Many people seem to think that spiritual enlightenment comes from an outside source. Even if they do not think this, even knowing that it is not true, still, inadvertently, they often seek it outside of themselves. Oftentimes people travel to other countries seeking enlightenment – India rates highly – visiting this famous Guru or that one, this spiritual practice or that one . . . always looking, always seeking and desiring the state of spiritual enlightenment which so constantly seems to elude them.
Many years ago, I remember reading books by spiritually enlightened men and women who led me to believe that enlightenment was an impossible dream. I am not saying for a moment that they deliberately fostered this idea, but this was how their written words emotionally affected me. And if you feel an emotional impossibility for a positive outcome, then the consequence is most likely to be one of perceived failure. I always had the feeling that enlightenment was on a very high, unreachable shelf in the library of my life, and that I had no ladder that was long enough for me to climb up and reach it. I would stare up at this impossible dream, dreaming . . . if only!
We have a few different words for this wondrous state of Being: among them are spiritually enlightened, Self-realised, Awake, even Christ conscious. Whereas I once used the term Awake, many speakers and writers nowadays speak and write of awake in the context of being spiritually aware. Very different, even while similar. I have noticed over the years how our words and their meanings, or concepts, continually change. In earlier times to be enlightened implied spiritual enlightenment, yet now it means to be liberal, open-minded, well informed, sophisticated, etc. These days, if I am to use the term, I remember to speak and write of spiritually enlightened.
I remember many years ago when I was a seeker, I was a seeker of Christ consciousness. I still relate to this, even though I no longer use that term. Spiritual enlightenment always brings with it a connection to the holistic world in which we live. It brings a connection to other Great spiritually enlightened Beings, even though no personal introductions are included! It brings with it a connection to the Christ, to the Buddha, and with the conscious living expressions of other Great Beings. One of my favourite terms for God is The Endless Song of Infinite Balance. Another is the Beloved.
Spiritual enlightenment is not contained or limited by linear time, for it is not a physical-body/linear experience. Spiritual enlightenment is held within the eternal moment, so it is never in the past, or future, but only in the now. You do not leave it behind. If you hear a person name the time and date of their spiritual enlightenment as a fact, they are most likely unenlightened. Of course there is a linear date involved, but spiritual enlightenment involves the immortal soul, not the mortal personality. Sometimes the personality will reflect this higher consciousness, sometimes not. It depends on their emotional state of consciousness. Spiritual enlightenment is an enigma, for as soon as you begin to describe it, you are putting words together for the intellect to understand what it is. This does not, nor can it, work, for spiritual enlightenment is not an intellectual experience. If you had adult clothing fitted to clothe a child, you still have a child.
Few people seem to realise that nothing in life is an intellectual expression. We humans are designed to be an expression of conscious intelligence . . . even though this is rare! All Nature is a vast and multi-varied expression of conscious intelligence. We, however, have abdicated from conscious intelligence, embracing our subconscious intellect. There is no such thing as subconscious spiritual enlightenment. Spiritual enlightenment is purely conscious, and completely involved with consciousness. When you consider it is estimated that around ninety-three percent of humanity lives subconsciously for around ninety-three percent of their lives, you begin to realise why the fully conscious state of spiritual enlightenment is anything but common.
In all honesty, spiritual enlightenment is as close and reachable as the marmalade jar is to your toast and butter. To want spiritual enlightenment is to take a path in the opposite direction. Want and desire do not, and will not work . . . and yet, desire is the kickstart toward it, but you must release the kickstart! When we used to kickstart an old motorcycle, we always had to let the kickstart disengage the moment the engine started. So it is with desire. The moment true inquiry is engaged, you disengage from desire. Then . . . bury it!
The key to spiritual enlightenment is to be conscious in the moment. The path to spiritual enlightenment is one of surrender. For as long as you desire to be spiritually enlightened so you will delay it, for the person who maintains desire will never becomes spiritually enlightened. Desire is a left-brain/mind combination, while surrender is a whole-brain/heart expression. Our brain is very necessary for life as we experience it, but for a spiritual life as most people do not experience it, a Loving heart/pineal/whole-brain connection is the way.