The word “ Enlightenment” means different things to different people. When we are drawn to spirituality we hear this word a lot not truly knowing how to achieve it or in-fact if we were to achieve it what it means or how we are supposed to feel once achieving it. At least if you wanted to become a doctor for instance you would know a clear path to follow to become one and once you do become one, what the job entails once you do.
So why don’t we really want “Enlightenment” whatever that means? When we look closer, why are some of us drawn to spirituality while others are drawn to worldly pursuits? The answer is whatever we are seeking whether it be enlightenment, money, relationships, family or whatever we pursue, all we are really seeking is happiness. If I asked you if you would still want what you are seeking if you knew 100% that once obtaining it that it would make you miserable would you still want it? Of course not.
Happiness is what we truly seek. Does it make sense to preach religion or spirituality to a person who currently finds happiness in career or family or whatever other worldly pursuit? No of course not as they have arrived at the goal of happiness already. And does it make sense to preach about gaining more money, status, relationships etc to a person that can see the impermanence of all these things and have chosen to seek the path of permanence through God or spirituality? Again of course not.
Whether worldly or spiritual we are all seeking happiness through different ways according to our past conditioning, experiences and karma. We seek it, get it, it slips away, then we seek it some other place. So who’s on the correct path? Whatever we choose to seek in that moment is correct, we need to seek, achieve and be disappointed before seeking again.
We don’t want enlightenment we want the assumed peace and happiness we think it will bring and feeling we aren’t making progress towards that goal brings unhappiness. Enlightened isn’t something you become, it’s something that you already but you just don’t realise it.
In another post titled “ You are already Enlightened” I used the example of you being born a millionaire but not knowing it until your 40th birthday. Did you become a millionaire on your 40th? Not really, you were one since birth but it was revealed to you at that time. Enlightenment is the same, you are just realising what was always the case.
In my opinion, and what works for me is to always follow your happiness. If spiritually brings you happiness follow it. If it becomes a chore and you’d much rather pursue worldy activities do that. I’ve noticed in myself and other people, once the “ spirituality bug” bites you no matter how far you drift from it you always come back and we need to be ok with that.
I’ve said in other posts that all is “ God” and that we are not the doer of our actions, our free will is only ever God’s will because only God is. If we examine our experience we can see this not through belief but through reasoning and direct experience . Once this is realised we can be at peace with the understanding that no matter what path we take to seek happiness it is always the correct path in that moment and that we just need to flow with and accept it. Forget about labels of “ Spiritual, Religious, Worldy”.
We aren’t seeking enlightenment we are seeking happiness so seek it in whatever form you wish because once you are happy what’s the need for enlightenment?
Hope this helps someone.