I spent a month with Elysha in New Zealand at the True Nature Centre this summer and I returned at the end of July. It was in New Zealand, at this time, that I had the most extraordinary spiritual enlightenment experiences of my life. I’m not really sure why it took having to go to New Zealand to have them but who cares? I got to not only see New Zealand but I also got to have cosmic experiences. What’s interesting about the experiences I had is that fortunately at my age I realize that spiritual enlightenment is not an experience.
The first experience I had was walking from the beach one day down the street and I suddenly felt at one with the universe. I said “I want to be here” and for the first time in my life I felt so completely and totally here, here right here in my skin, in the space of who and what I am and the universe before me was part of that. There didn’t seem to be any separation and everything within the field of my perception was part of what I am and I guess you could call that an experience of non-duality.
The Spiritual Enlightenment Game
I am educated in this enlightenment game, so I knew that spiritual enlightenment is not an experience, so I didn’t think that I had reached enlightenment. If it had happened in my 20’s I would have said “I’m enlightened. This is it! Oh Boy, this is great!” So fortunately when the experience faded I didn’t feel a sense of great disappointment. That’s a good thing because I’ve heard that some people do.
I just let the experience go and the experience left and faded just as gently as it had come. And there were several more experiences similar to that, but they were all different. Every experience is different.
The thing that is so wonderful though is that I realized a couple of weeks after I got back home to the States, is that I have something I didn’t realize that I had. It’s not anything new though. What is new is the appreciation for it; the appreciation for something that I always had. It’s always been here, I just didn’t realize it.
Being Itself Infusing Through Experiences
So the appreciation for it is what is new. It’s fresh, it’s alive. It’s the appreciation of being itself, which is prior to any experience that you can have. I realize now looking back that the reasons those experiences were so pleasurable is because of the experience of being itself that was infusing through the form of those experiences.
At the time, I was mistaking the form of those experiences to be the essence of what they were, and that was a mistake. The experiences were very nice and perhaps there will be other experiences in the future that are even better. But that isn’t the real McCoy. The real McCoy is the realization right now of who and what you are; which is being itself.
It is the immediacy of being that is so good, so fulfilling. And the thing that is so absolutely wonderful about it is when you realize how wonderful it is, you have to have gratitude. You’ve got to feel thankful for it being the way that it is. The way that it is, is that being is here, right here. You can’t get away from it, it is inescapable. It is always here. It’s what you are.
Stop What You’re Doing
The only thing that you have to do is to make the decision and the choice to simply be aware of it, to stop what you’re doing. Maybe not literally stop what you’re doing but stopping the mind-stuff and seeing who and what you are, right now, this very moment. That is being itself.
When you do this there is a flash of something that I hesitate to use the word bliss because everybody uses that word “bliss”, that seems to be the word people are using but I guess you could call it that. It’s good. It’s energetic. It’s what you want. Okay, it’s what you want, it’s what everybody wants. And you can have it momentarily right now; by realizing who you are, by simply being, by self-realizing.
The funny thing is I started this spiritual enlightenment game when I was 19 and I meditated, I did spiritual stuff, I thought spiritual things. I did all spiritual things that I thought I was supposed to do and, looking back, I got nowhere with it. What was missing was self-realizing. In order to have self-realization you have to self-realize. That’s what you have to do. There isn’t any other way.
Do Self- Realizing To Have Self-Realization
You can’t do spiritual thingies here and have self-realization happen tomorrow, at some future time. It’s got to happen now, or not at all. You have got to realize what is here and what never goes away. You have to realize it right now. That is self realizing. You have to do self- realizing to have self-realization. I didn’t know that before. This is called liberation. I call it liberation with a small ‘l’ because I’m not claiming that I’m enlightened. The big spiritual enlightenment hasn’t happened so I don’t want to claim or give the impression that I am enlightened.
That goal of enlightenment is always going to be there, it’s not going to go away. There is no point in pretending I’m going to get rid of that goal. I’m just learning to live with it and have a good time, with the fact that self–realization is what you want. The big spiritual enlightenment is an idea in your head. I want to deal with reality, OK? Reality is self-realizing and that is it.
Self-realizing right now is better than a million years of doing spiritual stuff with the hope that tomorrow, in some future time, you’re going to be in cosmic consciousness. That’s what I used to think, and I’m liberated from that ridiculous idea. Thank God.