The Road To Becoming A Warrior Part 5

The first stage of enlightenment is to clear your mind of all the demons you have created and those created for you. You must practice being a moral human being. Do your best. Try to do no intentional harm etc. Through the five Toltec points of agreement and many other roads provided by Hindu and Buddhist and Taoist teachings such as meditation (usually to quiet the mind) celibacy (to keep the mind away from distraction) mantra (meaning instrument of thought) and visualization of self as the Buddha, Jesus, or any deity or enlightened person. Visualization techniques can also be specific like the heart or breath etc. Each has its own purpose and yields its own results.

These teachings such as mantra and meditation are meant to eventually physically transform you. They are said to be able to open channels of energy throughout the body. They also cause all manner of problems for the individual in that they bring up hidden thoughts that need to be resolved. Some people complain of not being able to sleep when this starts happening. It causes great surges of energy to run through your body. Palpitations. The more you meditate and try to quiet the mind the more you will encounter issues you need to resolve first before your mind can be quiet. Once those inner issues are resolved these unwanted pains and irritations will subside. But it takes a lot of hard work and there is intentional suffering involved to get to an awakened state of mind.

Awareness is stressed in meditation. Your mind must be quieted but you must remain completely aware. This is why you are given things to concentrate on like a mantra or visualizing yourself as a Buddha. Some like to call it cultivating awareness rather than gaining enlightenment. It is the same thing in the end. The idea is to let go of ego and self, and become free as an enlightened being.

With these methods you can achieve great states of bliss. You can achieve out of body experience. You can experience the feeling of just knowing. You will experience unity in the totality. These states of mind are all very achievable. The Vedic’s and the Hindus and the Buddhists can all achieve these states of mind. They can also be achieved through the shamanistic use of herbs and plants to speed up the process. But you have to want it.

Zen tells us we have to want it so bad that it feels like we have a hot metal ball in our mouths which we can neither swallow nor spit out.

You have to let go of attachments so your awareness can return to the source. Once you recognize that source you are enlightened and free.

But what is you? What is the “I” which becomes free? We are told to remove all ego and become our true selves. We hypnotize ourselves with mantras to achieve states of bliss. Visualize ourselves as Buddha to realize the source of self.

Breaking down ego is not as hard as one thinks. It requires only one thing: A giving up of the idea of self. The way to accomplish this is to cultivate states of non-judgement. We have already covered the fact that judging yourself and others can be destructive to both parties and a hindrance to enlightenment. Imagine a state where you just hear sound, just see images but are not attached to judging how they affect you. You know the sound of a bird without thinking about it being a bird. You see images and know what they are. You need do nothing and need think nothing, you are just aware. You are observing sound and light without judgment.

This is all to make you see that all is connected and the source of you is the all or totality, not an individual with a name and a history.

When enlightened you are reborn and often this rebirth is from physical (or metaphorical) death. Enlightenment is said to hit you like a bolt of lightning. One Zen master is said to have become so frustrated with not being able to gain enlightenment that he took a sword and cut off his arm. And at that moment of pain he came to full realization. Pity he had to lose his arm.

There are hundreds of examples of enlightenment just ramming in to people when they have given up all hope. No one said this was going to be easy.

The Buddha is said to have gained enlightenment meditating on his breath. There is an entire type of meditation technique devoted to this one practice. There are techniques where you cool the body temperature by sitting out on a cool night in meditation. Eventually you no longer feel the body. It disappears. No more distraction for the mind so it can become quiet.

All this to find and realize that the source of you is the totality itself, not an individual.

I have experienced all these states in my youth. Some through meditation and some through shamanistic methods. But I learned something very important. One can go too far. One can lose oneself and instead of enlightenment find nothing. This was also the experience of U. G Krishnamurti:

If you have the courage to touch life for the first time, you will never know what hit you. Everything man has thought, felt and experienced is gone, and nothing is put in its place.”

Nothing is put in its place. If you succeed in completely eliminating self, you are dead, not enlightened. Not free. This is not to say an almost egoless person cannot exist. I know some. One can reach the states of enlightenment talked about by the Buddhist and the Hindu. States of glorious bliss attached to the all. You can become one with the all. But you can also lose yourself so completely that there is no longer a you or an all.

Perhaps U. G and I didn’t do it right. But we did our best. We spent years in the pursuit of enlightenment and achieved it for all intents and purposes; and then took a look beyond and found nothing. I never met him. I heard of him briefly when I was actively meditating and searching. But I didn’t read his words until much later, after my own experiences.

Does this mean there is no enlightenment? Hardly. There surely is. But it is not to be found in a total destruction of self. The question becomes, what do you want from enlightenment? If it is a way to all the answers, it is easy. The answers are all the same. Love and serve. All religions tell us that.

But what they may not tell us is that ego is not the thing that needs to be destroyed. It’s exclusion from self. And this may take some explaining.

More by this Author

  • There Is an Exception to Every Rule
    7

    There is a big problem with some sayings that seem perfectly logical. Let’s look at this common example: There is an exception to every rule. Most people would just start thinking of all the rules they can recall...

  • The Bible and the Oppression of Women
    109

    The feminist movement has made a lot of inroads in the last century, but it is difficult to fight literally centuries of being considered inferior and even evil by men in society. It is even harder to fight the...

  • Venting your plumbing
    21

    This essay is on the importance of venting a drainage system, the consequences of not doing so, and how to fix it.


8 comments

Binaya.Ghimire 5 years ago

Good God, you seem to have studied many things. I admire the way you interpret your point and argument relating to different faiths. I think you should add some true stories to make your point of view more approving. For instance, what you, or anyone you know, have experienced about enlightenment in personal level.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 5 years ago from Canada Author

Thank you for reading this and commenting. I study many religions and have done so most of my life. These hubs are to be a companion to a book I wrote called: Yes, it's all about me.

