November 29, 2010 8:41 am EST
I once had a friend who attempted to stifle me (unknowingly). She was on a traditional path to enlightenment, interacting with others in compassion, guided by a teacher, following the way set forth by an ancient master. She was well on her way. But she had an idea in her mind that held her back. She had climbed the great mountain of faith, arrived near the peak, and stopped. She was stopped by her belief that “the last foot was the most difficult.”
I considered the idea, saw its merit, and remembered my “last foot”. I tried for a few minutes to change her perspective. “Don't you see? The Light is just there. Within your reach. Release that last bit of fear and leap to the top.”
She didn't understand. My simple thinking didn't mesh well with what she'd been taught. I was sad, but left her to her choice. There are some who believe that it takes decades to achieve enlightenment, others believe it requires many lifetimes. This belief becomes their truth, their reality.
What is enlightenment, really, but an acceptance and embracing of the Light? To be enlightened is a simple choice of releasing our burdens – fear, illusions, beliefs, memories – that would hold us back and joining with the Light. In reality we are already One with the Light, so it's truly just a matter of perspective.
There are many ways of expressing the path to enlightenment. Some of the more thorough (unnecessarily complex) paths are explained in many volumes. But the truth is that the path can be as fast and as short as we choose it to be.
To achieve a state of utter enlightenment, accept everything (including yourself), forgive everything (including yourself), and open your eyes to see the Light that is your true Essence.
Love and giggles,