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Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer

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enlightenment for everybody

I've come across several personal enlightenment stories in the past few weeks. Examples here and here. I think there's a lot of value in reading these stories, especially the modern ones. It's easier to connect with someone's enlightenment story when it's set in the same context as your own everyday life.

Enlightenment stories. Funny concept. They're commoner than I thought. They just reflect a certain moment or period in your life when you awakened to your own self. When you recognized that you were not alone, and even that you weren't any different from anybody else. You can take that concept, like any concept, as deep as you'd like to go; but the very state of enlightenment is brought about simply by acknowledgment.

Acknowledging that you are, is enlightenment. Nothing more, nothing less. The rest becomes a lot simpler after that.

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vyus November 6th, 2001
acknowledgement or realization?

i'm taking notes =)

iamom November 7th, 2001
Hmm... Good question. Just going out on a limb, it seems to me that realization might come first (perhaps in the form of some aha! moments, etc.), but it takes some time for that realization to 'set,' as it were. (For example, I only understood in retrospect what the meaning of those aha moments was.)

Once the realization evolves into a more conscious, everyday understanding (I'm still just speaking from personal experience here), then the practice becomes an ongoing acknowledgement of what you've realized. You can't 'forget' what has been realized, but you can decrease its value in your life if you don't pay attention to it. It's that 'paying of attention' that I'm referring to as 'acknowledgement.'

I guess that's a big challenge for people with lots of demands on their attention. For those who lead busy lives with lots of stress and activities, it would be hard to keep refocusing their attention on that sense of pure being. But however you want to describe it, I think that's the practice of enlightenment in everyday life: just paying attention.

What do you think?

PS: btw, I looked through your journal, and it's fantastic. Thanks for introducing yourself here so that I can add you to my friends list.

vyus November 7th, 2001
thanks for that compliment. i appreciate it.

your assessment is about how i'd describe my processes. something new comes into my awareness, some new realization, and even though i understand it intellectually, i find my daily actions don't change, my daily thoughts don't change. and it takes time for the initial realization to sink in and start to mold my actions. if i focus on it and work at it, it takes less time. but i find that even if i just throw it out of my awareness because of other demands for my attention, eventually (we're talking years here) my thoughts will change, my actions will change, and things i didn't understand before will gradually begin to make sense.

i notice there's different types of folks seeking enlightenment. i'm one of those logical, if-we-don't-understand-it-now-doesn't-mean-we-won't-understand-it-tomorrow type of people. i see so many mirrors between our discovery of science and how spirituality seems to unfold that i no longer think they must remain separated. other types of folks can do without the scientific inquiry, the technical reasons why. they can flow happily without needing to know the whys because hey - they experience it, it must be true, all the other stuff is academic.

so i'm one of those constantly-querying types, which i am by no means saying is more valid than other ways of being. thus i like to make distinctions of 'realization' and 'acknowledgement' and such. i really like to try to nail down an idea. my current girlfriend is still deciding if she can deal with my literalness ;)

iamom November 7th, 2001
i'm one of those constantly-querying types

Yeah. If I'm not questioning, I'm not awake. I spend a lot of time asking myself the most basic question: "Who am I?" I can titillate myself for hours with it.

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