I started it here but had to remove it because of conflicts with Hub Pages terms of use.

In it I tell many of my personal experiences in the search. But I do not go in to detail about my discoveries as I am doing now.

But don't be fooled. When I say I have experienced enlightenment I do not mean that I am anything more than anyone else. I am not a guru or in the same league with Buddha or any of them. I am an ordinary mundane fellow with a rather mundane average life. Anyone can gain enlightenment and that is my message. It is no mystery.


Druid Dude profile image

Druid Dude 5 years ago from West Coast

Excellent. What more can I say? Peace


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 5 years ago from Canada Author

Druid

Thank you. ;)


graceomalley profile image

graceomalley 5 years ago

I'm really enjoying reading this series. It is helping clarify some things I've been pondering on.

I also had an experience of meditation (I think most would agree it was that) bringing up painful emotions I couldn't cope with at the time. I was a college student at the time, and working a summer job cleaning rooms in a hotel. I decided to use the cleaning time, when my intellect didn't need to be much engaged, to put into practise paul's admonition to "Pray without ceasing." Rather than praying a list of requests, or thanks yous, or anything like that, i just worked on focusing my attention on the existence of God. I wasn't going to ask for anything, or tell Him specific things, or try to sort out theological quandries, just simply hold Him in my mind as I went about doing my job. At first I enjoyed the experience, but then powerful and pretty negative emotiond began roiling to the surface. They weren't connected to memories of specific events in the past, but i felt pretty sure they were emtions associated with traumatic events which hadn't been processed. I was also quite sure the meditation exercise I was doing had knocked them loose, as it were. I was very young, and really didn't know how to deal with this, and basically backed off on the prayer-meditation. I did more processing over the years, and I do think that time of meditation benefited me in the long run in being able to release some negative emotions. It was also a pretty overwhelming experience at the time, and took awhile (some years) to make sense of.

Just my two cents.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 5 years ago from Canada Author

Thank you so much for your comments Grace. I think your experience was exactly what I am talking about. Sometimes the inner conflict can seem like it is killing you until you find a way to resolve it. Like I said, the person seeking the way has a hard road. But it is worth it in the end. ;)


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man

This is a really well written piece and having read your book, "Yes, it's all about me", this explains clearly the path you chose to lead from a very young age. I am amazed at how early in your life you began your quest for truth and you sound a little disappointed in this hub when you compare what you have achieved to that of U. G Krishnamurti and say "Perhaps U. G and I didn’t do it right." I can't understand how there can be a right or wrong way. Does this not imply judgement? As Sinatra would say/sing "I did it my way!"

I once meditated every morning and evening for one hour at a time for a year using binaural beats. A man called Jim Peters had created software that allowed you to adjust the frequency of the beats. The beats entrained your brainwaves to a particular frequency and as soon as you got used to that level you changed the frequency and went to the next. I would spend about a week on each frequency before moving to the next. In the beginning I changed the frequency every day and experienced what Jim Peter warned and that was "overwhelm" and that was not a nice experience. But by changing more gradually I actually got more out of the experience and found myself confronting many demons. It was a bit like going through psychotherapy where you are the therapist and the client both. I released many repressions this way and found myself dealing with things that I never even knew were issues until they emerged in these meditation sessions. It was quite an emotional roller coaster ride but I am glad I did it. Jim Peters believed that the software he created which he modelled on the the software created by the Monroe Institute should be freely available to everyone so he didn't charge for it. It was completely free whereas other people were charging hundreds of dollars for the same thing. Here is a link to Jim Peters site. http://uazu.net/sbagen/

Thank you Slarty for another great read.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 5 years ago from Canada Author

"you sound a little disappointed in this hub when you compare what you have achieved to that of U. G Krishnamurti and say "Perhaps U. G and I didn’t do it right." I can't understand how there can be a right or wrong way. Does this not imply judgement? As Sinatra would say/sing "I did it my way!"

Does it not imply judgment? Yes and no. I posed it as a question because I am told that if you do not have a teacher you can never get it right. But then again I was told I would never figure out the computer without books or formal training and yet now I have an A+ certification as well as a networking cert. I have always been my own best teacher. But I am more than willing to gobble up useful information. And I love it when my ideas are vindicated. Discernment is not always judgmental. You can recognize that you have made a mistake without beating yourself up about it. If I solder a leaky pipe and it still leaks when t he water is turned on I did something wrong or didn't do something right, if my intent was to stop the leak.

U. G and I did get much different results from others. We must have turned right when we should have turned left. lol... I say this in jest. But perhaps it is not out of the question that we did something which is known about in Hinduism that a teacher might have been able to tell us to avoid doing. However U. G had plenty of teachers and some of the best by all accounts. That didn't stop him from find the state I did when we gave up ego completely and just tried to exist.

He went through physical transformations that were very different from mine. Yet we both ended up in the same place of absolute nothingness.

Most people are happy with bliss. But we weren't. The one thing that U. G have in common is that we both needed to know in real terms, not just have the feeling of knowing.

When his teacher told him there was something he could not know, he instantly realized his teacher could not possibly know it either, and he left him thinking it was a scam. Later he went through his transformation.

So I ask my self why we had such different experience from others. At times I think we found the real source. At times I think we made a mistake somewhere along the line. At times I think we did as Douglas Adams suggested and threw ourselves at the ground and missed. ;) I don't know. All I know is, if you drop ego completely you may as well be dead.

I will check out the software you recommend. In some forms of Zen, while meditating, the master will come by and slap each student on the shoulder with a strap at random intervals to make sure they stay aware. ;)

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working