This is the final follow-up to the article on this website titled, “The Mr. Enlightenment Interview”, where Rose Rosetree asked me questions that were posed by readers of her blog. “Mr. Enlightenment” is what she playfully decided to call me.
If you don’t know and are wondering what this is all about, please take a look at this link.
I am taking the remainder of the questions from Rose Rosetree’s blog buddies and answering them here in the order that they appeared.
As I did in Part Two, I aim for giving the shortest and most direct answers.
However, full elaborations of many of these are addressed by the articles at this website and in my book, Answers From Silence. You can read parts of the book at this website under Excerpts.
If more than one person asked the same question, I answered it the first time.
Renee: Why you??…Why not…me??
JC: That is one of the main parts of my message. I never expected it to happen to me in this lifetime. But it can happen. It does happen. It could happen to you.
Jim Curry: Is Enlightenment a condition cut out of a single cloth? Or can a person be partly Enlightened or Enlightened in one area while still lagging in another area?
JC: Enlightenment only pertains to one area, which is the area of consciousness.
Jim Curry: Or does the same new condition imbue all aspects of the person’s activity and understanding?
JC: Consciousness imbues all aspects of activity, therefore enlightenment imbues all aspects of activity. As for understanding, that can be a mental abstraction. Therefore, I wouldn’t choose the word “understanding”. I would instead say that enlightenment imbues all aspects of knowledge.
Jim Curry: Have you noticed that very few Enlightened people gather about themselves whole communities of similarly upgraded persons?
JC: To my understanding, historically there have been many communities of like-minded spiritually-oriented people who have gathered together.
Jim Curry: Suppose a person who would like to be Enlightened shows up at an enlightened person’s doorstep. Is it possible to transfer the condition through some sort of (perhaps unexpected) educational process, or is this something that must be done all from the start for each person?
JC: I believe it must be possible to transfer the condition.
Jim Curry: If, indeed, it is possible to help people along, then why have we never seen that happen on anything like a great scale?
JC: On a great scale, people first have to want to show up at an enlightened person’s doorstep.
Jim Curry: Even Jesus seemed to have trouble getting through to twelve guys. It should be clear enough that they didn’t all “get” it (Judas, for example) and that the rest didn’t get it all (not both Peter and Paul were right on all points—not possible, they disagreed a lot). Please explain this.
JC: You can begin communication with people only at their own level of understanding.
Suzanne: I think Jim brings up an excellent point. If Darshan, the concept of becoming Enlightened by being in the presence of an Enlightened person, is true — then why doesn’t it happen more often?
JC: People aren’t willing to surrender more often.
Suzanne: In your experience, are you able to influence other people just by being around them?
Suzanne: How do you keep your peace with the pace of other people’s evolution?!
JC: I accept where they are. Everyone is on their path of enlightenment.
Jim Curry: Physical exercise means that we place measured stress on the physical body in order to elicit adaptive changes—which come from the unseen wisdom of the body itself. Our work just knocks on the door, asking the body to improve itself. It does the work. Is there an analogy to enlightenment? Can we place adaptive stress so that we get closer to enlightenment—can we exercise in some sense toward enlightenment as we exercise toward the Boston marathon?
JC: I don’t know whether there is an adaptive stress analogy to enlightenment.
Jim Curry: On the other hand, are there unhealthy stresses we can self-impose that delay enlightenment?
JC: Yes, and your common sense will identify those. But your path of enlightenment is comprised of every moment and event in your life. If there’s a delay, it was part of your path of enlightenment.
Jim Curry: Is the exact reverse true, i.e. if instead of imposing stress, if we impose some sort of reverse-stress—some flavor of pleasure—can that get us nearer?
JC: Make transcending a daily habit.
Jim Curry: Is there any sense in which becoming Enlightened makes it more awkward or more difficult to function in ordinary life? Is it in any sense a mal-adaption?
