Enlightenment Is Just a Word

Another guest blog by my brother, David —

 

Enlightenment is just a word, and words are imperfect. What so many people think is the meaning of enlightenment is in error. They think it is a destination, a level of acquirement. It is not. Enlightenment is something to be discovered about yourself.

“Seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind
about the world.”

The world is vast and complex. Our experience in the world is but the tiniest of specks in the vastness. Yet we seem compelled to give it meaning. Then we want the world to reflect the meaning we have ascribed to it. When it does not, we suffer (disappointment, frustration, disillusionment). This is when we need to change our minds about the world.

What you think the world means has (virtually) no effect on the world. But it does affect you. It affects how you see the world, and so how you experience it.

“Enlightenment…is a realization. And when you wake up,
everything changes and nothing changes. If a blind man realizes
he can see, has the world changed?”

When you change your mind about the world, you wake up; you let the blind man see. The seeing is the change, not the objects seen. Choose to change your mind about the world and you will see differently.

So what good is enlightenment, you might ask, what good is waking up to see, if not to change the world? It is good because you change your experience. You eliminate (most) of your suffering. You move (mostly) past your excuses, your lamentations, your complaints. If you dare to change your mind about the world, then you will (most likely) find its meaning within yourself, within your own experience.

“Those who seek the light are merely covering their eyes. The
light is in them now. Enlightenment is but a recognition, not a
change at all.”

It is time for you to become enlightened and at ease with yourself in the world. This happens when you admit that already the light is in you. Admit it to yourself and you will see it. Uncover your eyes and you will recognize that the light is in you now. Do no hesitate.

“Everyone is waiting for eternity and the shamans are saying,
‘What about tonight?’”

 

 

 

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Lunchtime Stress

My brother, David, has gallantly stepped up to assist me in this blog. It has been one month since my last post. I simply let life get the better of me and retreated in my own little world. Accepting his help in my attempt to emerge from that world, I present his wonderful contribution. This is just one of the many, many reasons I so enjoy my family. I am loved, in spite of my stress and self-exclusion from life. I am pleased to introduce my brother to you (if I am lucky, he’ll contribute again–he’s quite wonderful):

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Once upon a time, there were three male college instructors who, day after day, week after week, ate lunch together in the break room.

Once such day, the science instructor opened his lunch and then cried out, “I don’t believe it! Fried chicken and rice…again! Fried chicken and rice, fried chicken and rice. If I see this one more time for lunch, I will crack. I will run and jump off the cliff!”

Just then, the math instructor opened his own lunch. “I don’t believe it,” he cried out. “Fried fish and rice…every day it is fried fish and rice. I cannot take it anymore. If I see fried fish and rice in my lunch one more time, I will race you to the cliff!”

In his turn, the English instructor opened his lunch. “I don’t believe it,” he cried, pulling out some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a hard-boiled egg. “Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a hard-boiled egg…one more time for the ten-thousandth time. If I ever again see another such sandwich-egg combination as my lunch offering, I will drive my car off the cliff.”

The next day in the lunchroom, again the three men were gathered.

“Chicken and rice!” burst the science teacher, clapping his hands in fervent exclamation. “I am out of here!” he said, then ran from the building.

“Fried fish and rice!” spat the math instructor, pounding his fist upon the table. “I am done!” he said, then ran from the building.

“Peanut butter and jelly,” yelled the English instructor, standing up so abruptly that his chair almost tipped over backwards, “and one hard-boiled…oh, no wait…ah, there it is…and one hard-boiled egg!”

He went on, holding the egg aloft, as though it was symbolic. “I have had all I can take of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and hard-boiled eggs. I am gone!”

With that, the English instructor threw the egg down upon the table and turned toward the doorway—but his attention was drawn back by the sound of the egg breaking on the tabletop. Its sound was unexpected because the egg was not hard-boiled, and now it was seeping out of the mangled shell onto the table.

“Oh…whoops!” said the English instructor. Then he ran from the building, patting his pockets and mumbling, “Where are my car keys?”

Because of the mad ravings of the running instructors, students became alarmed. They call to Security, who were able to catch the instructors easily. Already they were slowing down and breathing heavily (except one, who was juggling three tennis balls as he ran).

Later, in the president’s office, the three husbands sat across from the three wives who had been called in.

“Mr. President,” said the wife of the science instructor. “I had no evidence he was tired of fried chicken and rice. Had I known, I would have prepared something different.”

“Mr. President,” said the wife of the math teacher. “I miscalculated; I thought he loved his fried fish and rice. Had I known I would have prepared something different.”

“Mr. President,” said the wife of the English instructor, rolling her eyes with a tip of her head toward her husband. “I do not know what to tell you. He prepares his own lunch.”