Getting enlightened is no easy task.
In line with this context, it is not something that can be achieved or obtained, like some intermediary goal. You won’t find yourself satisfactorily analyzing your present state of being while wistfully musing, ‘Gosh, now that I’m enlightened, what should I do next?’
But, just what is enlightenment anyways? In Western contemporary society the concept of enlightenment has been diluted to refer to someone who is especially knowledgeable in mystical matters and who has had some sort of phenomenal, god-seeing experience. The word ‘guru’ in particular, is thrown around carelessly to mean something of an expert along a broad range of various vocations. Now, there are two fundamental problems with this hypothetical ‘enlightenment-getting’ situation. Firstly, as any true guru would tell you, enlightenment is not something that can be achieved, like collecting ‘points’ on some spirituality club card. Secondly, enlightenment cannot be limited to a personal experience, as it is something that transcends that which is perceiving that experience. More simply put, it’s like this: enlightenment cannot be ‘had’ or ‘achieved’, because there is no one there to accrue this knowledge in the first place, as ‘you’ are only an illusionary contraction of energy, of which enlightenment, or happiness, is already the case! Okay, so maybe that wasn’t as simply put as I intended, so I guess this is where the guru would come in.
True enlightenment is emptying oneself of everything, including one’s own thoughts and beliefs, and it takes a lot of hard work and discipline to get there. While the student of spirituality must arduously work on their own ego, real progress cannot be made without a true spiritual teacher to help them recognize where their limitations are. The guru is there to help undo ‘you’ by freeing up this contraction of energy, which is ego, through real understanding. However, progress can only go as far as to which the student is willing to work on themselves; the guru can only show the way. As the old adage goes: You can bring the horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.
However, we are in the midst of the New Age where trickster gurus and charlatans exploit the world’s stage of spiritual seekers looking for a quick fix to end their suffering. Our insatiable consumer-driven appetites in the western world wants to buy our way to happiness, so New Age leaders offer a whole array of methods and mantras to dissolve away our life’s fears and miseries in a relatively short period of time. But, enlightenment cannot be sought after in such a way. Real enlightenment is through the dissolution of the ego, or the illusionary self, and cannot be bought and sold on the New Age market.
So how does one tell that they are not getting falsely led away from the water? A true guru will never tell you to follow him or her exclusively, to be submissive to them, or to lead you into their gift shop outside of their Ashram. A true guru will not cause a student to become dependent on the him or her and their false methods and mantras. Instead, a true spiritual teacher will ultimately help their students to become free of everything, including the guru themselves. Therefore, they would seek to make teachers out their students, so they in turn can help others.
Finding enlightenment is possible for anybody who is willing to work on themselves with a guru by critically and honestly analyzing one’s own ego. It is only through the guidance of a true guru that one can learn to drink from the purifying stream of Consciousness and not be falsely led astray.
– May 2012
For more information on consciousness and related topics on consciousness, please visit www.siddhawarrior.com
For more information on enlightenment please see http://siddhawarrior.com/category/enlightenment/
For more information on ego please see http://siddhawarrior.com/category/ego-suffering/
For more information on a true guru himself visit http://www.siddhahermes.org/