From the archives of some theosophical e-mail lists.
From different lists
From: Katinka Hesselink
One of the dutch sites on zen-boeddhism set me thinking today. I wonder what you all think of the following question:
What is enlightenment to you? How do you picture enlightenment and perhaps: How would your life be different if you were enlightened, do you think?
From: Ulla de Mora
Enlightenment to me means seeing overall structure, rather
> From: Ulla de Mora
Hm, no love? I suppose that is part of the possibility. But well, why act if there is no love? Perhaps you mean the kind of love that is the opposite of hate or fear.
> Sensing and knowing instantly what has to be done.
I think life would not be different in the way it looks, but the way I (or is there no I left in enlightenment?) experience it would be dramatically different, I think. As in the kind of things you describe above. Thank you
- especially the first thing you mentioned adds something to how I look at it.
From: Ulla de Mora
> I know it sounds weird, and one cannot get to that state
I agree with that, but well, now that you gave me a quote by Baha'u'llah, I will give you one from H.P. Blavatsky, from her masterpiece "The Voice of the Silence", URL:
for extracts on my own site, visit:
Here follows the quote (p. 69-71, part III):
But stay, Disciple . . . Yet, one word. Canst thou destroy divine COMPASSION? Compassion is no attribute. It is the LAW of laws - eternal Harmony, Alaya's SELF; a shoreless universal essence, the light of everlasting Right, and fitness of all things, the law of love eternal.
Now, it seems to me that the tears of the world cannot be ignored. The Voice of the Silence suggests that we have a choice: nirvana, bliss etc. without a thought for the world left or less bliss, because compassion makes us go on trying to aid humanity onward. For HPB the first path is selfish, though in a spiritual way. But in that sense she agrees that enlightenment without compassion is possible, just not advisable or admirable. But I am not sure that is what you meant. You probably meant that emotional, attached love disappears.
And from the little I've experienced on this path, I agree with you.
Enlightenment is a very delicate notion and most probably there is no definite, closed, complete definition to it. For me it's a process (whose "end" we don't know). Searching for enlightenment, I try first of all detachment and acceptation and awareness impermanence. With these, I expect a higher level of sintoiny for my self/soul, and some liberation (until it is complete.................................................................... ............................................................................ .... so to speak completed), of third-dimensional burdens, desires and conditions. Can tell you more if it comes to my mind. This is the basic to me. In Love and Light with best wishes to all,
Yes, for me the notions of detachment and acceptation and awareness come to mind immediately as well. In fact, for me enlightened means something like: being aware at all times, and not running from life anymore. (chocolate, lovenovels etc.)
Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2001 22:14:35 -0500
The enclosed may have some relevance (somehow, possibly?)
An attempt to reconcile the alleged difference between
Vedanta is metaphysically Being-oriented, specifically the Being of Atman or the true individual self, which is ultimately identical with Brahman or the Absolute Reality. Buddhism is metaphysically oriented to Nothingness or Emptiness, known as Sunyata, so much so that Absolute Reality is identified with Absolute Nothingness. What I wonder is whether there can really be any substantive difference of specific content between a metaphysic of Being and a metaphysic of Nothingness, when both systems subscribe to an ultimate reality conceived in equally metaphysically absolutist terms. The metaphysical "sphere" of absolute Being may coincide with that of absolute Nothingness, and there may not be "internal" content-specific difference between the two.
Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2001
Yes, this is certainly relevant. I should look up my Subba Row (who was an Advaita Vedantist, and equal to HPB in occult insight, according to HPB) Collected Writings on the subject. What I remember from his Collected Writings (I am reviewing and correcting the manuscript of part 1) is as follows:
He talks about that something quite a lot - calls it Purush-prakriti: it is that from which all else is a differentiation. I do suppose the relation to enlightenment is there, but I was hoping for descriptions that start with the small, the stuff that is still knowable.
Difficulty is that for me it is possible to imagine purush-prakriti as the undifferentiated matter-spirit oneness as the background on which this and from which this visible universe is created. But to imagine that as also the same as my own divine essence, well my imagination is probably lacking, but I find it difficult - as in impossible. I tend to view my highest self as a light, not as the darkness - and purush-prakriti is as much light as it is darkness, and it is more like darkness, according to the descriptions. Maybe I just asked an impossible question as speculation on THAT is supposed to be impossible and fruitless.
Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2001
To quote Bijoy Boruah: