What IS Enlightenment Anyway? Longer version than in the newsletter!
What IS Enlightenment, Anyway? How Will I Know If I'm Enlightened?
The new expanded part is after the 3 classic signs....
There are classic signs, but if you're happy, if your life works, if you experience magic, ease, and Grace, and if love is flowing freely from you to family and others, it's a pretty good bet you're well on your way to enlightenment.
If you've lost the need to keep seeking and searching for answers -- if you're still deepening, learning, and evolving, but the incessant need to find "it" has evaporated, you're well on your way. Of course, keep seeking till you find it, but then stop seeking and start living!
Here are some of the classic signs of enlightenment, and how it might look in your practical daily life:
1. You "witness" yourself and your life from the expanded perspective of your Larger Self. Here are some things people tell me when they've reached this stage, although everyone is unique:
- They have conversations between their smaller, more limited self and their Large Self, or they "coach" themselves successfully
- Drama/trauma doesn't even interest them anymore, even if before, they couldn't help getting caught up in it. They see it objectively instead. They don't get swept away, even though they feel everything.
- There's a calm even in challenging times.
- Intuition and wisdom just flows from within.
- Some see themselves from outside their bodies.
2. You are OK with whatever "is". (Enlightened equanimity.)
- You've literally lost the ability to suffer.
- You don't take score so much on whether things are "good" or "bad."
- When things do go south, you feel all your feelings fully, but quickly return to your peaceful center.
- You quickly find your way to a better perspective on everything, usually in minutes or hours.
- You love people unconditionally, even when you don't approve or agree.
- You quickly find the perfection in things.
3. There is a sense of Oneness with everyone and everything.
- This may be subtle, such that you couldn't harm anyone because you'd feel it yourself, or because you know that they are just you in another body.
- Or it may come in astounding blasts of truly feeling as if other people are "inside of you" or you are "inside of them," or cosmic experiences of being one with the Universe. This one isn't usually constant because our world is still currently organized around separateness, and you did after all come here as a "separate" entity. It's usually a transcendent moment to enjoy and remember.
- You find it hard to judge because you know that you are human too.
- How to let your enlightenment grow:
Many times people miss the sweetness and beauty of the more subtle experiences of enlightenment by wishing for some experience they read about, or that someone else had With all the emails I get from people all over the world I promise you everyone's experience is unique. I don't even have all those experiences, but I don't care -- I love my experience.
- Focus on the hopeful signs you do see, not what's lacking.
- Think of your mind as a magnifying glass. What you aim it at magnifies. Appreciate your small progress as much as your miracles, because the journey is made mostly of very non-dramatic small steps that add up tremendously over a year.
And what else do you have to do for the rest of your life but evolve and unfold?
I love the little daily expansions of consciousness, the sudden moments of recognition of how far I've come, the realizations that weren't here yesterday. It's so much fun to have an experience, and think, "Wow, if that had happened a year ago, I'd be really upset, but I wasn't even fazed."
- Other signs of enlightenment?
Magic--- At a certain stage, things just work magically much of the time. You say what you need, and there it is. The other night, about midnight, I noticed that some hacker was sending spam from my site. If that continues for even a day or so, my host server will shut down my site to protect their other clients from getting blacklisted by isp's. This was not good. I emailed my web guy, and he happened to be online. He figured out where they got in, and fixed it, literally within 2 minutes. I hit my easy button and laughed out loud. This type of thing happened once before, with my past web guy. I accidentally messed up by site, and he fixed it right before my eyes, in minutes, before I even knew he was on the job.
I recently needed a handyman. One showed up in one of my courses soon after. Then he got busy with other things and I needed another one. The next day, I went to the feed store and one of the employees saw me buying fence supplies and asked me if I needed a handyman.
Often you will find that the solution arrives BEFORE the need arises. For example, you buy some large furniture from a friend, and you need to borrow a truck. Then you realize you just met someone at a party last week who told you to call if you ever need to use their truck.
- Not needing to prove it / not caring if anyone knows.
Those who really are advanced have absolutely no need to prove it and no need for anyone to know it. Advanced people approach me with total openness, listening more than talking. It becomes quickly apparent how advanced they are, without their saying so.
Whenever someone approaches me telling me how advanced they are, I know they are not yet enlightened.
A certain percentage of people tell me they "already know all this stuff" or that they have been on the path for years and they don't really need it, but they just have one little issue. Some have a defensiveness, or a need to prove something. That's the small self wanting to be right, not wanting to admit they don't have it. If they did have it they would not still be seeking, and they would not be calling me.
Everytime you hear yourself saying, "I already know," ask yourself, "Is it working in every area of my daily life? Am I living it, or is it just knowledge I've collected?" If you're not yet living it and feeling it deeply, ignore your small self and open up. There's more. Of course, the small self isn't interested in enlightenment, so it wants you to think you have it, so you won't go for the real thing.
Some have said, "I'll do better at this because I already know it." You know me, I'm such a plain-spoken cowgirl, I've actually said, to bust their pattern, "Oh, then you won't get as much as the beginners."
When you're there, you won't need to tell anyone. In social settings when people start discussing spirituality, I have nothing to say. If anyone asks what I think or what I do, I give them a card or tell them I have a website. I'd rather socialize and have fun.
When people ask if I'm enlightened, I'll say something like, "You decide," or "More every day."
Those who are, have no need to say so. And those who say they are, are usually not.
- What's really important?
Having love flow freely from you, having no grudges, no resentments, no fears, being powerful and prosperous, and feeling good most of the time is what is most valuable in your life. Flashy spiritual experiences are nice, but you may be surprised to know that those do not indicate that the person is enlightenened.
We've known plenty of teachers and metaphysicians who could do all manner of flashy feats, predict the future, heal people, attract thousands, and give a stirring motivational speech...... and yet had poor health, broken relationships, big emotional issues, and were not happy. So what good is that???
- Heart Matters
It's important that your heart (emotional development and compassion) keeps pace with your mental and power development. The first glimmerings of enlightenment can be rather mental, and heady in the sense of rightness and power you feel. It can make one impatient, hard, intolerant, or even evangelical in the early stages. "Why doesn't everyone else get it?" If you're trying to fix anyone, enlightenment is not in full fruit yet. Sharing is one thing, fixing and pushing is another.
Slow down, mind your own business, focus on seeing people with love and acceptance, and keep moving.
You don't want to stop at this plateau.
When the heart flowers, you realize that everyone is OK just like they are, and that this "rightness" is just what's right for you. You love people and appreciate them unconditionally more of the time. You respect their path, even it you don't get it.
You become an even more powerful beacon when people feel your love and want to have what you have.