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What is Enlightenment?

By Inner Peace article Writer Sally Dearman-Cummings

Sally Dearman-Cummings offers a hypothesis, based on her experiences, that a moment of enlightenment is a moment of fundamentally seeing, or 'getting', reality without the mind's filtering process getting in the way. She has been involved with Enlightenment Intensives in the UK for over ten years. She is the first to acknowledge that she may be wrong, and that's okay; it's all part of her quest for for increasing clarity and she welcomes discussion in that light.

Enlightenment is no more than reality. It's not possible to exist outside of reality. Reality is all there is. Existence is reality. Reality is existence. There isn't anything that isn't reality, all the time. There's no outside. You can't have more than reality. An enlightenment experience isn't anything greater than what is. Or lesser. The best I can come up with is that it's a clean version of what is. It's what is, before, after and during any filtering process. It's what is, and how we would see things all the time if our minds weren't right there between us and reality, interpreting what is all the time for us. The mind is really valuable, but, amongst other things, it acts as a filter between what is, and our perception of the same, and in doing so, it leaves us mostly not aware of what reality really looks like. What it really feels like. What it really is like. There's nothing special about it, in terms of it being exclusive, esoteric, or attainable only by the select few. It's just what is, all around us, all the time, now, and always, and it's available for everyone to directly experience.

What is special is getting a clean glimpse of it, because then you know what is, outside of your mind's view, and the mind never has quite the same grip on you ever again. You know the absolute truth, fundamentally, without filter. It's clear. It might come as a bit of a shock, or it might be the most obvious thing since sliced bread that you wonder you could have missed all this time, but the main thing it has is complete clarity. No lenses. You get a moment with the absolute. Then you have to figure out what to make of it, because you may not be used to such clarity, but that's a different subject that I'll address another time.

Reality, through the mind's filter, is subject to individual interpretation. We each interpret what is - what we see, feel, touch, believe, according to where we're coming from, or have come from through life. Some of our perceptions are apparently more accurate, or consistent, than others. If we find lots of others agree with us about what we perceive, and the model seems consistent over time or deliberate experiment or trial and error, then we may consider our perception fairly accurate, but it's not direct. It's still a filtered perception, arrived at through a process, using one or more of our senses, deduction and reasoning. It's not a direct, clean, completely free experience of what is. It's still our mind's interpretation of what is, based on information from our senses and past experience.

Everything that comes through the mind is an interpretation. What is, exists. We just don't often perceive it directly, without process - outside the filtering of the mind. Our perception or representation doesn't alter reality, any more than a child's representation of a tree - as a stick with a ball on top - alters the reality of the tree. It just means the child is perhaps not representing the tree as accurately as it really is.

And that's our problem wih reality. With truth. We might not be representing it as accurately as it really is. Perhaps that's because we're not perceiving it as accurately as we might. Why would that be then? That's another subject for another time - why we're set up as we are.

Meanwhile, let's return to the premise that we see everything, feel everything, experience everything, for the most part, through the unique filtering mechanism of our mind. Everyone's mind is subtly different, although there is much overlap and hence apparent common perception, but it's still all perception - arrived at on the other side of a seemingly largely automatic interpretation process. So everything exists as it really is, like the tree for example, but we're perceiving it, and representing it, at any one moment, in a particular light based on our unique accumulated life experience, our mind's structure, the day of the week, whatever influences we're operating under - much of which may be unconscious. The common or personal lenses through which our mind interprets and represents reality vary from moment to moment, and so our perception of reality varies, literally all the time.

The mind, however useful and powerful a tool it is in many respects, lies between us and the absolute. This is what we have to get past, or around, or in front of, in order to directly experience unadulterated reality. That's enlightenment. What we experience, for a moment, sans mind, is, for my money, what a moment of enlightenment is. A lens-free moment. Reality without interpretation and re-presentation.

I don't want to underplay how awesome this is, because it's got me completely committed to supporting, with every spare fibre of my being beyond being a mum and a partner, anyone who wants to experience enlightenment, or unfiltered reality, for themselves. It's extraordinary, with awesome potential to help one in one's own life. It has helped me to transform mine, just knowing.

I do, however, want to underplay, a little, how to get there.

Getting there - here - fundamentally to where we already are, isn't necessarily as big a deal as I think it's sometimes felt or made out to be. Enlightenment is in many ways just another state of consciousness, like sleep, and like sleep, we have only partial control over getting into it - more on that in a moment - and once we're there we remain conscious. In a state of enlightenment you're just with reality before your mind. It's useful evidence that you're not your mind - the very fact that you can experience, without it. As soon as you're out of it your mind is right back in there with its incessant 'how, what, why, where, who was that' processes and you're away with evaluating what happened, but for that brief moment, you just are, and everything just is, as it really is, and you get it cleanly, and then you're back here again, in this filtered state; and you realise the really big problem with an experience of this sort - how to communicate it. A moment without words, words being a mind function, and all you have to communicate with is words - oh, and your very being, of course, now that you know properly who or what that is, but that's not easy either.

You have only partial control over getting to sleep, and you have only partial control over getting into an enlightenend state. You can't will yourself there. You can't talk yourself there. You can't surrender yourself there. You can only set up as optimal an environment as you can for the change of state of consciousness to occur, and be willing and patient. That's the best you can do, but everyone can fall asleep, and everyone can fall awake. How one can best set oneself up for an enlightenment experience is yet another subject for another time, but the important message I would like to leave you with here is that it's attainable, and in my experience, worthwhile.

I wish you well.

With love,
Sally D-C

You can find out more about me at my website: www.groundedawareness.com

 
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Recent Articles:

Inner Peace Article 1 - Enlightenment Intensives. A means by which you can get to the absolute core of who you really are.

Inner Peace Article 2 - What is Enlightenment? Sally Dearman-Cummings offers a hypothesis, based on her experiences, that a moment of enlightenment is a moment of fundamentally seeing, or 'getting', reality without the mind's filtering process getting in the way.

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