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God In Disguise

namaste1The greeting, “Namaste” has been translated as “I bow to the God within you.”

When you use this salutation, you are acknowledging that there is Divinity in another person.

In disguise.

The disguise is individuality. Individuality comes from being separate from others, and from being incomplete and unbalanced in traits–some in the foreground, others in the background.

Universal God, by contrast, is Being connected with everything, and is complete and balanced in a state of totality. Accordingly, that is what is disguised beneath someone’s individuality.

It’s easy to see another person as God in disguise when that person is beloved by you.

But then there’s the irritating store clerk.

And the coworker who antagonizes you.

And the slow poke driving in front of you.

When you feel irritated, antagonized, and frustrated, how can you deal with it?

A quick reminder to yourself can help: that person is God in disguise.

Try it next time.

Lifting the disguise changes the complexion of things. It reveals the true Identity, instead of the role being acted in this particular circumstance. And it allows you to sense a compassionate link with the other person, even under challenging conditions.

Answers From Silence says, “You must bless everyone.” And, “I used to ‘sense out’ people when I looked at them. Each person had a different mood and vibe. Now everybody looks and feels the same to me—wonderful.”

But what about people who do truly bad things? How can they be God in disguise?

It can be that the disguise believes in itself and forgets true Identity. And there are degrees of forgetting, even to extremes.

But at the base of all experiencing, pure consciousness is pure consciousness. After that come all of the other levels of consciousness. Even the most forgetful of those couldn’t exist without the foundation of pure consciousness.

mask4A more developed translation of “Namaste” is, “The God in me bows to the God in you.” Which is to say, God is in both places.

Yes, there is one more person who has forgotten true Identity, whose disguise you should lift in order to recognize God.



The “Mr. Enlightenment” Interview, Par...

Dear Readers:

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.

Here goes!

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?

JC: Yes.

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?

JC: No.

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?

JC: Yes.

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?

JC: 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?

JC: Yes.

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?

JC: Yes.

Grace: And/or if you do have problems, is it simply easier to deal with them?

JC: Yes.

Grace: Did you actively and intentionally pursue getting rid of STUFF (as Rose defines it) as part of your path to Enlightenment?

JC: Yes.

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?

JC: No.

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?

JC: Yes.

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?

JC: Yes.

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?

JC: Sometimes.

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”?

JC: Sometimes.

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?

JC: Yes.

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?

JC: Yes.

The “Mr. Enlightenment” Interview, Par...

Dear Readers:

This is the first 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.

If you don’t know and are wondering what this is all about, please take a look at this link:

Ask Mr. Enlightenment Contest

I am taking the remainder of the questions from Rose Rosetree’s blog buddies and answering them here in the order that they appeared. This is roughly the first half of those. The remainder appears in Part Three.

Because there are so many questions, I aim for giving the shortest answers. I also aim for giving the most direct answers, since there is at least one questioner lamenting the lack of direct answers on the subject of enlightenment.

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”.

Alternatively, you can use the Search field, or simply click on the list of topics listed under “Categories” in the sidebar to the right.

If more than one person asked the same question, I answered it the first time.

Here goes!

Alexey: What were the practical steps you took to become enlightened?

JC: Four things:

1. I lived my life.

2. I meditated as a daily habit.

3. I engaged in dialogues with my Enlightened Self.

4. When enlightenment came, I yielded.

Bridget: When you became enlightened was it an event? And, if so, did you know you were enlightened instantly?

JC: Yes, it was an event. And yes, I knew instantly. Chapter 7 of Answers From Silence covers this subject.

Jody: When you look at your relationships with other people in your life, what are the biggest differences you notice before enlightenment and after enlightenment?

JC: Established relationships have stayed the same. I am still a friend to my friends, a teacher to my students, a son to my father. But a new kind of relationship—a spiritual mentorship—became possible, and that has happened with a couple of people.

Suzanne: What do you do when homeless people ask you for money on the street?

JC: Sometimes I give it to them.

Rose: Do you feel the need to say things like, “Blessings” when you talk to people?

JC: No.

Rose: If you are angry at someone, or a person has treated you badly in a way that merits clarification or a verbal objection, do you stay silent in order to never speak a negative word?

JC: I speak up in order to correct the situation, but that can be done without negative words.

Rose: Do you sometimes have to speak negative words? If so, do you find it necessary to always pretty things up afterwards by saying things like, “Bless you, my child” or “Namaste”?

