Can adopting the belief ”I am enlightened” make someone enlightened?

No.

Enlightenment is sometimes called Liberation. However, enlightenment means realizing that you were never in bondage to begin with.

Now the ego could try to adopt the belief, “I am enlightened” and try to play the part of someone who is not bound…because you (the ego) will still feel that you suffer, have problems, etc. (i.e. in bondage).

Enlightenment is a radical and permanent change of our identification. Basically, we see through the mirage called “ego”.  The personal me that is in this world (i.e. the ego) is saying it wants Enlightenment – which means seeing through the mirage of ego and no longer being fooled by the ego.  How would that work?  It should be very obvious that there is nothing the ego can do to overcome the ego.  How could the ego adopting the belief that “I am enlightened” make it overcome itself?

Enlightenment is sometimes called Self-realization. Basically, knowing the answer to “who/what am I?” Someone can try to adopt the belief, “I am enlightened,” but this will not help them realize who/what they really are.  What does the person who says “I am enlightened” mean by “I”?  It is a totally different meaning for the enlightened versus one who is trying to adopt the belief that “I am enlightened.”

The problem is…unless you are enlightened…you don’t really know what enlightenment really is.

A caterpillar could ask a butterfly all sorts of questions and then say to itself, “I know what being a butterfly is.” It could put on fake wings and say, “I am a butterfly,” but it is only fooling itself. One day, the caterpillar will go into a cocoon and upon exiting as a butterfly will think, “I never thought it would be like this.”

So as you don’t really know what enlightenment is…how could adopting the belief, “I am enlightened,” help you know what you do not know?

Furthermore, how do you adopt a belief that is contrary to what you think to be true?  You know that 2 + 2 = 4.  How do you adopt a belief that 2 + 2 = 5?  Do you really ever truly believe it when you try to make that claim?  In your mind you may say you believe it, but do you believe it in your heart, in your bones, and in your being?

Granted, what you think or know to be true is often a mentally constructed fiction.  In order to change it, you have to change your understanding.  But what do you change your understanding to when you want to believe “I am enlightened”?  Again, prior to enlightenment…do you really know what it is?

Also, beliefs are within the realms of the mind and thought.  But enlightenment involves the insight/realization of what is when there is no thought.  Enlightenment, itself, is not a belief.  So how could modifying your thoughts and taking on different belief lead to the realization that occurs when there is no thought or belief?

Adopting the belief ”I am enlightened” to try to become enlightened is trying to get the tail to wag the dog.  Instead, let go of all beliefs and embrace the unknown.  You don’t know what enlightenment is nor do you really have any idea what it is like to be enlightened.  Beliefs about enlightenment are just another obstacle to enlightenment.

Instead just be quiet…be still…cease doing.  This is often called meditation.  For one second, do absolutely nothing…no thinking, no believing, no striving, no trying, no grasping, no repelling, etc.  Towards the beginning of that second, out of curiosity, ask “who am I” or “what am I”?  Don’t think about it.  Make no efforts to figure it out.  In the remainder of that second, what is?  Allow time for it to reveal itself to itself.

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eputkonen

Modern-day house-holder yogi and lover of what-is; living in peace, contentment, and joy.