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Enlightenment

Mayo 1, 2012

Last Saturday night, during my “TV schedule” (or the only day in the week that I choose to watch television), I chanced upon a new HBO Series here in Mozambique. It was right after my favorite shows here, New Girl and Once Upon a Time, aptly titled Enlightenment. The show definitely caught my attention because of the title and I got to watch two consecutive episodes. I’m not sure if it’s going to be that way for next week and the succeeding weeks, however, I have already mentally added it to my menu.

Anyway, as I watched the TV show, I couldn’t help but resonate with Laura Dern’s predicament. In most of the scenes, I felt that there were particularly interesting commentaries about one’s process of “enlightenment”. It made me reflect on my own journey and I’d like to share some things that came up for me.

The first thing that struck me was how there’s usually an element of total breakdown (usually an illness, an accident or deep depression, as in my case and in the HBO series) right before one shifts towards enlightenment. Is this really a prerequisite or a necessary doorway? The old life crumbling to give way to a new life, like the Phoenix’s spontaneous combustion in the Harry Potter movie. Throughout our lives, we’ve had these mini-breakdowns or shifts, but it seems that the “real deal” happens when there is a total breakdown. This probably means that if you’re going for the real deal, then you’d better be prepared to fully confront your fears and have an unlimited supply of courage.

Then the second one is that common need to “find oneself”, a self-imposed timeout from the world or time for oneself that can take on different forms (going to a healing center, traveling someplace alone, living in a new community), which interestingly almost always has an aspect of communing with nature (sea, forest, safari, farm, mountain).

The third commentary which I deeply resonated with, as I had experienced it myself, was about the return to the “old world”. After that profound discovery, finding one’s true self or connecting to the spiritual in us and around us, we go back to the lives we left and get “culture shock” somehow. People don’t understand us and we try to convince them to see what we have seen, trying to articulate an experience and eventually realizing that we can’t really express them in words (or at least in the language that people we are explaining it to can understand).

We then find ourselves in a sort of Jeckyll and Hyde situation, shifting from our true selves to our old selves, a roller coaster ride from extreme peace to anger and confusion, back again to calmness and love then to frustration and sadness. We are the new and the old all at the same time, moving along the spectrum of emotions and realities like a pendulum. I find this the most challenging part of the journey, and having limitless compassion for your self and for others is like wearing a safety contraption that ensures you don’t get thrown off the roller coaster.

Furthermore, there is the tendency to be righteous because we have become something that the others are not, or not yet. Of course this tendency makes it all the more difficult to convince those we are trying to get on board the “new world” because we may have the best message but we have not yet learned how to deliver the message in such a way that people can accept and fully digest it.

This third commentary that I mentioned above had been my experience before my own healing and empowerment journey. I did encounter that initial “enlightenment”, that “aha” yet it felt immature and righteous, maybe it was more surface level, a suit I wore but did not really fully imbibe. It was coming from a need, not from fullness or wholeness: the need to be right, the need to be acknowledged, the need to help and teach others, the need to be special; all pointing to that needy, unworthy, unlovable self.

At the end of the day, we may have had an enlightening experience and be awakened to our true selves or spiritual purpose but we still have to remember that it doesn’t stop there. It is an ongoing process, an ongoing journey to fully integrate the different aspects of ourselves and our lives. Our unhealed selves are longing to find wholeness, longing for true love not from others but from ourselves. This wholeness is always complete unto itself, love is always complete unto itself. So, whenever we find lack and fear in ourselves, lack and fear in others, or lack and fear in the world…maybe we also have to acknowledge that we are still in the process of healing, of becoming…like everyone else. There’s no need to be special, we already are. Each one of us is bound to find wholeness, at our own pace, in our own time. Each one of us is unique, moving along his or her own unique path.

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2 mga puna leave one →
  1. Mayo 11, 2012 8:23 hapon

    Thank you for this candid heart share. It feels warm to read and to feel another’s deep intimate journey and realizations. Like you realized there is that joyful discovery of the “specialness” of another’s being which seem to be very strangely. familiar.

    • consciouspinay permalink*
      Mayo 11, 2012 8:34 hapon

      You’re welcome. Glad to have shared. Thank you for reading my posts and especially for affirming my journey as I affirm yours. 😉

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