Enlightenment: The action of
mentally or spiritually enlightening; the state of being so enlightened. Oxford Dictionary
Richard: For eleven years I lived in an Altered State
Of Consciousness, so I had plenty of time to examine all its nooks and crannies ... and I found much that was murky and dirty lurking around in
the outer darkness. Bewitched and beguiled by the glamour and glory and glitz of the seductive ‘State Of Being’ that ensues when one
surrenders to that ‘Power and Authority’, I spent the first three years swanning along in a state of ‘Oneness with everything’. I was
Love Agapé and Divine Compassion all rolled up into one ... and my reward for being the latest ‘Saviour Of Humankind’ was to be able to
live in ‘Rapturous Bliss’, ‘Ineffable Ecstasy’ and ‘Exalted Euphoria’. However, my native intelligence would not let me get away
with anything false and I soon found enough to make me start suspecting something very serious was wrong with Spiritual Enlightenment. To start
off with was the inescapable fact that I had a ‘Sense Of Mission’ to bring ‘Peace and Love’ to a suffering humanity – I was driven to
spread ‘The Word’ and to disseminate ‘The Truth’ – and this imposition did not sit well with me. In my fourth year I started to
question the efficacy of Divine Compassion as a means of resolving sorrow once and for all. As a palliative for suffering it was beyond compare
– it superseded pity, sympathy and empathy by a mile – but it remained forever a panacea only. Consolation for sorrow, no matter how divine
that solace may be, is not a cure that lasts.
The Altered State of Consciousness –
in particular, spiritual enlightenment – needs to be talked about and exposed for what it is so that nobody need venture up that blind alley
ever again. There is another way and another goal. The main trouble with the enlightenment is that whilst the ego dissolves, the identity as a
soul remains intact. No longer identifying as a personal ego-bound identity, one then identifies as an impersonal soul-bound identity – ‘I
am That’, ‘I am God’, ‘I am The Supreme’, ‘I am The Absolute’ and so on. This is the delusion, the mirage, the deception ... and
it is extremely difficult to see it for oneself, for one is in an august state. This second identity – the second ‘I’ of Mr.
Ventkataraman Aiyer (aka Ramana) fame – is a difficult one to shake, maybe more difficult than the first; for who is brave enough to
voluntarily give up fame and fortune, reverence and worship, status and security?
One has to be scrupulously honest with
oneself to go all the way and no longer be a someone, a somebody of importance. One faces extinction; ‘I ’ will cease to be, there will be
no ‘being’ whatsoever, no ‘presence’ at all. It is impossible to imagine, not only the complete and utter cessation of ‘me’ in
‘my’ entirety, but the end of any ‘Ultimate Being’ or ‘Absolute Presence’ in any way, shape or form. It means that no one or no
thing is in charge of the universe ... that there is no ‘Ultimate Authority’. It means that all values are but human values, with no
absolute values at all to fall back upon. It is impossible for ‘me’ to conceive that without a wayward ‘me’ there is no need for any
values whatsoever ... or an ‘Ultimate Authority’.
Thus I find myself here, in the world as-it-is. A vast
stillness lies all around, a perfection that is abounding with purity. Beneficence, an active kindness, overflows in all directions, imbuing
everything with unimaginable fairytale-like quality. For me to be able to be here at all is a blessing that only ‘I’ could grant, because
nobody else could do it for me. I am full of admiration for the ‘me’ that dared to do such a thing. I owe all that I experience now to
‘me’. I salute ‘my’ audacity. And what an adventure it was ... and still is.