Eleven Observations on Enlightenment

by stewart

“Enlightenment must come little by little-otherwise it would overwhelm.”

-Idries Shah

In spiritual literature, have you ever wondered why there are so few straight forward discussions concerning outcomes of enlightenment; or said another way, once you have traveled a spiritual path, and become more enlightened, for you personally, what will this spiritual ability look like. Here are a few reasons for this limited discussion and some personal observations.

  • Increased Capacity. Typically enlightenment means increased light and increased spiritual understanding/experience. This way of being/experiencing is very difficult to put into words or physically describing. Additionally, few people are able to tell you exactly what your future  spiritual skill set/experience package will be like. This is dependent upon different factors, including personal ability and the Grace of the Unseen Forces.
  • Examples of Spiritual Experience. In the literature, some of spiritual experiences described include: visions, capacity to read minds, messages from the other side, sublime ecstatic states, hearing the inner voice, intuitive understanding, wisdom about certain situations, dreams that come true, and prescience/knowing. Because something is described doesn’t mean you will experience the same thing; these spiritual capacities are dependent upon the needs of the situation and the emerging design.
  • Varying Approaches. Enlightenment is a phenomenon and process that is viewed, described and developed over a period of years; ever changing and maturing. In some schools it is taught that enlightenment occurs in an overwhelming blast of brilliance; in other schools, it is taught that the process is more gradual.
  • Personal Capacity Varies. Depending upon our responsibilities and tasks in the world, our individual skill set, temperament, spiritual experience and capacity varies.
  • Expectation Blocks Experience. Once you are provided with a snapshot of what enlightenment might be like; this snapshot often sets in motion our expectation response, influencing and even blocking further outcomes.
  • Spiritual Capacity is Transitory. For the most part, during the course of daily life, spiritual experience is transitory: it comes and goes based upon the needs of the situation.
  • Both Sets of Consciousness Operating. After a time, often it is possible to have both sets of consciousness operating at the same time: worldly and spiritual. This is one of the indicators of more mature development.
  • Spiritual Capacity is Already Inside you. Enlightenment is characterized by awakening of certain capacity: by remembering who you are and that these capacities, for the most part, already are part of you.
  • Spirituality Doesn’t Replace Daily Experience. Enlightenment/spiritual capacity does not replace living in the world or give you ‘a leg-up’ on having a pain/stress free existence. It is added capacity which helps integrate, balance, and put into perspective life’s up and downs.
  • Emphasis on Different Outcomes. Spiritual paths have as outcome different experience and abilities. All paths are not the same and often focus on varied goals. Some focus on healing and others on knowing and service to the poor.
  • Unity of Peak Experiences. It has been suggested, that peak experience of Oneness and Union with the Godhead is essentially the same experience; using different words to describe this sublime connection. The use of different terminology, due to cultural influence, confuses and helps create a situation where mystery is amplified. For example, Peace of God, Union, Nirvana, and Experience of Oneness, may all be attempts to describe a singular peak experience; which, as indicated earlier, in most spiritual travelers is transitory.


Learn to see those things Which you must do And those things Which God / Light must do. He / she who can recognize the difference Is on their way to enlightenment.

Most travelers expect enlightenment To arrive in a flash. They imagine it is like turning on A lamp in their home. This is our desire for haste And stems from greed.

This process is much slower And knowledge comes in stages; And once the Light is on It cannot be turned off As easily as hitting a switch.


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Remember, you have been Given enough for the journey.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Curtis Reunard April 2, 2016 at 6:48 pm

I think some are bound up in oaths that were once required but, have become shackles limiting expression that might otherwise be beneficial to others; still held in fear of cognitive dissonances that may create some kind of violent suppression if shared truths don’t fit in someone else’s current scheme of paradigmatic views be they personal, societial, or religious in origin all have the potential for negative outcomes. So, silence and secrecies are raised to virtues out of fear of martyrdom through teachings like: ” The lips of wisdom are closed, except to the ears of understanding.” the Kyblion


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