Over the years I’ve known many seekers whose highest goal was to achieve Enlightenment. I had such a goal myself for many years. But what is this Enlightenment? Is it self realization? God Realization? Unity or Oneness? Totality of Brahman? Are any of these a place we reach at all? Or simply concepts?
When do we become an adult? At a certain age? When we have achieved a certain level of responsibility? Demonstrated maturity? Had sex? Married? Served in the army? Or when we feel or know we have? When did you feel you became an adult? Did you even notice, or was it something you looked back on? Decided later?
Are those concepts a barrier to being? Do we doubt our adulthood because we have not met someone’s idea of it? Are any of these realizations somewhere else or some other time? Or simply here and now.
If this is your goal is it not worth exploring?
When we first begin on the spiritual path in earnest and explore teachings, we tend to gather a simplistic concept of it. Step 1, step 2, etc. – a liner path. As we begin to make some progress however, we start to see how our concepts don’t work so well. The ideas don’t hold up, our understanding falters.
Most particularly, the ways of the mind tend to get in the way or fail us. We try to do things to make progress rather than allow it. We try rather than just be. It is the opposite of what we have long learned. We may look for new ideas instead of stopping to look at what is.
If we study biology or human development or history, we find that growth does not occur in a linear way but rather in cycles of rising and falling. 2 steps forward and one step back. The Socionomics folks study something called the Elliott Wave which actually takes 3 steps forward and 2 back, each step having a slight reverse correction.
Elsewhere here I talk about the typical growth pattern of balance, disintegration, growth, integration and repeat. The trick is, often times we have reached a point of balance in one area of life, disintegration in another, and so forth. The process is anything but tidy. All that shifting makes it much harder to just stand there for a moment and take a reading on where we are.
But that is the key – not where we are going, but where we are right now. The future is unknown, the past is gone. What is real is just right here and now. This point on the journey.
Thus, the goal is not some future point on the path. It is being with where you are now. It is being OK with what is. Be Here Now. Be in the present or moment. It has been said many ways over the years.
This reveals 2 key points:
1) The goal is not the goal. The goal is the journey itself.
2) We cannot reach the goal in some future time. It does not exist. We can only reach it right now. It is no other place or time.
When we crave what is not here and look to the future for our fulfillment, we lose the point of why we are here. And we lose the very goal we seek. This is the irony of the pathless path, the journey without end. There is no where to go, nothing to achieve. It is only to be what you already are, beneath the mask of seeking.