As you are probably aware – if you’re a regular reader of this blog, and my other writings – I’m a student of success. I consider myself on a fanatical quest to be the best that I can possibly be – on a spiritual, mental and physical level. I’m seeking constant growth. You could say I’ve put my self on a path to enlightenment. Or to put it more accurately, an “attempted” path to enlightenment. And before someone takes out their Criticism Bazooka and starts blasting me with all kinds of reasons and examples of why I’m not enlightened, let me spare them the time and effort; I’ll be the first to admit that I’m nowhere near enlightenment, and that it’s a constant, never ending process that takes many years – decades actually.
“What is enlightenment?” you might ask. According to the dictionary on my Mac, it is “the action or state of attaining or having attained spiritual knowledge or insight…” My own definition of enlightenment is the attainment of such a heightened state of awareness and consciousness that you reach complete inner peace. You live your life without fear and judgement. You actually live your life completely detached from earthly concerns altogether. As you can imagine, very few people ever reach this stage.
But the good news is you don’t have to reach this stage to be happy and fulfilled. Enlightenment, or to be more accurate, “consciousness”, is a scale, it’s not an absolute. Different people are on different levels of conscious awareness. The ones of the lower end of the continuum are people who are dominated by states like guilt, apathy, fear, desire, jealousy, pride etc. Higher states of consciousness are dominated by states of peace, compassion, non-judgement, joy, etc. The highest level of consciousness is enlightenment. Like I said, this is a state where you reach complete inner peace and have no ill feelings towards anyone.
There’s an author who actually, created a scale of consciousness, ranging from zero to 1,000. His name is Dr. Richard Hawkins, he’s the author of Power vs. Force. Click here to see his scale.
By the way, Dr. Hawkins says something really interesting which has stuck with me. He says that if you want to improve the world, work on yourself. He doesn’t say start with yourself, he says the world is fine as it is. He says you need to work on yourself, and if enough people do that, the world will improve on it’s own.
I think you can only go up the ladder of consciousness if you really make an effort to improve yourself. It has to be a conscious decision. And let me tell you, the path to self-improvement can be treacherous. Once you’ve had a big mile stone, fate usually throws something your way to test you, and to humble you.
Just when you think you’re now capable of accepting other people’s short-comings, along comes someone who’s rude, arrogant and just plain mean. He makes you angry and fills your head with all kinds of vindictive thoughts. Thoughts you just thought you eliminated! You later realise that this was a test from the Almighty One, and you hope you’ve learned your lesson.
But the biggest obstacle to spiritual growth lies within you. We all have this inner guardian who, though he wants the best for us, can be a right pain-in-the-backside. I call him the Great Critic Within, or CGW for short. You may have heard me mention him before.
The CGW is that voice in your head that convinces you you’re not good enough to achieve something. It may say things like:
“Look at you you fat cow, your body is disgusting!”
“I’m not good enough to be loved.”
“Who are you to think you can achieve _________?”
“Who am I kidding, people like me are not meant to get __________.”
“People like me are meant to suffer.”
And on and on. The CGW is a BIG obstacle when it comes to spiritual growth. It’s actually a big obstacle in achieving any goal. You need to constantly keep the CGW in check. You can do this gently, or violently, like I do. Whenever my GCW rears his ugly head I give him such a resounding beating that he doesn’t come back for a long time. I had to do that earlier today in fact.
So my friend, over the next coming weeks and months I’ll share some of the thoughts – or “musings” – that I have on my path to enlightenment. I’ll share some of the important insights I’ve discovered. And who knows? Maybe you’ll join me on this journey? 🙂
Talk to you real soon.