Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Five M's of Seeking

One of the primary difficulties when it comes to Enlightenment is
that hardly anyone understands in the least what it is. For instance,
I have often made the distinction between Mastery and Enlightenment,
while 'Jed McKenna' makes the distinction between Mysticism and
Enlightenment. Expanding those three a little, I would like to give
a quick overview of what I'm calling the 5 M's :

Moksha (Moksha being one of the Sanskrit words for Enlightenment and
essential means 'Freedom')

Many of these categories will have overlaps, and many 'individuals'
overlap in where they 'are' or in their 'recognition' of these 5. But
the general idea is that if you are seeking something, you better
know what the heck that it is you're seeking. If you're not clear,
you're not going to be even looking in the right place, and chances
are extremely good you're going to get something that ISN'T
enlightenment. If you're not looking for enlightenment (and chances
are you really aren't), that's fine. But if you think you are, you'd
better be able to discriminate what enlightenment is versus the other four.

Morality - Morality has to do with the concern or distinction between
right and wrong, good and bad. This has NOTHING whatsoever to do with
Enlightenment. Most of your Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Islam,
Christianity) are strongly morality based, as well as many other
philosophies - how one should or should not act or speak or be. This
would also include such things as Political Correctness, which is
just a more modern version (or post-modern) version of antiquated
morals for a new-age.

Maturity - Maturity has to do with just being an adult. Many of the
people on a so-called spiritual search are simply seeking a mother or
father figure, looking for a scapegoat, seeking to escape any kind of
responsibility for their thoughts or actions (even though they still
believe they are a concrete individual). Maturity is not as common as
you think. I'm a relatively intelligent guy, but I was 30 before I
actual recognized that I could no longer blame my parents, other
family, friends, circumstances, etc. for how I was feeling. If you
are blaming others for the way you feel and act, not recognizing that
your response to others is your choice, then you have not yet reached
a stage of adult maturity.

Mastery - This (and mysticism) are the most commonly confused with
enlightenment. Some of the obvious ideas of Mastery are walking on
water, feeding the multitudes, reading minds, any kind of psychic or
similar phenomena, healing, manifestation, finding a parking space,
etc. etc. The whole "Secret" Law of Attraction thing, and a great
amount of 'New Age' stuff is totally about mastery and has nothing
whatsoever to do with Enlightenment. It is based on a somebody (you)
who wants to have some kind of control, or that in some way fosters,
nurtures, assists the ego. All of the abundance, prosperity, feel
good stuff is generally in this category or the next...

Mysticism - The best way to describe mysticism is that it usually
deals with altered states of consciousness - ecstacy, bliss, a sense
of union, and/or other dimensions of consciousness - seeing God,
angels, kundalini risings, various yogic states, etc. These are VERY
often confused with enlightenment, because so often enlightenment is
poorly described as a state of bliss, ecstasy and so forth. I have
done it myself on occasion. Similarly, Love, compassion, etc. are
states of consciousness, not enlightenment. They all still have an
individual, a person, a you, who is seeking and/or having a 'state'
of bliss, love, awareness or something else - a state being something
which has a beginning and thus also an end. It is something different
or more that YOU are trying to attain.

Moksha (Enlightenment) - In Moksha, nothing changes, while at the
same time everything changes. The primary distinction between
Enlightenment and everything else is that there is no longer a 'You'
who is acting, seeking, or anything else. It is most simply the
recognition or perhaps apperception (not just intellectually or
mentally), but concretely, tangibly, that what you thought was you
is simply an apparent 'part' of the non-dual awareness that already
always is; that you are consciousness itself, and not the body, or
mind or memories, or concepts, or habits; that there is only ONE
thing going on in this infinite moment, whether known or unknown, and
that is Self/God/Nothingness/Allness. All of the other M's are based
on a person. Moksha (freedom) is totally different because it is the
recognition that there is no person - so morality doesn't play a
part, maturity doesn't play a part, mastery and mysticism have
nothing to do with it. There's nobody there to seek or care whether
those ideals are there or not. Now, that doesn't mean that they might
not manifest in a particular 'Enlightened Being'. Some enlightened
'individuals' either worked for those things prior, or they came
along in conjunction with, or the so-called individual's karma was to
manifest those, either before during or after the recognition of
Enlightenment. But they are not dependent upon enlightenment, nor is
enlightenment dependent upon ANY of those other M's.

The truth is, many people, upon understanding that Moksha or
Enlightenment means the annihilation of their identifications with
their old ideas of right and wrong, all the groovy beliefs about
altered states, God, Love, Light, and so forth, realize they truly
aren't seeking Enlightenment. More likely, they are seeking mastery
or mysticism or even maturity. And there is absolutely nothing wrong
with that. Many people just want to have a much better dream-life, a
more 'spiritual' or healthy or compassionate dream-life, and that's
totally fine. But just don't confuse that with enlightenment or
waking up from the dream. And if you are seeking those things, go to
a teacher who teaches those things. And if you are truly seeking
Enlightenment, make sure you are going to a teacher that is teaching
Enlightenment, and not something else and calling it Enlightenment
(which is far more common than you'd think)!