“Do not think that enlightenment is going to make you special—it’s not. If you feel special in any way, then enlightenment has not occurred. I meet a lot of people who think they are enlightened and awake simply because they have had a very moving spiritual experience. They wear their enlightenment on their sleeve like a badge of honor. They sit among friends and talk about how awake they are while sipping coffee at a cafe.
The funny thing about enlightenment is that when it is authentic, there is no one to claim it. Enlightenment is very ordinary; it is nothing special. Rather than making you more special, it is going to make you less special. It plants you right in the center of a wonderful humility and innocence. Everyone else may or may not call you enlightened, but when you are enlightened the whole notion of enlightenment and someone who is enlightened is a big joke. I use the word enlightenment all the time—not to point you toward it but to point you beyond it. Do not get stuck in enlightenment.”
Seeing enlightenment as a goal sets us on the path to be something more than we are. Better and wiser, rather than innocent and humble.
There is still a part of me that wants to achieve something or work towards a goal. I admit, I get a kick out of getting Wordle in 3, finding an intriguing flower at Chanticleer, or waking up with an idea for adding fun to a yoga class. This human conditioning goes deep, and is thoroughly enjoyed by the ego-mind.
When I read Adyashanti’s words I remind myself that the ego wants to feel special, and often disguises itself in the role of leader and teacher.
I am smiling. Still some way to go.
Let us all embrace this journey with kindness towards ourselves. There lies the wonder and love for it all. Beyond enlightenment.