BUDDHISTIC ENLIGHTENMENT - REALIZATION OF THE SELF

March 11, 2019

The underlying idea within the buddhistic philosophy is the attainment of englightenment through elimination of thoughts (or detachment from them). Are not thoughts however, from an essential importance for our earthly lives? The very act of recognizing objects is a particular form of thought exercised on a subconscious level. Can we look at a chair and not recognize that it is a "chair" and immediately define its purpose without needing to analyze it? If our mind is deprived of thought how could we even live in the physical world? How would we know what is dangerous and what is not, and how should we use the objects around us if we cannot recognize them?

THE MIND

Understanding the importance of thinking then, why should its absence be defined as enlightenment? What does it even mean to be enlightened? We usually use the word "enlightened" when a certain fact finds its way within our consciousness, or in other words - when we understand something for the first time. In this line of thought then, what is that which man must understand in order to be enlightened in a buddhistic sense? Man can exercise his thought process in two different directions - thought upon something new which attracts the intellect with its newness and uniqueness, as well as thought upon something which the individual had already thought about in the past. The latter process is termed "remembering". Thought could also be accompanied with images (imagination), and it could also be continuous - a whole story can take place within your mind. But in order for thought to exist whatsoever, there has to be something which precedes it, a source which, when stimulated, can produce thought. Do we not call this source "Mind"? If that is correct, then we reach the conclusion that the human mind contains the potential to produce every thought which our consciousness can comprehend. Does not the mind then, represent a compact form of all our thoughts combined within a single point? If that is true, why then does man lets and tolerates the flowing of a certain idea to develop within his consciousness, when the source of this thought, which stores all thoughts, is already present within him and through touching it he can aquire knowledge about all thoughts possible? Isn't it true however, that the avarage man lives in such manner - constant thinking and imagination upon everything around him? Even when the individual resides within complete silence, he thinks about something, thus every person identifies himself with his thoughts - "my name is ...., I work at.... I also have..., etc.", in such a way man associates his thoughts with the building of his "Self".

MOMENT OF REALIZATION

Is it not true however, that each thought happening within our mind has an end? Isn't it true then, that if a certain thought, which participates in the building of our false Self, reaches its end, a part of this Self must reach its end too? Therefore if one manages to cease all thoughts for short period of time does that not mean what he refers to as "HimSelf" must die as well for that period of time? But how does a thought reaches its end if we are in an environment representing complete silence and nothing to ever take our attention away from that particular thought? There is only one answer, and that is the realization that man is not the thought which he experiences within his consciousness, but he is the source of it. It is when this realization happens, the individual may ask himself "Why do I even thought about that and where did that even came from?" It is through asking these questions that man may direct his intellect in trying to understand the source of his thoughts, or his "Real Self"


ENLIGHTENMENT

Every single thought happening inside the individual's head for a long period of time turns itself into a story, or a drama, in which the individual could participate directly or just observe it within his imagination. This thought, sooner or later, reaches its end when man realizes that the personality which participated in this mental drama could not be called "the Self". The realization of this fact gives a momentary understanding of the individual's true nature, or in other words he realizes that his Self is not his thoughts, therefore what he thought to be his "Self", brought by those thoughts, is an illusion. This moment of separating the illusionary Self from the real Self is so short that man usually stays ignorant of it, for the ending of one thought triggers the next, making this moment of enlightenment unnoticed. The buddhistic enlightenment represents the realization that the Self is something outside of our mental perceptions about who we are, and the constant residence within this state of self-awareness. And if the true nature of man is deprived of thoughts, as we have explained so far, then this nature should not exist as "individual", because thoughts are the building blocks of the individual self by creating certain mental qualities with which we identify ourselves (name, profession, belief, etc.), and since the true Self is deprived of thoughts then it must also be deprived of individuality. The mental qualities assigned to ourselves by our thoughts create boundaries - everything that is outside of these boundaries we call "foreign" and therefore "separate", and when there is separation there is bound to be "individualism".

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