Before and After Enlightenment
What is Enlightenment anyway?
Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.
Oh how I love chopping wood because I know it will bring me the warm glow of the fire on my cold bones and skin. And I love carrying jugs of water, if I know it's clean and taste good. Before enlightenment we may miss the joy of a crackling hearth, yes, the old fashioned fire is beautiful. The flames are scented with the wood used and the colors change to blue, orange, red depending on the wood also. A flame can be meditated on as you ponder it's illusive mystery and whether it's alive with an elemental nature spirit…or just a flame of warmth.
Without warmth the human body can freeze into hypothermia conditions, releasing the human spirit from the bondage of a flesh and bone existence. By the same token a flame can burn flesh into ashes. Ashes feed the ground, making good soil conditions for growth of a flower..or a weed. So what gives life, also takes life.
Life goes on before and after enlightenment much the same, so what would be the purpose in seeking after enlightenment you might ask.
I'm getting to that! The other day I was doing a mental take on the concept behind "Before enlightenment..chop wood…etc." and I came up with a tag of my own Before enlightenment, grub for money unconsciously, after enlightenment grub for money consciously."
I thought it was funny, and I considered that maybe I was enlightened after all as I heard most enlightened people find humor in everything, or at the least something to be of good cheer about. Humor is not something I was born with, I knew somewhere along the line, along with peace of mind, the appreciation of a good laugh became a part of me.
Let's examine humor a bit. Is it positive thinking? Not exactly, but is related to that. Here's one definition I learned from the Urantia book:
Laughter releases tension. In our society we need to relax when tension builds up. Relaxing brings you that much closer to a going with the flow idea, during difficult situations and times.
Many rely on a pill or a stiff drink in order to relax the tensions that can build up in the body and mind in a single day.
Yet drugs and liquor can only go so far before it burns your insides, just like a flame can burn you if you get too close to it.
They say a little is good, so a lot must be better. It's not true, even a little is not healthy, if you become reliant on a substance for a certain effect within the body/mind.
Enough preaching and back to creating a sense of humor. Tension is negative energy inside the body/mind. It needs release, the same way a toxin in the body would need to be neutralized; the same way the body throws off waste product from the food we eat.
Smiling is somewhat of a release also, like a forerunner of the belly laugh, a smile can release built up negative energy also. For some smiling is easy, for others, it may need some thought and cultivation.
Cultivating a smile for life may also be a task for some of us who really haven't thought about it much. We may go through life expecting others to smile at us first. Unfortunately, that's not exactly a reality statement, as our expectations in life will often get thwarted. Precisely because we may not be seeking enlightenment, thinking it's not important, like making money is, or being successful in some endeavor or goal.
Or worse yet, we may suppose we are already quite enlightened and it's "them" that need to be as enlightened as we are. Thoughts of this nature come from a wrong attitude of being separate from others; somehow better than others. The attitude shows up in our mannerisms, our body language perhaps, our tone of voice, in many different ways people pick up on your hidden attitude quite easily, and this may be part of the reason people don't smile when they see you coming.
A truly enlightened person I would suspect would be willing to offer a smile to anyone who sends out a thought of oneness, such as through genuine humor, rather than sarcastic humor. There is a difference in types of humor.
I thought the take I took on the before and after deeds of enlightenment was funny because I realized that this world is about making money. Everywhere I go, whatever I do, I see people, myself included trying to get some money. Then after they get a little, it's the nature of the beast to protect the assets, by getting even more money collected.
Then you have your non-materialists who think they are so funny, but really, they are just like the rest of the gang here, wanting money and figuring out ways to get it. The difference between the non-materialist and the materialist is that the non-materialists stays satisfied with the appearance of a small amount of money, while hoping for more to come along, either through effort of working for it, or some amount of luck happening as it were, but the non-materialist does not let the lack of money determine their mindset or mood, or sense of humor, or attitude. In other words, they are not the addictive type person needing another "fix" of money.
You can't take it with you is a good saying for the non-materialist. While for the materialist it might be "money is not in first place, but it's way ahead of whatever is in 2nd place."
Or they might sing a song like Diamonds are a girl's best friend.
In summation you can be a rich person without any satisfaction or happiness in that factor. You can be poor and be ecstatic with the blooming of a 10 cent package of flower seeds, regarding that as a rich moment of beauty manifest. You can be ecstatically happy over the fact that you are not having to work and have free time to contemplate all the mysteries of life and loving and sit at the computer typing out the feelings to strangers whom if you met them, you just know they have some of the same feelings and thoughts you have and you would be friends. To have friends is one of the best treasures we can accumulate in life. Trust me, when you die, you won't take a dollar bill with you or a diamond with you, but the friendship bonds, these you will take with you in your heart; the moments of laughter and joy will carry you straight to heavens you never thought existed.
If I were religious, I would say to you the kingdom of God is within. Not without. I'm not religious enough to use cliches, but this one is definitely a good one to remember in a fast paced, get the money type of world.