What does enlightenment look like to you?
Do you picture yourself peacefully meditating alone in remote caves and mountains without any worldly cares? Perhaps you're able to levitate, see through walls and read people's minds? Do you see yourself being so 'full of light' that you go around as a miracle worker, healing the sick and raising the dead, and basically saving the world? Or maybe it's a place or state you enter after death, where you're flying around the nonphysical realms, finally free from the body and cavorting with other enlightened beings in the afterlife? Or if you're a religious type, perhaps it's about meeting your creator and spending eternity in paradise with the angels, joyfully praising your maker.
Whatever the case, most people think of enlightenment as some far-off destination that they reach after a lot of hard work, spiritual discipline, self-control and following a long and rigid list of rules. Depending on your religious beliefs, you usually ascend in one of two ways: either struggle through as many lifetimes as you need to earn your way to it, or, more commonly here in America, get one chance – this single lifetime – to prove that you're worthy of it… and if you're not, well, you're in for a lot of 'heat'. Whatever the case, it's something that you have to work very hard at, in all earnestness, and often by making personal compromises and sacrifices in the name of religion or spirituality.
Well, I say to hell with that. That may have been the case back in the old days, back when human consciousness was much denser and slower and therefore perhaps needed the hard lines and heavy rules. But not today, not now, not in this new era of accelerated consciousness that we're in. It's not about going anywhere, earning anything (especially the hard way), and being anything more than who you are – now.
So I ask again. What is enlightenment?
It means just that: Lighten up! Be who you are! Go play and do more of what pleases you! Be gentle on yourself and with everyone around you. Think, feel and do things that are true to your Being. Have a light hand and a light touch with everything that goes on within and without you. Be kind to yourself, be nice to yourself, be light on yourself – first; then being kind, nice and light to others follow naturally, effortlessly. And before you know it, as more and more of your internal being becomes lighter, brighter, more at peace and full of grace, watch in amazement as your outer world mirrors your incredible lightness of internal being.
Your life is simply but an outward reflection of who you are. Be heavenly and you will see heaven all around you. Be easy and life will be easy. Be joyful and more of it will come to you. Be at peace and discord can't touch you. Be love and others will love you back. Be enlightened, and you just are – just like that.
So lighten up. Stop making enlightenment so damn serious and complicated. As the saying goes, "Keep it simple, stupid!"