Illumination? What is? And why we could wish it?
“Illumination“: the action of illuminating or state of being illuminated: such as spiritual or intellectual enlightenment. Is a state characterized by making less thoughts, almost no one, less reactivity, almost nothing, free of desires, and at the same time a sense of deep peace and also be very awake, very connected with all. There are many ways for achieve such state, but first of all, is a desirable state? Why we could wish it?
There are people that have a well balanced life; their minds are highly structured, oriented to personal wellness. Since they were young, they look for stability, surrounding by “appropriate, correct people” and moving away from “inappropriate people“, they looking for the appropriate sentimental partner, also for a good job, etc. Are people that don’t worry for the problems of other unlucky people, is not their problem. Is a pragmatic position, even an intelligent attitude. Death of relatives and friends is pragmatically accepted without ask themselves questions about the meaning of life. For such people, talking about illumination is merely a nonsense, a sort of escapism from the reality, without any utility nor interest. They are not illuminated at all, and also don’t wish it at all.
From a higher point of view, a broader perspective, such attitude is merely a mental construction, a mental framework: a set of thoughts, desires, points of view, that the person takes as the reality, their reality, ignoring all the other point of views that don’t coincide. Any mental framework for life is necessarily an enclosure for the person, that includes some points of view and excludes others. Are strong frameworks, and people identifies with them, they are their mental framework.
Of course not all the people trying to have a life well correlated with their mental framework are successful; many people fail, having bad jobs, bad marriages, suffering a lot with the death of loved persons, having children that are not as expected, having chronic diseases, etc etc. Such unlucky people suffer a lot since the very moment life don’t coincide with their ideal mental framework. They are candidates for illumination, that can bring them peace and welfare even in their bad circumstances.
There are another people that, even living quite well, have an intellectual restlessness, an impulse to understand life with their ups and downs, not simply accept it, but understand. Other people feel compassion, a sense of unity with all the mankind, is not possible for them simply ignore the suffering of the people, they experience the will of help people without any reward. They are compassionate people. Both people with intellectual restlessness and compassionate are also candidates for illumination.
Consciousness beyond thoughts
As we said before any mental framework for life is necessarily an enclosure for the person, is impossible understand life while we are enclosed in a mental frame (by the way the name of this blog, The Closed Room, referees to this concept of closed mental framework). Illumination requires break any closed mental framework, maybe not at all, but at least we need open a door or a window for let the light enter the room and enlighten it. Such room is our space of consciousness, habitually full of our thoughts.
When we let the space free of thoughts, other visions of reality can enter into. In the moment that visions enter in our awareness, it may happen that our mind closes back to them because such visions are not correlated with our mental framework, even they can be incompatibles with our old framework. We need an enhanced awareness for realize such resistance it the very moment that appears, then relax the mind, and accept the vision as it is: acceptance is the key word here.
So, for be able to open a door in our closed mental framework, we need
- first of all the will for it, the base motivation for work
- working for develop the abilities of perceive on the fly the emergence of mental resistances,
- relax it,
- working for develop the acceptance of whatever appears in our consciousness.
When we work in this way, we see how a consciousness free of thoughts, opened, relaxed, wide, peaceful, very awake, appears in our lives. There are many methods for work in this line, is not the aim of this short post to talk of them. This opened consciousness is the very start of the illuminated state, we only opened a door for fresh air, but is the first step, the necessary one.