Make no mistake about it…enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing too do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It’s seeing through the façade of pretense. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true. Adyashanti
I used to believe that enlightenment meant being one with invisible worlds: seeing all life as threads of glowing energy, hearing voices of the unseen and, perhaps, conversing with them. I would never have a question or decision to make because I would instantly “know” what needed to be done. I would have compassion for everyone. Enlightenment would mean all of my senses were heightened and I would be in a perpetual state of oneness. (Just how I expected to be one with everything and still function in human form, I’m not sure. But I expected that in my enlightened state I would manage to do so.)
But something happened along my way to enlightenment. I started to see the bigger picture of the physical world. Seeing more started during medical readings when I realized that I couldn’t separate the illness, or disease, of a client from their surroundings. Everything was connected—cause and effect. And surroundings included environment, culture, relationship, the collective unconscious.
While pondering this web of connections, I read a Carolyn Baker article on peak oil. Once I allowed some information in, I became obsessed, I couldn’t stop researching peak oil. Carolyn puts it this way:
” …once one has allowed certain facts to implant themselves in consciousness, there is no turning back. Often, without consciously realizing it, we “sign up” for a journey from which there is no return and which will alter everything in our lives, including and especially, ourselves.”
Yes, I had signed up for a journey, but not the one I expected. It gets worse. Just as I was trying to wrap my mind around “energy descent,” I discovered Guy McPherson‘s take on climate change and near-term extinction. I could rationalize that all of this is just faulty data, but I’m sitting here March 23 and the temperature will hit 0° tonight, with potential of yet another blizzard mid-week. (I can’t escape to Virginia because they are predicted to have similar weather, or flee to Glastonbury, England (where we were married 25 years ago) because much of it is flooded.)
There comes a point in information-gathering where you begin to question everything. Why am I here? What is my purpose? Why does our media spend hours (weeks) on a missing plane (with one American aboard) and barely cover Fukushima? (Not to mention the amount of radiation spread across our planet and what this means long-term for life on the planet?) Why spend weeks telling us in every way possible that we don’t know where the missing plane is, ignoring the fact that our political leaders are saber rattling and puffing their chest out at Russia? It doesn’t take intuitive abilities to see that the priorities of our “leaders” are really screwed up.
As I ponder these and other questions, an email arrives: Remembering Tony Benn and his five questions.
“I think there are two ways in which people are controlled. First of all frighten people and secondly, demoralize them,” Benn told filmmaker Michael Moore. “The people in debt become hopeless, and the hopeless people don’t vote. Too many in power encourage such apathy and believe that an educated, healthy and confident nation is harder to govern.”
Now that’s a mouth full. Benn goes on to say:
“In the course of my life I have developed five little democratic questions. If one meets a powerful person—Adolf Hilter, Joseph Stalin, or Bill Gates—ask them five questions: What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you exercise it? To whom are you accountable? And, how can we get rid of you? If you cannot get rid of the people who govern you, you do not live in a democratic system.”