JC: I never choose to speak demeaningly or insultingly of any person, present or absent. On instinct, I might call someone a bad name if they were to make a frighteningly irresponsible maneuver next to my car in traffic. I don’t verbally pretty it up afterwards. The next moment pretties it up.

Amanda: Did you ever go through a dark time?

JC: Yes, but I was never dark during that time.

Amanda: …and if so, how did it clear?

JC: Time brought it, time cleared it.

Jim Curry: How can ordinary people become perceptive enough to distinguish between actual limitations and their own laziness or neurotic preferences?

JC: Actual limitations are when other people are blocking your progress. Your own laziness or neurotic preferences are when you are blocking your progress. Chapter 3 of Answers From Silence includes material on this question.

Jim Curry: What is a good clear, concrete method that will allow us to establish full authenticity and motor on toward enlightenment in a businesslike way, whether we have some energy block or not?

JC: Choose a method of experiencing transcendence that works for you and make it a daily habit.

Jim Curry: How can those of us in the cheap seats recognize good advice from bad advice?

JC: Ask your own Enlightened Self to tell you the difference.

Jim Curry: Once obtained, is enlightenment a persistent state, or can you be enlightened for thirty seconds and drop back to lesser status (bummer)?

JC: It’s persistent.

Jim Curry: Does being enlightened mean that a person is pleasant and smooth to deal with, or could an enlightened person be really cranky and unpleasant—at least part of the time?

JC: An enlightened person could be really cranky and unpleasant at least part of the time.

Jim Curry: Are there different flavors of enlightenment? For example, ice cream could be vanilla or chocolate or strawberry or mint or…. Ice cream is quite varied.

JC: I don’t know. You also might ask whether vanilla tastes the same to everybody.

Jim Curry: Is enlightenment varied in some similar sense, or does one size fit all?

JC: I don’t know. But descriptions of it from disparate sources seem to congrue.

Jim Curry: Is the “rising of Kundalini” necessary for enlightenment, as some Indian authors write, or are there many other ways?

JC: The rising of Kundalini may possibly be a hidden component in every enlightenment, but I don’t know. I can only speculate. There are many techniques. Perhaps some of those raise Kundalini as an automatic by-product, without focusing on it as a goal.

Jim Curry: If it is necessary, is there a safe, pleasant, easy, comfortable way to get it done—and get it done NOW????

JC: I can’t say, since I don’t know any Kundalini techniques.

Jim Curry: Is there any distinct advantage that accrues to an enlightened person…

JC: Scoring an advantage ceases to be a motivation.

Jim Curry: …or is it just as hard to haul the water and pay the bills after as before?

JC: Water gets hauled and bills get paid, and it may be hard, but the experience of it being hard is not taken personally. The only experience is freedom, and the external circumstances are irrelevant. I am not hauling water, I am experiencing freedom. I am not paying bills, I am experiencing freedom. And so forth.

Jim Curry: If the path is necessarily arduous, can you suggest a way of guaranteeing for ourselves our own persistence on the path?

JC: The path is not necessarily arduous. I suggest that the way to guarantee your own persistence on the path is to follow a path that you love.

Jim Curry: When all is said and done, is it really all that hard to become enlightened—or is it mainly media hype?

JC: People make enlightenment hard by putting up a fight.

Jim Curry: Why have so many enlightened people, especially from Indian and China, made such a big secret deal for so many centuries about how to become enlightened?

JC: Are you keeping a secret, and if so, is there a good reason?

Jim Curry: Wouldn’t it be a good idea if everyone got with the program and got enlightened —perhaps by next month?

JC: Yes.

Jim Curry: Why would it be useful to keep it all a deep dark secret?

JC: It is not a deep dark secret. All the information is out there. People need to choose to connect with it.

Jim Curry: Is enlightenment a terminal goal, or is it merely a way marker?

JC: It marks a beginning.

Jim Curry: Suppose you and 1,000 other people become enlightened, do you then have to start next day working toward Enlightenment The Sequel—a higher and better state that is, as yet, hard to obtain?

JC: Some say that there are different stages of higher consciousness. Check the “Beyond Enlightenment” section in Chapter 7 of my book.

Jim Curry: So, as an enlightened person, what are the concerns or problems that you deal with?

JC: I deal with the concerns and problems of everyday life.

Jim Curry: What occupies your attention?

