Loving Oneness Now
I have long since come to the conclusion that there are many degrees, forms and levels of what is popularly called, "enlightenment." Many people, past and present, have had a powerful spiritual experience at some time, and described it (or followers have referred to it) as "enlightenment." I am not suggesting for one moment that these experiences are not genuine, but I do think, that for purposes of clear understanding of what "enlightenment" is, it might be a good idea to sort them out into some kind of order. However, by the requirements of linear language, I have had to place them in lists of sorts. But please to not think this implies some kind of judgment about their value.
Please be reassured that you do NOT have to necessarily experience any of these events in order to Wake Up.
WHAT ENLIGHTENMENT IS NOT!
I would like to emphasize again, that I am not placing any value judgments, spiritual or otherwise, on the following experiences which can be spiritually transformative for those who experience them, as I have myself.
Out-Of-Body-Experiences (OOBEs): When I have asked people in my A Course in Miracles Groups if anyone has had an out-of-body-experience, usually about 25% say they have. Why would they be in an ACIM course if they were already enlightened? Anyway, the Masters mostly say that it will only take fewer than 10% of humans to become enlightened for the threshold to be crossed that will cause the whole human race to Wake Up immediately and spontaneously.
Conversing with one's Guides: During altered state work about half of my clients begin talking with their Guides directly as an aid to receiving direct guidance with how to dissolve their personal egoic problems and to help them get advice on everyday practical concerns. This usually becomes a permanent capability, even in their everyday life. Some dissociative disorder (multiple personality) clients find it particularly easy to accomplish this conversational status with their Guides (and the therapist can easily tell that this is not a sub-personality speaking). A True Guide is always Wise, Loving, Healing and would never do harm. "By their deeds will you know them."
Knowing about one or more past lives: It is relatively easy to take clients into some of their past lives, which I sometimes do for therapeutic purposes, especially in cases of deep trauma. Yes, enlightened people, such as the Buddha, could recall lots of their past incarnations, but that does not imply the reverse, namely that recalling past lives is an indication that one is enlightened.
Other miscellaneous psychic experiences and phenomena: Being psychic in any number of ways does not necessarily indicate that the psychic person in question is well along their spiritual path; they may be or they may not. I have known several dysfunctional people who could "read" other people's minds. Others see auras. Some dream of future events, such as catastrophes. Psychic "detectives" may help locate crime scenes, criminals or victims. I once knew a genuine lieutenant police inspector who worked in this way. Some psychics may sometimes be able to heal others, or have experienced healing. Note that while being psychic is no guarantee of Waking Up, all fully Awake Masters know everything and have open access to all Knowledge.
INTERMEDIATE STAGES OF BECOMING SOMEWHAT ENLIGHTENED (no big deal)
The following experiences indicate that a person is on the right track, but that there is usually some way yet to go along one's Path to Waking Up.
Experiencing a diffusion for all-pervasive gently glowing light in the environment when not in meditation: Some people have described experiencing seeing everything in the environment as if through a misty glowing "fog," a perception which may last for minutes or hours. This misty light is easiest to see in a spiritual group setting but is not limited to that.
Seeing a pearl of light with eyes closed during meditation: This pearl of bright light may be surrounded by blue light, and the proportions of the two colors vary from person to person and from meditation to meditation. One must have a still mind to see this pearl of light. However one should always be curious about What is beyond the pearl and regard it as a doorway to the Mind of God. Your Now-Consciousness IS an extension of God's Consciousness within Him.
Experiencing an all-pervasive Love for hours or days: One woman who was working her way through the Workbook of A Course in Miracles reported to me that she suddenly became immersed in a feeling of deep Love for everybody and everything during a personal meditation and the Loving feeling stayed with her for approximately 24 hours before fading away. This experience transformed her life from getting "love" to giving Love.
ADVANCED STAGES OF BECOMING ENLIGHTENED
The following one or more experiences indicate that a person is not only on the right Spiritual track, but is close to a full Awakening. Nevertheless, always remember, that it is possible for a person to experience instant enlightenment, even from a state of extreme despair, fear, or from being an abusive persecutor. When Saul, who persecuted early followers of Jesus, was hit by the Light, he became Paul and was spiritually transformed. But there are indications he was not yet fully Awake.
