Enlightenment

“Enlightenment is not the good time of life between two sufferings. Enlightenment is the life after the last suffering with a permanent shift of attitude, freeing from anymore future sufferings.”

Enlightenment is first cross-over from old you to new you, old-self to New-Self. A different way of being. A different way of thinking. A new way of feeling. Changed attitude. Different responses. Enlightenment is not a minor temporarily change. It is a clear shift. It is seismic. Something like an entirely different “before” and “after”. It is a change in category, for example an easy physical change could be from being fit verses fat. Emotional shift could be being calm with unshakable patience, versus being angry. Mental transition could be being mindful, aware, being in present instead of being lost. Soul cross-over could be being blissful as compared to being miserable.

To be able to be free from miseries, we need to know their source. The main root cause is insecurity of loss. The fear of loss is the main source. We want to avoid the pain which will be caused because of the loss. It is easier for someone to experience this, who went through the experience of loss. The loss of someone or something very dear, the joy of life, the inspiration of living. The loss we are talking here is the permanent irreversible loss, something like death but not death itself which is an ultimate loss, because here life goes on after the loss. Now what to do after the loss? How to deal with it? What are the different possibilities in life from here? It makes sense to see what all options are available and which could be the best one to pick.

One can be quite emotional in these situations and if the loss is sudden and shocking, one can feel completely lost. One can be in tears. One can beat oneself up with I could have done this, I could have done that, why did I not do that, I blew that chance, I wish I would have got another chance etc etc. But just like anything else, the good news is that grief can not last forever as well. One does come back to senses. Flood of emotions recede. Clarity emerges after the turbulent chaos. Dawn breaks after a long dark night. Peace finally takes over the restlessness. And just like the chirping of birds after the storm, mind begins to piece together the broken heart and life. Calm contemplation starts. Tired legs are now rested enough and feels the energy to move. The question arises where to move? What are the paths from the seemingly dead-end of loss?

One way is to try to continue in the same way as things were. So the first path is to find another object of attachment, basically a replacement, trying and hoping to not end up again in loss. Though there are no guarantees, for so many other reasons besides your own mistakes, you can still end up in another painful loss. Another path could be to do something else. Divert your attention, focus, action and time with something entirely different. This second path could be interesting involving exploration, but it can also sort of sound like a give-up. A path of abandonment of original just to avoid the possible same experienced pain. Second path is an unknown path. This might or might not work. What else? Is there something which has the highest possibility of working out to be able to ensure not the same suffering again? Yes, there is a possibility of third path. This path is a path of enlightenment. Enlightenment means the end of suffering. And this realization can only happen by knowing the root cause of suffering. The root cause is the fear of losing and due to that loss, life becoming worse. This path goes through detachment. Detachment is freedom from attachments. As we all want to hold tight at least what we have got in this life. Nobody wants to loose any of the possessions. Therefore this path is the most difficult path. Though this could be the most liberating one and can bring a permanent end to the loop of suffering.

In the new light, there are three paths visible. And they are, “Same”, “Different”, and “New”. We can also name them First Path, Second Path, and Third Path respectively as well. All three paths lead to different directions and might or might not take you to your destination. Therefore it is important to know these paths well in advance before embarking on one of them.

First path is normally the easiest and a lot many takes this because it is sort of a default path, which means nothing much needs to be done to take this one. This path is an easy path, sort of familiar. Not much thinking or efforts are needed.

Second path is more difficult, at least to begin with as it is unknown. One needs a leap of faith to take it. It is risky. It could result in in-accordance to what you wanted and it could turn out to be quite contrary. One can be happier, more successful or one can get hurt. This path is not for everyone, especially difficult for those who want to play too safe and can not handle much risk.

Third path is the “New” path, which we are going to focus more here as it has quite a bit of deep connection with Meditation. Though sounding the most rewarding and promising, this path appears to be the most abstract as well. Especially the part of letting go of attachments. How can one not be attached to one’s family? One’s love? Deeper Relationships? Friendships? Business? Assets? It appears very very complicated to begin with. Let us try to see the various shades of the same attachments.

Family is something one is generally the most attached to. Here let us take the case of the family we create, rather than the one we are born with. So here one form of family is involving you and your partner. One can be quite emotionally attached to the counterpart. One can have high expectations of support in the bad time of need, in the situations of sickness, and other life challenges. If this area of life works, then that person must feel very fortunate. Other side of it, is having an argument or conflict for whatever reason. Now all of sudden in a matter of seconds everything instantaneously changes. In one minute, the love changes to fear. Hugging strangely becomes hitting. The same person who had been a protector is perceived as a predator. The one who had been a source of joy, suddenly becomes a source of fear. Isn’t it difficult to digest, how can someone who was supposed to be the best support, become the one causing the worst damage, making already grim conditions further bleak?

The woman involved in argument gets fearful. To make matters worse, the woman calls the police. She frames the charges of assault. Police arrests the man. Even being innocent, the man now faces the consequences of criminal offences. Everyone believes the person who is putting charges to be the victim. The world is never interested in the whole truth. The world wants to believe in the easier truth, they just want to reinforce their pre-conceived notions. The reverse happened, the person doing violence had alleged the violence on the non-violent person. The non-violent person is the actual victim, whereas the violent person somehow strangely is being treated as the victim. The same person or family sends the man to jail, who he was most attached to, who he was trying to protect, might be living for, which was one of the most important piece of decisions of one’s life.

Similar outcomes can occur in other areas of life. Say someone is working many years for a Company. The job is a significant part of that person’s life. The job literally defines that person’s identity, lifestyle and social status. In an economic downturn or for whatever reason, the person is let go in an instant. Must be devastating for a person who probably gave the best prime years of life to this Company.

Someone might have invested many years of life in building a business. May have done several sacrifices. An unfortunate law-suit can bring the whole business down. And the law-suit can also come from some disgrunted employees, whom business owner helped going out of the way in the best of his or her capabilities.

So what is the point of being attached to any of the above, or rather anything which is momentary? Not only there is a possibility of loss at any instance, there is also emotional  hurting probability of this object of attachment causing the very damaging soul-ful pain. Enlightenment is not only the change in present and that way in future, but somehow also correcting the attitude and justifications for the past. Because if the past is rationalized, then the same attitudes and habits carry forward. These people who inflict this pain move on with their lives, treat the other person as complete stranger. Avoidance is being hopeless, with past, present as well as future. Not taking full responsibility of karma and trying to move on pretending as if nothing happened, the new time is new life, is not going to bring the peace. Facing the past and doing the needful is the way to bring real lasting peace. The completion of the resolved past is the right time and juncture to move on with the fresh life. After Enlightenment one should be able to look back into the past with a smile and see whatever happened as the stepping stones leading to and causing the Enlightenment.

Detachment does not mean in-action or giving up. Detachment means setting your Self free from any dependencies, which can effect your mind and life. Once someone is free, the objects of attachments will not be able to influence your balance that much. Detachment can be optimized to that point, where the effect is not powerful enough to put you out-of-balance. Enlightenment is sustaining the balance, not just an attainment of balance. Enlightened being is able to keep the balance, no matter what the external or internal circumstances or conditions are. Meditation can put the experiences of life, especially the tough difficult ones in the right perspective. Through Meditation one is be able to contemplate, observe, witness and to learn the permanent lessons of the reality of transient worldly attachments. Practice of Meditation clears the blocks in the path of the journey towards Enlightenment.

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