2 Thessalonians 2:10…. they didn’t receive the love of the truth, that they might be set free.
John 8:32 You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.
Enlightenment has become one of the most profitable rackets in the world today. Anybody with enlightenment for sale will find eager buyers at his or her doorstep. With even a little marketing skill, they can do very well for themselves indeed.
There’s just one problem with this. You probably aren’t going to have a whiz bang experience and live happily forever after, like those people in the maharishi’s photo album, or in the televangelists brochures. They’re selling you something. You may have a great experience, but you’ll still feel like mud in the morning.
Enlightenment means the lights come on. When you turn on the light first thing in the morning, do you feel complete and utter bliss? Or like me, do you look in the mirror and wonder “Who’s that old man in my pajamas?” Light brings soberness, recognition, and clarity into our lives. It’s not an all at once proposition, either. Just like in your house, the light comes on one room at a time. A process takes place, and it takes some time.
In the Bible, and in most scriptures, light means truth. Seeing truth is a process in life, and many of us never even start that journey. It doesn’t require a thousand “Hail Marys”, or meditating for 10, 000 hours and repeating some mantra. All those things can be useful to quiet down your mind. Really experiencing truth in your life requires loving the truth. I’m not talking about “facts”. Truth involves something a little deeper.
Have you ever felt like there was a reality underlying all the surface activity of day to day life, and if you could ever somehow get in touch with that, everything would somehow make sense? A Christian would say that the Holy Spirit came to you in that thought. The possibility exists to live an authentic and genuine life, what the Bible calls “life abundant”.
As a child, I loved studying geography. I would look at maps for hours. Without realizing it, I believed that all those longitude and latitude lines were somehow engraved on the earths surface. I wondered how I would know I was flying over Texas if there wasn’t “Texas” written over the state, just like on the map. When I first took an airplane flight, I realized to my surprise that Texas looked exactly like New Mexico. Then I realized that “Texas” is just a state of mind. It’s just a concept. It’s hasn’t always been there, and one day it will disappear. Texas may be a fact, but facts are temporary. The truth, the reality, is the green hills, the rivers, the dusty expanse of the desert. Those will remain long after the concept is gone.
Most of the thoughts of our mind, are like that. They come and they go. If you’ve ever tried to just quiet your mind down, and not think, you will notice an amazing thing. Your mind runs on it’s own. Sometime, just let your mind run, and observe without taking ownership of any of it’s ramblings. The brain comes up with some strange stuff.
Even more, many have never faced the reality that our individuality is no more real than that concept called “Texas”. My “personal” identity is nothing more than a thought, a map of myself. Most of what we think of as “who I am” is just an image we have constructed,starting very early in life, just so we can feel sure we exist at all. That image of “who we are” has just about as much meaning just the word “Texas” written across the map. It may be accurate or not, and it gives us a way to identify where we are, but it doesn’t communicate any substance.
Meditation can help us to achieve more awareness of what is really at the core of our being.
In meditation, in just being quiet and paying attention without judging, we come to recognize our innermost self as the one who silently watches and listens to all the mental chatter. We come to understand that the chatter isn’t “us”, but just the brain running it’s motor.
Truth comes in small doses, because most of us don’t want too much truth all at once. It would disorient us too badly. Truth doesn’t come by thinking, it comes by listening, and opening our heart.
Get ready, the world changes when we open our heart.