A friend of mine raised an interesting point they’d heard in a talk. I thought it worth exploring as there’s a lot of nonsense out there about “enlightened behaviour” and such.
When you wake up to who you are within (Self Realization or Cosmic Consciousness), what changes is your sense of who you are. Not the body or emotions, at least not at first. Some of the laws of nature operating as this body-mind may shift or fall away. In fact, all of the various devata long involved in your shift will depart.
But the vast majority of laws of nature, and thus behaviour, will stay more or less the same. Same preferences, habits, and so forth. You don’t forget how to ride a bike or fix a sweet tooth with awakening. Over time living in that state, more of the heavier stuff will also fall away, eventually including old shoulds and musts.
With the change in our sense of Self also comes a change in our sense of the doer. Before, our actions seemed to be done by a person, you. This in spite of the evidence that the vast majority of our behaviour was not chosen. It was automatic. After the shift, we recognize we’re not the doer. The body simply acts. Sometimes we notice a process taking place around that, some thoughts and emotions, but most of the time it simply happens. The more we trust the process, the deeper the allowing goes and thus the more progress we make.
With time and refinement, the devata or laws of nature become apparent and thus the actual doers of our behaviour and experiences become known. Over time, further shifting of quality can take place, depending on what is reinforced and what is cleared.
Here is the interesting detail though – because the sense of person is no longer (so) involved in the actions, they’re cleaner and smoother. We could say they have a higher “vibe”. So while the behaviour is about the same, the effect is of greater quality. This helps immensely in winding down the production of new karma.
In other words, someone enlightened will act more or less the same way as before but the effects will be different because there isn’t the barriers to smooth flow.
This also points to another aspect that some deal with. After the shift, we’re unattached and are often much less motivated to fix anything to do with the person. It can thus be more effective to fix bad habits and lifestyle issues BEFORE waking up. Probably one of the reasons such things are taught as part of a spiritual practice. Don’t wait for some illusory future possibility. As Maharishi Mahesh Yogi aptly put it “See the job, do the job, stay out of the misery.*”
* the original reference was to dealing with grunt work, but fixing bad habits is right in there.