You’ve Got Enlightenment All Backwards

August 31, 2010

In a magazine article, I found a question like this one: “How can we maintain inner stillness while our lives are filled with stress?”

That seems like a great question. But if you ask this question, then you’ve got it all backwards.

It’s not that you maintain stillness. Stillness maintains you.

Answers From Silence says, “This permanent dimension does not depend on you. But you depend on it.”

You know this is true when you know that you are inner stillness. Therefore, you don’t need to do anything to maintain inner stillness. You just live it.

And if you don’t know that you are inner stillness, you will identify with phenomena instead. That is all backwards. Answers From Silence says, “Be angry. Be happy. Be not the anger. Be not the happiness.”

You also have it all backwards if you think that inner stillness disappears when stress appears. Life has its ups and downs. Inner stillness doesn’t have its ups and downs. It isn’t going anywhere, not up or down. It’s always here. It is present even during times of stress.

In a book about meditation, I found instructions like these: “During the day, work at allowing things to happen without forcing. Remind yourself to be in the present. Center yourself.”

Monitoring yourself like that is all backwards. In order do it, you mentally project another “yourself” that you are monitoring. That’s like looking in a mirror and believing that you are the reflection. And the you that is reminding “yourself” is already in the present without any reminder.

Maybe you think that you’ll get closer to enlightenment if you keep reminding yourself to work at allowing things to happen without forcing, and to be in the present, and to be centered.

But you’ve got it all backwards when you copy the effects of enlightenment in order to be enlightened. Those things are just the map. They are not the territory. Occupy the territory, and those things will happen spontaneously, without you having to work at it.

There is still another way that you’ve got it all backwards. That is when you desire enlightenment.

Answers From Silence says, “You might think that you desire enlightenment. Actually, enlightenment desires you. When you are pushing toward it, you are misperceiving. It is actually pulling you.” And, “The ocean comes to the drop, not the other way around.”

The desire, the passion, the devotion that you put into your spiritual quest are not the property of your identity. They are the properties of Consciousness as it pulls your consciousness into It. They just show that the force of gravity is getting stronger as you approach the shores of infinity. Rejoice in that fact.