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Thoughts on Spiritual Enlightenment definitions, part 2

We always begin discussions of spiritual enightenment with the caveat that spiritual enightenment defies definitions and intellectual explanations. We're also aware that the mind resists anything it can't categorize and conquer--it is up to you to decide which of your capacities to use, the limited human ones, or the vast expanded Larger Self capacities.

We also reiterate each time that spiritual awakening is a direct personal experience unique to each person. A rigid series of steps or rules is less effective than letting go to the flow.

That's why we caution that studying definitions and measuring yourself against those milestones, rules, or levels can keep you chasing something isn't right for YOU in the first place, causing you to miss a wonderful custom-tailored-to-you experience The Presence is softly calling you towards.

I recently was gifted with a wonderful book: Proof of Heaven, the fascinating true story of a physician who had a near death experience unlike any other I'd heard of. It made the cover of Time Magazine. He was certainly awakened to the larger, non-physical aspects of life, beyond what his medical training and physical life had taught him to believe was possible. You could say he had a spontaneous spiritual enlightenment.

What I found interesting is that after the spiritual enlightenment experience, he felt compelled to then dedicate his life to "figuring it out," which I am afraid will take him back into the world of definitions and intellect, and away from the indefinable, effebable world of wondrous direct experience he was graced with.

Enlightenment is an experiential process, and even big, spontanous, cosmic awakenings are not the end of it. We have choices after them. We can embrace the pure experience and let it be part mystery (not gripping too tightly and squeezing the life out of it) or we can let the mind take over again. When you're thirsty, you want a drink of water--it doesn't help when someone defines water for you and hands you a diagram of the molecular structure of water.

I recommend the Proof of heaven book, but if you chase after his experience, it will take you further from your own spiritual and life enlightenment. When you experience Divine Openings, the experience will be created JUST FOR YOU by Divine Presence. It may be flashy, but it is more likely to be subtle and sweet and quiet, like most of my experiences are. It will be perfect for you, and if you're blissed out, who cares how it compares to things you've read about.

I do not wish for other people's experiences anymore. The teacher who first initiated me in 1985 taught me a valuable truth: to appreciate my own experiences. It's nice to be in awe and wonder at other's spiritual experiences, and I am graced to hear about lots of them, but the moment you envy them, or let that take you off your own center, you're in trouble.

I know, this can be challenging. In spite of my wise teacher's advice, I'd sometimes in the past slip into wishing the things I read about in books were happening for me... but it didn't help. What did help was focusing exclusively within, and now, ironically, I HAVE the kind of life I used to read about in the spiritual books, but my spiritual enlightenment and the details of its unfolding, while delightful, are never exactly like anyone else's.

Experience it NOW rather than talking about it.

Resources to support this article:

Get started on a spiritual path that works

The best times of your entire life are just ahead: Your Journey Begins

Lola Jones Things are going Great

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You came here for the full range of experience. You wanted a game that was worthy of you, that would stretch and expand you, not just a walk in the park, although you'll have those too.
Gene Cernan, Apollo 17 astronaut, after moon orbit