Along the path to enlightenment…

by Winter on March 24, 2014

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.”








{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Savitri Bess March 25, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Dear Winter,

I loved the opening quote!

I write now in a candid moment…a commentary on your post. I hope you will not take offence or if you do that we can discuss it and come to some understanding between us, a harmony of inner beingness.

I know I don’t know from my personal experience, except in glimpses, moments, even days…and I do have faith in this, that which I’ve heard and read from those who are enlightened, the ancient sages and the new, that what you write in your first paragraph about enlightenment, is true as part of it. One would do well not to get discouraged. To stay optimistic about the path to enlightenment. It seems, so they say, that the entire universe and all actions of humans and all and everything become suddenly very clear. No more questions. Just knowing. Continuing to act, while knowing. Always with compassion, or seeking to act from this place.

About enlightenment and the truth of it, Amma walks around 100% awake, even at night (she does not sleep, only rests for two hours, hovering above her body, awake), and spearheads all of her tons of charitable activities, her hugging of millions, her consoling, her advising, her prayer, her song, while 100% awake, enlightened. Not a fraction of a second in which she is anything but what they call “full,” experiencing all as one.

Bhagavad Gita describes this state very well, all aspects of it, all questions about it (through the conversation between Arjuna and Krisha) including the seeming paradoxical state of “inaction in action and action in inaction.”

And if I may be so presumptuous and bold, I do hope that you, as clairvoyant and seer, born with certain abilities that most of us do not have, and some strive to have, to perhaps return to your ideal notion of enlightenment and continue your journey in that direction. It is a noble quest. A noble ideal. It rubs off on all. It spreads. It breeds harmony. It can be personally difficult because it is so very unseen in obvious ways.

Beyond that, why get too wrapped up in politics. It’s an endless horizontal journey. Being aware of it without getting involved (emotionally) is of course wise. Prayer is probably the single most valuable tool. The TM’er’s, go in large groups to different parts of the world where there is strife, and there they meditate long hours, for peace and well-being. The yogis in their Himalayan caves are giving out powerful vibrations toward harmony to all the world, balancing what is way out of balance. In my view we need more of this. Concentrated prayer. Acts of kindness. Growing your own vegetables 🙂

With love,


Madder, saner March 26, 2014 at 7:16 pm

The following article was published recently in the Roanoke Times. It looks, in my opinion, right in tune with the zeitgeist in this country, if not the world over:

Pottle: Fracking is Earth friendly
Steven R. Pottle | Pottle, a former energy banker, heads Victoram Energy, an energy consulting and research firm. He lives in Raleigh, N.C. | Posted: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 2:45 am

Our planet is not static. Geology teaches us that tectonic plates move continents, glaciers carve out valleys, earthquakes give rise to mountain ridges, and animal species have been known to proliferate and then die away.
Yet humans, who have made major changes to our planet in the form of roads and buildings, want it to remain unaltered and pristine. Some are reluctant to embrace change, technological advancements and feats of engineering that improve our lives because they worry about the environment.
Such is the case with hydraulic fracturing, the technology credited with greatly increasing U.S. oil and natural gas supplies. Despite its tremendous success, people concerned about the environment worry about fracturing in the George Washington National Forest. The forest covers a portion of the Marcellus Shale formation proven to contain massive amounts of natural gas.
Consumers also want and need domestic energy production. A poll conducted by the Tarrance Group last April found that 78 percent of respondents supported increased U.S. oil and natural gas development. A majority (53?percent) also said they had a favorable view of how these traditional forms of energy are produced today.
A similar survey conducted by Robert Morris University’s Polling Institute discovered that nearly 74 percent of respondents believe new drilling technologies, including hydraulic fracturing, are leading the United States to energy independence, and more than 80 percent suggest fracturing has the potential to help the U.S. economy.
Furthermore, when fracturing is conducted safely and in accord with regulations, it poses no threat to the environment or drinking water. Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson told Congress there have been no confirmed cases of drinking water contamination caused by fracturing operations. At a New Jersey conference, she added that the technology produces “a huge return on the investment.”
And the return on investment is not relegated only to energy companies. All Americans are benefitting from the increased domestic production of oil and natural gas. According to an IHS economic analysis, the average U.S. household has gained $1,200 in real disposable income due to fracturing and the shale energy revolution.
1 of 2 3/14/14 2:59 PM
Pottle: Fracking is Earth friendly – Roanoke T…

Fracturing also is making the United States the world’s top oil and natural gas producer, surpassing Saudi Arabia and Russia. In the past two years alone, it has boosted U.S. liquid energy production, including oil and natural gas liquids, by 27 percent.
One would think that environmentalists would applaud fracturing’s success because it is making more clean-burning natural gas available. As utility companies switch from coal to natural gas for electricity generation, carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere decline. America’s CO2 emissions are at the lowest levels in nearly 20 years. This is a big win for the environment.
Fracturing holds the key to harvesting new energy resources, creating jobs and boosting the economy. Although drilling would require temporary changes to small areas in the George Washington National Forest, such as the clearing of a few acres, the benefits far outweigh the risks.

Shall we continue rearranging those deck chairs now?


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