What Is Enlightenment?

Waking Up To Spirituality
“What, concretely, is Enlightenment?”

“Seeing Reality as it is,” said the Master.

“Doesn’t everyone see Reality as it is?”

“Oh, no! Most people see it as they think it is.”

“What’s the difference?”

“The difference between thinking you are drowning in a stormy sea and knowing you cannot drown because there isn’t any water in sight for miles around.”

The above is a quote from “Awakening” written by Anthony de Mello. He sees spirituality and enlightenment as a process of awakening to the true nature of reality. The question then is: why do we find it difficult to understand our true nature and the nature of reality around us? The answer in one word is: ego. This is best illustrated in the quote by Bede Griffiths:

“I suddenly saw that all the time it was not I who had been seeking God, but God who had been seeking me. I had made myself the centre of my own existence and had my back turned to God.”

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