Sunny: One of the main purposes in our life is to become Enlightened. But how can I recognize my purpose in life (other than the Enlightenment one)? How do I know what I am supposed to do in life? Which job, mission, purpose am I supposed to undertake?
JC: The one that suits your abilities, that brings you joy, and that contributes to the lives of other people. Chapter 1 of Answers From Silence is all about this.
Carol: Would you allow some of us empaths to merge with you? Could we get a feel for Enlightenment by doing that?
JC: Go ahead.
Jordan: Jeffrey, do you ever get sick?
Jordan: Do you think it’s possible or at all likely for an Enlightened person to become seriously or terminally ill?
JC: Yes. But it would be experienced as an illness of the body. The self would be unaffected.
Jordan: What is bad, icky STUFF anyway?
JC: Energy configurations.
Jordan: Where does it come from?
JC: It comes from the past.
Jordan: Is it just the unknown and distortion?
JC: It is mistaken identity.
Jordan: What do you perceive at the farthest edge of your consciousness?
Jordan: Where do you experience limitation?
JC: The experience of self has a quality of limitlessness. But the physical environment has limitations. Solid objects can’t occupy the same space, for example. But I don’t mind.
Station: Hello, can you please describe the dynamics of your shift from pre-enlightened to enlightened?
JC: It was accomplished by interacting with my Enlightened Self until I merged and became my Enlightened Self. Chapter 6 of Answers From Silence traces this step by step.
Station: Is it simply a matter of a shift in perception?
JC: No. It is a shift in the perceiver.
Station: Do you subscribe to the common belief that the purpose of human life is to “learn” and “evolve” spiritually?
JC: I used to, but “purpose” seems like a different issue to me now. Everything is whole and self-contained. Therefore, I would now say that the purpose of human life is to be human life. The purpose of learning and evolving spiritually is to learn and evolve spiritually.
Station: If so, how did you arrive at that conclusion?
JC: Before now, “the common belief that the purpose of human life is to ‘learn’ and ‘evolve’ spiritually” was the best working model for interpreting human life and spiritual evolution.
Station: What about other forms of life (animals, plants, single cell microorganisms)?
JC: Same answers.
Amanda Flood: I would like to ask about the experience of being ‘in the moment’. Can you describe it?
JC: It is an experience of fullness and of completeness.
Amanda Flood: Sometimes I will have times of being in the moment when everything is just love. It’s an incredibly gentle feeling and feels timeless. I had put it down as just another ‘consciousness place’ but it seems from what Rose has written here and elsewhere that this (or something similar) is characteristic of enlightenment. Is it characteristic?
Amanda Flood: I’d also like to know if it’s something I should be cultivating?
JC: No. You should cultivate the cause, not the effect. Aligning into timelessness (cause) is what you should cultivate. Don’t try to duplicate an incredibly gentle feeling when everything is just love (effect).
Heather: I believe that Rose has previously mentioned that it is possible for ALL humans to become Enlightened…but is it truly possible for everyone to obtain this level?
JC: Yes. But now would be a good time to put the word “obtain” to rest. Accurately speaking, enlightenment isn’t an obtaining. It is a giving away. As I said in Answers From Silence, “Enlightenment is a bargain. The trade-off is: give up everything you have. In return, you get all of it back, plus everything in the universe.” And, “You don’t obtain enlightenment. Only God obtains enlightenment. You don’t become God. God becomes you. Then it is God who is living your life, thinking your thoughts, feeling your feelings, etc.”
Heather: I understand that not everyone would choose this path and therefore it would not be a possibility.
JC: Also from Answers From Silence, “Everyone is on their path of enlightenment…The only difference between some people and others is that they know this.”
Heather: But if I worked hard enough to get rid of my STUFF, is it possible?
JC: Yes. And it’s also possible that it could happen even before all the hard work was done.
Heather: Or, for some of us, is it not possible in this lifetime?
JC: Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that it is not possible in any lifetime as long as you take ownership of that lifetime.
