I used to think enlightenment was a place to get to. I had to develop myself into it. It was something I would grow into if I worked on myself enough. Enlightenment was something outside of me that I had to pull into me. I could learn myself into enlightenment. I could tool myself into enlightenment. I could search really hard to listen to everyone else into enlightenment. I could meditate to enlightenment. I could hypnotise myself into enlightenment. I could do all of this and maybe, just maybe, have a nirvana moment.
I've come to understand I looked everywhere outside that told me I was wrong. I had a problem, and they, someone other than me, knew how to fix it. And that was crappy because I had so many issues; where did I start. Which issue or problem did I begin with, and which wrong bit of me needed fixing most urgently. Was it that I felt hurt. Was it that I reacted. Was it that I felt vulnerable. Was it that I felt insecure. Was it that I felt self-conscious. Was it that I didn't feel good enough. Was it that I felt bullied. Was it that I didn't speak up enough. Was it that I didn't feel talented. Was it that I hadn't achieved something magnificent for everyone else to be amazed at and my parents to brag about. And sometimes it was all of these, and sometimes it was only one or two.
I should pick one and work through the copious list. I would have to hit the pot of gold that would change all this. If I were fortunate, I would have a domino effect and wham bam; the thoughts and feelings would all be gone. I wouldn't have any more thoughts like this. I started work on the list. I saw this person for that one and that person for this one. I could have bought a new Ferrari with the cost of all of this. And strangely enough, nothing changed. I still was a mess, untalented, bullied, insecure, reactive, quiet, vulnerable, hurt, self-conscious, not good enough underachiever. No thing changed. I still had one version of this going on all the time, depending on what I heard from moment to moment. The tools I tried to jam in because, Yes, I clearly needed fixing. I shouldn't be experiencing this. And as far as I am aware, there are 8 billion people on the planet, having their own unique personal version of this little bunch of issues. So clearly, they are all broken to. Every therapy said the same thing; I am the answer to your uncomfortable existence; my tool will definitely fix you. And oddly, all the experts had their issues too and were seeing someone else to get fixed. I look back and listen now to the irony of this paradox of all of this. It's hilarious and sad. I thought it was wrong to experience all these thoughts and emotions because that's what we are told. If I have mental health, I won't have any of this turn up in my life. I have a mental health crisis; if I have any number of low days or I encounter any of this, maybe let's medicate or keep talking about your past, your past, your past, your past history (a clue there). Let's pick your whole life and you apart and examine it to see where the faulty bit is. We will find it in all of the broken bits if we keep looking.
And yes, I fell for it for so long. Decades too long. I believed that all the people, the whole human race, who apparently is broken because they bump up against all this, had something wrong with them. I had something wrong with me. I could be healed. I was not going to experience any of the bad thoughts again.
The good news is I still do, but I am human and alive; if I didn't hear any of this running through my imagination, I would be in a box 6 feet under.
The bad news is to all you experts in how to fix me. I don't need you ever again. I was never broken. I would be broken if I didn't hear the thoughts that pass by me. We are designed to hear them. Why did I miss this And enlightenment came from truly knowing this. I just needed truthful pointing and to listen to what's inside me.
What I imagined and made great stories about my past are history - yes, that was the clue - they are not here now. No more accurate now than the clouds on that day were unicorns or fairies and are still here now unless I go back through the computer memory files in my brain and press repeat again, again, and now and now. I think 60,000 thoughts a day. Why does one look more substantial or real than another. I can honestly say I have not got a clue, but I have the ability to do this, listen to one random thought more than another depending on my mood or fancy in a moment. How I decide which one is true and worth listening to just becomes a habit, I groove it into my brain. I have put a new fuse in the plug of me because the old amp was confused about the truth, how I picked it, what it meant about me, and how I viewed the world. The new amp has an upgraded understanding of how it is supposed to work. What is my biological design. If I let it, it's a thought, an energetic thing, that will pass through me, having no meaning attached, no ripple effect, no devastation, if I let it be. If I understand, like buses, there will be a different number 69 or 67, whichever drops by if I don't like the colour of the number 62 that arrived.
Enlightenment - no - I just work this way; we all do; it's how we are designed to create and communicate. Without thought, I couldn't write this. But the sentence I just wrote, didn't say anything about me. There can't be a difference. I don't have different types of thoughts; they are all just one thing. I arrived enlightened; we all do. What we are is enlightened until we splatter ourselves in all sorts of smelly stuff, but I am; we are still as we came underneath all of it.
I stopped listening to the history and stopped believing whatever obscure random unelicited thought I happened to hear and found myself hiding under all of it.