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 AUTHOR
 Rainsands
Joined: 1/9/2007
Msg: 4
Enlightenment...Page 1 of 6    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
In my opinion, one of the definitions of enlightenment is the ability to forever eschew self governance by ego, whether by thought, word or deed.

One is not always the best judge of how far along we are on our journey to enlightenment. A more compelling indicator is how those around us perceive us and I am NOT talking about family, friends and POF testimonials, lol.

A complete stranger may have a much more honest appraisal. If that appraisal appears to be or indeed is critical, our reaction to it is very telling. Can we hear another's viewpoint with equanimity and serenity or is there an attachment to a self induced feeling of self righteousness and victimization, whereby perceived trauma morphs into unnecessary drama ?
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 6
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History
Enlightenment...
Posted: 9/5/2008 4:20:50 PM
What do you think enlightenment is?
Difficult to say. I have the intuition that it is a more enlightened and open-minded view of life, that encompasses more of everything in a rich holistic tapestry, that remembers both the overview and the detail.

What distinguishes an enlightened person from a non-enlightened person?
I once heard it said: An ordinary man gets up in the morning, works all day, eats dinner, makes love to his wife and goes to sleep, and does this every day, for his whole life. A wise man gets up in the morning, works all day, eats dinner, makes love to his wife and goes to sleep, and does this every day, for his whole life. What is the difference between a wise man and an ordinary man? An ordinary man has no questions and no answers. A wise man has lots of questions and lots of answers. They live the same life, but for entirely different reasons.

So the enlightened person isn't that different from the non-enlightened person to us, but the enlightened person has a completely different view of life for himself.

Is it an end in and of itself, or a process/journey?
I used to think it is an end. Now that I've begun the process, I realise it is only a beginning. Once we begin the journey, we see that the road that we thought stretched 1000 miles, really stretches a million. When we make inroads to the million, we realise it is a trillion. We never really get past the first step. But oh, what a view! The view alone is worth it!

What is the purpose of enlightenment.. ?
To find one's place in life. Happiness and sadness are like love and hate, 2 sides of the same coin. Sometimes we love and sometimes we hate. Sometimes we are happy and sometimes we are sad. Sometimes we are successful and sometimes we fail. So those things don't really matter, because they come and go. What matters is that we get more in tune with the world, so that we have less conflict with the world and we cause less conflict. Sometimes, in order to reduce the conflict in the world that is there already, we need to make conflicts of our own. But the more we find our place in life, the more we look for solutions that disrupt nature as little as possible, and so the more such conflicts will be less disruptive anyway.

Really, it is all about getting in tune with the world.
 godsplumber
Joined: 8/13/2008
Msg: 23
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History
Enlightenment...
Posted: 9/6/2008 8:08:52 AM
Great ?
Lets say life is a maze and we have the choice to go in any direction we want and we think there are many outcomes. Enlightment to me is when you realize that someone bigger laid out the map and there are many exits that lead to death,but only one that leads to life.
 WeAre1
Joined: 3/18/2008
Msg: 37
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Enlightenment...
Posted: 9/7/2008 9:16:55 AM
I never made myself define my belief of what it is before, so first attempt. I think an enlightened person or being is one who operates at most times at the highest levels of consciousness possible. A completely conscious person....does not mean they never are in the lower states, as we are all of it, but they are completely conscious of every moment, completely aware of where they are and can change levels of consciousness at will.

also their 'witness' is crystallized and clear and always in a state of non-attachment or 'no effect'......being objective rather than subjective

one who is both the mirror and the reflection....

 The Artful Codger
Joined: 2/29/2008
Msg: 42
Enlightenment...
Posted: 9/8/2008 7:51:06 AM

What do you think enlightenment is?
A defensive coping mechanism in the face of the awareness of our mortality. An imagination's answers to an imagination's questions.

What distinguishes an enlightened person from a non-enlightened person?
I identify enlightenment in someone else by their ability or willingness to accept that it takes a lot of blades of grass to make the hillside green,
but that not every blade is necessarily the same colour.

