– quoting Jed McKenna –
The fundamental conflict in the spiritual quest is that ego desires to awaken, but ego can never achieve spiritual enlightenment (awakening). Ego may desire enlightenment, but ego can’t cross that line. Enlightenment is not a personal thing.
Self cannot achieve no-self. There is no enlightened being. There is no I to it. The result is not enlightened-self, it’s no-self. No one is enlightened. No one can say “I am enlightened” because there is no “I” to it. There is no such thing as an enlightened person. There is only awakeness, non dual abiding, which is undifferentiated. It’s not my reality, it’s reality.
So, What is blocking the way? To someone who wants to get to the truth, who you are is what’s in the way. Ego is in the way. Truth is uniquely challenging pursuit because the very thing that wants it is the only thing in the way of it.
The fundamental conflict can only be resolved by altering the equation. Yes, it’s cheating, but everyone’s okay with it. Spiritual enlightenment gets redefined as something attainable by ego, and now the equation works to everyone’s satisfaction. Ego gets to continue the noble quest and a thriving spiritual industry continues to thrive. Of course, no one gets the grail, but if you understand the fundamental conflict, you’ll see that no one really wanted it anyway.
What are the two common goals of spirituality?
The two common goal of spirituality are Truth-Realization, abiding non-dual awareness, which is enlightenment, and Spiritual Evolution, Human Adulthood, which is a whole different thing, but which I think most seekers really want.
Truth is absolute, there’s nothing more than that, so if someone say enlightenment doesn’t mean truth-realization, then it’s enlightenment they are diminishing, not truth. There’s nothing more than truth, and anything less than true is false.
To walk a spiritual path and to awaken are two related but completely different things. One can walked a spiritual path and never awaken or take the road of awakening and do not have a bit of interest in spirituality.
To awaken is to see clearly what is true and what is not, truth realization, abiding non-dual awareness, while spiritual evolution is to become a better or happier person (human adulthood) within the dreamstate. Enlightenment or awakening is about truth, it’s not about becoming a better or happier person, it’s not about personal growth or spiritual evolution. One of the most mission critical task on the road to awakening is figuring out what awakening is not.