I’m really pleased to say that the way I am sharing these teachings seems to be working. Several people who have either been attending my meetings or having 1 to 1’s with me are waking up to what is being pointed at here, and having a first-hand realisation of the Freedom-that-already-is for themselves. Their suffering is melting away and the Freedom that is already here and non-different from everyday life is patently obvious to them.
You can’t really put this Freedom into words, but luckily you don’t really need to. Just as to give someone directions to St Paul’s Cathedral you don’t need to describe the cathedral – you just point them in the right direction – eg. ‘go straight ahead and take the first road on the left and you’ll see the big white domed building in front of you’.
One of the reasons the teaching is working so well is due to their clarity and straightforwardness. I’d like to give you an example:
The bumpy car
Let me give you an analogy for enlightenment: imagine driving in a car in which a stone is stuck to the outside of one of the wheels on the car, causing the car to bump up and down as it drives along.
Now imagine that this stone suddenly fell away from the wheel (enlightenment). The passengers in the car would experience a bumpy journey (suffering) suddenly transform into a smooth pleasurable gliding driving experience (no suffering).
An energetic shift
The passengers in the car at the could describe this experience as an ‘experiential shift’ or ‘energetic shift’. One moment they were suffering. The next everything became smooth and aligned and life just felt better. Friction was taken out of the system and the car was able to drive faster and more efficiently. There was an ‘energetic shift’.
The important thing to note here is that while the energetic shift was certainly experienced in this example, it is a symptom or effect of a deeper cause, namely the stone no longer being attached to one of the wheels.
If a person spontaneously becomes enlightened and then goes on to teach, often they will describe the experience of their enlightenment and teach in that way. They may say that enlightenment is an experiential shift, and, even worse, say there is nothing you can do to attain it. If the teacher has not retrospectively analysed their own experience, they will themselves not realise what exactly happened to them. They may say what happened to them is a mystery (and so stopping the inquiry) – instead of simply saying a more honest ‘I don’t know’ (which leaves the door for inquiry and investigation open).
It is just like the passengers in the bumpy car describing what their experience was like, but never opening the car door, stepping outside and investigating what actually happened to them. They do not realise that it was the stone being removed from the wheel that eased their suffering. For the passengers in our story, the stone spontaneously fell away, but there are also other more purposeful ways of removing the stone which also have the same effect.
Note that whilst this way of sharing may still be effective as it is coming from a genuine realisation/experience, and that can resonate with seekers, but it is a much less effective teaching method as the root cause of the experiential or energetic shift is not actually being exposed and taught.
A structured teaching
What is implicit in the above illustration is that there is a mechanism to enlightenment. I say there is. Enlightenment is a discrete event, it has several specific causes, and it has several predictable effects. Enlightenment is something that happens to an apparent individual. The Freedom that was always present is discovered and recognised. The Freedom is not something that happens – it is not an event and it was always here – but the discovery/recognition is an event that happens.
Similarly Freedom itself cannot be put into words and cannot be contained/understood by the mind, but the pointers towards freedom can be clearly expressed, just as the example I gave at the start of this post regarding directions to St Paul’s Cathedral. Some directions are clearer and more effective than others.
I discovered the underlying mechanics of enlightenment by retrospectively analysing what had happened to me once I realised that I was no longer suffering, and also drawing upon the experience and teachings of countless others as recorded in traditions such as Vedanta and Buddhist traditions. There is essentially a method, in fact several methods, by which we can remove the stone of ignorance, the result of which is Freedom from suffering.
There are various techniques that can be employed, some more effective than others, and some more useful to a specific type of seeker depending where they are in their journey. Some people need lots of conceptual teachings and practices, other people don’t. It depends on where they are.
In the end, all the techniques and concepts that we pick up and use as tools to remove the stone of ignorance are no longer clung to once their job has been done. Just like any tool, we put it down once we have finished using it. The Structured teachings I teach are not the truth, but they create the foundations for realisation and point the way. And they are proving to be effective.
To find out more, please come along to one of my online or in person meetings. This understanding is not so easy to get from just reading, and for most a 1 to 1 real time interaction with a teacher is incredibly useful and can save years of groping around in the dark.