Question: What is required for enlightenment; is there a secret?

The secret is this: Rearranging your conceptual self (ego) to look a certain way, no matter how ugly you think it is, is not required for enlightenment. When you reside as the great perceiver, you have no real connection to your first name and all the phenomena associated with it. Whether you see your name as representative of a killer or a saint, it makes no difference to the unblemished observer, which remains always unaffected and slowly starves the dispositions by non identification with the exclusive me.

This is the “witness stage” or where seeking ends and learning begins….

What is required next is an intense aversion towards seeking experiences through the senses and the fulfillment of thought, or dispassion. This attracts the appropriate teaching or association with the learned. Then, a dedicated study and an earnest effort to validate for oneself coupled with an intense devotion, love, and complete surrender towards a concrete aspect of the Final Cause, bestows her grace upon the seeker. In turn, the seeker dies into the ground or Final Cause becoming That; which is all things simultaneously yet nothing exclusively: Allowing for the ordinary to continue on the surface without the sense of an exclusive doer; because even the most mundane tasks are done while sunk in the bliss of the Final Cause!


How did you become enlightened? More specifically, what type of spiritual practices helped lead you there?

First, enlightenment is not something you become because that would imply that it is something that is not present right now but can be acquired sometime in the future. Surely, what is gained can be lost therefore not worth pursuing. Enlightenment is your true nature, and as long as you exist; enlightenment is here: You are That and can never not be That.

The question becomes which practices remove the false notion that I am  not enlightenment?
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Question: Why Haven’t I changed? I want enlightenment so bad!

It’s not about changing your humanity into something else but rather knowing yourself as the essence of humanity; and discovering ultimately that you are the totality of humanity yet none of it exclusively.

Just like a sculpted piece of clay. The sculpture appears unique with qualities and attributes; but in essence it always was and will always be just clay, regardless of the form it takes. The expression needs the clay but the clay is not dependent on being sculpted. At the same time they cannot be separated. So we can conclude that the clay is the expression and “not” the expression simultaneously.

Therefore, enlightenment is to realize your simultaneous dual and non-dual nature as only One.
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Which spiritual teachings/religions lead to enlightenment or God

There are many different teachings for many different temperaments. They seem diverse in there approach but have the same goal. There are two types of minds that create the diverse approaches-analytical and non-analytical. The analytical mind must approach the path through inquiry. They analyze the ego and its functioning and strive to follow it to its source and look for God in its abstract form; eventually merging with it. The non-analytical mind attempts to remove suffering through deep surrender to the concrete aspect of God and so merge with It.

What is left is the Residual Absolute which becomes you. Although, outwardly the body continues to act out its various functions and there may still appear to be an ego to conduct worldy affairs. But inwardly, there is only Intense Unmanifested Stillness without a second of differentiation.

So, inquire relentlessly until your true nature is revealed; or surrender to a concrete “higher power” so completely that there is not a trace left of your own will and any sense of mine. This type of surrender entails giving up the preservation mechanism  and having a severe aversion to concepts, beliefs, and ideology. While at the same time giving up any desire to seek experience through the body: Pain or pleasure.

Either way, the outcome is the same-a complete dissolution of the me.


The Secret of Self Realization

Getting the mind and body to conform to a certain condition is not self realization. Saying, “Oh I’m not free nor am I enlightened because look my body and mind are a certain condition , how can this be enlightenment when I think like this or feel like this!”

Self realization is to discover reality that exists in spite of whatever the mind or body may be doing. That is all. What is mind business is mind business what is body business is body business-not your business. As you are always the unimpressed witness in spite of horrific or pleasurable thoughts; pain in the body or comfort.

The secret is: As the witness you already have no real connection to mind-body phenomenon. It is only when the observer confuses itself with what is being witnessed. Namely, your first name and the body associated with it.

To actually make the break from mind-body identification is to allow for the “me” to be humiliated without a single movement to preserve it. This is coming in contact with Death while alert. This brings down Grace which gives sudden and spontaneous revelation, which creates an identity shift from “I am a body and mind” to ” I am the Eternal.”

What are the right questions that lead to enlightenment?

The beginning point is different for everybody. But the question is always directed towards one self, and having the flavor of searching for One’s Own Existence beyond the form of body and thought. The strength of which one is wholeheartedly committed to see it to the end, through and through, determines pace.

“Who am I in spite of thought?”

“The Source of All is present at all times? I will sit here every chance I get and just look then.”

“What if I just accept everything that rises in the moment as pre-ordained?”

“Who am I in spite of what is perceived through the various senses?”

“Is there any part of me that is unchanging, consistent, and unaffected by phenomenon?”

“Can I die without harming the body? Yet remain alert?”

With great perseverance and devotion; strive to see the inquiry all the way to the end.

Question: What is enlightenment and what should it look like as far as my feelings and experiences?

Enlightenment has no connection to whether you are free or not free, anxious or not anxious, angry or not angry. Your true nature “is” regardless of the phenomenon taking place in the body and mind. Therefore, it’s not about looking a certain way or never feeling a certain way again; and then saying, “yes I am enlightened.”

Rather, enlightenment is the only thing that is actually real, because it is the only thing that is unchanging and permanent. It is the Impenetrable Fortress of Awareness. It is the Consciousness that pervades all things, times and places in spite of the pain and pleasure, good and evil, demands and expectations. It is the Great Illuminator that animates existence.

This truth can be realized through tremendous perseverance to keep desire one-pointed towards testing the validity of this teaching; and devoting one’s will wholeheartedly to the question, “Is there anything about me that is unchanging and Eternal. Yes I see a body and hear thoughts; but in spite of all that?”

When discrimination between the transient and the Eternal is intensely pursued; only then will you know for yourself-and the seeking ends.

Atreya Thomas