A Word That Makes Me Crazy
August 7, 2001
anyone? "Vacation in beautiful Nirvana! Budget plans
sorry. Whenever I hear that word I go a little crazy.
The more I talk about it the more confused I get.
like this website very much. It has abundant and varied
materials. The editor writes in a gentle, playful, non-pedantic
style. The layout is clear and tasteful. I have just
been on the Internet for a few months, but so far this
site rates at the top for me. Thank you. I'll be visiting
very much for the kind words. I agree with you about
"enlightenment." The word is ridiculous and
I cringe every time I type it. What I'd like to write
is either "wake-up experience" or "realization,"
depending on which meaning is intended, but we use "enlightenment"
a lot on this site because that's the word that readers
are most likely to type into their search engines.
the subject of pedantry, I appreciate the compliment,
but boy are you wrong. Here, I'll prove it. As you probably
know, the Asian words that correspond to "enlightenment"
actually have meanings like realization, fourth state,
blowing out, liberation, natural state, etc. The reason
we say "enlightenment" in English is because
early Western writers on Buddhism and Hinduism didn't
understand their subjects very well, and they chose
a word that was familar to them from the Biblical tradition.
(Actually, they chose the word Aufklärung, the
German word for "enlightenment", and writers
in other European languages copied the German example.)
Unfortunately, this poorly chosen terminology became
Enlightenment is Freedom
July 19, 2001
is what was told to me by an extraordinary spiritual
teacher who fully awakened to enlightened consciousness
during the 70's and never lost it since:
of enlightenment means freedom from karma, not necessarily
freedom from ego. Ego simply means focus, and without
some form of focus it would be impossible to function
in the world as we know it. There are various ways that
focus/ego can be utilized and directed. In the state
of enlightenment one exists in the field of karma and
even participates in it, yet is utterly free of it and
can interact with it in joy. The enlightened consciousness
is an eternal witness. When the wave of chaos in the
ocean of karma rises up it washes right over the enlightened
soul rather than pulling it into the current of karma.
In fact, enlightened beings do not need to participate
in push and pull at all. They never have to do
anything. The universe simply moves them and when a
door opens, the enlightened soul moves through it.
enlightened saints and souls are so free of their personal
karma that they have naturally taken on the quality
of absorbing and clearing karma for the rest of us.
It is not unusual for an enlightened yogi to die of
cancer. Why? Because in cosmic consciousness, no one
is free until everyone is free. A bodhisattva vows to
stay with the Earth until all souls are liberated. We
are all a part of the body of God and we are awakening,
one cell at a time! Enlightened souls use their focus/ego
in service to humanity. Or I suppose they could just
dissolve it into nirvana
but that's not half as
interesting as assisting the mess down here on Earth!