Experiencing Light-as-Energy flowing and glowing around everything: Quite a number of people have reported this experience. They see all the objects in their environment as full of glowing energy and as brightly lit around the edges and sometimes even from deep within those objects. Usually this light-energy-effect is more pronounced around natural objects such as plants, trees and flowers. Flowers, especially, are seen as spectacularly Beautiful, seen as Divine works of art. Quite often this Light-as-Energy experience is combined with the next one. Strangely, this experience sometimes occurs when a person has reached bottom (bottoms out in extreme despair), gives up all their ego, and relinquishes all personal control. "Thy Will Father, not my ego's."
Experiencing Bliss, Joy, and/or Love for an extended period of time: This is much more than just a brief episode of these powerful feelings--which, in this "advanced" state, lasts (without interruption) for many months or even years. They are also necessarily accompanied by a strong feeling of Compassion for every Being on the Planet, because one knows that, whatever behaviors egos may exhibit, everyone on Earth is a Mind-as-Such Creation of God, by God, for God, in God's Mind, Now. One realizes that the quickest way to remedy all the problems of this world of egos is to Wake everyone Up--by helping those who ask for help..
Experiencing everything in the Universe as One with one's Self: This is much more than just a knowing or acknowledgement of Universal Oneness. It is an actual experience of the Ultimate Singularity of God accompanied by a profound understanding that the Absolute Mind-as-Such is the Source of All-That-Is (including one's Self) within Itself, Now. However, do not assume that God created death, disease or disasters or that these fictions are a part of God's One Reality. Our delusions and false ego-identities are not Real (see E1).
Experiencing and Knowing that one's own Mind-as-such is within, One with, and continuous with the Absolute Mind-as-Such of God: Again, this is much more than just an ordinary knowing or acknowledgement of, "We are all one with God, or One in Him." This Experience of Universal Mind-as-Such Continuity and Oneness is the full deep Realization that God's Mind is flowing through one as One's Mind-as-Such NOW. It is the Knowing expressed by Jesus when he said, "My Father and I are One."
FULLY AWAKE MASTERS
The Masters tell us that, while very few humans are fully Awake at the moment, the full Awakening of the human race is now proceeding rapidly, and if it continues to accelerate, we should all Wake Up within a decade or two from now (2007). What, then, can we expect to unfold into when we do Wake Up fully?
Loving: We will BE Limitless Love again, and only Loving, which is exactly how we were originally created. There will be no fear, no conflict, no lack no coercion, no ego-love getting, no separation from God or from one another.
Knowledge: We will have instant unlimited access to all of God's Mind and His Knowledge. We will also have unlimited access to every Mind within the Universe of Universes because Mind-as-Such is perfectly Free and perfectly Open.
Freedom: Because, when Awake, we are totally Loving and can do no harm, we will be Free to do whatever we like with God's Blessing. In Loving Limitless Mind-as-Such there is only the Harmonious Synchronicity of all Reality, and anything else is dissociated, deluded dreaming by those of Us who wish to do so and are Free to do so.
Attributes of God: Because we will have remembered Who We Are, we will rediscover God created us in His Image and Identical to Himself, and with all His Attributes. As a consequence we will again Lovingly create as does God, thus expanding the number of Mind-Beings within His Mind-as-Such. Fully Awakened Ones have the power to share in all Creating with God.
Expressions of God: We will understand that God is flowing through each of us (all Mind-Beings) as Himself, and expressing Himself as each of us in an individuated unique way within the Oneness, within the Singularity of His Mind-as-Such, for all Now-as-eternity. Note that the separation is a fabricated dissociated dream-idea, which (a) because we are Free, and (b) because God can have no limits of any kind--not even on imagination, and (c) God never forces or coerces His Created-Free Beings, and (d) God Knows the dream is nothing, therefore He does not interfere with our insanities, or rather, interfere with the silly nightmares we make for ourselves as egos.
Ideas: We will fully realize, understand and Know that Everything in the Universe of Universes, including those Universes and all Creation, is no more and no less than an infinite set of Ideas within Ideas within Ideas all of which are within God's Mind-as-Such. In other words, All-That-Is is Created of an infinity of Ideas within an infinity of Hierarchical Systems (also Ideas), within an infinity of Operational Principles (also Ideas), within the infinitely Self-Aware, Mind-as-Such, Singularity we call God, Whose Mind we share.
Loving Oneness Now -- Copyright © 2007 Alexander Bannatyne, PhD