According to the Veritas Publishing website, David R. Hawkins (1913 – 2012) was an internationally renowned spiritual teacher, psychiatrist, physician, researcher, lecturer and developer of the widely-known Map of Consciousness. I’ve read two of his well-known books (I, Reality and Subjectivity and The Eye of the I) and found both of them helpful and informative. I remember chuckling when he expressed the following (paraphrased) statement in one of his YouTube videos:
People will either think you’re enlightened or insane!
The paradox that’s involved for “anyone” who has recognized our essential nature is that no person ever becomes enlightened! Although this may seem confusing from the perspective of the person, the reason is quite straightforward: To experience enlightenment is to awaken from the dream of personhood; in other words, the belief of being a person is transcended through direct experience. Conversely, the study “about” enlightenment yields only the accumulation of information.
The journey to Truth is not for the faint of heart. Along your journey, you may encounter questions about your mental stability, or face challenging interactions with Beings who are deeply rooted in the perspective of the person. Although such isn’t pleasant, it’s completely understandable; because the spiritual perspective is vastly different from our conditioned ways of viewing life. If such occurs, it’s wise to remain grounded in true Self and remember that conflict usually arises due to involvement of the ego, which needs to prove itself “right.”
One of the issues that will strongly challenge most seekers is related to the very nature of our apparent “world.” Fortunately, a deeper understanding is available through the Double-Slit Experiment. The subject is also addressed through the following two questions in Who Am I?, by Sri Ramana Maharshi:
Seeker: Will there not be realization of Self even while the world is there (taken as real)?
SRM: “There will not be.”
SRM: “The seer and the object seen are like the rope and the snake [SRM is referring to the illustration of someone, who, while walking at night, mistakenly identifies a rope as a snake]. Just as the knowledge of the rope which is the substratum will not arise unless the false knowledge of the illusory serpent goes, so the realization of the Self which is the substratum will not be gained unless the belief that the world is real is removed.”
When I was first drawn to the subject of non duality (through books and videos by Eckhart Tolle, Rupert Spira, and Mooji), a point was reached at which my ego decreed that it wasn’t going to tolerate this “enlightenment stuff” any longer. Our true nature is, of course, beyond the mind’s capability to comprehend. I’m very grateful, however, that through Grace I continued my daily practice of meditation and was repeatedly drawn back to the subject.
If you earnestly desire to recognize our essential nature, I hope that you’ll find comfort through this article and steadfastly continue along your spiritual path. As your perspective shifts, your ego will undoubtedly rebel. It might inform you that you’d be better off with an affair, a new car, or another binge watch of a Netflix series. It’s also true that some of your familiar relationships may change or fall away; but you will attract new friends who can relate to the changes you’re going through. To slip back into the perspective of the person is only to invite more suffering. Keep the faith; the pearl of great price (self realization) is more than worth any apparent sacrifice required.
Note: To find a short but worthwhile video of David R. Hawkins that can lead to greater understanding, please type “Dr. David Hawkins: Enlightenment” on YouTube.
Dare to Dream (and care for one another).
With heartfelt regards,
Copyright © – 2023 – R. Arthur Russell
P.S. Please share this article if you enjoyed it. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020), press here. My YouTube videos may be found through this link. May the content of either or both help you along your spiritual journey.
8 thoughts on ““Enlightenment Stuff””
Spot on again, Art. I’ve stopped worrying about enlightenment and answer questions much like I do when asked if I’m a Christian: “I don’t know. Ask my neighbor.”
Thanks, Linda. Yes, no worries about enlightenment because you already ARE what you’re seeking. Plus, no “person” ever becomes enlightened—the dream of personhood is transcended.
I hope that all is well! Great to hear from you!! 🙂
Thank you, Art — especially for this: “It’s also true that some of your familiar relationships may change or fall away; but you will attract new friends who can relate to the changes you’re going through.” Rings true, yes and yes! 😊
You’re very welcome, Victoria. I’ve experienced it, too; and it actually feels good to be okay with it—to allow life to express itself through this body-mind named Art.
Hey, look at us—I definitely think of you as a friend (hope that isn’t overstepping) and I am grateful. 🙏
The “stuff” we are all made of!! All that Oneness that can only be realized when we go to the silence within.
Thanks for continuing to share with us Art!
You’re very welcome, Kelly! Thanks for taking the time to comment! I’m glad that you liked the post!
This reminds me of a story I heard from a friend who asked the Dalai Lama if there is a speedy route to enlightenment. He became very thoughtful for a long moment, then quietly replied, “It isn’t quick, it isn’t easy, and it isn’t cheap.” So true—but the reward is worth it, no matter how long the journey nor how high a price we’ve had to pay.
Thank you so much for sharing, Julia. I love reading your comments. It’s so true, what the Dalai Lama said.
“This” was something of which I had no conscious awareness. I was reading books, meditating, and just doing my best; with this deep sense that there was more to me than meets the eye. It seemed to begin to reveal Itself when tears would come during meditation.
Wishing you a wonderful week! 🙂
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