JC: Whatever I’m doing.

Jim Curry: What are YOU working on or working toward?

JC: I am working on various professional projects such as teaching music, preparing for upcoming concerts, and blogging about my book.

Jim Curry: How does the game of striving change for those who are no longer in the cheap seats?

JC: It ends.

Olivia: What’s up with dolphins? (I’ll leave it at that. Interpret as you like.)

JC: They are really intelligent animals. That’s all the information that I have.

Jim Curry: Do enlightened people have special ways of performing ordinary tasks?

C: Yes. The self is separate from the action.

Jim Curry: Can you recognize an enlightened person just by watching or listening to them?

JC: No.

Dear Readers: Here is The Mr. Enlightenment Interview Part One and here is Part Three where I answer the remaining questions from Rose’s readers.

The “Mr. Enlightenment” Interview

On December 12, 2010, Rose Rosetree interviewed me for her blog. Rose is a practitioner of spiritual healing and is the author of ten books including Aura Reading Through All Your Senses. She has also written a review of Answers From Silence.

Rose playfully called the interview “Answers From Mr. Enlightenment”. First, she ran a contest inviting questions from readers of her blog. After receiving an overwhelming response, she selected a manageable number of questions for the interview. The text of that interview appears below.

Listen to the full audio recording of the interview here.

The other questions that weren’t included in the original interview are answered in “The Mr. Enlightenment Interview, Part Two” and “The Mr. Enlightenment Interview, Part Three” on this website.

Here is the transcript of the interview:

RR: Ask Mr. Enlightenment. That’s what we’re doing, Jeffrey Chappell!

JC: Hi, Rose!

RR: Hi. Yes, it’s Rose Rosetree and I’m interviewing you with questions posed at my blog in order to just find out things that people want to know the most. And this, I should mention at the outset, is a supplement to a book you actually wrote and published called Answers From Silence. So this is not attempting to duplicate what is in that fabulously helpful book, but more practical questions that people have had about you. And so here we go.

JC: Sounds great.

RR: Do you dream any more in a symbolic way?

JC: Yes, sometimes I do have dreams like that. And I also have all the other sorts of dreams that are just plain silliness and totally forgettable. There hasn’t been a big change in that facet of living.

RR: Do you have wakefulness during the dream state?

JC: Sometimes I do. Sometimes I’ll think what a wonderful creation of my mind the dream is while I’m dreaming it. Sometimes I’ll be more or less awake in the dream. But it’s not a skill that I am trying to hone or increase or that I take a lot of note of. It’s just something that happens once in awhile.

RR: You know, I wonder if as we talk, if it will come up in context like this that there are things that some people think of as the ultimate path to enlightenment or the equivalent of enlightenment that are not necessarily a big deal to particular specimens of enlightenment like you, huh?

JC: Well, I think that there are a lot of ideas that people have about what enlightenment is and what it should be, and I don’t know that those are always the accurate kind of ideas to have about it.

RR: Well, what’s the very first kind of definition that you’d like to put out there in our conversation now?

JC: I think the main element of enlightenment is a change of identity. Enlightenment is about identity. It’s not about being in a good mood all the time, or anything like that. It’s not about the sudden appearance of supernatural powers. It’s none of that. The central issue, the way I see it, is identity.

RR: Thank you. Now, in terms of your own identity and your subconscious mind or what might be called your unconscious mind, is there a lot in it now? Did you gain access to it in a different way after you became unenlightened?

JC: I’ve noticed nothing there at all in terms of aspects that would answer that question. In other words, it’s not a region that pulls my attention in any way, shape, or form. The question on the blog was if my unconscious was, I think, something like calm…

RR: …and quiet.

JC: Yeah. That’s a very accurate description.

RR: Are you interested in unconscious or subconscious phenomena in other people compared to before you became enlightened?

JC: No, not any more than I used to be.

RR: And how would you rank that interest?

JC: Well, you know, I went through times when I would keep dream journals for myself, I went through training in different kinds of counseling people as well as alternative healing methods, so in those regards you might say that I had that kind of interest in the unconscious and so forth. In dreaming, of course, a lot of the time that is the unconscious speaking to us and giving us messages and expressing what is going on in our lives in a symbolic way and so forth.

And in terms of alternative healing, that would mean bringing things to awareness, bringing to consciousness things that were formerly unconscious for someone; as well as the releasing oneself from being stuck in time, particularly being stuck in the past. So in those ways, I have brushed up against this topic. At the same time, it’s not a major, central focus for me at this point.

