The Enlightened Self

By Leo Gura - February 22, 2016 | 58 Comments

A description of your existential nature.

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Ryan Gleeson says:

This is a very profound concept.
What makes me, this ‘Ryan’ any different from anything else because everything in this world is physical matter, the nature, the human beings, furniture, everything. So what makes my body and brain (also physical matter) detached from the rest of the physical solid matte here?

I mean, Dang. Isn’t it all really existentially just all connected as one and is our ‘true’ self something more, higher, greater?!
I’m 19 and on a deep journey where I am learning more and more of this material daily and am drastically seeing changes by being well, awake damn it!!!!.
The us we always thought that we were growing up from a kid and the way that we happened to be conditioned to think in society and family has been and always had been fake and illusory.
Hey Leo? I wanna ask the question of is there a highest self limit?or does the highest self mean that it is the highest point that I can get to before my physical body dies..?


Leo Gura says:

Pretty much. What you’re realizing is that there are no boundaries within reality. All boundaries are artificial constructs of the mind. The my discriminates, that’s its job. But every discrimination is ultimately fantasy.

Limits? The True Self is infinity. Nothing more can be added to it.

Ryan Gleeson says:

I find that to be true yes, the fact that their are no boundaries really to reality and everything that the mind conjures up is ultimately, really just thoughts and fantasies and do not really have any connection to what reality really deeply and truly is.

Reality just ‘is’ right? Reality is what is going on right now even with no conscious thoughts and theories involved there?

So many people as I become more concision and aware (many other terms in language)in myself I notice are just running around being neurotic, stressed, going crazy over stuff that dosnt even matter! Damn, I mean ultimately creating their own suffering because if they aligned their values in life and aligned everything in their life to create something away from that, to think completely 100% differently, to just BE! be in reality!
Life itself can be pretty darn sweet!

High consciousness is the most rewarding and like I said about limits and dying..death will be so sweet knowing that you lived up to a noble self and the highest state of consciousness and knowing that you could…! I look forward to death now..

..well, not look forward BUUT I can safely say I know I want to die with a smile on my face knowing I lived in alignment with my values and higher self, in integrity, and was never a victim and I woke up before I fell asleep for good..I want a noble death! We’re still in life people! if you’re reading this post!

Dont squander it! live up to you’re higher self NOW! forget all you’re petty bull shit and align you’re values in life now. That is the highest pleasure in life

Peace out Y’all!

Maggie says:

This was an amazing description of self. What a deep dive! How can I use this to improve my life?

Leo Gura says:

By realizing your life is a lie, a total illusion.

Adam says:

what is the meaning ? Leo ,thanks !

Leo Lundgren says:

Respectful work

Did you ever search on jewtube:

“flat earth Eric Dubay best interview yet”?

You DO know the earth we live on IS FLAT, RIGHT??

It actually makes your videos more plausible

– Leo

Ryan Gleeson says:

Ultimately..You gotta align you’re values and even value and honor you’re present existence first of Maggie..
Gain conciousness and awareness through personal growth first off to really understand how asleep that you can truly be and not even realize it on a concious level..when you start to do this you gradually over the months as you are growing and gaining more and more you realize all the other people around you are asleep and being petty and distracted by external factors, not taking in to account that there are so many resources and ways they can grow themselves in the 21st centurary but instread what you notice is that they focus on their mundane life so much that they dont have focus on the ultimate importance to understance the existensial depths and truths of reality.

Right, practical ways:
1.eliminate all distracting
2. surroundyourself with reminders and reasons why you’re doinf this(just so you dont forget or discoun the importance)
3. Gym and diet!
4. Connecting with nature, looking at the moon and realizing the perspective of you’re life and insignifigance of the things people generally put thair focus on or chase after in society
5. Just be, be alone and be
6. Jot down on paper, what you really want to gain (eg. full conciousness)

Becasue what I personally have realized is that the more I gain in my awarness, the more I do not wanna stop my nobel self discovery journey or go back to my un-concioussness mundane life I was living, in fact it terrifies me but that fear makes my determination skyrocket! ONLY THEN ARE YOU FREE! ONLY THEN YOU TRULY LEARN TO LOVE THE ENTITY OF EXISTANCE THAT IS YOU!!

Maggie says:

Mr. G, Thank you for the amazing response. Going out now to just gaze on the full moon and open up

Galyna says:


Thank you for the video. Every Monday looking for it with child’s anticipation.

Once you said ” It is a certain flavor or sensation of yourself……”

Mine is so thick, I can not identify it, really. This “me” sensation is so thick.

It feels like a luggage of knowledge that I was experiencing all my life. I am not sure what it is, but it is not a “single thing”, it comes in bulk.

