What is it Like to be Enlightened?

Enlightenment – Part 13

Tony Crisp

Many people have had an experience of enlightenment. It simply means they transcend the limitations of thought and conditioning for perhaps a moment in time. These moments or periods of enlightenment usually leave a marked impression or leave deep insights into the nature of oneself or of life.

There are stages in the process however, and the very beginnings are in an extension of intuition, or the transcendence of the senses and physical boundaries created by your body. One of the stages for many people is a sort of cleansing, a discharge of what has been called in the East as Karma – influences from the past we still cling to or are held by. In todays terms this would be thought of as clearing out old traumas and cultural conditioning.

A next step might be a growth of intuitive knowing and for some a wonderful experience that is like a continuing synchronicity. This gradually extends into a sense their personal awareness expanding and so they know, as through an intuition, so much more about their place in the universe and what it means.

Often this brings crises of change and of massive ‘spiritual’ experiences. Maybe their body vibrates as the inner changes are occurring. And in a way it is all only an extension of what is normal; for being self aware is a form or enlightenment. So any so called enlightening experience are footsteps on an endless path of discovery.

But to be enlightened in a grand sense will mean that you have moved beyond time and space in a demonstrable way. The limitations of the physical senses and the body will no longer hold you to the same degree. Your ego will have melted its boundaries and incorporate more awareness of all living things. The ability to place your awareness at any point on the globe or universe, or to tap into a cosmic fount of knowledge, to be able to heal or have profound insight into the body and mind of others will be available. This does not mean you will be ‘famous’ or widely known. The enlightened person may live simply and be the person you know down the road. This was demonstrated in the life of Edgar Cayce.

But the above description does not mean an enlighten person will have all the things listed. More likely they will have a greater sense of transcending the five senses and will live a life with certainty there is no death. They will obviously be seen as different by those close to them. As one person said, you are not like other people, and I love you.

In the end, the physical body will be transformed, so there will be nothing of it left to die.

But the spirit of Life, The Tao as it is called in the East, is infinitely creative, so there can be no end defnition to enlightenment. No beginning – no end. Not this. Not that. Action in non action. See Peoples Experience of Enlightenment.

This life – of enlightenment – is just a describer, and one of the things it sees is that this state does not belong to anyone. It’s not something you can get from someone. It’s who everyone is. From here, the highest volume is the sound of the infinite ocean that we all are. Suzanne Sega.

Since there is nothing to meditate on, there is no meditation.

Since there is nowhere to go astray, there is no going astray.

Although there is an innumerable variety of profound practices, they do not exist for your mind in its true state.

Since there are no two such things as practice and practitioner, if, by those who practice or do not practice, the practitioner of practice is seen to not exist, thereupon the goal of practice is reached and also the end of practice itself.


Liberation is achieved by the practice of non-activity, say the Masters of the Secret Teachings.

What is, according to them, non-activity?—Let us first of all notice that it has nothing in common with the quietism of certain Christian or oriental mystics. Ought one to believe that it consists in inertia and that the disciples of the Masters who honour it are exhorted to abstain from doing any­thing whatever?—Certainly not.

In the first place, it is impossible for a living being to do nothing. To exist is, in itself, a kind of activity. The doctrine of non-action does not in any way aim at those actions which are habitual in life: eating, sleeping, walking, speaking, reading, studying, etc. In contradistinction to the Taoist mystics who, in general, consider that the practice of non-activity requires complete isolation in a hermitage, the Masters of the Secret Teachings, although prone to appreciate “the joys of solitude”, do not consider them in any way indispensable. As for the practice of non-activity itself, they judge it absolutely necessary for the production of the state of deliverance (tharpa).

They never tire of repeating the classic simile of the two chains. Whether one is bound by an iron chain or by a golden chain means, in both cases, to be bound. The activity used in the practice of virtue is the chain of gold while that utilized in evil deeds is the iron chain. Both imprison the doer.

What then is this activity from which one ought to abstain?—It is the disordered activity of the mind which, unceasingly, devotes itself to the work of a builder erecting ideas, creating an imaginary world in which it shuts itself like a chrysalis in its cocoon. (Quoted from The Secret Oral Teachings of Tibetan Buddhist Sects – ByAlexandra David Neal and Lama Yongden).

A man’s experience:

“Now a most extraordinary thing happened. I experience feelings of being made love to, but not through the genitals, but through my head right the way through my being down into my genitals. For a long time it felt as if I didn’t need to breathe, and in fact I seemed to exist without breathing for quite a long time. There was a feeling of tremendous quietness. Inside something gently moving through the openness in my head down my being, flowing to my genitals. Once there it was like it opened something. It changed something. Then, gradually, that influence of change started moving up my being. I could feel it particularly touch and change things in places like my solar plexus and my heart. When it reached my throat I could feel it tickling and opening something there. It really felt painful as it went through these places, particularly as it reached into my head. It wasn’t a physical pain, but it felt as if something deep inside me was being stretched and opened, and that stretching was painful at a subtle level. I cried out in the pain. I wept. I cried out in pleasure – the mixture of pleasure and pain, just as if I were being made love to in a wonderful and delicate and yet painful way. As it touched and passed through my head I cried out, “Why? Why?”

“It is finished. I love you.”

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