There is no saying how the door opens. There is no saying how the wind is sucked out of the world and you with it, through the door, which, as one can see clearly from the other side, was never closed in the first place. One can see clearly, from the other side, that there is no other side. There are no words to describe a change which is not a change from one thing to another, a movement which is no movement at all. But because writing is what I do, I will try to write about this.
The funny thing about enlightenment is that people think it is a state they should strive to achieve. It sounds like a good thing: enlightenment. It sounds like laying down burdens. The problem with this, thinking enlightenment is a good thing, is that you might then suppose that burdens are a bad thing. Everywhere, there are people who want to be enlightened so they can stop suffering… so that they can get rid of the bad stuff and be free. But that is not how it works. Enlightenment is not about getting rid of suffering. Enlightenment is realizing that suffering isn’t something one needs to get rid of.
I think this is very similar to the saying that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. I think an elephant would have an easier time getting through the eye than a person who doesn’t suffer would have attaining enlightenment. A person who doesn’t suffer isn’t alive. Enlightenment, though it requires a kind of death, is a state of extreme alive-ness. Everything is more vivid in THIS, even suffering.
Of course, the other thing about enlightenment, the kingdom of God, or whatever you might call it, is that once you see that you are there, you also see that you were always there. You didn’t have to go through the eye of a needle afterall. All you had to do was open your eyes. This isn’t really something one can attain, because it is impossible to attain something you already have. This is why you can’t find God by looking for him. But this isn’t to say that looking for God or trying not to suffer is bad either. There’s no difference between saying that suffering is a bad state to be in and saying that trying to stop suffering is a bad state to be in. They’re both wrong. The bad state doesn’t really exist. The line between immanence and transcendence doesn’t really exist. THIS isn’t about breaking through barriers, it’s about no longer believing in them.
A lot of people might say they couldn’t be happy, because happiness requires believing in things blindly. Actually, it is being miserable that requires this. You really have to believe that you are trapped, that you are doomed, that you are worthless, that you have nothing to give, to be truly, deeply, miserable. You have to believe it no matter what other people say. You have to believe it even if you can’t prove it. These are the kind of beliefs that are hardest to let go of. Happiness is the absence of beliefs.
To find God is to see that one has been in God from the beginning. There is nothing new. I think another thing a lot of people expect from a big, universal, insight, is that it will be a new thing that changes the world. That’s not really true either. Yes, there can be a sudden, profound shift in how a person experiences the world. But it’s still the same world, and you’re still the same person. Nothing new is added. Everything was already there.