I would call it knowledge.

Ryan Gleeson says:

That’s it! Maggie, it puts life in perspective for sure! Be totally and truly honest with who you are and what’cha want to reach in life on a noble psychological deep level!
Only then you fully finally have the control to take charge of you’re entirety with integrity to you’re values. For now though, take responsibility for what you’re going to take action upon! Good Luck! You’re welcome!

Ryan Gleeson says:

Hey, perhaps this YouTube video link below there can give a second perspective here alongside Leo’s undeniably deep and incredibly profound videos we all love
The Fundamental truths about reality you never heard as a Kid Ryan Gleeson – YouTube

Maureen says:

My theory is that what we are is the equivalent of what cells are to our bodies. We’re cells in a much bigger body…the universe’s nerve cells, gathering information and relaying it. And the universe is in turn a cell in a much bigger body. It never ends. Not exactly nothing but mostly nothing with pinpoints of being. The weirdest part of being is that you can preface everything about your existence with the word MY which Leo already pointed out, but you can never get to the actual owner. It doesn’t exist apart from its possessions.

Josie says:

Hi Leo,

Not long ago, my mental wheels were spinning like crazy trying to access/find/know the Absolute Truth. I don’t really remember, but I think I was listening to a non-duality talk and trying to “do” something in the video. I finally got fed up. I’ve been listening to a billion talks, reading stacks of books, self-inquiring like mad and following along this sort of intuitive path that I feel I was being led along and I was FED UP and decided FORGET IT! NO ONE REALLY KNOWS and IT CAN’T BE KNOWN. THIS IS ALL THERE IS. Immediately, it was like (not really…this isn’t a big thing, it’s just what it was “like”) I was sucked into a tube and spit out smack dab into the middle of reality(where I was all along anyway, but now I was actually HERE). It actually felt like hitting the “wall” of what was in front of me. And I was simply present.

I’ve had years of other experiences along this path, but that seemed to actually show me what I am without thought. Or at least the truth of reality. I see I don’t exist as a self. I see I’m a container of sorts -space- for everything that arises. Here is my question: Hmm. This is hard to phrase…When I am sitting in a small room, I am only the space for the small room because I don’t use imagination to imagine anything outside of this. When I’m outside, I’m only as big of a space as what’s around me (if that makes ANY sense.) The reason I question this is because when I hear people talking about realizing who they are, they say they feel HUGE and have to almost ground themselves back into their bodies. I’ve never really experienced that. I’ve never actually “become” a tree or an object and that seems to happen to most as well. I feel the space as that tree, I guess. So listening to everyone who has had “the real deal” makes me question my own. I did have a giant experience of reality as I knew it cracking open and revealing the lie I had believed I was in. I walked around for days in awe feeling like I was in a new world. But that’s just a story, I know and it doesn’t matter. And if I see that as a story, I suppose feeling HUGE and limitless is also just a story and doesn’t matter either. I don’t feel the need to search really anymore, but if I’m honest, I do question NOT having this experience. It seems all rather normal to me, which is why I wonder if I’ve just not truly “seen”. However, I get all the rest. Thoughts?

george says:

is enlightenment something to be experienced? because if it is it means there must

be an experiencer.

can you pls make a video talking about psychological time from your perspective?

Pierre says:

Superb job Leo, thanks. Crystal clear.

But what are you going to say after THIS ?!!!?

Kristina says:

Dear Leo I think its really dangerous to talk about ‘Nothingness’ to people who are not enlightened yet. That’s why we have religions who help people to grow love for God. And this realisation or illumination carries a lot of traps for everybody who are on the Path. Every human is a Soul that ‘carries’ this Awareness, or Self-Actualisation and life-experiences to this ‘Nothingness’ or ‘Black Hole’ or ‘Pure Consciousness’. Every Soul or Higher Self or ‘ I am’ has a free will to solve the mystery of their own existence. When you are truly enlightened you will know what and how to tell the people the truth. Wisdom is applied is knowledge.

