In eastern philosophies there are many unfamiliar words. To someone like me – who had no knowledge of the cultures and languages from which they originated – they seemed deep, meaningful and mysterious. By now I know that some of those words are deep and meaningful. But none of them are mysterious. They might seem vague. If you look at them from a distance. But once you get close enough, they become very clear.
All of them can easily be explained, if you know what you’re doing. There is no need to verbally meander for hours, without barely making any meaningful point. While, at the same time, using a lot of big, fancy words, in order to sound more profound than you actually are. As quite a few people do, sometimes even very famous ones. So let’s talk about one of those big, fancy words in a concise and straightforward manner.
What Buddhists, amongst others, sometimes call “Enlightenment” is the experience of complete openness. A state of mind, in which you do not hold back or on to anything whatsoever.
Since we do not need big, fancy words, I will simply refer to “Enlightenment” as “complete openness”. But please keep in mind, in this context we’re not just talking about complete openness as a state of mind, but the actual experience of said state. And there’s the catch. Of course there had to be one…
While the concept of complete openness is fairly easy to understand and thus to explain, any experience is by definition subjective. Two people can go through the exact same situation and still experience it completely different. That’s why it is almost impossible to tell you what the experience of complete openness would feel like to you personally or what kind of impact it would have. Even if it is possible, I don’t think one should even try. Because that experience should be yours and not a copy of somebody else’s. Feel what you feel, whatever that may be, unbiased and untainted.
What I can hint at though, is the amount of impact said experience might have. To that end I am going to use a metaphor which could seem silly. But that’s fine. It is not meant to be serious or realistic. Don’t forget, I’m not trying to tell you what it would actually be like.
That being said, imagine you were an ant. Yes, the insect. So, you’re an ant. You run around and attend your ant duties, all day long, every day, your whole life. Until now you never stopped to look up and notice the sky, not even once. However, all of a sudden, you are able to travel across the universe. – Don’t ask how. Because it doesn’t matter. – Suddenly you can visit distant stars, planets and alien civilizations. Now here’s a simple question: Wouldn’t all that dramatically alter your perspective on basically everything?
You might experience something like that, or something entirely different. It is your journey. This new world is for you to discover, if you haven’t already.
There’s only one point left to make. One thing which, I believe, needs clarifying. Of course we are not ants becoming space travellers, not even metaphorically. Because we always have been, we always will be, we already are space travellers, pretending to be ants.