Is it an end in and of itself, or a process/journey?
It is a beginning, a middle and an end...as individual as a single blade of grass.

What is the purpose of enlightenment.. ?
Peace of mind and harmony of the herd.
 WeAre1
Joined: 3/18/2008
Msg: 52
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History
Enlightenment...
Posted: 9/10/2008 5:34:49 AM
(imo) To judge is disrespectful and arrogant to imagine we know another better than they know themselves....or reversing it, that another thinks they know us better than we know ourselves.

In my understanding judgement can only come from projection from ourselves onto others based on something we think we see or recognize in them - both negatively or positively.....the one who is judging is where the thoughts and beliefs come from...so when we judge another, we are recognizing in them something from ourselves, or how else would we know it to recognize it?

For me, when I see my judging another I look to see exactly what is troubling me about them and when I can see that clearly, then I know that is part of myself I have not yet fully accepted or forgiven - that that is the part of me I am still judging, actually. When I release my own self judgement, I believe it will help release me from judging others....to fully honor all we are, exactly as we are.

EDIT to add: forgot one vital part - exactly as we are to me is we are all enlightened and unenlightened too - one of those divine paradoxes again! I believe We are all of it, and so we must be both for both are part of all of it. And yet, here we are labelling it seems - judging the word enlightenment, perhaps for some. If we remove all judgement, all labels, we just are, exactly as we are......full of light, full of truth, full of heart, and full of everything - including the lower and lowest levels of consciousness and the higher and highest ones too. No one to me is any better or worse a person than any other....no one is higher or lower or, once again, we are projecting our judgement onto them based on our own beliefs and judgements. If we could truly let go of judging, both ourselves and others, then perhaps we could all let go of labelling also and let words take a back seat to experiencing life with less analysis....with less mind and more spirit.....with less questioning and more accepting...and with that honoring the light in all.....the light of enlightenment.
 saintgasoline
Joined: 8/3/2007
Msg: 60
Enlightenment...
Posted: 9/12/2008 9:53:34 PM
Enlightenment is when you stop asking meaningless questions, and stop providing meaningless answers.
 WeAre1
Joined: 3/18/2008
Msg: 62
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History
Enlightenment...
Posted: 9/13/2008 4:54:48 AM
from montreal guy -
Suddenly, everything falls into place in a way that reveals something that was always there right in front of you all along - but you were not ready yet to see. Typically, at least in my view, it's a moment where one has a unifying vision that ties everything together in a complete picture.

I relate to those words. I also believe we all have glimpses of enlightenment at moments. I guess my ideal belief has been one who is 'enlightened' is one who maintains this empty yet completely full state of mind and being all the time.

Another thought that enters is the naming or labelling - to me enlightenment is a state of being conscious - what is, is..... no need to define once state is crystalized.

Confusion comes with the ego disguising itself as essence.....so is your enlightened state real or an illusion from the ego telling you you're in an enlightened state?

Hence why I like releasing all thoughts of labels....without calling it anything, there is less for the ego to attach to and try to claim ownership.
 statueman
Joined: 2/11/2006
Msg: 64
Enlightenment...
Posted: 9/13/2008 5:18:32 AM
Hey Sassy! Sorry I missed this one... so here's my poetic take on your OP.
(btw does OP mean original post or original poster? Enlighten me here...)

Enlightenment is the space between "who am I" and "why am I here"...

It's the time between the "realization of being" and "relationship to being"...

It's the continuum between "life" and "living".

So finally... Enlightenment is the "peace that passes understanding" which we find only in the space time continuum of the pursuit of truth.

(Oh that's gooood, I need to write that down!)
 WeAre1
Joined: 3/18/2008
Msg: 65
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Enlightenment...
Posted: 9/13/2008 5:31:33 AM
Stone....it is not that I am against words at all.....for I revel in the miracle of all they can convey in just a few or many a page.