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn
is just to love and be loved in return”

Nothingness and emptiness that you are talking about is not the way to teach people the Truth. There is Matrix, and yes we are just like a program, if you want to talk in computer language, but nothing could exists without LoVe/ Gravity. Whatever we observe we have to observe it from ‘Holy Trinity’, the whole life manifests always as Three: 1.Spirit, 2.Matter and 3.Consciousness. If you are Nothing you are not the Life!!!!!!!!!So please don’t teach people about Nothingness, that is not the way…We are very much alive and is responsibility of every Human Soul solve this Riddle, and remember LOVE is Living One Vibrational Energy….See your Self as One, and you will find your Enlightenment…which is PURE LOVE

Cindy says:

You are wrong. I had my first enlightenment “experience” because of Leo’s videos and his description of nothingness. I like how in this video he explains that nothingness is also everything, and infinite potential. Also he explained that non self refers to the body, and that there is a true self. You have found a path that works for you but it is not the same for everyone.

kristina says:

Of course it is different and unique experience for everyone. True enlightenment is a very slow, gradual unfoldment of consciousness, realisation who we are and what is our Path and purpose of living. And all is just a matter of perspective and a degree of mental and spiritual development. Maybe this Nothingness is the End of realisation who knows …My statement is only that everybody should consciously and carefully choose will they see themselves as ‘nothing’ or as ‘love’. This process of unfoldment is not an easy one and has a lot of tests and trials, and by realising how much you still need to know about who you are is just the beginning, journey of the Soul is eternal, and it is definitely not Nothingness …but if this resonates with someone it is his own choice of course..anyhow all is part of the Divine Plan…Peace

Cindy says:

Hmm I don’t choose what resonates with me. And I am female. And I do not choose to think of myself as love or nothingness. I am saying that the nothingness examination is a technique that can lead to awakening, as the ego cannot be aware of or perceive nothing. And the physical reality of the ego breaks down. The black hole analogy was great.

Kevin Dunlop says:

Iam glad that you posted this because I think Leo puts a spin on things that need to be reexamined and challenged for important reasons. I would like to know if you can recommend some resourse for me to read online or see videos from the perspective you spoke of. i dont know what it is called to look for it myself. Thanks

Mary says:

Thanks for this great video, Leo. I have done a meditation and my experience during this meditation was: I am not a body. I am a kind of pixel manifestation. ‘Tousands of pixels’ all in movement- in light-like a projection on a screen – in silence.

Shailza says:

Hey, Leo. I am watching this video and I suddenly realized that “true self” that you said is nothingness, can be compared to number 0 right? Because it is nothing but it is something big and without it nothing will exist, I mean all the concepts of all starts from 0.

Yann says:


Kevin Dunlop says:

I have been getting this idea that our trained ego is very math based. In school we get graded, at work we get so much for an hour of time, everything has a value, we look for prices, we even connect with others with an emotional account that is very mathy. Our science and world view is constructed on logic, reason, and math. Capitalism and economy only take into account math. Here in South America they call the Northern lifestyle mechanical, it is said we only go for a relationship if it seems to be a good deal. Going to zero is like throwing all of that calculating in the garbage where it belongs, and being at peace free to experience reality as it is.

Chris says:

so “things” you mention….is the same as content? people, trees, cars, its all just impulse, stimulant and content?


Alison says:

I truly believe we are awareness.

Every human is a vessel for a soul that carries this Awareness, however, this awareness is far from nothing. It is everything. Pure Consciousness.

Marianne Williamson described it this way… If you image a lamp. It gives off light as we all know. But this lamp only gives off light if it is plugged into a power source which, without that, there would be no light. If we identify with the body and mind we are identifying with the lamp, which is an object and has no purpose without the power source.

In reality we are the vessel through which the light comes through and through awareness we are connected to the pure energy of conscientiousness. Experiencing life through our human experience.

I agree totally that we are not the human we were labelled by other humans when we were born. But I believe there is a greater power at work here, way beyond a human explanation. Where we are all connected. We are all one and the same energy experiencing life. Which continues infinitely, in one dimension or another.

Any thoughts?

Yann says:

Partial nothingness, ok, in a discrete conception of reality. But absolute nothingness, it’s another story! Absolute nothingness in practice is impossible because even if all disapears, there would have been something. And absolute nothingness in therory is also impossible because being and (absolute) nothingness are not in fact two parts of an alternative. Cf Parmenides : “being is, but nothing is not”. With your knowledge and experience, do you believe Parmenides is wrong ? Or perhaps the question of absolute nothingness is not accurate ? What do you think ?

Dave says:


Have you ever done the finger pointing exercise as described by Douglas Harding & Richard Lang (The Headless Way)?

When I point at myself in this technique I can see the clear, empty nothing where ME is supposed to be.

Still seems to be localized though. Must look further.

Sid Arthur says:

Rupert Spira says some profound and beautiful things about becoming aware of awareness itself.

Kishan says:

Hey! Leo i understand what you said about enlightement but there is sometime a fear of knowing ourself or what we are and unable to experience happiness that comes from what i was before. Like watching a movie and it’s like “what absurd it is” we are not like that and we don’t think like that.

