“Enlightenment is not something one can create; it is something one surrenders into being.” -Joshua Zuchter
Many ask what is enlightenment. Yet the late Paramahansa Yoganada, considered by most to be a highly enlightened being, said, “There is only one question that we are here to answer and that question is, ‘Who am I?'”
Enlightenment literally means to become lit from within and the word illumination is often referenced very closely when it comes to mentioning enlightenment or enlightened experiences.
Enlightenment is not something one can achieve like going from being a mail clerk and moving up the ranks to becoming President, because the further along the journey of discovery of life one moves, the less need there is for any label or judgment. Therefore, it is not something that you create… it is something one uncovers. It is the act of uncovering who you already are or from another perspective discovering who you already are.
Throughout our lives, we seek out teachers who can ‘teach’ us enlightened ways or enlightened teachings. Although that search needs to take place as it does for some – as it is and was a part of the unfolding of their discovery -along that path it becomes evident that there is only one true teacher of enlightenment and the source of all enlightened principles – the state of awareness that exists beyond the egoic mind, beyond the limited perceptions and beliefs that one learns throughout one’s life of who we are and what we are here to be, do, create, and be a part of.
You see, you cannot learn anything from anyone. Instead you are reminded of what you already know. Enlightenment is not something that can be learned in a book. And therefore, when one is ready, one no longer needs books or needs to attend seminars, nor does one even need to meditate, journal or chant. Enlightenment ultimately does not exist in any book or in any other speaker. And therefore no book nor speaker can offer it to you. Whence you experience enough belief and hunger within yourself to pursue the path within, answers and teachings will begin to come and appear through your own connection. In other words at the time when one is ready, one needn’t go anywhere else and instead opens up to the beautiful garden that lay within.
The more one ‘trys’ to understand who he/she is by searching through others, the more he/she covers up who he/she is. The more one covers himself/herself up with dogmas, beliefs, systems, and attachments, the more lost one feels.
It wasn’t until I no longer had the craving to read others’ books and attend others’ seminars that I began to remember or uncover myself. The irony of self discovery is that along that path we begin to realize that we never really change even from when we were born. Yes, we grow to be a man or woman, attract things like a house, family, riches or the lack thereof, and many other things. But ultimately, You are now as you were. Nothing ever changes, we just see parts of ourselves that we never saw before. The only difference is that through time we developed intellectually and learned the words that, to a certain extent, help us to convey who we are and the thoughts that we wish to express.
The Question We Are All Here to Answer…
Who AM I?
In the beginning was the I AM.
Then to experience the I AM, we became “Who am I?”
And in the brilliance of the unfolding of the Who am I? some became caught in the Who, some in the I, and others, although very few until death experience the AM.
The I is a matter of the ego awaiting to transform into light. “I” meaning the separateness that which we perceive between one’s self and another person, experience or object.
The who is the experience of asking – it is a state of exploration from that which we think we are to that which we truly are.
The AM is the state of being described as illumined, enlightened or aware in which all things are one, where there is no separation only beingness – a state that mere words can neither go to nor describe.
So the life that you are living is similar to the remembering of the AM or beingness of who you are – It is the essence and intent underlying your search for purpose, your quest for knowledge, the exploration of your life and all pieces of the experience of remembering why your soul came to be here at this time right now.
Fulfillment from the external is only temporary. True fulfillment therefore can only come from Source (that is inclusive of all things rather than one that excludes). And one can only connect with the all inclusive Source from a state of being as one.
When we become one there is no need to even ask the Universe or God for anything for it is already taken care of… this is true inner peace. This is oneness. It would be like asking someone else to do something for you. This is the true meaning behind “The Universe and God helps those who help themselves.” In a state of oneness, you are a part of the greater magnificence of the Universe and God and therefore as one, You, are thus helping yourself.
———————————————- What is Consciousness?:
Consciousness is formlessness, with no boundaries or borders, yet elements within it contain boundaries and borders. It runs through and is a part of the fabric of all things imaginable and unimaginable. Within is contained the vastness of infinite and there is no way to truly understand, conceive of, or explain perfectly for words are one of the elements contained within it that possess boundaries and borders.
The only pure experience of it occurs when one is in a state of complete release and non-attachment to a thing or thought. The experience occurs typically in the form of flickers of inspiration and passion, peace and calm. Yet it is also true that all occurrences of lack of inspiration and passion, lack of peace and calm are also a part of the fabric of consciousness with lesser degrees of awareness.