In the I Ching, the venerable Chinese Book of Wisdom, we are told that for every ending there is a new beginning and if there is a watchword, a mantram, for a person who seeks eternity, it's that phrase. Throughout the ages human beings have sought Enlightenment. We have been all of those beings throughout the ages who have sought Enlightenment. Today, a few people seek Enlightenment. We are those persons who seek Enlightenment. In the future there will be innumerable, countless beings who seek Enlightenment. We are all of those beings who have already had their so called Enlightenment.
The idea that there's a past and a future is illusory. Which does not mean that there is not a past and a future. There is a past and a future in this world in relative time. Then, of course, there's timeless time. That realm of existence that's not defined in the Superconscious. True awareness. When we experience the ultimate reality, without words, without hidden meanings. But between the Superconscious, and the conscious, there's a space, a gap, which each one of us experiences on the way towards the transcendental reality. It's the journey that we make called self-discovery.
Self-discovery comes in so many different forms and formats. The form varies according to the individual. The format is the path that you walk upon. But for every ending there's a new beginning.
Liberation does not indicate the extinction of the self. Rather, it indicates total consciousness, complete awareness, of all selves. But not in the way that the self can understand or relate to.
The world is filled with frustration, doubt, ignorance, hatred, fear, oppression and repression. The world is also made of pure beauty and light. We could say that this world, this grand stage that we walk upon, that we call earth, life, this life, is a field of action. A screen, a place to dream, many many different dreams. All of our successive lifetimes are dreams, and yet they're real dreams.
The pathway to Enlightenment is not necessarily very long in retrospect. For one who is seeking Enlightenment it seems endless, something that will never happen, it only happens to a chosen few, and it's true. Enlightenment only occurs to a chosen few. So I suppose if we could find out who's choosing and have a serious talk (laughter) with the one who's doing the choosing, it might be possible for us to become part of the chosen few.
However, I have to speak out for the unenlightened. And I think its necessary to be the defense counsel this evening, or any evening, for those who avoid Enlightenment. Because I think of all actions which are noble and fruitful, this is perhaps the most ridiculous. (Laughter). But if we have a broad based understanding of life and if we have a heart that's big enough to accept the diversity of existence beyond the knowable, within and without reason, then some of the following may make sense. Why you shouldn't attain Enlightenment.
There's really no reason to attain Enlightenment. Since we all know philosophically that we all are enlightened, at least that's what enlightened people say. Yet you know that that's not true, which means all enlightened people lie. (Laughter). Why would you want to become the liar? Therefore, you can be truthful and avoid Enlightenment.
Being enlightened doesn't necessarily mean that you're happy all the time. This is one of the illusions of Enlightenment. Therefore, if you want to be happy all the time you should not be enlightened. Enlightenment leads to intense frustration. It gives the word new character (laughter). Therefore, if you want to avoid frustration, you should definitely avoid Enlightenment. Enlightenment, or liberation or self-liberation, whatever we choose to call it, can't be very good otherwise more people would seriously endeavor to experience it or become it. Clearly the world is filled with persons who are wise. We know that the more years you live in this world, the more you know. The smarter you are. We learn from our experiences, (laughter) and judging from the learned world and the knowledge that the elderly possess we know that Enlightenment can be of little value because very few elderly people are enlightened. And even fewer young people are enlightened. So if youth has anything to teach us, it's to avoid Enlightenment at all costs. (Laughter). If old age has anything to teach us, it's to avoid Enlightenment (in most cases) and there's nothing good about middle age, we all know that. That's the time when people raise families. As opposed to raising their kundalini.
The world has never cared much for Enlightenment. If we use history as an example, and since we know that history repeats itself, we can assume that the world probably will never care for Enlightenment. The people of the world. The dominant themes that seem to repeat again and again historically are oppression, violence, hatred and a tremendous, tremendous appreciation on the part of almost all, even those who oppress and hate and are violent, of beauty. Strange dichotomy.