How Do You Describe Enlightenment?

all-guild
#1

This could be in relation to your guild or just how you process it

My two schools of thought are A) Being shown a light or B) Relieving a giant burden
Or both!

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#2

I used to see it as relief, but I think my idea of it changed over time. The burden is still there, the difference being that you acknowledge the burden, accept it’s going to be there, and continue to move on. Enlightenment for me is making harmony with your problems, and being able to coexist with them peacefully. Change what you can, accept what you can’t.

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#3

That’s definitely something I can get behind <3

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#4

I describe Enlightenment as a trap.

Imagine being free of your negative emotions. Truly understanding, at the deepest level possible, that anger, hatred, sadness, envy are all conditions that live in your own head. (Yes, sometimes, like anxiety quite literally created in your head via chemicals and other conditions. That’s more complicated but the general premise holds.)

In one moment you ‘get it’ and those negative emotions no longer hold power over you. You can pick them up or put them down as if they were pieces of paper. If someone insults you, you realize you don’t have to chose to get angry. It all just washes off you. You are free. As @metatomato puts it so well, your burdens are still there. You just coexist with them.

For a moment you are happy. Just a moment. Because then you realize, if all my ‘negative’ emotions were just wisps of air without meaning…what are my ‘positive’ emotions?

The trap is complete. The world will never look like it did before. On the plus side, that fact no longer bothers you.

Apoligies if that’s a bit of a downer. It’s just a fun mini game I’ve played in my head from time to time what it would actually be like. This is for entertainment purposes only. :wink:

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#5

cant have the light in your life without the dark. If a candle didnt cast a shadow, that’d be downright unnatural.

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#6

Being shown a light for sure.

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#7

Given the word, this makes a lot of sense.

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#8

The Light of the Body.

“The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light; but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness. And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be."

I may be breaking a rule by posting this quote but it is fitting…

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#9

To continue the conversation, for me enlightenment was (or at least a precursor to true enlightenment which I can’t speak of without bringing my religion into it) realizing that I have the light of life in me and that I shared that energy with all living things.
To kind of describe it, here’s a poem I wrote years ago while attending a required English class at community college:
"With a sleeping heart, dullness dominates the mind and shades the eyes like dark sunglasses.
People drone. Trees are just wood. Bugs are nothing.
But as my heart awakens my eyes shed the shades. People shine. Trees glow. And even bugs carry the spark as I feel life circulating around me, within me.
Burning with joy I realize that I am one with “the ten thousand things”.

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#10

For me, enlightenment is about finding a balance between negative and positive forces within life. Reaching a point in your life where you no longer push down, reject, or ignore negative things in your life.
I see it like a black and white spectrum. If you’re on the light side, your life is positively bright, but the only way to reach that is to remove or reject negativity, and a blissful and forced ignorance is detrimental for…well humanity. If the dark side, you’re letting the dark consume every aspect of life, and I believe that neither of these are sustainable.
Realistic as they might be for all of us, a life in light blinds us from the reality of life, and darkness binds us to the world’s bleak and hopeless attributes. It’s only in the grey that I can feel enlighted and I am in no way close, but it’s a goal of mine. To accept that I am only human, and no human is merely black or white in nature.

oop sorry if i like went off

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#11

Enlightenment I think of less as an outcome and more of a process like the tides it moves, it ebbs and flows.

I believe in the harmony of being in that through struggle and awareness we can harmonise our physical, mental, spiritual and emotional selves and be aware of our being. Not just aware of what occurs within us but what occurs beyond us. What we project and what we receive. Enlightenment comes in releasing our burdens and accepting our true selves. Offering forgiveness for our hurts and flaws and accepting kindness. By relinquishing the maladaptive behaviours and emotions that bind us to suffering we can accept pain with love and compassion.
Enlightenment isn’t just a spiritual or intellectual journey it is a physical path too. We too often forget the commitment to our physical form and indulge in thought. Our body is part of our being and part of the Vulknut with which we forge our road. If we neglect it then we turn away from the path of enlightenment.

I apologise if this is a long or ranting post. This is just a topic I am very passionate about and it’s a nice indulgence to share my beliefs while I sip my tea.
Thank you
Calm

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#12

I understand enlightenment to be “right knowledge”, or seeing things as they actually are rather than through our imperfect human point of view. I guess that would fall into the ‘being shown a light’ camp, since you’re illuminated to a certain understanding or piece of information. If you’re considering this in terms of guild affiliation then the Thornmouths would definitely be on board with that.

Actually, this isn’t far off of what the Yoga Sutras of Patañjali teaches. In that book you can several mini-enlightenments but then the mire of human existence pulls you back down. In Buddhism on the other hand you become enlightened, check the item off the list, get the tshirt and that’s the end of the road. So… :man_shrugging:

@KingDAP What’s that Light of the Body quote from?

I love this! Too few philosophical systems acknowledge the importance of the body in realising our potential. I’d never heard of the Vulknut before this — what’s the story behind it?

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#13

@Pocket those are actually the words of Jesus from the Gospel according to Matthew ch. 6 vs. 22-23.

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#14

Cool — thanks for that! I was raised on that text and then found other traditions that work better for me, so while I know the stories of it pretty intimately, specific quotes like that have been coming up to surprise me lately!

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#15

@Pocket yes there are many enlightening gems of spiritual wisdom in those texts that will stand out or come one who seeks them as one becomes more “spiritually mature” so to speak.

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#16

There are some that I would love to share but it may take this thread dangerously close to discussing religion. Maybe in a pm?

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#17

It is specific and very spiritually eye opening!

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#18

The Valknut is a relic from the Germanic and Scandinavian histories and ties in with Viking lore (which is all the rage these days) If you read the tales of Odin and the balances of the Valknut then you will see that a great deal of value is placed on physical health, vitality and growth in the quest for knowledge and enlightenment. Just as in many Philosophies to build the mind and neglect the body was as ignorant and wasteful as to build the body and neglect the mind.

I’m not one to push to much of my values or ideas but these things resonate with me deeply.

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#19

Like @Calm I view enlightenment as a continual process, very much about the journey more so than the destination. To my mind we humans are inherently changeable beings. I am not the same at 31 as I was at 21 or at 11; not physically, temporally, geographically, or psychologically. We can’t be; our experiences change us continuously. The difficulty we have is in resisting the changes within ourselves and reconciling them with who we believe we are or ought to be. (Gollygee, I wonder why I’m a Balimoran…:stuck_out_tongue:)

It’s not easy, though. When I first dipped into this thread the quote that came to mind was

“The giant Grof was hit in one eye by a stone, and that eye turned inward so that it looked into his mind, and he died of what he saw there.”

It comes from The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip, which is a wonderfully mythical story that to me reads as a parable of this process. Self-knowing is difficult and often painful. Letting go of old identities and old patterns of thought that no longer serve us is hard, and those parts of ourselves resist changing and letting go. Hence the giant dying of what he saw when he looked inward; he didn’t literally die, but a part of his Ego did.

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#20

@Sorrel you may be a Balimoran but you are more than welcome in my space for a pot of tea or coffee whenever you like. I think your quote is truly on point and I value the insight and perspective you share. We are a growing perspective and one that must reconcile our awareness of self. We must be accepting of the challenge and changes to our self concept as we progress through life.

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