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Are Heaven and Enlightenment the same?

Enlightenment Part 5

Tony Crisp

Many things that Jesus is reported to have said can be recognised as connecting with the state of enlightenment. For instance he said you do not have to earn heaven, that it is already here for us to claim. This is like saying heaven is self existent as your own fundamental nature, and you don’t have to be good or perform certain acts to get it.

The story of the pearl of great price is also recognisably about enlightenment. The story says the man has to sell all to get the pearl. In other words he gives up all and then he has the pearl. This does not mean that you have to be impoverished to know the condition of enlightenment. If that were so the beggars in the streets of the world would all be wonderuflly enlightened and wise. It is not a case of having nothing, but of holding onto nothing, of wanting nothing as fully as one wants ones own true existence.

Enlightenment often arises in a person when all their desires, all their thoughts and feelings, for one reason or another, subside, are let go of, even momentarily. That is what is meant by having nothing or giving all up.

The Pearl of Great Price is that awareness of the Divine within you that can be born out of having no preconceptions – the virginal mind.


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