Enlightenment Is Our Natural State
It is the birthright of each and every one of us to live an awakened life. Most religions and spiritual traditions teach us that we need to adopt a certain belief system or follow some prescribed steps in order to attain a state of enlightenment. A long-held belief about awakening is that only a small number of people, destined to become gurus or spiritual teachers, can attain it. It is certainly true that until recent times only a small minority of people on the planet had attained this state of full self-realization. These saints, mystics, and spiritual masters were seen as “special.” And they certainly were, at the time. However, times are changing.
We are now living in an era of rapid acceleration of the phenomenon of spiritual awakening. The truth is that awakening is absolutely available to every single human being on the planet right here, right now. Enlightenment is our most natural state. When we strip away all the concepts and ideas we have learned over our lifetime—about ourselves and how we view the world—we uncover the simple truth. We discover who we have always been—pure consciousness. Before the accumulation of ideas, we were pure awareness. We are still pure awareness. This awareness simply witnesses life, as it unfolds, through and around us. There is nothing we need to do, or believe, to become enlightened. We simply remember who we essentially are. We already are that which we seek.
I recently heard a beautiful story that illustrates this. The story was related to me by a friend who knew a young couple who had just birthed their second baby. They noticed that their older child, then four years of age, was sneaking into the newborn’s room at night. Curious what the four-year-old was up to, they decided to install a video camera in the baby’s room so they could observe what was happening. To their surprise, they discovered the older child was visiting the baby and asking it: “Please tell me about God…I’m beginning to forget.” This child had the awareness that his innate sense of wholeness was already slipping away. And he realized that the baby was capable of reminding him of what he was forgetting.
Enlightenment is actually a very ordinary state. It is also an extra-ordinary state. It feels elevated because it is not burdened by all the weighty ideas and beliefs we had previously amassed. When we come to realize the truth of who and what we are, we are no longer limited by the false sense of identity within which we had previously been confined. Our natural state of freedom is restored. There is no longer anything to fear. The deep peace of our true nature is revealed to us. We are no longer run by the programs in our mind—that is, our learned ideas about who we are and how we “should” live, including our concepts of “right and wrong,” and “good and bad.” We have remembered that we are pure consciousness. Consciousness simply is. It is not for or against anything. It simply is everything. When we are fully self-realized, we naturally speak and act as love. We could not possibly do anything else.