The Enlightenment Capers

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
  • addicted
  • complainer
As I sat with my list, I was amazed by all the images, feelings and thoughts that floated around me.


I could point out the asleep, clueless people….and the awake, brilliant people.


Like I knew.


These people, like that…..these other people, like this. One side having crossed the line, the other side, not yet crossed.


Some people with it, some without. Some people taking the blue pill, some people the red pill (the matrix).


Gosh. Talk about duality.


I would know who is or is not enlightened. I would know if someone was clear, brilliant, there. I would know if someone was hazy, lost, not there. I know I am not. I know those people are.


Is that true?


I take a deep breath and answer.


No. I have no idea. I don’t “know” anything about all this, or what’s going on.


How do I react when I believe that there are some enlightened people and some endarkened people, and I’ve got a clue who is who?


Jeez. A world full of evaluation, comparison, resistance to the dark, pursuit of the light.


Not exactly relaxing.


So who would you be without the thought that you have any clue at all who is or who isn’t “there” based on behaviors like the list above…..including YOU?


Who would you be without the thought that anyone else in the world has something you don’t have?


“It is of no use to speculate about what enlightenment is; in fact, doing so is a major hindrance to its unfolding. As a guiding principle, to progressively realize what is not absolutely True is of infinitely more value than speculating about what is.” ~ Adyashanti

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


4 Replies to “The Enlightenment Capers”

  1. So beautifully said! Very exciting, the experience is so joyful. What an amazing world and all the parts and pieces and moments. Thank you for your words, and peace. And thank you for being on the telecall, too! Much love, Grace

  2. Hi Grace.. This is Billy I took part in your free tele session a few weeks back.. Thank you again..

    On this section you wrote about enlightenment.. Who is enlightened. I had to smile as anything I choose when looking at another is a judgement… I am not entitled to have those if I want peace.. True inner peace.

    Yet they are something, they are in my life.. That is it. They are my life..
    Everyone is enlightened in life itself. Perfect already.. What I see is life’s message to me so I can be free and feel that. Every person, place, thing is exactly what I need to be awake in that moment. When I invite the whole of life into that moment (god to me). Then I feel the peace… When I don’t see someone else as other, rather I see them as part of me that needs to be respected and loved. Then peace flows..

    Deny them and my turmoil begins…

    Thank you again.. Namaste..

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