How Can I Know Enlightenment?

Enlightenment Part 6

Tony Crisp

You need to be clear that you already have enlightenment, but perhaps you haven’t realised it. Maybe that is why some people are called ‘Self-realised’.

If you are already enlightened, why haven’t you realised it? The answer is that the noise of your thinking, your desires, your concepts of yourself and the world are like loud music covering up the simple melody that constantly plays as yourself.

One way of understanding this is to use the analogy of electricity in our homes. We can enjoy the electricity as heat, as sound, as televison pictures, as energy in a vacuum cleaner, as light, or as computer programs performing in various ways. Usually we are only aware of the manifestation of the electricity as light for instance. We are not aware of the nature of the electricity itself. The light emitted by the bulb in our kitchen is not the same as the light in other kitchens along the road or in the neighbourhood. But the electricity is the same.

The analogy helps us to see that our attention is usually filled with effects, end result. The ‘electricty’ within us brings about thoughts, emotions, sexual drive, physical sensations and mental imagery. But these are shifting changing things that do not last. Like the pictures on a television screen they come and go. But our fundamental nature is the electricity.

Obviously that is an anlogy, but we take our thoughts, our emotions, our sensory impressions, to be what life is all about. We may even identify with them to the point of believing our emotions or thoughts are who we are. But our thoughts and feelings constantly shift. What is it that knows these shifting thoughts and feelings?

When and if they do pause, there is a realisation of a self-existent consiousness that has been underneath the noise of thoughts and emotions all the time.

The thing is that the more you try to realise who you are the further away it becomes. So you need to give up all effort, like going to sleep and yet remaining aware.

The biggest experience was a breakthrough to being in the High Pasture again. I was filled with the experience of that transcendent timeless light being at the core of my being. In that state I knew that the basis of my being is not myself, but the light beyond time and space. I knew that what exists and creates my being is this mystery beyond time and space. It is in everything and everybody. It can transform our being, body and soul, if we let it in. No effort is needed to apprehend it. In fact it exists in us all the time, beyond our effort or thoughts. I felt that to touch someone with that is to heal any illness they have. I once more gave my being that THAT.

It is strange that reading through the above over a year later I realise I have not said some of the most wonderful things about the experience. I sense that at the heart of everything existed an indefinable something beyond time and space. Because it was beyond time it could explore every human being, every aspect of them, every possible direction of them without the passage of time. Every possible combination of events, every possible outcome of the choice was known. But not just known, in some way that is difficult for us to understand, it was also complete and real. Therefore we have a possibility of every thing we might ask for. It is already real. It is already ‘made’ or achieved. We do not need to earn it or develop it. All we need to do is allow it into our own reality. I don’t know how this is possible, but it seemed a great truth.

If this can be accepted, then it is understandable that the important question might not be, ‘How do I attain enlightenment?’ It should be, ‘How am I constantly preventing myself from knowing what I am?’

In a few words, I got to the point where I realised that the answer I was looking for was myself. So why was there any need to make an effort to find oneself? The more one sought an answer, the less likely one was to find one. All effort dropped away and I existed in a simple state of being, of clear existence, for hours. My ego seemed to melt, yet it was still there, it hadn’t been destroyed or overcome, or denied. It had simply dropped like effort from the limbs when we sleep.

In this state I had a wonderful sense that I had been let into the Garden of Eden again. Everybody was always in the Garden but they cannot see it because they have lost their innocence. They have covered up their perception of it with too many thoughts, opinions, struggles, attitudes, fears, dreams and hopes. I could see that we play thoughts and attitudes like records, and these were not ourselves. I knew myself as the empty awareness of existence. It was heaven, it was peace, it was beyond any effort.

At one point I suddenly realised the meaning of the Cheshire Cat in Alice In Wonderland. I was touching the radiance, the self existent gentle joy of existence, and my ego was not there. It had melted, disappeared. And this was what I saw had happened to the Cheshire Cat. All that was left was the smile, hanging in emptiness. That was how I felt, like a smile hanging in space.

The most moving thing was that what I had found was completely unlike what I had expected. I had thought that it would be like a breakthrough; a terrific heightened awareness; a transcendent lift into another way of being, a losing oneself in a wider world, even a drunkenness of spirit that allows a freedom from the limitations of our usual emotions. It wasn’t at all like any of those. What happened was the simple, the everyday experience of existing, of being, without any trappings. This was so simple and beautiful I wept. I wept to see we all had it, and it was so near at hand. It was not at all a long way off. It was not something that we had to earn or fight to achieve. It was with us all the time and we failed to see it because we were looking for something complicated.

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