One of the big benefits of not being part of an organized religious faith is that you can affirm your own enlightenment -- or salvation, sainthood, mastership, gurudom, whatever.
Life is short. Why wait for someone else to tell you about your elevated state of consciousness? Do it yourself!
Well, in my case, with the help of Google, as I needed assistance in remembering where prior bloggish proofs of my enlightened being lay. Thank you, Oh Great Google, for pointing me to here, here, here, and here.
(Though truly, my entire Church of the Churchless blog post production testifies to my enlightenment. In my own mind, at least, the only place that counts.)
Today I took another step on my seemingly never-ending Enlightened Being Path when it dawned on me that my previous four blog posts constitute a marvelous reflection of what a truly-lived-life is all about. Of course, I'm talking about my life, and my truth, the only ones that count.
In case you missed this additional proof that I have gone beyond ordinary understanding to a profoundly wise apprehension of the cosmos (don't feel bad if this happened; my wife also fails to recognize my enlightenment, along with, I'm pretty sure, our dog), here's a reprise.
What I've realized is that this moment, just this one, is super-important. Religious people are always looking backward to some supposedly more spiritual moment (witness the Bible), or forward to an anticipated communion with God, the holy spirit, their own Buddha-nature, or such.
A "just this" meditation practice is a good way of remembering that there's a hell of a lot more to life than our own mind chatter about an imagined past and future. Often, the more we think, the less we know.
Except when the opposite is true. In my enlightened state I've learned that yin and yang make the world go 'round. Also, me. Not thinking has its time and place. So does thinking. Intuition, feeling, direct experience, emotions -- these tell us something, but not everything.
Without science, we're going to be doomed to a limited view of reality. So a scientific outlook on life is much preferred to airy-fairy New Age'y notions.
There's a limit to what science can know, though. That's the limit at which anyone's knowledge comes to a screeching stop. Ultimates. Wholes. No-beyonds. I can know something that is separate: 2+2, the capital of Oregon, how many chew sticks my dog wants for dessert after her dinner (actually, now that I think about it, that number approaches infinity).
Life, consciousness, existence -- where is the vantage point from which we can know these universals? I don't see one, so I say there's no possible comparison to what can't be compared.
Which means, life can be experienced, yet never understood. We're never going to be able to stand outside of life, nor get under or over it. So forget understanding it. Live it.
Neuroscience, and everyday experience, point to two central options for living life: as experience, or as memory. (Yes, memories are experiences, but not of the objectively present here and now.) Thus this is a big question, even for enlightened beings like me: do we want life to be an experience, or memory?