Kevin Dunlop says:

its way more fun the authentic real experience than the filtered limited experience offered by the conditioned identity. its like thinking you are a music lover but having only ever heard music recordings played on a tiny cell phone. Then one day you get to transform and acuually be the musician playing the music live and feel that for the first time every moment. Its a huge change very inspiring

amal says:

Hi Leo,
Parden my english, your spiritual experience is so intense and beautiful your discription, the infint-out of time- nothingness, was shoking for me and if you are open enough , check out this phrase:
” Has there,not,come upon man aperiod of time when he was not a thing,even,mentioned?”
in your own way of researsh and dig into it then tell me what u think

Yann says:

Leo, how can you be sure there is no purpose in our individual existences, that there is not, for instance, an “irresistible desire on the part of the infinite to disperse itself in singular things so as to enable each thing to mirror the whole, to be a “world” (Roberts Avens) ?

Sweety Temple says:

You are really beautiful, just by being yourself and extend the truth. Thank you so much

Adam says:


Love you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Love you to death!!!!!!!

Will you come to China ,I want to invite you to have Beijing Roast Duck!!!!

Leo Gura says:

Thanks for the offer! I have no plans to go to China though.

Ezgi says:

I can’t find the ‘verb’ for it because it’s not graspable but I guess what I describe+feel+sense… as ‘oneness’ sounds similar to everythingness=nothingness (thanx for enriching my vocabulary about this). and at that point it is pointless to try to describe ‘self’ at all. it’s kind of trying to detach or isolate one thing from this oneness, which is not possible.
some points while listening to this video: sounds funny,weird to think of a person enlightened just some hours a go enlightening, time… I have been playing with this sentence: what are the signs of enlightening, how do I recognize an enlightened person…not making fun of it but it sounds like someone who took shower, put on t-shirt…didn’t consider enlightening as such a solid thing
Thanks for insights

Rama says:

Hi Leo,

One common question I get when listening to your enlightenment videos is as follows:

Is the consciousness/spirit/awareness/nothingness individualized (separate for each person), or is there only one consciousness? It is a popular idea in spirituality that the spirit is just one. But I currently feel that consciousness is individualized. Will we realize along this journey that everyone’s consciousness is the same? Or is it actually different?

I realize that getting this macro picture is not of much value in self enquiry work (at least in the initial stages), but this question always comes to my mind when I listen to your videos. Can you throw some light on this?

Leo Gura says:

It’s both!

First you will become enlightened on the individual consciousness. Then you will become enlightened on the universal consciousness. They are in fact one, but to discover that requires multiple enlightenments.

The ultimate reality is 100% universal and Absolute. But it takes massive amounts of work to get to this stage.

Marc Solzan says:

Ride that beautiful wave, Babe!

Kaz says:

“Some egos are more cluttered, some less, but the idea that a true self lurks within the clutter is just one of the little vanities that keeps us walking in small, purposeful circles. There’s no such thing as true self.” – Jed McKenna, Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment

Leo Gura says:

Be careful with how you define terms.

When I spoke of the True Self in this video, I was referring to exactly the same thing as Jed is. The True Self is not ego, it’s pure awareness/Absolute Nothing.

Val says:

Leo, I have to thank you cause you have been one of the resources I follow for my personal enlightment. I now finally feel that way. I have say I took a sabatic year to work for it. And would like to share my experience with this community. Leo’s videos prepare the ground for me to flourish, then I found this mentor, it was strange because at first I didn’t recognize him as a mentor, but he did recognize me…the key for me was be aware of my dreams and their real meaning, be as much as I can at the present moment, have a growing mindset, one of the most important things was to find a strong conexion with my father and mother (really difficult cause they are dead) and the rest of my family tree, to see myself as part of the tree and no separated. Then, things started to flow, and I started to really feel with my heart. Finally I start seen the real essence of every little thing in nature. A complete new realloty is open know for me, this is the real beggining of my life.

Sophie OShea says:

Leo… the consciousness dilemma.. are we only able to discuss this because the human brain is a consciousness creator or conductor?
When all of us die or are unconsciousness, what’s happening there? Just last night I had a terrifying out of body experience dream but surely it’s only possible because my brain created that experience.

When you say “it/nothingness” was there before you were born and will be there after you die, I hear the sages say this as well and I want to understand this but the ego prevents it.

How do you know it was there before and will be there afterwards, is it something you experience?

Thanks again for this inspiring vid

Lisa Walker says:

Great video and so fascinating. I stumbled across you today on a podcast and discovered the meaning of Enlightenment for the first time, so interesting that I want to learn more. I have subscribed to your website, thanks for the great and very deep content…lol

Leo Gura says:

Welcome aboard! You’ve found a resource that can transform your entire life if you take it seriously.

