TB Wright

I once asked a woman who was giving tips on "How to become enlightened" not as a flip way of sassing her, but as a legitimate question. "How can you give advice in any way whatsoever, on being enlightened, when you are not?" She answered by saying that she could certainly know of the existence of something, without being that. I agreed with her. I knew of the sun, without being the sun, but I wasn't saying I was on the path to become the sun now, was I? So the question still remained. "How can you know something about things you know nothing about?" And then, "How can you presume to tell others about "how to" be something, when you're not being that? It not only doesn't seem possible, but it isn't.

So what to do then? If none of us are enlightened, and most of us are going around giving advice, tips, and guidance, presumably that will support others in being, doing, and having, some form of enlightenment, or even enlightenment itself, what are we doing? Most likely what we're doing is acting out our assumptions about what being enlightened really is, that all come from a huge reservoir of mismatched meaning filled beliefs, not one of which is actually close to in any way defining what enlightenment really is. And none of which will ever serve to have us be enlightened either, by the way! But again, that's just my assumptions showing through, and I know this. All we do know is that we think we want to get somewhere and we believe that somewhere is certainly better than where we are, and we all call it enlightenment. But what if we're wrong? What if enlightenment isn't any better, certainly different I would have to presume, since that's all I can do at this point. And the only way to get somewhere different is to be where we are right now, and then . . .it goes round and round, doesn't it! What fun!

Maybe a new definition of enlightenment, one that we can actually be, would serve us here. How about defining enlightenment as freely giving away what you do know, to others who have embarked upon the same path you are on, that of self-growth. With the only difference being that you left the house earlier than they did. In this way, the whole "get there first" hierarchical game goes away, and we all become travelers on the identical level path, whatever this path is. Enlightenment or not, we are traveling! And enlightenment or not, we are all equal. How so? With one birth and one death, what's not equal about that? The next time your mind convinces someone is more worthy than you, rather than someone is actually as worthy as we all are, including you, remind yourself of the lack of any hierarchy in The Universe.

Back to enlightenment. In the self-help field, you can observe that there seem to be many different interpretations of enlightenment flying around, with zillions of expectations of behavior related to being enlightened or not. Yet if you replace one spiritual currency with another, or one guru with another one, you are still playing the buy and sell, one-upmanship hierarchical game. Who has more. Who's done more. And then who's better. I've done it myself through "Look what I've done," and if not in those exact words, then by telling hugely interesting stories about my exploits which actually do warrant story telling, but usually my intent is not to serve others, but to talk for the purpose of aggrandizing my own life. How does that serve another? Maybe by entertaining them for a moment, but there are already plenty of comedians and actors around who can do that, and far better than I can. So what do I have to offer then?

I like to call it level sharing. To simply share about myself, my life, and in turn, to have other's lives shared with me. For one awareness to become aware of another awareness's experience is a validating process, one that happens so rarely. When was the last time you allowed another to simply communicate into the vast and silent space of your awareness, and in doing so, held them close in the stillness of your Self? That simple act of actually listening to another without questions, without judgment, and without adding or taking away a single thing they said, but just listening to them, is such a gift. It is the you who they want! And ironically, it is the you who you want to be, when you are acting in unison with our new definition of being enlightened. Because with this new definition, all you have to do is to be further along the same, level, self-growth path, and in being so, presumably your needs have been more comprehensively taken care of, and in being so, your need to "get" something from the interaction diminishes. What then replaces that need to get, is the willingness to give. To give of yourself and that huge space of silent awareness that is you.

This article began with a question about enlightenment, and completes now not with any knowing of what enlightenment is, but rather, with a proposal of how enlightenment may demonstrate in action. With the primary action described one being to give of yourself to others because your need to "get" is diminished through a vast experience of internal self-worthiness. What I then propose is for our new definition of enlightenment to contain the phrase: "To lighten the load of others, through listening, through being with them, and through the sharing of the vast and powerful space of your awareness with them." Now there's a definition I can mark down as knowing something about when it happens! Because I can certainly feel when my mouth is closed, and my heart is open, and I can see in other's eyes how through the validation of my non-judgmental listening, their load is lightened! And in so listening, level share with others. So there it is! A new definition of enlightenment that we can actually chart, and also actually do: to lighten the load of others! Now that's being enlightened. At least, I think it is!

Author's Bio: 

TB Wright is the coursework creator of The One Penny Millionaire!™ a thirty week online seminar designed for your success. www.onepennymillionaire.com

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The Loving Process© can be found in the E-books Be BAD! Do Good! How To Get What You Want In Spite Of Yourself! and How To Change Your Life Completely In Ten Seconds!