David Spero

Enlightenment isn’t for the “Me,” July 3, 2009

There is nothing personal in enlightenment. Enlightenment, we could say, is a vast emptiness, an impersonal backdrop and, certainly, does not destroy the function of the personality, or ego structure, or feelings, or bodily functioning.  But, it is prior to all of that. The body-mind might get an intimation that enlightenment has, in fact, occurred, which is that the subtlest level of the mind has somehow become enlightened about the nature of the presence/non-presence of this Field, that it somehow agrees that it exists. Not agrees in the sense of believes, or has faith in the fact that it exists, but that it is utterly reconciled and aligned toward that Field. I don’t say “in” because nothing enters into it.

It’s important to note, that the structure, and this bears repeating, of the personality remains intact. Everything continues as it was. Nothing changes in the relative. Many of the likes and dislikes that were present before awakening are still present afterwards, unless there was some recognition of some kind of negativity in one’s habit patterns, in which case there might be a quick adjustment, a quick and spontaneous adjustment in behavior.

Phenomena like calmness, peace, even the feeling of non-duality, are all outside of the enlightened Field. The personality, the ego structure, might think it knows, only because it feels the wave-like undulation, the pulsations of quietness and energy and love that happen near that emptiness. But, that emptiness exists nowhere near the human personality. It’s good to understand this completely, because it teaches you not to attach to any form of experience that arises in you.

It might be perceived as a letdown. You might feel deflated as a result of knowing this kind of thing, because if it’s not for the “me” and it doesn’t come to bear on relative existence, then what is this, and what’s the point of it.

There’s a passionate movement toward the Truth in someone who desires to have it revealed to him. That movement is created by life itself. There is no selfish motive in it.

So, the notion that enlightenment can work for you, or you can extract something out of it, are foreign to the very process of true awakening. They just don’t exist in that spectrum. Of course, it might be inevitable that the ego-mind thinks, and can’t help but think, that there’s something there for it, and that kind of deluded selfishness is what, in fact, occurs alongside the genuine and spontaneous awakening process that’s motivated by nature.

The separate “me” will continue to interpret everything in that strange fashion, only because that’s the field in which it has comprehension, in the field of the “me versus the object” in duality. So, it sees everything as a reflection of what it wants or doesn’t want. But, real enlightenment is something that we don’t ever really know, except through the feeling of fulfillment that comes from its own Realization.

It’s a fulfillment that can’t be described or experienced any other way. You can’t miss it for something else. So, it produces its own unique fulfillment. And even the human personality has an intuition about this. It senses “the other.”  It senses where it begins and ends. It knows where birth and death exists and therefore, by default, it knows what That is, but it never knows where That is positively. It never positively affirms That in personal consciousness. It’s only by virtue of what it is not that you know that it is there and has been realized. It’s what the “me” can’t know about it, that enlightens the “me” as to its presence.

It’s good to hear this kind of information, because it helps the ego-mind to have a “hands-off” approach when it comes to realizing the impersonal. Hands off! Just to hear that knowledge will instruct the relative personality. Oh, yes, and so, in that way, you’re guided subtly to a correct approach, a correct posture in relationship to your own spontaneously occurring sadhana.



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