Jul 17

Enlightenment Q & A

Is ‘Enlightenment’ the same as the ‘Breakthrough Event’ that the “Radical Spirituality” essay describes?

Enlightenment has become a media and marketing buzzword in the last 20 years or so. I have chosen to use a neutral term to describe the transformational event that many term “Enlightenment” in order to dispel any romantic notions about it.

Why does the typical spiritual seeker want enlightenment?

They want enlightenment because they live in a culture that prizes acquisitions and they want to acquire it.

Do you think the typical seeker has any idea what enlightenment is?

The typical seeker thinks they can find or achieve enlightenment by following a system, technique or guru. They think enlightenment is something you get, something you add to whatever you already have. In short, it is treated like a possession. What they don’t realize is that the transformational event is traumatic to go through. They don’t gain anything but actually lose part of their self. They are, of course, better off for going thru the event, but most seekers would probably prefer their comfortable spiritual practice over the trauma of a breakthrough event.

It sounds like Breakthrough/Enlightenment event is similar to labor and delivery.

Yes! There are metaphorical similarities except that the mother-to-be knows that delivering a child makes the pain worth it.

So, with that reasoning, should the spiritual seeker approach enlightenment the same way?



Skip to comment form

  1. I relate to this description, understanding. Although I would use different terminology or expression, essentially my experience is one of traumatic encounter. Another term I’ve heard of, and favour, is that of “spiritual emergency”, as in “emergence of the ‘natural’, or ‘real’ self.
    PS: A received the link to this site this AM, and though somewhat ‘new’, I intend to monitor and stay in touch with it’s evolvement. TC4N

    • vince schubert on August 27, 2007 at 7:10 am
    • Reply

    Larry, have you spoken to enough other fully realised people to say if you all share the same view of “reality” ?

    Do you think/know if we will all get fully realised ? (this lifetime or future ?)

    What is your take on reincarnation ?

  2. It is not an easy task for find others that have transversed the spiritual path. I am aware of Bernadette Roberts and her books and also one other I am communicating with. While this is not science, I do detect a certain commonality in how we experience the world.

    Yes, we will all get fully realized at some point in our lives. For most, it happens near death. At that point we let go of the self and then see things as they are. Then one can reflect on one’s life and hopefully make peace before passing on. If you are able to transverse the path at an earlier age, then one can enjoy the fullness of life for an extended period of time.

    Reincarnation is a compelling concept. If one has grown up in a Buddhist or Hindu culture, then it is easier to accept. When you read about the Buddhist Tulku’s and the lineage of the Dalai Lamas, you begin to accept the possibility of reincarnation. However, I do not hold reincarnation as a belief system, but more as a likelihood based on the evidence of the Buddhists.

    • Sid on July 17, 2008 at 7:27 pm
    • Reply


    The seeker is another form of the self(left brain) and only when the seeker fails and surrenders does the awareness (right brain) of liberation occurs…it is important that the seeking is very important so its failure becomes a traumatic surrender.


Leave a Reply