RR: So, Mr. Enlightenment, you made an allusion to healing modalities, and I wonder with the kind of identity that you have as someone who is enlightened, how do you view your role when you facilitate healing now?

JC: I view it the same way I did when I was trained in it, which is to say my role is to exactly do that, which is to facilitate the moving forward of that person’s evolution in whatever way is coming up spontaneously at that time.

RR: All right, thank you. What happened to your birth trauma, and any traumas during childhood? Did it fall away, was it felt and cleared quickly, or did you feel connected to source and not have to go through it at a certain point?

JC: I’m sure I went through it, and out of the three choices given in that question, the one that feels like the bull’s-eye to me is the ‘falling away’ option.

RR: Falling away with insight, or falling away like a dog shaking water off of it when it came out of the pond?

JC: Like a dog shaking water off.

RR: Not relevant to your identity and experience in the present?

JC: Right.

RR: Okay, Now, on to: what is sex? What is the big deal? Are you at all interested in sex personally?

JC: Well, that’s a great question. And I’ll directly answer the question and then kind of add a context to it. What is sex? I think that it is one of our most powerful energies that we have as human beings. And I don’t see that there’s any contradiction or conflict between having a powerful sexual nature and a powerful spiritual nature. Let’s see, did I answer the question yet?

RR: Are you interested in it personally, or did it just end when you became enlightened?

JC: Putting in the context is kind of what has to come here. Enlightenment doesn’t stop you from being human. Everything that is human about you is still right there on the scene and is still happening. So, I’ve always had a powerful energy that way, so it’s still there.

RR: Well, back at identity, one incentive for sharing sexual energy with another person, especially someone you love, is that there might be a shift to your sense of identity doing that. And has that altered? Was that the case before, is that the case now, or do you have no idea what on Earth I mean?

JC: I will say that the crux of the question is again the question of identity. It’s not that sex in itself is a particular topic that gets a certain kind of attention. It’s just one more of the phenomena that take place, and all of those phenomena are on equal footing.

So in terms of identity, what happens in enlightenment with identity is that identity goes to that which is changeless, that which is timeless, that which is eternal. It doesn’t matter what the circumstance is, the identity remains the same. So that means that an enlightened person would be just as changelessly enlightened during one activity as they would be during another activity.

RR: But then choosing activities, would you say that for the enlightened person you are, having a wonderful session of making love would be exactly on the same scale of interest to you as vacuuming the carpet?

JC: Well, no. Vacuuming the carpet is obviously something that is more of a mundane activity.

But you know this really goes to the question of what happens to your relationships after enlightenment happens. And I remember at first being very confused about as to what it was going to be like. Here I am, this reborn creature, and what’s that going to mean in my primary relationship? What’s going to happen? And what I found was that nothing different had to happen. Things go on as normal. And that was what developed in that case.

RR: Thank you. On to a different relationship, can you please describe in 10 words or less what is your perception of God—kidding about the 10 words.

JC: My only perception is God. That’s all I perceive.

RR: Does the intensity of that change throughout the day or in different situations?

JC: No, because that’s always a constant. What does change sometimes in intensity is the degree to which qualities of enlightenment are lived out on the level of the senses, and particularly the level of sight. I do have times when light seems to be just coming at me from all directions. If I look around the room, I’ll see light reflecting off of different surfaces. It just has more of a gleaming quality, and at the same time more of an enhanced three-dimensionality about it. And that’s just what I would consider to be a bonus of the state that I’m in. It’s not a quality, again, to seek to cultivate. But it’s just a side benefit, or a sideshow if anything.

RR: Or a ripening maybe.

JC: Yeah, but I noticed it immediately when I crossed this line.

RR: If I might add a question that was not asked at the blog, you know I’ve been your friend and I’ve been reading your aura off and on for years, and when I compared your latest set of photos taken in conjunction with Answers From Silence to the photos that were at the website, it seemed to me that I noticed a greater sweetness and a kind of intensity of the presence of the divine in that state of enlightenment in you. Any comment there, dude?

JC: My sense of it is that if that is happening, then it’s happening pretty much without my noticing it. I feel that I’m in this changeless place and that nothing has changed all this time. I’m in a timeless place, and so if I’m evolving it’s definitely happening by itself.