What I find is so challenging is there is no universal meaning and interpretation for the words in this language, especially when discussing the metaphysical and spiritual. I see more time and energy being used in these forums because everyone interprets the same words sometimes really completely and extremely differently.

To find universal and commonly understand meaning in words for all would truly be an enlightened moment!

Perhaps our efforts to clarify with each other is a necessary part of the path and process to understanding....though I am still aware how I put something and the meaning it comes from within me could be interpreted completely differently through your eyes and mind and understanding.

I am not saying stop all labelling....I am just trying to point out often same words can mean different things to different people and one must be careful not to make any assumptions one is understand in the way one thinks. I guess an enlightened person would remember this. :)

EDIT to add: to your post below -yes, I do understand where you're coming from....communication is vital and words are our most commonly used medium.

By the way, I sincerely hope becoming enlightened does not mean one has to give up one's cheekiness!! (giggle)
 statueman
Joined: 2/11/2006
Msg: 77
Enlightenment...
Posted: 9/13/2008 5:55:08 PM
Thank you Sassy! For being the only one to respond to my post.

That was enlightening to me... have you found anyone yet? I'm going to visit Canada soon... within 5 years.

I did want to say that if we talk too much about enlightenment then the fire starts to flicker in our wind.

So everyone... shhhhhhh

quiet... confident... breath deeeeep....

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
 WeAre1
Joined: 3/18/2008
Msg: 79
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History
Enlightenment...
Posted: 9/14/2008 4:38:51 AM
thanking mguy for message 78....forgot had so much truth and wisdom!
richard bach....for those who don't realize he wrote other wonderful books in addition to jonathan livingston seagull.....here is a list in no particular order with brief synopsis for each....in my view a wonderful teacher and writer and reminder....well worth reading at any point on the path of enlightenment (imo)

Jonathan Livingston Seagull: A Story (1970)
- by Richard Bach
The story that brings hope to every reader! Rise above your flock, tribe, or neighborhood by seeking a higher purpose in life, like the gull who soars like a falcon.

Illusions (1977)
- by Richard Bach
'The Adventures of a
Reluctant Messiah' reflects our collective resistance to simply 'going with the flow' rather than presuming that we know the difference between Reality & Illusion!

Bridge Across Forever, The (1984)
- by Richard Bach
The high-flyer meets his match, and wife, in Leslie Parrish, who grounds him and cajoles him into a mature relationship. Great 'get real' guide.

One (1988)
- by Richard Bach
An enchanting, lyrical and fascinating joy ride through parallel lifetimes, soul mates, alternate worlds and meeting future and past selves - a real mind-stretcher.

Running from Safety (1994)
- by Richard Bach
'An Adventure of the Spirit' - This time Richard's flight is introspective as he confronts himself as a young boy who made a promise to himself to write a book about the secrets of life, happiness & safety.

Gift of Wings, A (1974)
- by Richard Bach
The book of vision that preceded Illusions. Only a man (with the heart of a falcon) truly born to fly could express the freedom of flight with such exquisite joy.

Nothing By Chance (1969)
- by Richard Bach
Another flying adventure researching his environmental theories one magical summer, as our favorite barnstormer in his antique biplane seeks simplicity.

Biplane (1966)
- by Richard Bach
Seeking to understand Time & Space, our wayward pilot learns to navigate by the landscape and weather the storms of life in his 1929 biplane flight from New Jersey to California.

Stranger to the Ground (1963)
- by Richard Bach
The solo flight of a man alone on a night mission from England to southern France through a harrowing storm conjures our own deepest fears as we read of his brush with death and renews hope as he survives.
 statueman
Joined: 2/11/2006
Msg: 81
Enlightenment...
Posted: 9/14/2008 7:57:29 AM
I read One

thought it was pretentious and childish in a very adult way.

I remember the Master Sergeant who had given it to me to read was angry that I didn't like the book.

