What Comes After Enlightenment
July 3, 2011 by Akemi Gaines
Enlightenment has become a fuzzy word, so for the purpose of this article, let’s define it as the realization of Oneness. Not the knowledge nor mind-level understanding that “yes, we are all One; isn’t this wonderful” but the realization based on direct experiences. When you are enlightened, you know it as clearly, solidly, and directly as you know your heart is beating. There is no doubt, no room for discussion, period.
So you want to be enlightened?
If you are still in the illusion of separation, enlightenment (again, meaning this realization of Oneness), especially the first glimpse of it, can be wonderful. You’ve been looking for ways to come home and suddenly you realize you are already home. No more struggles to find your way.
However, the truth is enlightenment is not the end. If it is, we didn’t need to bother to be incarnated at all. As I explained in this article of who we are, we started as the one being.
What would be a good analogy? It’s like making jigsaw puzzle from a picture. If appreciating the beauty of the picture is your purpose, you wouldn’t want to break it up to puzzle pieces. You already have the complete picture. Yet some people actually like to make puzzles — because they want to play with puzzles. It’s fun.
Truth is in ambiguity
So enlightenment is only half the truth. For example, Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth” is a great book. I agree with everything in it. But it’s only half the truth.
The other half is about our individuality.
We tend to think “If one is true, the other is wrong”. Well, in this case, both of these statements are true in its full meanings;
- We are all One.
- We are individuals.
This may be hard to grasp because we are so conditioned in the monic thinking. Take your time to get use to this perspective.
Because otherwise, you could be stuck in enlightenment.
Many so-called spiritual people are stuck in enlightenment. After they see the Oneness, they cannot make sense of their life as it unfolds on this Earth.
Surely, we are better off by dropping certain ideas. So if you find yourself not caring about worldly achievements or how you might appear in others’ eyes, great. It may take some changes in how you steer your life and you may feel disoriented for a while, but that’s just usual with major changes.
This kind of change is common after enlightenment and not what I mean by being “stuck”.
What I mean by being “stuck in enlightenment” is ignoring the meaning of why we are incarnated with physical bodies, with different interests, likes, etc.
The nature of life
By definition, being in this physical world means we choose one over the other. Whereas you have both male and female energies as a spirit, physically you are either a man or a woman. Whereas you could be anywhere and everywhere as a spirit, physically you are either here or elsewhere.
As a spirit, you already know Oneness and you can experience everything that ever happened and ever will. You have every possible perspective. As a physical being, you experience one thing at a time from a fixed point of view.
Being physical is restricting but also fun. We choose one piece of the puzzle over the other.
Being fully here
After enlightenment, it is essential to learn to be fully here. To experience what is happening right here and now.
Learn to switch the modes. I have three modes: my individual existence mode, my psychic mode in which I choose specific perspective other than my own, and the Oneness mode.
You may have just two (without the psychic mode) or may have more that I don’t know yet. That’s okay. The point is to realize that all these modes are equally important and to be able to consciously switch the modes.
If you have prejudice, such as one favoring the Oneness mode, you miss the joy of this physical world. You also fail to exercise your power you potentially have. This undermines the purpose of this incarnation.
If you cannot switch modes consciously, you are at the mercy of whatever is happening around you or in the shared common consciousness. This is super disempowering.
How much time to spend in each mode? This is up to you, but for most people, I recommend spending sufficient amount of time in your personal mode, while spending enough time in the Oneness mode so you won’t forget it. (Here is another article about the two modes, the absolute and the relative, that you may find helpful.)
Come to think of it, true enlightenment should mean this conscious and free shifts in our awareness. Realizing there is another mode besides the separated individual mode is only the beginning.
And what happens when you have this true enlightenment? Freedom! You realize very few things, if any, matters and you can be fully yourself.
You could be singing and dancing all day long. (By the way, this is close to what I’ve been doing since I got a piano. I am on voluntary sabbatical, not making any money, just going crazy with music ♡ I heard Rumi did something similar, too.) Or maybe you have something else you like doing — isn’t it wonderful we each have different likes?
And if you think I’m so conceited — well, what do I care? This is so much fun!
Also I have forgotten most of the things I use to write. Seeking cannot be a part of this being, and even the memory of it means so little now. (And mind you, this blog has been my life.) In order to place some links in this article so that it would be helpful to some readers took quite a lot of time because of this.
Soon, I will forget enlightenment. That is true enlightenment.