I’ve heard this question different ways and sometimes with additional information. For example, the Self is always Awake, and there is only the Self & the Self has always been free.
Let’s start with the Self is always Awake. The massive fallacy with this concept is that we experience directly that this is not the case. This is not even the case when you are dreaming at night. You are asleep in your bed and a world is created from the mind. You see other people, trees, rocks, etc. It is all from one mind. There is no other. All in the dream is only you. Continue reading Isn’t Enlightenment the realization that there is no such thing as Enlightenment?
I hear many variations of this question and so I hope to answer the spirit of the question instead of each variation. Doesn’t it take time after awakening? Time for the ego to drop away or time for suffering to end or time for conditioning to fall away or time for the realization to take hold or settle in.
Unfortunately, this is the ego looking for a back door so that the illusion can continue for a bit longer. Can “I” have more time to battle the ego, suffering, conditioning, etc.? It doesn’t have to happen now…because it takes time (or so the myth goes). Continue reading Doesn’t it take time for ego, suffering, and/or conditioning to fall away?
What do you think that would mean? When people speak of pure nonduality, they often talk as if there would be an absolute nothingness/oneness or absolute non-differentiation. That they would not be aware of the appearances of the world or something or other. They don’t seem to catch the fact that the idea of “pure nonduality” is just another form of duality. There is not such thing as pure versus not-pure nonduality. There is just nonduality.
Life and the world itself is not dualistic…it has always been nondual. It is our minds that believe in separation. It is a mental fiction. There never was otherness. There is only the mistaken idea of otherness, because there is a perception of many things (that we then assume are separate). Continue reading Is there such a thing as living in pure nonduality?
Enlightenment is also called liberation, but enlightenment is realizing that you were never bound to begin with. So although nothing was gained by enlightenment, what was lost was the delusion of bondage (an illusion of the mind). In losing the delusions and illusions, we realize our natural state.
As there is nothing to be gained, that is why I think some people mistakenly say “everyone is enlightened.” Or some mistakenly say “everyone is enlightened” because “enlightenment is out natural state.” This too is mistaken because enlightenment is realizing our natural state instead of continuing to think who we think we are…with all of our problems and suffering. Continue reading Isn’t everyone enlightened?
Let me start by saying I had no guru or teacher (living or dead) that gave me, lead me, or otherwise helped me to awaken. I just read a whole lot of books on various spiritual topics and did many different kinds of practices, only to spontaneously wake up one day and realize something totally different from what I had read previously. So based on my experience, I would have to say – no…a guru is not required to awaken.
Could a guru help? That is a totally different question. The answer is possibly. Continue reading Is a living guru required to awaken?
I wrote a short book in 2009 called, “52 EnlightenMyths.” It was a list of common myths and misconceptions about Enlightenment. A couple of them point to what this question might be getting at.
One that I listed was, “you won’t even know you’ve found it.” As I said then, I wonder who comes up with this stuff. The idea is that when it happens, there is no “you” left to know it happened. Pure myth. Continue reading Isn’t saying you are Awake or Enlightened a sign that you are not?