A Description Of Enlightenment
By Leo Gura - February 24, 2017
I wanted to share this excellent description of what enlightenment feels like, by Suzanne Segal, so you’re clear what you’re shooting for:
“After months of this mystifying witness awareness, something changed yet again: The witness disappeared. The disappearance of the witness meant the disappearance of the last vestiges of the experience of personal identity. The witness had at least held a location for a ‘me’, albeit a distant one. In the dissolution of the witness, there was literally no more experience of a ‘me’ at all. The experience of personal identity switched off and was never to appear again.”
“The personal self was gone, yet here was a body and a mind that still existed empty of anyone who occupied them. The experience of living without a somebody, an ‘I’ or a ‘me’, is exceeding difficult to describe, but it is absolutely unmistakable. When the personal self disappears, there is no one inside who can be located as being you. The body is only an outline, empty of everything of which it had previously felt full.”
“The mind, body, and emotions no longer referred to anyone — there was no one who thought, no one who felt, no one who perceived. Yet the mind, body, and emotions continued to function unimpaired; apparently they did not need an ‘I’ to keep doing what they always did.”
“In an attempt to understand what had occurred, the mind began working overtime, generating endless questions, all unanswerable. Who thought? Who felt? Who was afraid? Who were people talking to when they spoke to me? Who were they looking at? Why was there a reflection in the mirror, since there was no one there? Why did these eyes open in the morning? Why did this body continue? Who was living? Life became one long, unbroken koan, forever unsolvable, forever mysterious, completely out of reach of the mind’s capacity to comprehend.”
“The oddest moments occurred when any reference was made to my name. If I had to write it on a check or sign a letter, I would stare at the letters on the paper and the mind would drown in perplexity. The name referred to no one. Without a personal self, the inside or internal simply did not exist. The inward-turning motion of the mind became the most bizarre of experience when time and again it found total emptiness where it had previously found an object to perceive, a self-concept.”
“The more baffled the mind became, the greater the fear. Worst of all, simultaneous with the cessation of personal identity, the experience of sleep had changed radically, leaving me with no escape from the constant awareness of emptiness of self. Sleeping and dreaming now contained the awareness of no one who slept or dreamed, just as the waking state of consciousness contained the awareness that there was no one who was awake.”
“In that moment a deep despair settled over the mind as it realized that I would never again experience having a personal self — even though the mind could never grasp how that was possible. I walked around wondering who was still alive. I wandered the streets gazing into every shop window, praying that the next glimpse of my reflection would bring back a flicker of recognition, praying for a solid experience of seeing myself in the eyes that stared back from the window’s glare. It never happened.”
It’s time to grow up; time to stop pretending there’s a you here.
Credit: Collision With The Infinite by Suzanne Segal
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