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Thoughts From My Couch
EnlightmentOne morning, as I was strolling through one of the open markers in the beautiful old port of Fremantle Perth, my eyes caught the ‘Free DVD’s’ sign. On closer inspection it was DVD’s on the topic of Creation versus Evolution. The friendly and very helpful man was quick to put one in my hand as he was saying: “Just one minute of your you know that Jesus loves you........? “
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One morning, as I was strolling through one of the open markers in the beautiful old port of Fremantle Perth, my eyes caught the ‘Free DVD’s’ sign. On closer inspection it was DVD’s on the topic of Creation versus Evolution. The friendly and very helpful man was quick to put one in my hand as he was saying: “Just one minute of your you know that Jesus loves you........? “ A little bit further after all the delicious coffees, chocolates and other wonderful delicatessen there was another ‘For free’ sign. This time it was a Free Stress Test. Walking closer another friendly man was ready to put a device on me to test my stress levels while he was saying: “We have the answer and this will change your life,” and then my eyes caught all the rest of the ‘Scientology’ books on the table.

Nearby a young woman was sitting on the floor, dressed like a gypsy and playing a harp, smiling almost serenely; eyes closed with a few coins on the coloured cloth in front of her.

Leaving the market I was thinking that it was a reminiscence reminded of my childhood where the church was also promising you some form of nirvana or heaven or ‘ultimate reward’ if only you follow the recipe. If only you do this then........ (Some form of heaven will come). Of course all retail companies work on this principle of convincing a potential client to buy their products, from all beauty products to all the different food and anything under the sun. The message always is something like: As you are now, is not good enough: And if you don’t do something about it, something terrible might happen......diseases, old age....... BUT, buy this and your life will change. You will be younger, smarter, happier and all those wonderful things. And there always is some message in the background of ‘your time is running out’; decide now before it is to late and something dreadful might happen.

Paging through a Healing and Health magazine where all the different Coaching and Healing courses are advertised the same pattern emerged. One which stands out reads: “Learn quickly how to meditate deeper and faster than a Zen monk.” Better, faster, happier, healthier, the pie in the sky dream. The great delusion so many people suffer from. I will only be happy when........... Or someone will say: “It is not that I am unhappy, it is just that..........” Something always have to change first, and then and then and then, it just never stops, does it?

In his book: ‘Enlightment ain’t what it is cracked up to be’ Robert K.C. Forman asks the question: “What are we actually after”? He describes his wonderful life changing experience which he had when he became ‘enlightened’ and the universe opened up and he experience oneness with everything. BUT: he writes that what puzzled him about this experience was that it wasn’t at all what is was cracked up to be: “It didn’t make me happy, it didn’t end all my worries and fears. An infinite silence in my core, yes, but I wasn’t better off in any obvious way that I might have been. “ His key discovery was this: enlightenment is not the panacea it is billed to be. It is not the golden pill, the life of “perfection,” the “absolute enjoyment,” the “eternal joy,” or the “end of all suffering.” And the neon lights didn’t flash!

Most people are after some form of instant cure or answer. A before and after. I am not saying that it cannot be that drastic and intense, although more often than not this is not the case. And that keeps people on the search, another religion, another enlightening coaching course another diet. It is all the same. He writes: “A lot of people who have become Enlightened often maintain their addictions, their mental disorders, their racial and gender biases, and so on. Often there is very little change in their personalities. “As a great Sufi teacher once said: “Before Enlightment, chopping wood and carrying water, after Enlightment, chopping wood and carrying water.” So what can Enlightment and a deeper Spirituality bring you?

According to Forman all good spirituality brings “full-bodied freedom.” And the emphasis is on the FULL BODIED. This means having a complete life and accept and enjoy life with everything is has to offer: The joys and the sadness the light and the dark, the highs and the lows, everything. Good food, sex, singing, meditating, dancing, praying, shouting. It is all part of it. We become depressed when we believe that life should be a certain way; when we want to take one part of the equation away. To become enlightened means to accept both parts of the equation. Scrap words like the ‘shoulds’,’ musts’, ought to’s, etc. Someone will say: “he shouldn’t have died this way, he was such a good man.” Enlightment means being able to accept that he has died in this way and it is fine like this.

So many self help guru’s these days write beautiful books, always with a ‘positive message’ on the cover. Sunsets, pictures of someone running and jumping with arms up in the air, always ‘positive’ and inspiring. I want to say: Life is not like this at all!! It is ok to have all the dark with the light. It is only when you can have both and accept both (one part is not wrong) that you have given the first step to true spirituality. So, to all those wonderful people on facebook who only post beautiful quotes of wise sages every day, I want to say: Who are you? What makes you sad, what upsets you, when is your life not perfectly ordered and serene? How are you as a person when your life is not flowing and balanced like the beautiful quote? I will end with this: Why can’t we accept that life will be stressful and stress free that may be there is both evolution and creation, that we are both particle and wave (complete Light) and this makes us whole and this means to sit with and accept our own joys and sorrows, and also that of our fellow human beings. This is wholeness and this is true Enlightment! Till next time from down under to all up there......

Have peace and love during X-mas and remember: You might have the other side as well, and it is perfectly ok!

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Comment by: Roseline Arnulphy
Sounds a little sad that life cannot improve with enlightenment. We all think we have to be perfect all the time but this is not true. We are all here to learn our lessons, good and bad, so I agree with your words 100 percent. Even death will probably not bring freedom as we still have to continue on our chosen paths. It would be great to get to a perfect peaceful and free life and not be bound by responsibility the whole time but we can lighten our load with how we choose to re-act or think about different things.
Date & Time: Thursday, 23 February 2012 @ 10:38 PM 
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