As I look back at my spiritual journey it is clear that my personal understanding of enlightenment has evolved. Early in my search I remember getting a glimpse of its promises through self-help and spiritual texts. I associated enlightenment with visions, specialness, power and bliss. It was all very attractive to the ego. What better way to aggrandize oneself than to achieve enlightenment? Hence I became a spiritual “seeker.”

Like so many other ego ventures this one was designed to keep me in a trap. You see, as long as I identified myself as a “seeker” of enlightenment I would ensure that I never found enlightenment. In my search I read book after book. I listened to tape after tape and traveled from workshop to study program. I spent countless hours in meditation. All of which certainly evolved my spiritual experience (and arguably led me to an enlightened experience), but none of it really sealed the deal. I never felt as if I could walk with the fortitude that I had achieved enlightenment.

In my mind I had made up “enlightenment” to be a moment of time where I would be blessed with all knowledge. It was an achievement that would be awarded to me for all my good hard work. I thought “perhaps one day in the midst of meditation I would feel it.” I would tell myself “if I can just quiet my mind a little longer.” There were times when I convinced myself that I almost had it. “Happiness is so close” I told myself. The fatal error in all of this was that I placed enlightenment outside my reach and into the future. It was always something to work towards.

In Truth everyone is already enlightened. A lesson I would eventually learn along the way. In A Course in Miracles Jesus says it best “There is nothing about me that you cannot attain. I have nothing that does not come from God. The difference between us now is that I have nothing else. This leaves me in a state which is only potential in you.” Jesus was saying that his enlightenment is attainable to all of us at our choosing provided we relinquish what is not of God. Being a spiritual “seeker” is NOT of God, that was of the ego. In its attempt to hide the truth from me, the ego would have me believe that enlightenment (along with many other things) lived in a future place. But in fact, all visions, specialness, power and bliss is accessible to us right now.

That experiential discovery of Truth IS enlightenment. I don’t have to chase it. Simply allowing what is, exposes the Truth. There is no “road to enlightenment” since a road would imply separation and some kind of distance to be traveled. Enlightenment therefore can be better understood as the discovery of what already is (rather than an accomplishment.) It’s not a destination where all my problems are solved but rather a shift in viewpoint where I can see that there are no problems. Identification shifts from the “little me” called Craig to Oneness and connectivity to all. I’ve come to realize an infinite extension of awareness rests in presence for everyone’s exploration, enjoyment and discovery.

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