When you have directly experienced what you really are, you have had an enlightenment experience.
“Directly” means that the senses and the mind are not involved. You can think of this as the mind being by-passed—there is no figuring anything out, no reasoning or remembering. You simply know because the knower (you) and the known (you) are the same, and there is no awareness of anything else. This state of self-realization is referred to as a direct experience, direct perception, or direct knowing.
This enlightened state usually ends within less than a second, and you are back in your body sensing the call of maya (illusion) again. But you will have been affected by the experience and will always remember it. You may even be able to bring this state back by remembering it.
Does having an enlightenment experience mean that you have no ego?
While you were having the experience, during that fraction of a second, it is fair to say that you had no ego. But with the return to “normal”, the ego reasserts itself, and your enlightenment experience is now a memory.
The return to normal will probably not be total and instantaneous, but you are changed. You expect to remain changed, and to some extent you do, but maya’s influence is a powerful thing, and though you remember the experience, much of how things were before the Big Event slowly creep back into your consciousness and into your life. What you may have once believed would be something permanent and final in its effect, turns out not to be. A direct experience doesn’t leave us in an enlightened state that persists from that moment on, so it’s not really over yet.
Final Form Teachings
The expectation of finality is a result of “final form teachings“—we are taught something by being shown, or told, what the end result will look like. Once we have had an experience that seems to fit the picture, we assume that we have reached the final goal. We don’t realize that our minds have created erroneous preconceptions and expectations, and that the actual final form is down the road and we have only just begun.
Because of these expectations, it is easy to fall into thinking of enlightenment as an all-or-nothing situation. This is how most of humanity has been taught to think about everything in this age. But nothing in this life is all-or-nothing. Neither is enlightenment.
Enlightenment, for all but a very rare few (who probably had direct experiences at some earlier point in time), is an experience that passes but leaves its mark. We are affected by this experience in a positive way. Once experienced, it is almost impossible to leave it alone, and we continue to seek it again and again until we are able to remain in this state. We are driven to do what we must to get it back and to sustain it.
A permanent state of enlightenment
takes place by degrees.
So long as there is thought or form, there is ego. No one with a body, even a subtle body—astral, ethereal, or causal—is without some degree of ego. So the next time someone calls you on the carpet for having an ego, thank them very much for sharing and go on with your day knowing that you can become enlightened, have a mind (your critic certainly does), and still function.
Find an Enlightenment Intensive:
Enlightenment-Intensives.org has a list of Enlightenment Intensives and Intensive websites.
Read Yoah’s article:
Kundalini and Enlightenment
Begin or augment your meditation practice:
Online Meditation Courses. Yes, there really is something to learn about meditation and enlightenment.
Apply for shaktipat and Surrender Meditation:
Remote Shaktipat. Achieve Spontaneous Meditation and Direct Experience.
Learn how to avoid the bondage of negative karma:
Ten Keys to Success, an online course, free to my blog Followers.
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