After writing a couple of recent posts about boundless existence (see here and here), I've decided that it's time to reveal a truth that I've been reluctant to even tell myself.
So let's learn it together: I'm enlightened.
Ah, it feels so good to say those two words, "I'm enlightened." I don't know why its taken me so long to do this -- to embrace the realization that I know what's really real.
For me. Which brings me to another truth that we need to acknowledge together: You're also enlightened, if you also know what's really real. For you.
I have no idea what "enlightenment" means. But whatever it is, I like the idea of being enlightened. So since I have the power to bestow upon myself whatever spiritual, philosophical, or mystical title I take a fancy to, I'm now an Enlightened Being.
If you disagree, I've got three words for you: Deal with it.
Then, choose some cool title for yourself. Feel free. Just don't expect me, or anyone else, to endorse your self-appointed status, just as I don't expect you, or anyone else, to endorse me as an Enlightened Being.
I do enjoy offering up some reasons for why I'm enlightened, though. Not because I need to; because I want to.
I don't think there is any such thing as enlightenment. That's my main claim to enlightened fame. However, I do know that existence exists. And that before this indisputable fact all blather about God, soul, spirit, heaven, hell, miracles, gurus, and other metaphysical/supernatural claptrap is just so much ridiculous conjecturing.
The older I get, the more enlightened I become. So if you're younger than my sixty-one years, you've got some enlightening of your own to look forward to, since it seems to me that the closer we come to death, the more we understand what life is all about.
Here I am. Here you are. Here we are, spotlighted at this very moment against a backdrop of boundless existence. Which is... nothing.
Nothing that we can ever understand, grasp, experience, or know a single thing about. For the moment we exist. Eventually we won't. Almost certainly (nothing is 100% certain, except that existence exists) for forever.
Isn't that amazing? Along with wonderful, scary, mysterious, awe-inspiring, and whatever other adjective you want to ascribe to what can't be described.
I'm alive. As are you. One day, one hour, one minute, one second, I won't be, and you won't be. If we can keep that awareness as an empty backdrop to all of the fullness of our living, we're enlightened.
That's how I see it. Not hearing any objections to the reality of that vision from anyone else inside my head, I conclude that it is true. For me, Enlightened Being.
Yesterday I put clean workout clothes in my athletic club locker, and put the dirty clothes/towels in a cloth shopping bag. I put the bag on a bench while I used the restroom before I went grocery shopping.
When I got home, unpacking the other shopping bags reminded me of the athletic club bag. Where the hell is it? I inspected my memory bank. I saw myself walking past the front desk to the parking lot with nothing in my hands.
Damn, I left the bag on the bench. I phoned the club. Told the girl who answered that I'd left a bag of gym clothes in the men's locker room. Said that if they find them, I'd be by tomorrow to pick them up.
Then I went for a walk with the dog -- which is when I do some of my best enlightened thinking. Such as, Did you check the floor of the car in front of the passenger seat when you got home?
Bingo. The bag was there. I eagerly rushed to the phone to call the athletic club.
The same girl answered the phone. "We couldn't find your bag," she said. "That's because I have it," I told her. "I thought that I'd forgotten my bag, but actually I'd forgotten that I hadn't forgotten it. Which is great news."
"OK," the girl said. I could tell that she wasn't recognizing, as I was, how this episode clearly pointed to my Enlightened Being status. So I just said, "Thanks. Goodbye."
That's what I'm going to say to my life eventually. Not necessarily in words. It's the awareness that matters. Enlightenment.
I think your new title should Guru Sri Wasamot Tawitya.
Posted by: Suzanne | June 11, 2010 at 12:07 AM
Suzanne, I'm adding your title on to my old one, with some additional alliteration:
Enlightened Being Blogger Brian Guru Sri Wasamot Tawitya
Maybe now our dog will bring a stick back when I throw it for her. I can only hope for that miracle (she's half German Shepherd, half Labrador Retriever, and half some breed that makes her "must please" retriever half get controlled by her "if I feel like it" German Shepherd half).
Posted by: Brian Hines | June 11, 2010 at 12:40 AM
Dogs are easy; they're already worshipful. If you get the cat to come when you call then we'll KNOW you're enlightened!
Posted by: Suzanne | June 12, 2010 at 12:25 AM
well i have nine cats, seven who live inside my house and two who live out around my front yard and sleep on the armchairs on my front porch. each and all of them almost always come to me if and whenever i call them by their individual names. so i guess that makes me a super-enlightened guy.