RR: Happening by itself, but what you described about your senses shifting a little bit, and slightly shifting or ripening experiences of light is something that has been going on…

JC: …ever since.

RR: Ever since. So there hasn’t been any real shift in that, it’s just random?

JC: It is, kind of, and it’s a nice little reminder sometimes, but that’s all it is.

RR: Got it. Now, if you were brought up within a particular religion, does that theology remain in a kind of a separate compartment of understanding of “Who God is” as a description, or does being enlightened just make it all clear and very personal now?

JC: It makes it all clear and very personal. And in terms of understanding, I think it’s worth saying that there are different kinds of understanding. Intellectual understanding is one kind of those kinds of understanding. So to have a theological construct or an idea of who God is would be something that is happening on the level of the intellect.

Whereas, when we’re talking about enlightenment, we’re talking about something that happens in a more all-encompassing way. It’s not just limited to the intellect.

The other kind of understanding is direct experience.

RR: I wondered when you were going to drop that other shoe.

JC: Right. So, when you directly experience something, then you also have that sort of understanding of something. And that is the division that is inherent in that question that was asked. A theological idea would be an intellectual knowledge, and then the living it on a day-to-day, moment-to-moment basis is the experience aspect of the knowledge.

RR: Well, what about other people’s theologies? For example, if someone goes on and on in a very impassioned way about God exclusively belonging to people with a particular understanding, do you find that adorable, flattering, insightful, ridiculous, or what?

JC: I think that there can be a lot of dimensions tied up in that. One is that people can talk about God and be very emotional about it, and what they’re really talking about is their emotions. Or they can talk about God as if they owned the only right idea about God, and in that case they are talking about being an authority about something or being infallible. They’re not really talking about God. They’re talking about their issue around God.

RR: So is it charming, adorable? When they do these various things—“they” meaning sometimes us, various people—does it just depend on the box people are putting God in, or is it always cute?

JC: Well, no, it’s not cute if it’s, for example in politics, being used as a weapon against other people. That’s not cute. You know, it would be nice if, instead of boxing God in, people would let God come to them and really allow an experience of grace to enter their hearts.

RR: Now that you’re enlightened, what is your perception of your life pre-enlightenment? How do you feel about all that karma?

JC: I have no feeling about it whatsoever. And usually if I think about that pre-enlightenment life, I think, “Gee, Jeff was a really nice guy.”

RR: I’ll vouch for that.

JC: And that’s about it. You know, the karma thing is so totally burned off that there is really nothing to react to any more.

RR: You know, a lot of people in pursuit of enlightenment talk a great deal about the alleged importance of finding your purpose. How do you respond to that idea of purpose as a supercharged or evolutionary or important piece of life?

JC: I think that’s a great question.

RR: Thank you. That wasn’t from the blog but you just made me ask it.

JC: At a certain place—this will sound probably strange, but—the ideal, the goal, is to have no purpose. So finding a purpose is an intermediary step. It’s leading you on your path of enlightenment. But the end of the path is that simple aspect of Being. And Being in timelessness, and Being as the potential of all things that take shape, and Being as the true nature of what is.

It’s very hard to say that Being has a purpose.

Also, in timelessness, all moments are totally full and complete. There’s a sense of fullness, a sense of completion. The only time you have a purpose is when there is something lacking, and the purpose is to fill the lack. So if there’s no lack, then you don’t need a purpose.

These are statements being made from a perspective of timelessness. And I don’t even mean “perspective”, because that implies a choice in adopting a viewpoint of some sort. And I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about knowledge in the sense of direct experience. So, what I want to do is to speak of what that is as clearly and as straightforwardly as I can and just get that out there so people know about it.

RR: Thank you. Continuing on, let’s go into some questions about the process of becoming enlightened. Could someone become enlightened without ever noticing it?

JC: I doubt it. Although I imagine there might a possibility that it could happen to someone who has absolutely no intellectual framework to interpret the experience. They might be enlightened and not be able to say that’s what that is. And that would be fine! It might be better to have the intellectual framework to say that’s what that is, to be able to have a name for the experience.

RR: Do you know any reasonably public figures who might be enlightened and not notice it and not have that intellectual understanding?

