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The Triumph of Enlightenment

A loyal reader sent in this question: “When injustice seems to triumph, how do you handle it as an enlightened person? So many crazy things go on in the world every day. Please comment.”

Before answering the “how do you handle it” part of your question, let’s look at the ”as an enlightened person” part.

What is it to be an enlightened person? It is to know the truth of who you are.

Who are you? At your inner core, as your Enlightened Self, you are simply being as pure consciousness.

A person has boundaries. Enlightenment is unboundedness. A miracle of our human existence is that as persons we have the capability of experiencing enlightenment.

And as an enlightened person, you are still human. You still have human reactions and emotions.

Things that happen can still provoke a reaction in you. Seeing injustice triumph can make you feel a negative emotion. Seeing justice triumph can make you feel a positive emotion.

But an enlightened person knows that she is not her emotions. She also knows that she is not the world of phenomena that triggers those emotions. She knows who she is.

Emotions change and phenomena change. They have no impact on her changeless Enlightened Self.

Which brings us to the “how do you handle it” part.

In the arena of activity, do what needs to be done. If you see injustice and can effectively do something to correct it, then do something.

But perhaps your question comes from a feeling that you can’t do anything about it. You want to change something unjust that happened and you can’t. You want to prevent all future injustices that might happen and you can’t.

What we all want, all the time, is for outer to match inner. With every action we take, we have an inner intention and we want it to have an outer reflection. We are always trying to make the world in our own image.

When outer doesn’t match inner, we experience distress, frustration, and anger. Like when something unjust in the outer world doesn’t match our inner sense of justice.

Perhaps your question means that you want to hear something that will make it match. “If I could only understand how injustice can triumph, I could reconcile all this.”

There are lots of explanations for the grand and sometimes hidden designs behind confusing events in the world. Answers From Silence is full of them.

For example: “Everyone is on their path of enlightenment, and everything that happens in a person’s life is their path of enlightenment.”

Understanding can help. But enlightenment is not a philosophy. It is the living knowledge of the truth of who you are.

And when that knowledge lives in you, nothing that happens in the world can compromise, endanger, damage, negate, extinguish, or triumph over your Enlightened Self.

—J.C.

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5 Responses to “The Triumph of Enlightenment”

  1. Jeffrey, what an inspiring answer to a tough question.

    I’m going to link to my blog, for sure.

    My favorite part, this time: “Things that happen can still provoke a reaction in you. Seeing injustice triumph can make you feel a negative emotion. Seeing justice triumph can make you feel a positive emotion.

    “But an enlightened person knows that she is not her emotions. She also knows that she is not the world of phenomena that triggers those emotions. She knows who she is.

    “Emotions change and phenomena change. They have no impact on her changeless Enlightened Self.

    Gives one hope, Jeffrey. And at this tumultous time in American politics, that hope is savored more than ever. Thank you so much for this wonderful blog. 🙂

  2. Well, Jeffrey, how hilarious and sad that I am the second commenter here. The date is different. It is Oct. 18, and I have been traveling back over your posts for education and inspiration.

    Sure enough, in your “immortal” words I have found new inspiration in this post. Guess I have been evolving since I read it last time.

    Before going further into my comment, I want to give a shout-out to you spiritually seeking people in Internet Land.

    This blog is so amazing, delicious, hilarious, steadying, and altogether WONDERFUL. Don’t just lurk. Comment. And invite your friends to come as well, to lurk and comment and grow.

    Jeffrey, you are doing something so great here. Very few people, or their blogs, teach me NEW things that are meaningful at this level of truth. You are a treasure to me and others like me, a teacher of spiritual teachers, a healer of spiritual healers.

    Thank you so much for holding this light online, however few the comments at this time.

    I know you feel just fine inside. I wanted the human component of Jeffrey to feel happy and acknowledged. 😉

  3. So, Jeffrey, today the part of your post that I especially loved goes:

    “What we all want, all the time, is for outer to match inner. With every action we take, we have an inner intention and we want it to have an outer reflection. We are always trying to make the world in our own image.”

    This explains so much about human behavior. It offers a great deal of hope, seems to me, for those of us who help to facilitate emotional and spiritual healing.

    In the past month alone, I have pointed out to so many clients that fighting reality does not work. Even an idealist needs to learn to love reality.

    In fact, the client I met with just before turning back to your blog had a related problem. She has developed what I call a “Spiritual Addiction.”

    You may know how sometimes people can become so frustrated when the outer doesn’t match the inner, and a disconnect grows.

    Consequently, some of the biggest and sweetest spiritual seekers around can overemphasize transcendence/spirituality/psychic development or the like. Then the person’s motivation the rest of the time becomes escape, rather than reality.

    I wonder if you might do a blog post about this, Jeffrey. Dedicated spiritual seekers can become so discouraged with reality that they only long to escape, yet don’t realize they are spiralling further and further away from reality. The seeking is glorified; then the life suffers terribly.

    Through the work that I do, I note Spiritual Addiction as a trend that has grown exponentially over the last two decades. So I wonder if you have any comment about that.

  4. Jeffrey says:

    Dear Rose:

    There is a place in Answers From Silence where I ask my Enlightened Self, “I just want to know if I am trying to escape reality.”

    The answer is, “You cannot escape Reality, even if you wanted to. Reality inevitably comes to where you are. And you of all people should know that you are on the contrary making efforts to encounter Reality.”

    Yes, the same action—in this case, spiritual seeking—can have different motivations, as well as different outcomes because of that. Thanks for bringing this up, and I like the idea of doing a blog post on the topic.

    I wonder if the growing trend in spiritual addiction that you have identified is just synchronous with the growing trend in spiritual awareness that has taken place over the last two decades. It could simply be part of that package, perhaps the downside of spirituality, as strange as that sounds.

    Some of it is actual Reality avoidance. But some of it is possibly lack of good information and guidance, with people erroneously falling into doing something and thinking that it is the way to be spiritual.

  5. Jeffrey says:

    Dear Rose:

    Thanks also for your shout-out, your acknowledgement, and your appreciation. I do feel happy about it.

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