Last week we learned that liberation can be attained by becoming ‘God-realized’. For some, ‘God-realized’ means enlightenment. But enlightenment and liberation are not the same thing.
(18) In a well-educated and accomplished Brahmana (God-person), in a cow, an elephant, a dog, and an outcaste, the wise knower sees the same. (19) Here in this world, rebirth is overcome by those whose minds are established in this sameness, for God, being without defect in this, and they being the same, they are therefore established in God.
These two verses taught us that by perceiving the same in everyone, we can become “established in God” here in this world. This sameness, neutrality or impartiality, is characteristic of God and all of us as Divine Individuals. Realizing God in this way is one kind of enlightenment that will give us a degree of liberation.
- Liberation: Being set free, released, from oppression or ignorance. One is not compelled to rebirth into this world, or worlds like it.
- Enlightenment: To make luminous, to shine. To perceive or experience the Truth directly.
- Realization: Fully grasping The Real (Truth, God).
Enlightenment and liberation are not directly connected. For instance, one can come to realize who they are, or what they are, through Direct Experience, but even though this is beneficial for reaching liberation, this enlightenment alone does not achieve it.
Kinds of Enlightenment
- Direct Experience of Who or What you really are.
- Enlightenment by Knowledge: seeing the same in everyone; initiation into the mysteries.
- Personal Experience in meditation of non-doership.
Direct Experience means ‘without any via’. There is no means being used—neither the mind nor the senses. The evolutionary force (kundalini) shoots upward into the head and falls back down again. In that short time, realization takes place and one knows who or what they really are.
Enlightenment by Knowledge (see “Enlightened by Knowledge”) occurs through learning, especially the oral teachings of one’s guru, which results in genuine realization.
When one is enlightened by the knowledge that expels ignorance,
wisdom shines like the sun illuminating what is beyond. (16)
Personal Experience in Meditation is an enlightenment when one finally surpasses ego and realizes non-doership—that one does nothing, and never has.
Means of Liberation
- Seeing the same in everyone
There are different states and stages (degrees) of liberation with both means.
Seeing the same in everyone
The neutral state of impartiality and sameness concerning others.
One is not compelled to rebirth here in this world, or worlds like it, but there will be other lives in kinder, more evolved and elevated places in the journey to complete liberation.
This enlightenment can take place in life in general, through contemplation that leads to realization.
Not identifying oneself as the doer of actions.
One is not compelled to rebirth here in this world, or worlds like it, but there may be other lives in kinder, more evolved and elevated places, but only non-doership can get you to the end of the journey in this lifetime.
This enlightenment takes place through spontaneous meditation (i.e., Surrender Meditation), but is very unlikely under ordinary circumstances, and generally requires oral teachings.