At the closing of a recent Intensive I was asked the question, “What were the factors that determined your arrival to enlightenment?” I had no time then to answer it, so when it recently occurred to me that other people might also be interested, it seemed that this column was the ideal place.
” Hmm . . . what indeed? In a linear timeframe as a physical happening, this took place around July, 1986. However, enlightenment is not a physical event, nor is it held in a linear timeframe; it would be more accurate to say that enlightenment is an in-the-moment event; a place of timelessness. You can see how we get sidetracked by placing metaphysical events into a physical timeframe, maintaining the belief that enlightenment is connected to our everyday reality, when in truth it is not . . . and yet it is!
I consider that the mind is a witness to a persons enlightenment, but it is not involved in the moment. It cannot be, for enlightenment takes place in a greater metaphysical reality, a place that the human mind can witness, but not truly experience. Even the intellect cannot experience that sacred moment, although it loves to talk about it as though it did. Intelligence, yes: conscious intelligence is in that moment of truth, part of the whole and the whole in a part, for in many ways enlightenment is all about our conscious connection with conscious intelligence.
But what was the factor that determined my arrival at enlightenment? I doubt that there is a single factor. I could say that it was the culmination of many lifetimes of trial and error. Or a moment when my surrender went beyond all concepts of surrender and became a merging-with, a moment when the illusion of separation was so pain-filled that I inner-collapsed away from the illusion into a greater reality. Both are true.
My path in life was difficult. I made it that way. I did not like myself. I thought that I was not good enough, not clever enough, not smart enough. Sound familiar? Like practically everyone else, I came from a dysfunctional family; not bad or wrong or overly violent, just emotionally dysfunctional. I left school when I was fourteen years of age. That alone prompted my family to look on me as somewhat deficient. As I look back, I can see how totally wrong they were, but, it was as it was. I was a strongly right-brain dominant boy; school was the opposite, all about the left-brain intellect. For me, there was almost no meeting ground. So this established my lack of self-esteem. I was the odd one, the misfit.
When I was around thirty-five, I was suddenly and abruptly confronted by the question ‘Who am I?’ It hit me like an express train, tearing my old life apart. I did not know the answer, but I fully intended to . . . now! In the way of life, that ‘now’ took fifteen years, but I was fully committed from that singular moment. So here is another factor . . . commitment. I was deeply and sincerely committed, no matter what circumstances arose. And circumstances came up thick and furious. My spiritual commitment led to the eventual end- ing of my farming career. It set me on a path that terrified me. With a family of four children, a strong and equally committed wife (now deceased) and a lot of determination, I set off to travel around Australia, looking to begin a spiritual community. It is obvious that hereby hangs many a tale, but we will bypass them all. Suffice it to say that we did, indeed, begin a spiritual community, and that within my four years in this community another factor is revealed . . . facing my fears.
Fear really is a toothless tiger . . . but God, it roars long and loud. I found and faced a multitude of fears in those four years, until the time came to move on. For a few years I became a consultant for Bio-farming, and I was very good! But my intuition told me that this was not my path to enlightenment, so I moved on. I learned to trust my intuition, and to trust my communications with Nature, so this reveals another factor . . . trust.
If we are aware to any degree at all, we become aware of our deficits. Those aspects of our character that should not be judged but simply acknowledged and, if possible, dealt with. I did not trust myself, and it would be many years before I gained the profound insights into trust that I now have and teach, but it was another very meaningful beginning.
And so we all continue, following our path of feelings and intuition. The path connects with the heart . . . always. There is no head path, only confusion. When, a few years later, I was in my final process of inner collapse, I was faced with the reality that all I had learned, all that I thought that I knew about spirituality, all the books I had read . . . in the final moments when I was facing death, it was all useless, un- reachable; just words and concepts.
It was only when I faced the reality of death, and surrendered to it, that I found the truth. I was in a process of . . . letting go, the final factor. Letting go of my family, of wanting to be enlightened, of God, and finally of me. I could not do this. How do I let go of me? I am me! And as I futilely struggled with this . . . I gave in. I failed. I surrendered. In that instant I knew with startling clarity that I did not exist. There is no separate I. I is a construct of the mind. All that is . . . is! In that moment, everything changed. Identity-self died, and the Self I am, emerged. Enlightenment. In-Light-it-meant!!!
So these are some of the factors. Of course, there were others, but this is sufficient. My path was pain and suffering. Today I teach a path that works. The path of constantly and consciously . . . choosing Love.