Sonata says:

What happens to the true self when brain is injured?.

Leo Gura says:


Neil says:


What was the name of the “conciousness retreat” that you went to? It is very very difficult to find someone who is actually enlightened, nonetheless, get them to sit down in front of you and lay it all out on the table. Please share.


Lucy says:

Well Leo, in my entire life or at least the last 10 years I always believed that I’m different from others! sometimes I feel like I don’t have sense, it’s like my brain stops his normal functions. Is that a kind of meditation? but the problem here that even after these phases of non thinking I always feel lost, and that makes me very depressed and insecure in every thing I do and then lazy, I mean without motivation in life.

kevin Dunlop says:

I always feel lost, and that makes me very depressed and insecure in every thing I do and then lazy, I mean without motivation in life.

Some say that there is a healthy speed limit for big changes in the mind. When things come apart too fast you can lose your sense of groundedness and be sacred or feel crazy. Many people have these changes happen faster than is comfortable and go through difficult periods of questioning or confusion. Be brave and dont think of this as bad. It means that you are making progress faster than you have been trained to do. Youll be fine once you get used to it in time, have faith in yourself and resiliance, dont be scared. When someone feels lost or insecure and without motivation I think good you are seeing things as they are, your whole perspective on reality is learned and not well formed its an illusion to feel secure about that, but its just as wrong to fear it because you have a much better resource on your side than the learned identity you are slipping away from. Your higher self doesnt need to hang on thoughts it knows they are dual, flawed and untrue. This does go against what you have learned and are prepared for. You will have to let go of motivation for unworthy objectives set up for you by whoever informed your identity. However you can trust that there are other ways of having motivation to discover

Kevin Dunlop says:

I dont really look for myself, its not important to know about my true self (for example its characteristics). Only the untrue self has characteristics ( none of which are real either anyway just concepts placed on a concept) It is only important to shift from the limited experience of reality to authentic experience, nolonger filtered through the learned lense of the identity. Holding a belief that the only or important version of reality is the conditioned identities version is the trap. Let go of holding the idea that the conditioned minds ideas are important, nothing you know is important just poorly constructed concepts, its wrong, it causes problems, its a crapy version of reality. it can all go and leave you with a true experience of reality. You said here truth crumbles in on itself – I experience it as untruths crumbling in on themselves and leaving you with nothing, all dual thoughts cancell themselves out when pitted against their opposite thought, when the two sides of duality are exposed as the ever present lie or fault of thoughts as way of explaining, one can disolve the importance put on duality by allowing any thought to be cancelled out by its opposite thought leaving you free of both, the empty space in the center of any two dual thoughts where niether thought is true so doesnt exist. No thoughts are real here they only prove themselves untrue ( a joke) automatically. Once the process begins it exposes the trick constantly without you having to try, it becomes so obvious that thoughts are wrong( always useless, lie) that you have no attraction to them. When reality is experienced without reducing it with word labels or dictionary like meaning for each thing experienced simplifying everything true reality can then be experienced, the egos limitations fade away.

Rebecca says:

Hope you can respond??? Where does reincarnation or incarnate play into this ??? If one doesn’t get true enlightened do they need to come back this shit till they do????

Eugene says:

Another great video, I think maybe your best. A thought of who the real one is. I am the wholeness of all invisible light in the shadow of all complete darkness and silence.

Meghnad says:

It’s great to watch your videos and I truly feel the depth of the subject that you touch. I call them Supernova. I have a question to ask you though. Not sure how to frame it but let me try.

I am having some weird experiences past several days. Well I have been meditating for an hour for past several months. It calms my mind and sometimes it remains calm throughout the day. However on certain instances when I am very calm, I feel like I am everything around me as if I am experiencing 3D movie and part of it. Everything seems as a 3 dimensional empty screen where the movie of everything around me is being played. Feels like everything is within me. I could not make distinction of what is inside me and what is outside of me. I could feel space between me and everything else. I remain in that state until someone disturbs me to loose my awareness. Can you shade some light on what this could be? I certainly don’t feel that this is an enlightenment; I am certainly far away from it because I could still feel “me” along with everything else around me. Could this possibly an illusion of mind or high state of mind? How this could happen?

Max Gron says:

Being nothing might be a good start towards believing in an anti-cult cult. Not a human being? A spirit? Magic? Bull-fucking-shit, it’s not true, reality is physical, real, godless, it’s the way it is literally. I don’t anymore believe in a cult or religion somebody made up, it’s not true, the truth is you’re a person, reality’s objective and I believe in nothing now.

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