The truth is that there’s no such thing as enlightenment. No one is permanently enlightened; that would be the story of a future. There’s only enlightenment in the moment. Do you believe a stressful thought? Then you’re confused. Do you realize that the thought isn’t true? Then you’re enlightened to it. It’s as simple as that. And then the next thought comes, and maybe you’re enlightened to it as well, and maybe not.
– Byron Katie
draft – before I found the quote….
I keep coming back to this as well:
Byron Katie said once (paraphrased): I can only be enlightened to a thought, to the thought that’s here.
That’s how it seems to me as well. Any idea of “enlightenment” as something lasting is just that, an idea. And any idea of “enlightenment” as something more general is that too, just an idea.
There may be more clarity around a certain thought that’s here. And it may change the next moment.
Of course, enlightenment often refers to clarity around the idea of “I”, that it’s seen as just a thought and not absolutely true, and there is a softening or release of identification with it.
And yet, as with any other thought, this clarity may happen at different levels. It may be seen quite clearly, and yet there may be an emotional charge around the idea of I, and it may be lived – to some extent – as if it’s still true. There is something left and more to see.
And as soon as any thought is taken as true, it’s identified with and it becomes a new “I” temporarily taken as true.
And all of that is fine. It’s life appearing in all these ways. It’s Spirit exploring and experiencing itself in all of these and more ways. It’s the infinite experiencing itself as finite, and then infinite, and then finite, in all different ways. It’s more than fine.
Each time a thought is taken as true, it’s an opportunity for investigation and discovering something new.