JC: No, I don’t. That’s not to say they’re not out there. I think it’s a gift of yours, for example, to be able to do that. And again this comes back to this question of, “Well, you’re enlightened and therefore I would expect that you have this or that skill or ability.” Skills and abilities and gifts that people have are the ones that they have. For example, I am a wonderful musician, and that’s a gift that I have. I don’t have the gift of looking at public figures and knowing who’s enlightened and who’s not, and who does or doesn’t know that they’re enlightened. That’s a gift that someone else has, for example, Rose.

RR: Well, I don’t know who knows if they’re enlightened, but that literacy thing, yeah.

JC: Well, enlightenment doesn’t give you talents that were lacking before, necessarily, or tune you in to certain things in different ways. It’s not about that so much. It’s primarily about a change of identity.

RR: Once that identity has changed, is there a set of exercises or daily practice or routine that’s required in order to stay at that level, sort of like maintenance exercises?

JC: I honestly don’t know the answer to that, because I still do my meditation twice a day that I’ve done ever since 1974, and so it’s possible that that has something to do with maintaining it. However, I don’t have the sense that it does whatsoever. I mostly do that still out of gratitude, and it’s more of a way of resting the physical body than doing anything else. That’s the benefit I get from it.

But the question is backwards in a way. It’s not that enlightenment needs to be maintained, it’s that enlightenment maintains everything. The source of all existence is maintaining existence. It’s not that you have to do something to maintain the source. It’s already there.

RR: Could you improve your chances for becoming spiritually enlightened by socializing with enlightened people much in the way that people might join a tennis club or play bridge or that sort of thing?

JC: I think that the answer to that would be yes. I think it could only help out to hang out with people like that, to have friends and associates who are putting out good spiritual vibrations.

RR: However, what about the idea of hanging out with people and that making somebody enlightened?

JC: You know, I had a student that I worked with quite a bit. His name is Gideon. He’s mentioned in my book. I met with him many times, and each time, I brought another way that I had thought up to advance his consciousness. I think that there must be a way to do anything; all you have to do is think of how to do it. I am absolutely not in favor of being bound by traditional ways of doing things. So, if there’s a way to bring somebody along with me, then I would love to find that. In fact, when I sit in silence with someone, I’ve gotten reports from numerous people that they feel an energy coming to them. So I think that something can go on there.

RR: Thank you. How can you prove to yourself that you are enlightened and not simply in a very good mood? What’s different?

JC: Moods change. Enlightenment doesn’t change. Changelessness does not change. You can be in a good mood, but if you want to prove that you’re enlightened, it’s when you’re still enlightened when you’re NOT in a good mood.

RR: And speaking of not a good mood, here’s a small assortment of, I think, very eloquent paragraphs that speak to a certain discontent. Here we go:

“I am certainly not the only person in the world who has a poor or perhaps distorted notion of what the New Testament says. Listen to or read any evangelical sermon in the country, and you will see clearly that even most (not all) of those who scream harshly, ‘The Bible and only the Bible’ have no clear idea what the New Testament says. Clueless. Totally clueless. If you ask me to be kind—that IS the kind phrasing. Clueless.

“Surveying the literature, I find that mystics and high order spiritual people write in two veins. Some write endlessly and rhapsodically about how good God is. Others say at length what a good deal it is to be enlightened. Both of these are probably true. Neither is at all useful (to me).

“Why is it that enlightened people tend not to write practically and usefully about the road to enlightenment? Is it the case, then, that people with excellent verbal skills and an ability to communicate well are somehow never the persons who obtain enlightenment? Are verbal/communication skills somehow an impediment?

“Phrased more cynically: Why can’t an all-knowing God pick a prophet who can actually write decently?” And we want to thank Jim for this question.

JC: Yes, Jim, I enjoyed all of your questions tremendously, and I get from them the sense of someone who is a very powerful seeker who is hitting different kinds of frustration with the enlightenment question.

I think that there are some writers who have written very clearly about it. And in particular, addressing the Christian aspect, I refer you to Alan Watts, and the name of his book is called Behold The Spirit. This is a discussion of Christianity from an enlightened viewpoint, and it is very clear, at least to me when I am reading it.

I also think that Eckhart Tolle’s book, The Power of Now, is very clear. And also Thomas Merton, another Christian figure, wrote New Seeds of Contemplation. So go read those, and then tell me if it’s not clear, and I’ll see what else I can do about it. But it is not the case that enlightenment interferes with verbal communication or writing skills. I just think you haven’t hit the right books yet.

RR: And one of those books might, of course, be yours, Answers From Silence. And the best way to get that would be what?

