Enlightenment and awakening

10 Jun

There are a lot of buzzwords out there, and a couple of them are “enlightenment” and “awakening”, but what do they mean to us?  Is this something worth pursuing or so much mumbo-jumbo?  What does it really entail and how much time does one need to invest in this mysterious process?

Most people do associate some practices or efforts with seeking enlightenment, like having a mysterious guru or doing meditation.  Someone who is enlightened is poor, lives an uncomfortable life, is thin, dresses oddly, and talks weird.  They don’t have a “real” job of any kind, and probably make their living helping other people become enlightened, or by being an artist or musician.  Certain locations have more enlightened people: San Francisco, Los Angeles, beaches anywhere, New Orleans, Sedona, that sort of place.

Who wants to leave their cushy corporate job and join the ranks of those losers?

Heck, who’d want to leave a job at the local pizza joint to join those ranks?

Popular perception has it equating a vow of poverty and struggle, of accepting uncertainty as the only certainty.

Yet, every day, people are actively seeking this enlightenment, this state of awakening.  There has to be more to it.  What misery would have the appeal that this one does?

Well, I suppose that drug addiction has some sort of appeal.  People are continually swelling those ranks, even as they watch the ones who have spent more time indulging become death statistics.  No one has any illusions that the addiction is going to bring them anything more than temporary euphoria, always needing the next euphoric state just around the corner.  That’s the sole parallel I can see to this desire to achieve enlightenment.

Is this enlightenment like a drug?  Is that what the appeal is?

I can’t claim enlightenment myself, although I have to admit, I seek it.  I haven’t found anyone with all of the answers yet.  I suspect that if I do find that person with  all of the answers, he/she/it won’t have a physical body. I talk to people from all kinds of enlightening pursuits.  I gather bits like berries from bushes, and put them all my little berry bowl together.

Then it brings me to another question.

Will this “berry picking” of answers and questions and tidbits of knowledge lead to anything or am I just creating a cosmic berry cobbler?

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