A teaching to help understand what Spiritual Enlightenment is.
The fact that we are aware is so naturally obvious.
Think about this, right now… you are aware. It is true to say that we are awareness itself.
Inside of and from awareness attention arises. Attention is like an aperture, a possibility. It is needed to tune in to and gather the knowledge of the world. Understanding this can be very important. Take your time, and contemplate each point.
Think of every ‘thing’ as music. Every ‘thing’ as a song. The body is a song. The earth is a song. The rivers are songs. The heart beating in your chest is a song.
Thoughts are songs. Personality is a song. A symphony of life singing to itself.
The universe is the full song, the complete symphony. The songs sing themselves. Each song is a form of knowledge.
You are awareness. I am that awareness. Inside and of awareness attention arises. Attention is how souls gather knowledge from the world, from life.
Attention is needed to know the world. It is a function of the subtle mind.
If your attention is on a tree you are tuned into the tree. The song of the tree is now playing through your mind and body.
Your nervous system is responding to the song and your mind is translating the interpretation of the melody — adding lyrics as thoughts.
All songs are made out of consciousness but you as awareness are not limited by any song.
All knowledge arises in awareness from awareness, but you as awareness are not trapped in any song.
Just like the space is not limited or moved by the song playing through the air in the space. You as awareness are free of all the songs of life.
Science now tells us that matter is mostly empty space, that in fact ‘things’ only appear to be solid because of a trick of the senses.
The forces in atoms keep the lightshow appearing to be 3 dimensional. But in fact, 99,99999999999 % of atoms are empty space and only a tiny flicker of energy-mass makes up the “something” that is any atom.
So the old outdated idea that matter creates energy and consciousness is false.
Consciousness, unbroken wholeness, is the fabric of reality, it is the substrate from which all the appearances of matter emerge.
All songs arise from the same unbroken wholeness and are interconnected. All songs affect each other.
When you tune in intuitively to a loved one, and feel their feelings or know them deeply, attention in the subtle mind is gathering their song in your body-mind. This is only possible because there are no separate songs, and all songs arise from the nondual reality of unbroken whole consciousness.
All songs arise from silence. All songs are made of silence. If you tune it to any song deeply enough you will find it is made of silence. If you tune in to anything in the universe deeply enough you will find awareness. That is what is meant by non-dual awareness, or non-duality or non-dual reality. It is the same. You, I — we are that.
Right now you are awareness. You are conscious. The light show, the songs of life arise in you.
Even when the body sleeps deeply, you are aware. When the songs are not there, you as awareness are still there.
Enlightenment is the mind-body being filled with the light-song of truth. The songs of freedom.
- Freedom because attention no longer needs to hunt for joy, peace or love in the songs of life.
- Freedom because attention need no longer linger endlessly on songs to try to find the self. Attention can finally rest in and of the self as the pure open unbroken wholeness of awareness.
The first possibility is to realize that you are not a separate song of life. This is Self-Realisation or Spiritual Awakening. Then realize that all songs arise in you, and are interconnected. Then see that all songs are made of you as awareness.
Finally see that all songs play themselves, guided by life as life. All songs are sacred.
Just like we need eyes to gather the songs and knowledge of the visuals of life, we need attention which is a function of the subtle mind, if we want to gather the songs and knowledge of life itself. I imagine a sacred basket being carried by the soul harvesting the songs and knowledge of life.
Picking this fruit and that, eating of the fruit of the tree of knowlege so that the universe might know the taste of the fruit.
When this is not known, attention is at the mercy of the loudest demand. The loudest most demanding call to attention is usually pain, suffering, fear, ego and lack. This means that the experience of life, the songs playing through the body-mind are songs of the nightmare and suffering of existence. Songs of a living hell.
The songs of heaven are the songs that play when attention rests on the self as awareness.
But if you don’t know that you are awareness, you will look for (using attention) yourself as a song, as a thing in life.
And the hell-songs of lack, fear and limitation will continue to play.
Attention is a function in awareness that makes it possible for awareness to know the universe. We use attention to gather the songs of knowledge that arise as the cosmos.
When attention rests as awareness, as its silent open source, the body-mind is flooded with the freeing light of truth.
The song of your body-mind is altered. Peace, love, joy and open undivided seeing are the light that banishes the shadows of ignorance that haunt the body-mind.
The song of pure awareness is downloaded into the body-mind.
Light replaces shadow. Knowledge of the true self replaces ignorance. This is called enlightenment — it is natural.
Spiritual Enlightenment is the song of truth embodied.
What does the word enlightenment mean?
The word “enlightenment” is used to mean everything from education, to the age of enlightenment (when humanity left the dark ages), from insightful epiphanies and mystical experiences to spiritual awakening.
The common theme in all uses of the word enlightenment is “knowledge of the truth”.
When truth touches and transforms ignorance, enlightenment has happened.
If you are ignorant about the cause of an illness, the illness will continue to cause you suffering. If you find the truth about the cause and use that knowledge, you would be free of the illness and its suffering. You would have been enlightened about your illness and how to be free of it.
This is what is meant by “The truth will set you free”.
So in any place in our lives where ignorance is causing suffering, there is an opportunity for enlightenment.
The root of all ignorance, the trickiest, most pervasive and subtle ignorance is the ignorance of the true self. This ignorance causes the deepest suffering.
Finding and freeing the apple tree (my symbol for he true self) is spiritual self-enlightenment.
My work, from my art to my business building and life coaching training, has ‘service to enlightenment’ at its heart.
Enlightened Apple Tree (this site) or E.A.T. for short, is about sharing with you, everything I know about the winter of suffering, the autumn of seeking, the spring of awakening by finding and summer of integrating the truth (knowledge that reflects reality) which is called enlightenment. All so that the truth can do its job and bring freedom, peace, love and joy to life.
This freedom, peace, love and joy is your true self. This journey is about reflecting this in the body, mind and soul.
Realising a 360-degree perspective
Imagine being trapped in a maze your whole life. Running this way and that, seeking freedom. Then one day life brings you the gift of a ladder and you climb high enough to see over the walls.
Above the walls, you discover what was always there, just hidden from your view—big sky, openness, space and freedom. You gain a 360-degree perspective.
When we find the true self—we gain freedom from the trapped self. This is enlightenment.
Your true self is always there, like the big open sky—waiting to be discovered. You might feel like the one trapped in the maze, but what is realised, is that you are the sky—always free.
Is it enough just to know your true self?
For some of us, it’s not enough to know the sky, we want to live it. After seeing the sky, which is like some deep seeing of the true self, you still have to climb back into the maze of life, full of struggle and shadows. But truth wants to be lived. Fortunately, truth is medicine for the maze of the heart, mind and gut.
Spiritual Enlightenment is not complete when it’s only seen. It’s not just for one lofty part of our lives, it’s for every aspect of living.
We don’t get to escape our earthly lives to a separate ‘sometimes’ freedom.
All the shadows of fear, all the walls of inner division, they ask us to bring them the sky. To bring them the medicine of truth.
Your true self-has a 360-degree perspective, it is openness itself, it is free. Once discovered, it will ask you to climb back down the ladder, into daily, mundane life. To bring the gifts of enlightenment to every part of your maze of life, until the walls become transparent, and sky meets earth as one nondual reality.
Live an Enlightened Life,