Posted by: tAo | June 12, 2010 at 12:53 PM
I would say, tAo, that real super-enlightenment would occur when each of your nine cats mieows out your name.
Posted by: elizabeth w | June 12, 2010 at 01:51 PM
My dog is enlightened because I come when she barks.
Posted by: tucson | June 12, 2010 at 09:33 PM
i have two dogs (a smaller one and a larger one) who both totally ignore me whenever i bark. and no doubt, thats because they are such enlightened dogs.
Posted by: tAo | June 13, 2010 at 02:05 PM
Hey tAo and tucson, reading your comments over the months it's obvious you're both enlightened! Now go and make your pets levitate.
Posted by: Suzanne | June 14, 2010 at 06:40 AM
hi . meditation opens the mind to higher realities . meditate and find out
Posted by: udeshpal singh mann | June 19, 2010 at 07:04 PM
hi indulging in trivia is for fools. do not insult your intelligence . rather make it grow. talking non sense cannot make you wise. gorget about meditation.start focusing on positive . make your life good. after some time talk about meditation. that also if you feel like it.no oner is forcing you. who are you resisting?
Posted by: udeshpal singh mann | June 19, 2010 at 07:09 PM
do not focus on enlightenment as something that will happen in the future . be enlightened about what is good for you . make a begining from there. that is a good start . enligtenment can best be described as realisation.when we realise something we can say we were enlightened about that thing. example some kids are enlightened about the benefits of education from a young age.
Posted by: udeshpal singh mann | June 19, 2010 at 07:17 PM
udeshpal singh mann writes:
"meditation opens the mind to higher realities."
-- that is your opinion.
"meditate and find out"
-- why? there is nothing to "find out".
"indulging in trivia is for fools."
-- then why do you do it?
"do not insult your intelligence."
-- don't insult other people's intelligence.
"rather make it grow."
-- make your own grow.
"talking non sense cannot make you wise."
-- then why do you do it?
"gorget [forget] about meditation."
-- why don't you forget about it?
"start focusing on positive"
-- why don't you do that.
"make your life good.:
-- my life is already good.
"after some time talk about meditation."
-- why? there is no use talking about it.
"that also if you feel like it."
-- what "also"?
"no one is forcing you."
-- thats right, so why do you care?
"who are you resisting?"
-- who is resisting? and "resisting" what?
"do not focus on enlightenment as something that will happen in the future"
-- i don't.
"be enlightened about what is good for you"
-- what is "good"? i might not like what you think is good. and how would you know what is "good" for someone else? also, why be enlightened"? i don't believe in enlightenment.
"make a begining from there."
-- a "beginning" from where? a beginning for what? why? for whom? everything is transitory.
"that is a good start"
-- start what?
"enligtenment can best be described as realisation."
-- what is there to be realised? and who is going to do the realising?
"when we realise something we can say we were enlightened about that thing."
-- what is there to realise?
"some kids are enlightened about the benefits of education from a young age."
-- well so what? i am not a kid, and i am already well educated. so what is your point? and i am wondering, what exactly is the point of your entire comment?
Posted by: tAo | June 19, 2010 at 11:55 PM
sorry if i hurt some ones sensibilities.i was just giving my point of view on meditation. each person is free to grow the way he wants to in life
Posted by: udeshpal singh mann | July 01, 2010 at 02:36 AM
I see that you are enlightened however is your pet?
Posted by: James Mitchell | July 26, 2010 at 02:35 PM
Posted by: udeshpal singh mann | August 14, 2010 at 02:38 AM
morons. meditation? and then what.. find peace? only when you realize that you do not exist will you find peace. or wait? who will find? and what is peace?
peace is just a label. a distraction from the truth that is.
ask yourself.. do i exist? do it
Posted by: enlightened bob | August 30, 2010 at 12:33 AM
If enlihtenment truly interests you guys I would suggest you start meditating it really is quite powerful, and if you have little understanding of Buddhist practices and meditation google Richard davidson he's a neuroscientist and he studys monks meditating. And so u all know enlightenment is supposed to be the relinquishment of all human constructs( words, ideas, time ) to achieve a state of complete connection with the universe this is what us buddhists strive for and usually takes decades to achieve.
Posted by: Drock | October 21, 2010 at 07:00 AM
"....Richard davidson he's a neuroscientist and he studys monks meditating."
---So, what has his studies determined regarding the 'attainment' event of enlightenment? So, you(the buddhist) has the understanding that enlightenment takes decades to achieve through the act of striving? This must be one of those Buddhist traditions and beliefs that we need to opt into.
Posted by: Roger | October 21, 2010 at 11:03 AM