Enlightenment Being or Becoming?

Enlightenment part 14

Tony Crisp

Having walked in the High Pasture of awareness and known something beyond the opposites, beyond division, beyond thinking, I look around and still use the word I. I and not I are both real and I live with them.

From this perspective a response arises in me about the way enlightenment is sometimes presented. It is sometimes said there is nothing to be achieved, nothing to struggle for, nothing that we havent already got. On the High Pasture of consciousness this is certainly true. But in that awareness there are no opposites and all opposite are true. So we can equally say there is everything to be achieved. There is everything to struggle for.

This is a strange paradox, but it is what we live in the middle of. It is what we are. Complacency is not a part of that paradox. Complacency is a form of duality, a one-sidedness that has no real part of enlightenment. Enlightenment is constantly everything. Peace and strife, action and non-action, being and becoming. The philosopher Erwin Goodenough said that “A book on love, loyalty or justice would gain little but pedantry by starting out with a concise definition of the term. Only as we describe the various conflicting elements associated with such words can we finally arrive at a meaning that includes these complexities; for important matters we understand, not as we simplify, but as we tolerate the paradoxical.” 1

If you look at the illustration at the top of this page you will see it can be two things at once.

When I meet this I am reminded of Sri Aurobindo who spent the last forty years of his life exploring consciousness and its possibilities. An Indian by birth but a genius educated in the West, he was active in the world before his inner explorations. Aurobindo pointed out that we are a creature in transition. There is work to be done, the work of transformation. The journey that began with inanimate matter and has come so far cannot stop at the imperfection and the mediocrity that is man. It must go on.

This takes work, the work of uniting personal will and effort t with the downflow of spiritual force and awareness possible to us all at this time. There is an accelerated evolution going on. That cannot happen without a choice a choice to be part of it, or to remain as the human creature we are today. It cannot happen without the pains of change and the experience of death as the old falls away.

Tempting as it is, I cannot say from all my being that there is nothing to achieve, and nothing to reach for. Yes, I have everything inwardly, at my core. But I want to give birth to that core in the world, and that means birth pangs. See Jesse Watkins Experience of Enlightenment.

See the Aurobindo Site

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