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Our email address is editor @realization.org.

Copyright 2001 Realization.org.



A Word That Makes Me Crazy
Received August 7, 2001

Enlightenment anyone? "Vacation in beautiful Nirvana! Budget plans available."

I'm sorry. Whenever I hear that word I go a little crazy. The more I talk about it the more confused I get.

I 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 again.

Doug Hill

Thanks 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.

On 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 standard. —Editor

Enlightenment is Freedom From Karma
Received July 19, 2001

Here 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:

Part 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.

Many 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!



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This page was published on December 5, 1999 and last revised on August 7, 2001.


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