JC: It’s at, and you can also go to, which is the website dedicated to the book, where I have also been putting some articles—at least on a monthly basis if not more frequently—dealing with some of the things that have been coming up in these questions, in fact. So, of course, I highly recommend those.

RR: Is there anything else, Mr. Enlightenment, you would like to say in conclusion for this conversation?

JC: I found that the questions that came kind of went into certain categories. Curiosity was one of them: “What’s it like for you?”, kind of implying “What’s it going to be like for me?” There were also questions about “Why am I being excluded from enlightenment? Why is it being withheld from me as being a secret?” and so forth. There were also questions for guidance, and the questions that had to do with kind of assumptions about what it is like to be enlightened.

For those who were curious, I hope that we answered some of those here.

For the frustrated, I would say: Know that you are blessed, and don’t blame yourself for any seeming lack of progress.

And for those seeking guidance, I would say: You have a part of you that already knows the answers to your questions, and so you should ask that part of yourself for the answers that you need.

RR: Thank you so much, Mr. Enlightenment.

JC: My pleasure!

Dear Readers: Here is The Mr. Enlightenment Interview Part Two and here is Part Three where I answer the remaining questions from Rose’s readers.

The webpage on Rose’s website for the interview:

Read Part One of the interview and my replies to Rose’s readers comments here.

You are also welcome to leave your comments here.

Your Mistaken Identity

Yes, I am on Facebook. But I had what you might call a bit of an identity crisis when I went to create my profile there.

The crisis was that my identity isn’t defined by activities, interests, music, movies, books, television, political views, religious views, and what I’m looking for.

Therefore, I didn’t fill in any of those blanks. It seemed like such a diminishment. It seemed like such a misplaced idea of what identity is. And besides, I am not looking for anything.

A list of likes and dislikes really has nothing to do with who I am, or with who you are either. Mostly, it would just be a test to see whether my conditioning matches your conditioning. Then we’ll know if we share an agenda.

Like, whose side are you on, anyway—milk chocolate or dark chocolate?

Or another way of putting it: A friend of mine, whom I’ll call Joe Smith, has an expensive hobby. Some concerned people tell him that he spends too much money on his hobby.

When they ask why he doesn’t change his ways, he repeats a phrase that I am sure you have heard before, and perhaps have used yourself: “It’s just who I am.”

“No,” I would say to him, “that’s who Joe Smith is. It’s not who you are.”

What I am saying is that you are not your desires, habits, or personality. You are not even your name. And you might ask, if not those things, then who is a person?

There is a section of Answers From Silence that has the title, “Your Mistaken Identity”. To quote: “Your true identity is Being.”

And: “When you flip your identity to the ‘to be’ verb instead of identifying with the nouns that you are now ensnared in, you cross the line into Eternity.”

Let’s look into each other’s eyes and see the divine light that is shining there. It is not affected by time, place, or circumstance. And especially not by preferences for one thing over another.



“Never Better”

It can be hard for me to answer ordinary, everyday questions with the expected responses. For example, when somebody asks, “How are you?” I invariably answer “Never better.”

This is often met with incredulity or amusement, or with a follow-up question of “What is the reason for that?” I then have to answer, “For no reason at all.”

I’m really not trying to be a wise guy. Nor am I trying artificially to cheerlead myself into a state of denial.

All I am doing when I make these replies is telling the truth. I will give the same answer every time, because I am not talking about my emotions, my physical health, or any of the circumstances through which I am moving.

Those are just circumstances. They are not my Being, which is what I hear you asking about when you say, “How ARE you?”

In Answers From Silence, I state that “Your true identity is Being.”

Being is unaffected by time, and also is therefore unaffected by cause (past) and effect (present and future). Being is that infinite constancy that is total fullness.

Nothing is better than that. That is why I have never been better than I am right now, at all times, for no particular reason.

The same mismatch arises when someone says something like, “How was your weekend?” or “How was your Thanksgiving break?” The item here is that I don’t think about the past.

But since “I don’t think about the past” sounds so strange as a response to that normal, everyday question, I say, “I’m sure that it was great.”

That is the truth also. It had to be great, because all moments are filled with total fullness. I don’t need to confirm that by checking my memory of a past event.

The best of all is when someone else answers my question, “How are you?” with “Never better.” I don’t want to be the only one experiencing life in total fullness. Please join me.