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finding purpose in infinite reality

Enlightenment Easy

abracad, · Categories: externally authored, spirituality, yoga

Author: Bruce Boyd

Enlightenment: like falling off a log?

I believe that being enlightened is a very easy state to be in. Certainly being dysfunctional is far more difficult, exhausting in fact. If you take a good look at the average American city-dweller, you generally see the face of total exhaustion regardless of the time of day or day of the week. What is it they are trying to do that is so tiring?

Now on the other hand, from I have experienced of the so-called higher states of consciousness, being enlightened is very pleasant and requires no effort at all. In fact it is the absence of effort that seems to make it possible. If it is so easy, why are so few people doing it?

According to yoga philosophy, we are being pulled in two opposite directions by opposing forces; the extroversive force and the introversive force. The extroversive force draws us out of ourselves into the physical world and the introversive force draws us inward towards the core of our existence, our true Self, our soul, or our own "I feeling" as my teacher referred to it. The one path leads to a world of endless ups and downs, pleasure and pain and the concomitant mental noise and unconscious efforts to manipulate our environment in a vain attempt to achieve security. The other path leads to lasting peace, joy and wisdom. Seems like a no brainer, but the tricky part is that we are dealing with very subtle forces that operate beneath the radar of our normal conscious mind. In addition, we are trying to make decisions that threaten the very existence of that "mind" (as we know it).

Did you ever see the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey? Remember the spaceship's computer "Hal" that ran everything on board the ship? It was found to be defective and a threat to the mission and therefore had to be deactivated, but of course HAL didn't like that idea and tried to kill all the crew members in order to preserve its own existence. I reckon it is like that with our own ego.

So, we see the difficulty in just rolling off the dysfunction log into blissful enlightenment, and arrive at the inconvenient need for the spirit of self-sacrifice. A great yogi Swami Rama wrote that enlightenment requires a "determined effacement of the ego." I still say that doesn't have to be such a big problem if we can just keep our mind on the goal, the blissful treasures of enlightenment, which are ever waiting to rain down on us as soon as we lower our ego umbrella. It needn't be that difficult to make the switch. We just need to shed a little light on the process, reflect a little and make a rational decision.

Tending to the needs of the ego is sort of like biting your fingernails, isn't it? You don't really notice you are doing it. It's not pleasurable. It's just an unconscious habit, a compulsion. Well, if egoity is just an unconscious not very well thought out habit, then awareness must be the cure. When I was in high school a guest speaker on social issues told us all during an assembly: "I'm not telling you what to decide, just to decide." Good advice, and to make an educated decision about the course of our lives, we need to become intimately familiar with the workings of the tools and materials at hand: the mind, the soul, God. I believe this is what the yogis call "self-reflection" is it not? Examining the mind, the soul, running experiments in our mental laboratories. I don't think you will have to look far to find there is something worth seeking there. Good luck, and bon voyage.

Peace and Love to you all.

Copyright 2007 Bruce Boyd and

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About the Author

Bruce Boyd has been a spiritual seeker since the early 70s and spent most of his life overseas (Japan, India, Nepal, China, Ireland, Germany and Thailand), studying/teaching yoga and martial arts, and playing music. He now lives in Eugene, OR with his wife and three kids.


Filed in: externally authored, spirituality, yoga

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