Illumination and Enlightenment

I find it interesting that the early church spoke of illumination/enlightenment.  This seemed to be an awakening that happened at the initiation ritual.  I know in the Gospel of Thomas one hears the same kind of talk.

Jesus said that we should seek until we find, and then we will be agitated, then will be astounded then reign over the all.

I find this to be the journey to enlightenment.

Seeker Stage:
There are those who long for something more.  They search for meaning, peace, wisdom, or enlightenment.  Seekers are not shunned or looked down on in the Gospel of Thomas as we all must start here.  I remember this stage in myself, and often find myself returning here to start around the spiral to the center yet again.

Finding Stage:
It is here where one receives an epiphany of the spiritual life.  They start a practice and devour learning.  This initial finding may last for years.  It is a passion for the spiritual life.

Agitation Stage:
Here is the time of spiritual dryness or doubt.  Everything is questioned.  Everything held on more tightly than actual insight must be let go of.  In utterly letting go of everything, one is now ready to move on to the next stage if one perseveres.

Illumination Stage:
In utterly letting go of everything, even the forms of God, and rituals of religion, one is able to see God in all of these.  In letting go and seeing the very face of God within (atman) and without and beyond, one awakens and is illuminated.

I have found that this process repeats.  One has never fully arrived.  The journey continues on.  One my pick up the practices and rituals with greater insight and wisdom.


Comments

  1. I often explain this in a similar manner.

    1. Aporia - A sense of wandering or being lost. Searching for something. This is, IMO, what The Living Jesus is talking about when he says "Those who seek should not stop seeking..."

    2. Epiphany - Realization that there's something going on behind the curtain. "...until they find..."

    3. Agon - The struggle accompanying an epiphany. The mind struggles against the insights found during the moments of epiphany in an attempt to restore the status quo. "...and when they have found, they will become disturbed."

    4. Gnosis - Liberating experiential knowledge of What Is. "...when they are disturbed, they will marvel and will reign over the all.."

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  2. Hee hee. I think this is great. The funny thing is at least as for me this is often a cycle. I journey through the stages and like my washing machine..."Rinse and Repeat". These epiphanies are like what my friend calls little epiphanies aka "Piffs". Is full enlightenment/illumination possible in this life? What do you think?

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  3. Sure, I think it's a continual cycle, or at least that it can be cyclical at times. Often, we're at each of these stages simultaneously. Realize one thing, struggle with another, look for yet something else & etc. My teacher always described them as fluid stages.

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