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Institute for Jedi Realist Studies - Is Enlightenment on your 'to-do list'? - Institute for Jedi Realist Studies

Is Enlightenment on your 'to-do list'?

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Ben created the topic: Is Enlightenment on your 'to-do list'?

Something I have been wondering for a little while about the Jedi Realist community. Do you 'strive' to 'achieve' Enlightenment (quite an ironic use of words to me personally)? Do you believe Enlightenment even exists? Do you think Enlightenment manifests itself as other things, i.e. God, or the Absolute, the Divine etc...

Just interested in what you guys think about such topics :)

I personally believe that every being is Enlightened. Because of my Zen background, I believe that if one was to strive to gain Enlightenment, they immediately hinder themselves to attain it in the first place. On that note, it is unattainable to begin with - if Buddhist ideas of Enlightenment and Nirvana stem from the eradication of desire and attainment of 'things' - for it transcends attainment, or any kind of graspable form, and it would seem preposterous to think that Enlightenment is something to gain in the first place if that were so. Because of this, I feel everybody is Enlightened, just not everybody has yet to realise or 'awaken' to this state.

These are my thoughts anyway. I would love to hear what other people think on this topic :)
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Jax replied the topic: Is Enlightenment on your 'to-do list'?

Can you define enlightenment, how it shows itself, from your perspective?
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Ben replied the topic: Is Enlightenment on your 'to-do list'?

Alas, I cannot.
"He who knows does not speak. He who speaks does not know." (Lao Tzu)
The Buddha, when asked on Enlightenment by his disciples, was said to have maintained a 'noble silence', which to me further enforces the idea that Enlightenment - in the concept and ideas of it that I personally have of it - is ineffable, unexplainable, beyond the barrier of language as we know it.

Also, perhaps I should have said the 'concept' of Enlightenment in the minds of this community :p
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Is Enlightenment on your 'to-do list'?

The Sanskrit word for enlightenment is "bodhi," which means "awakened."
But awakened to what?
The only true answer to the question is to realize enlightenment. But, what is enlightenment then?

Enlightenment can be defined as the cessation of dukkha, which is another word usually mangled in translation. It can be defined as the full realization of the truth of the Buddha's teachings. Another way of saying it is -- awakening to a great reality most of us never perceive.

Enlightenment in the Buddhist sense has nothing to do with knowledge or intellect. Nor is it living in an otherworldly state of being "blissed out" or having visions or supernatural experiences.

And as noted above, it is not something one can really 'describe and pass on'. Enlightenment is something one must experience personally... and is not necessarily the same 'thing' to another. One may 'see' the truth of the Buddha in the smile of a baby or a magnificent sunset or the sparkle in a lover's eyes.... that one Perfect Moment. Which... may not be such for someone (or anyone) else. As Ben noted -- "He who knows does not speak. He who speaks does not know." (Lao Tzu)
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Connor replied the topic: Is Enlightenment on your 'to-do list'?

I have a small Zen background as well. I do not try to "achieve" enlightenment. Rather, I try to live my life in the Lightest way possible. I think that a pure, limitless, unhindered existence is Enlightenment. When we cease trying to judge and cease believing in the illusions around us, we are "Enlightened" to a new world of possibilities.

I'm not sure about "unsustainable" as a Zen belief. Maybe REALIZING it constantly is impossible. Though, I believe I am always Enlightened, just unable to really see it.

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Tothian replied the topic: Is Enlightenment on your 'to-do list'?

To be awakened to knowledge that is already inside of us, is that what you mean? Or to learn more about ourselves, and our missions in life, and our abilities, and flaws? Or to learn about others and external forms of knowledge?

One of my favorite quotes is "Man stays wise as long as he searches for wisdom. Once he thinks he has found it, he becomes a fool." - I actually first discovered that quote as a kid while solving it in a cryptogram.

I enjoy being able to continue learning, and putting it to good use and also by teaching what I learn and discover and theorize to others.
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Ben replied the topic: Is Enlightenment on your 'to-do list'?

Connor wrote: I have a small Zen background as well. I do not try to "achieve" enlightenment. Rather, I try to live my life in the Lightest way possible. I think that a pure, limitless, unhindered existence is Enlightenment. When we cease trying to judge and cease believing in the illusions around us, we are "Enlightened" to a new world of possibilities.

I'm not sure about "unsustainable" as a Zen belief. Maybe REALIZING it constantly is impossible. Though, I believe I am always Enlightened, just unable to really see it.


Beautiful, beautiful post :)

Tothian wrote: To be awakened to knowledge that is already inside of us, is that what you mean? Or to learn more about ourselves, and our missions in life, and our abilities, and flaws? Or to learn about others and external forms of knowledge?


This was the purpose of the thread; I was interested in people's concepts of Enlightenment as well :) Nothing to do with my own :P
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Rebekah replied the topic: Is Enlightenment on your 'to-do list'?

I'd say enlightenment is when you are at peace....peace means something different to everyone. My kind of peace may or may not be your type of peace so when I'm enlightened you might not be. :) Also think it comes and it goes...some days I feel close to my God and others I'm far away, some days I'm very spiritual and others I'm the rebel. I strive to find and be at peace each day. It doesn't always happen but I'm grateful when it does.

~~Bekah~~
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Ben replied the topic: Is Enlightenment on your 'to-do list'?

A beautiful and perfect description, I'd say :D
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