Grace: Do you find that since you’ve become Enlightened that you have fewer problems in life?
Grace: And/or if you do have problems, is it simply easier to deal with them?
Grace: Did you actively and intentionally pursue getting rid of STUFF (as Rose defines it) as part of your path to Enlightenment?
Jody: I was wondering if your body is more healthy and resilient post-Enlightenment?
JC: I’m not sure. But my periodontist said that my mouth was healing faster than expected after a recent tooth extraction that left no bruises or swelling. If that means anything.
Jody: If you do catch a sore throat or tummy bug or something, does that affect your inner state, your mood?
Jenny: Millions of people suffer from insomnia. Do Enlightened people get insomnia?
JC: I don’t know. There have been a few nights where I couldn’t get to sleep for an hour or more. I think it had to do with eating certain kinds of food in the evening.
Jenny: Jeffrey, how responsible do you feel for fixing other people’s problems? So many compassionate people make themselves feel guilty because they are not stopping to help every suffering person who crosses their path.
JC: I feel no responsibility for fixing other people’s problems. But I am always available to respond to a need.
Jenny: Do you stop constantly and bless random people all day long? Or do you set yourself a quota for each day? Or what?
JC: It’s happening automatically at all times.
Roma: If someone close to you does something “offensive,” rude, or abusive toward you… do you perceive it that way for even a moment?
Roma: Or does it not even bother you?
JC: If it occurs within a personal relationship, it bothers me at the emotional level.
Roma: And if it doesn’t bother you — how/where do you draw the line between remaining calm and peaceful, and protecting yourself from people who are trying to harm you?
JC: You should protect yourself when appropriate. Draw the line at reality. There is no value in injecting an unreal sense of calm peacefulness into a harmful situation.
Anita: I am wondering if being Enlightened is something that impacts you in a noticeable way or if it is almost imperceptible, a wonderful add-on to your life and something you might notice if you paid attention but it otherwise doesn’t create any big waves.
JC: It impacts you in a noticeable way that never leaves your attention.
Anita: Do problems with our government or more global ones, such as poverty in third world countries or the thinning of the ozone layer, still irk you in any way?
Anita: Do other people – aside from Rose Rosetree, of course – notice that you are different in some way, even if they can’t articulate exactly how you are different?
Anita: Do they do something like, “Wow, Mr. Chappell, you just seem to have a glow to you that not many other people have, an inner incandescence”?
Anita: Does life seem more rich and textured to you as one who is Enlightened – like sunsets are more beautiful, oranges zingier, music more delightful?
JC: Yes. Chapter 7 of Answers From Silence provides a thorough before-and-after comparison.
Anita: Do you live more in the Present Moment now than before you became Enlightened?
JC: I live in eternal timelessness. Because the present is an aspect of time, I don’t live in the present—or the past, or the future. I have released the present. See the website article, Being In The Present—And Beyond.
Anita: Do you remember when and how you became Enlightened?
Anita: Was it a Moment or something gradual?
JC: It was a moment. More precisely, it was a period of about 20 minutes. I was writing it down as it happened. This is found in Chapter 6 of Answers From Silence, under the heading, “This Is Your Enlightenment”.
Anita: What do you think your dharma in this world is?
JC: At this point, teaching.
Anita: And how were you able to figure that out?
JC: The first part of my life was spent with a single focus on performing classical piano music. The next part was spent diversifying my musical knowledge into all other areas, and I also wrote Answers From Silence. What remains now is to pass on my knowledge to others.
Anita: Do you have any advice to give to the younger generation?
JC: Bring your best into every situation.
Anita: What tips can you give to those of us who aren’t Enlightened about how to live life well?
JC: The reason you do the things you do is to feel alive. Drop the painful, unproductive ways to feel alive. There are better ways to feel alive. Find joyful, productive ways to feel alive.
Anita: Do you recommend we become Enlightened ourselves?