it will only be a matter of time, before it says, "And maybe just give me a little bit more information. Could we elaborate on that answer maybe just a little bit more. Something is missing."
And it is because as Meister Eckhart and Polintus said. The more we try and add to What Is. The more deficient we make it.
Or as Lao Tzu said, "The Tao that can be named, is no longer the eternal tao, but something reduced for the convenience of the conceptual mind." And so the more we try and add, the more layers of concepts we lay upon reality and thus obscure it.
There is a line in the course that says, "We say God Is and then we cease to speak" and yet even the symbolism of God Is, needs to be laid aside as we cease to speak. We use the symbols to go beyond them to What Is.
The spiritual path seems to be overly concerned with enlightenment/healing and I am no exception. I suppose it could be said that this was the reason that I keep/kept reading these books. "Heal me, heal me, heal me!" My mind says. And yet, I do not even know what enlightment is. I believe that I know. I have had experiences that were WOW and if that is it, then sign me up. LOL But we or at least I sometimes push myself too much sometimes. When is it going to happen, when am I going to be healed? Well as long as I look to the future, it will always be in the future that I will be healed. I will always stand on the shore looking over the water to somewhere where I cannot seem to get to. When in fact, I can be there anytime I stop trying to do and do nothing. Then is there no shore over there and there I am.
Resistance is the great wall to peace. And so I try not to resist anything. Often times, well I need to choose again. Sometimes the wall dissappears. We are told to forgive, forgive, forgive. Why? Because to not forgive is to resist what is. And we may say, "But they don't deserve forgiveness!!" But shouldn't we ask the question, "Don't I deserve forgiveness?" Who is truly being punished? Them or us? The Buddha said, "You will not be punished for your anger, but by your anger." And Martin Luther King jr. said, "Forgiveness should not just be an occasional act, but a permanent attitude." And when forgiveness becomes a permanent attitude, then acceptance becomes a permanent effect.
What is this enlightenment? I really don't know. I have an idea, but that is just a concept. There is a lady on another spiritual board that says that she is an ACIM student and that she went to India. She studied under someone named Sai Baba (I think that is the name) and said that he confirmed her enlightenment. I find this extremely odd. Someone outside of her confirmed her enlightenment? And enlightenment there is a diploma? Without trying to over analyze this too much, I simply have to throw this whole concept out. While I am not sure what enlightenment is, I do believe that it is not this. Enlightenment is not a goal. This is the same thing as thinking that the right information will give The Truth. I do not think that enlightenment, we will be sitting in the lotus position and everything will be perfect. I believe that many of us hold the concept that enlightenment will almost give us super powers in a way. Or maybe that was just me. That it would the end all of all end alls.
The conceptual mind tends to romantisize enlightenment. That everything will somehow be perfect and that the goal will be achieved. That even the universe will then dissappear. The "goal" of enlightenment will always keep the peace of now from coming and it can also cause us to use denial innappropriately.
I have seen people on other boards, claim healing and enlightenment, when their actions speak otherwise or their words seem to be more in bliss ninny denial than honest reflection. The lady that claimed that her enlightenment was confirmed makes sure to tell everyone over and over that she is indeed enlightened. Who is she trying to convince, them or herself?
Here is a story that happened the other day, that reminds me of my idea of enlightenment. My wife and I were driving to a friend's house. As we were on the freeway, there was an on ramp and the on ramp had a yield sign. As we approached it, a car came up onto the ramp and didn't yield. I had to slam on my brakes to prevent an accident and the driver also hit his brakes when he realized that he was going to cause one, making the event even more dangerous. My wife freaked out and I said in a matter of fact tone, "Didn't they see that they had a yield sign?" The words came out very calmly and I drove on. A minute later my wife said, "Don't be upset." I was kind of taken back by her statement, because I had actually forgotten about the incident. I told her and honestly, "I'm not upset actually. I'm not upset at all."
It was at that moment that I quickly reflected back to the moment that all happpened. I realized that within that event, there was no resistence. Not even in my body. There was no elevated heart rate from almost getting into an accident or adrenaline pumping. There was no anger at the other driver and my question about the yield sign was a sincere one. I realized that through the whole incident, I was at peace with what is.
Is that enlightenment? I don't know. Enlightenment has become a four letter word a lot of times. Maybe instead of looking to enlightenment and healing. Peace might be a better option. For I can choose peace right now. There is no goal, nothing to stop me from having it right now but myself. Maybe enlightenment is just a series of right choices that brings peace to the Now over and over again.
Enlightenment produces future. At least in my mind. But I can always have peace Now. And if I don't, then do I have the ability to choose again. The Christian maybe a born again Christian, but I prefer the Buddhist's version of being born again and again and again. For then am I born anew each time I make a choice. For I never make decisions by myself. I either choose with idols or God.