- Education and Science
What is Enlightenment?
Lets Start With a Question: Why?
Why. It is such a simple question. It's something we have been asking our entire lives, and it is the basis of enlightenment. It's a question that can change our lives, but so many of us are used to blindly following the status-quo that we don't even take the time to ask. Why?
Why do you believe in your religion rather than the countless others that exist? Do you believe that every other religion but your own is wrong?
Why do we go to school? Is it simply to get educated to make money? Is this the goal of all of our lives?
What about government? (In the case of the USA) Do they interfere too much in our lives?
My goal is to answer these, and many more questions that you haven't even thought about. To become enlightened, one has to open their mind, and forget everything they have learned throughout their entire lives.
We are shaped by our history; everything in the past defines who we are today.
Let us Begin with our Individual Liberties
I was born into a world where I didn't get to pick my religion, parents, country, or even species. I am on the planet simply because thousands of things happened perfectly, and it resulted in my existence. My religion was determined by my parents, before I was born it was already set in stone. Where I live was already determined by where my parents resided at the time, and the thigns I'm taught is something completely out of my control.
But there comes a point in everybody's life, where they start to question. How free am I? The things I just mentioned have huge effects on our lives, sometimes massive influences over the choices we make, but we weren't the ones who chose any of those things. You have to forget everything you know and learn from scratch, disconnect from everything you take as normal; because normality is simply what everyone is doing or accepting. However, we all know that doesn't mean it is right, at one time everyone believed in slavery.
So what you have to realize is that so many things in our life are, seemingly our of our control. That does not mean, however, that we should blindly follow these prearranged paths as if there is no way to turn around. So start walking backwards, retrace your steps, and ask yourself. Ask why; question everything we know as normal.
"Reverie is when ideas float in our mind without reflection or regard of the understanding."
Do we All Blindly Follow?
Open your eyes..
In America, things that seem very controversial tend to be topics we never bring up. Slavery, Prostitution, Drugs, Immigration, etc. But what if we actually used our right of free speech to talk about things other than the rain or basketball game. What if we lived in a world where cannibalism and necrophilism became dinner conversations and weren't looked at as the horrors of society?
To be enlightened means you can accept ideas like this, it means you have to truly open your mind to allow things like this in. At first, it seems absolutely crazy, and that is why so many people stop trying. Why is it that in every country in the world, we don't have true freedom? Why can't we eat other people or sell drugs? The question of individual freedom isn't one that we usually question, with our free market system, most of us are happy to have the freedom to buy a new iPhone and don't see what else matters.
But why is freedom a question at all? Shouldn't it be our choice to do whatever we want with our lives? Why should the government restrict what we can and can't do?
The Allegory of the Cave
Once you understand what this video means, it shows you are making progress to understanding what you have to do in order to become elightened.
Which Road Will you Take? - Choose the one less traveled.
It often leads to a better life. I won't tell you what you should and shouldn't believe, just the facts. And the facts are that none of us are free. Our lives are so restricted to so many basic things, all we have the freedom to do is buy! Why do we have more types of peanut butter than we do car insurance choices or presidential candidates? (Yes, I realize there are other parties, but so many of us don't know, or don't care, we are effectively narrowed down to two primary parties.) We aren't free at all, and the first part of learning this, is to learn what has to be done. Freedom must be reinstituted in the modern populous in order to protect this coveted value.
So many of us are afraid of change, we know things are wrong, but are afraid to question it. Maybe life is better being sheep, maybe it adds more security to our lives. But if you have noticed, every great man in American history, is one who has gone against what was considered normal.
Martin Luther King Jr. went against the population in order to gain African American rights.
Abraham Lincoln went against many people and abolished slavery.
These people went against what was normal, and changed the lives of thousands. They were enlightened, and they also proceeded to step two: action.
"The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living from the dead."