But there was a good joke in it that I remember and tell... the one about you can always tell where folks are from when you live in Europe... you can tell if a person is from France or Germany or Poland or Sweden or Denmark...... but you can never tell Italians, you know why?

Cause they already know everything.

I didn't find any enlightnement reading the book you know... not like the enlightenment I feel each and everytime I read the Sermon on the Mount. Especially when I read it focusing on me... cause I'm selfish like that.
 WeAre1
Joined: 3/18/2008
Msg: 82
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History
Enlightenment...
Posted: 9/14/2008 9:14:33 AM
A couple of thoughts - I think books can remind us of the states within us we resonate with at that point in time - so when I read Illusions years ago I know it did not resonate as much with me then as it did this morning reading the quotes from it.

What's also fascinating to me is it seems an enlightenment, for either a moment to more long lasting, seems to be able to happen pretty much spontaneously through any number of ways.....what an incredible gift....I also agree and feel it is a state of consciousness already within and without all.....so it's a 're-membering'.
 meetheye
Joined: 1/2/2008
Msg: 86
Enlightenment...
Posted: 9/17/2008 7:09:39 AM
hmmm, I can post in a thread in a forum that doesn't exist. Very enlightening.
 statueman
Joined: 2/11/2006
Msg: 88
Enlightenment...
Posted: 9/17/2008 8:19:18 AM
trippy_hare



What distinguishes an enlightened person from a non-enlightened person?

Both make mistakes, experience sorrow, and suffer failure. The enlightened person learns something from these experiences, the unenlightened person does not.


and


What is the purpose of enlightenment.. ?


It's a survival mechanism. Since humans as a species are no longer dominated by the need to procure food and procreate, like our animal cousins, we have a great deal of free time in which to observe our world, and this enriches our spirit. As I said earlier, to stop learning is to die- and the spirit has a survival instinct, as well. Thus, as we avoid death physically, so too do we avoid it spiritually.


We are trying to progress past the death of the spirit and that is our enlightenment then? We are seeking to understand death or to transcend life... is that it?

Enlightenment is a spiritual survival mechanism....

Trippy Hare, stop feeding the liberals you're scaring the christians! (Good to see you! I mean... good to read your posts as it's been awhile.)
 _shakti_
Joined: 7/5/2011
Msg: 97
Enlightenment...
Posted: 7/12/2011 9:07:58 AM

It's Nothing, just a concept.
Many great ideas, movements and things started with merely a concept, so I'm not sure 'just' is an appropriate adverb in this case..
 _shakti_
Joined: 7/5/2011
Msg: 98
Enlightenment...
Posted: 7/19/2011 7:29:42 PM
Hey Uthenk, did you ever answer the initial questions in the Op?

Maybe I'll revisit mine to see if I would answer differently now :)
 _shakti_
Joined: 7/5/2011
Msg: 99
Enlightenment...
Posted: 7/20/2011 12:48:25 PM
Uthenk:
Dunno who the OP was .. some over-opinionated woman I guess
Lol.. I doubt she's changed much, lol..


Regardless of how uniform society becomes we all see the world in different ways
Can you imagine how boring it would be otherwise?

I like what you had to say about the questions, don't you find that it's just one endless question? When I think I have an answer, another question pops up.. life conspires to answer it and then another question is born.. into perpetuity!

I'm not sure how satisfied I'd be with life if that ever ended.
 _shakti_
Joined: 7/5/2011
Msg: 100
Enlightenment...
Posted: 7/20/2011 1:28:47 PM

I like the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy; the Ultimate answer is 42, whats the question?
I didn't even know that was a show till I just googled, lol..

It makes me think of one of my favorite patients who wrote a book titled 'The Hitchhikers Guide to Planet Olanzapine'. He's giving me an autographed copy :)


Enlightment is really getting to the point where you dont really need to ask any more questions
Honestly, if I thought that were true, I would never want to reach it!


You can only know everything by being outside the system.
My views on spirituality could be termed panentheistic.. I kinda think that our spirit is both within and without the 'system', depending on where you place your focus..

