Enlightenment means dissolving the egoic and personal sense of “I.” After enlightenment, someone is clearly still there to interact with the world and be aware. Who is that?
The “I” after enlightenment has a different root than the “I” before enlightenment. Whereas the ego personality is rooted in the vantage point bracketed by boundaries of the body and mind, the post-enlightened “I” is rooted in the Divine catalizing the body-mind. While both types of “I” are able to relate to the world, the quality of their awareness is very different.
The greatest distinction between the “I” of the self and the cosmic “I” is the lack of suffering in the latter. Because there is a source of connection throughout the web of life, there is no clinging to discomfort of situations. The cosmic “I” can smile and laugh through various life circumstances even when it has no control, but the personal “I” will collapse, cry, mope, and tend toward further separation from life.
After the opening occurs, the connection is made – a being is enlightened. However, there are degrees to how much of that light is integrated by the body-mind. My teacher taught me this and, recently, I found this idea experessed by SantanaGamana in Turiya: The God State. I had never heard of the author, but most of the book resonates with my own awakening – even though I did not practice Kriya Yoga. While the title of the book may sound quite grandiose, the contents are fairly simply and humbly stated.
My own integration and expression has been ongoing: post-enlightenment requires much clarification, releasing, and rewiring. Although it takes more time to heal impacted traumas, they do heal. It’s as if the entire being becomes engaged and involved in healing on an ongoing basis and has endless motivation to do so.
I vaguely recall days when I would be down on myself and others, wallowing and passive. Now, the healing process does not stop and is almost on autopilot. The only thing healing demands now is silence and solitude, when I am free to just let the body-mind be and attend to the Divine currents doing their work. Major life realignments have been in progress for years and I have stopped wondering when they will be complete. I think it is different for different people how long it takes to clarify the being enough for optimum expression of the Divine. Only enough is needed, and perfection is neither required nor possible. I haven’t encountered any books that go into detail about the work that must happen after enlightenment…. Perhaps they are not needed yet?
Despite sounding paradoxical, some personality quirks are retained after enlightenment because these enable us to uniquely express what we are integrating and sharing. There may be a misconception that enlightened beings are perfect, whatever that subjective concept means to any given individual. In reality, the purpose (if there is such a thing) of any being is to first strengthen the personal Ego, and then to allow it to die in the cosmic and Divine “I” – and be awake and functioning fully in life throughout.
While there are states where all sense of “I” dissolves completely, these are not ideal for expressing the Divine in the world and engaging our life’s work – we would just want to lay down and be blissed out all of the time. The cosmic “I” is the bridge between the formless and all form – and it is not the personal ego. Beyond the cosmic “I” is simply complete union.
Occasional “I” dissolution in the highest state only increases the quality and coherence of our immersion in life when we “return” to everyday living. Now, we have more to bring “back” to our daily expression – deeper understanding, greater inspiration, and a more beautiful display of surrender.
Since the beginning, my blog had been about diving deeper into life and not drifting to a distant mountain to meditate 24-7. Not only is isolated meditation unnecessary in these times, it runs counter to the very process of being alive – which requires our awake participation to help support the life process unfolding.