A dear friend and I were recently talking. She brought up a most wonderful topic…enlightenment. Awakening. Spiritual freedom.
We both love this topic.
During the conversation, I noticed something I hear in “spiritual” discussion circles….
….or should I say, I hear it in my own mind.
The question of who is and who is not “awake”.
Suddenly I was struck by this way we humans have of looking, defining, contemplating the notion of “awake” or “enlightened” or “there” or “arrived”.
As one friend said to me once about a spiritual teacher he knew, “he’s the real deal”.
How does anyone know?
How do I know?
For this exploration, I decided to make a list. When someone has these qualities, I see them as unenlightened:
- cares too much or too little about other peoples’ behaviors or opinions
- afraid of the future, regretful about the past
- dishonest, cheat, liar, selfish, immature, childish
- experiences big feelings like longing, anger, rage, terror, sobbing
- triggered by some people, not by others
- high maintenance – lots of needs
Who would you be without the thought that those people, with those qualities, are asleep?
It’s like starting from scratch, knowing nothing.
What if none of these qualities truly mean anything? About anyone?
Nobody holding a quality and keeping it, the possessor of it, the one who owns that difficult (or delicious) quality…nobody wrong, nobody right. Everyone where they are, in a great moving body of energy.
Nothing static, nothing permanent, nothing set in stone.
“People say am I enlightened? Well how would I know? But I know what freedom is, that I know. ‘Enlightened’ I have no thought to. ‘Freedom’ I do, and when we’re free there’s no problem and that’s a very friendly universe to live in. I love this planet.” ~ Byron Katie
Without the belief that Some People have something missing (and you could be part of some people) or that you must strive for certain qualities in order to be comfortable, clear, or good….
….whatever is happening right now is spacious, empty, unknown.
Everyone is amazing, even with their complaints, getting triggered, blubbering, yelling, judging, being needy, being addicted, sick, lying.
“You don’t want your happiness to be conditional on the behavior of other people. It’s bad enough that your happiness is conditional upon your own behavior. When you start making it conditional upon other peoples’ behavior, you’re in serious trouble.” ~ Michael Singer
Ahhh…I look forward to encountering people, whatever their qualities, and allowing them all to be exactly as they are. I myself can practice unconditional happiness in their presence.
Inner stillness, quiet, no matter what.
And when it gets disrupted, inquiry.
Much love, Grace