But then, I also think that truth is all wrapped up in paradox
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 101
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History
Enlightenment...
Posted: 7/21/2011 4:40:30 AM
Call me pedestrian, if you like, but for me "Enlightenment" is a RELATIVE term.

It has, in my experience, usually been applied more politically/egotistically than anything else. People who want to think of themselves as smarter or better than others around them, claim to be "enlightened," thus declaring that a magical difference exists between themselves, and those with whom they disagree. That magic difference allows them to declare that they win any and all arguments before they even start.
 _shakti_
Joined: 7/5/2011
Msg: 103
Enlightenment...
Posted: 7/24/2011 11:31:26 PM
UthenK:
There is that about enlightenment, once you've got it what do you with it.
I guess I view it more as a journey and not so much a destination. But that's part of why I started this thread in the first place, to hear many angles on the same concept.

Igor:
Call me pedestrian, if you like, but for me "Enlightenment" is a RELATIVE term.
Of course it is. The fact that you felt the need to preface your statement with 'for me' is indicative of that.

I'd be curious as to your 'pedestrian' answers to the original questions..

Sabbycat:
becoming "enlightened" actually brings you to an understanding to how we are all the same
Totally agree!

It is imposable to think of another anyway other than their true self if I want to know my true self
I think that is a very profound statement.
 Stray__Cat
Joined: 7/12/2006
Msg: 104
Enlightenment...
Posted: 7/29/2011 7:33:03 PM
"What do you think enlightenment is?"

It is above mental concepts so cannot be described.



"What distinguishes an enlightened person from a non-enlightened person?"

Nothing.
Unless an enlightened being wants to walk on water or something.


"Is it an end in and of itself, or a process/journey?"

It is becoming the wave carrying you instead of riding on the wave.


"What is the purpose of enlightenment.. ?"

none.

You become all.
instead of a tiny part.

tiny parts die and are reborn endlessly.
each a little cork adrift.

When you stop the dream and step off.
You are the whole form instead of the tiny piece.
nothing changes.
you do.
 _shakti_
Joined: 7/5/2011
Msg: 105
Enlightenment...
Posted: 7/29/2011 8:12:51 PM
Stray Cat:
It is above mental concepts so cannot be described.
How very Tao :)

It is becoming the wave carrying you instead of riding on the wave.
I like that, it seems to entail a certain paradox as well.

nothing changes.
you do.
Forgive the Matrix reference, lol.. but this reminds me of when Neo was attempting with all his might to bend that spoon..

Spoon boy: Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only try to realize the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Spoon boy: There is no spoon.
Neo: There is no spoon?
Spoon boy: Then you'll see, that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself..
 Stray__Cat
Joined: 7/12/2006
Msg: 107
Enlightenment...
Posted: 8/1/2011 5:21:09 PM
Enlightenment is a paradox cus our mind cannot describe or measure it physically.
We are left trying to come close with parables
or lame fortune cookie descriptions.

From the closest I can understand with my single pointed consciousness,
is we loose the single pointed conscious limitation.

We live imprisoned in ourselves.
I cannot know your thoughts or feelings.
Only talk about mine.
Listen to yours.

There is me.
and everything else outside of me.

With enlightenment I'm told there is no duality.
all is me.
Or perhaps..more accurate to say I leave the "me" behind.
and become all. (which could be fun as I have a boring "me")

Be interesting to ask that of an enlightened being.
If you see one walking on water and are too astonished to ask him this.
He will answer anyway cus he shares that same astonishment being one with you.
And therefore will answer a question that thru you he already also knows.

I have been in the presence of an advanced teacher.
I felt very uncomfortable and naked
as there was no separation between my thoughts and his knowing em.
It was as if he had no ego/id at all.
So nothing to separate his one-ness from my very lame singularity.

best I can do on this subject.
I am not enlightened so I am chained to my one point of view same as most mortals.
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