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The pursuit of Enlightenment, and especially what we conceive it to be, can be an elusive thing, and is probably connected to the dynamics of our personal motivations. Many of us formulate an interest in this pursuit out of our disenchantment with some aspect of earthly existence, and we conceive of Enlightenment as some form of escape from ordinary reality.
If, however, we operate from the premise that we are spiritual beings having a human experience, and that we intended to come here (Earth) for that specific purpose, then it would seem absurd that Enlightenment would involve the abnegation of that intent. Let us propose, instead, that an important aspect of Enlightenment involves becoming connected to the purpose of our intent for being here, and beginning to operate our lives on the basis of that intent.
We can begin with some simple assumptions, foremost of which is coming to see that, how our lives have unfolded up to this moment has been in perfect harmony with our purpose, even though we may not have a clue as to what that is. This is a simple, empowering, thought that releases us from any tendency toward victim thinking, and indicates that, even though we may not have a conscious mind idea concerning our intentions for living this life, we are, none-the-less, in complete alignment with that intent. This means that all our experiences, without exception, have a meaningful relationship to our spiritual path.
Another assumption we may make is that our intent has some connection to being in service to a larger purpose. We live in a holistic universe in which everything is interconnected. It is only in the isolation of being physical that we have constructed a personality, an ego, that is capable of acting in disharmony with the whole. Our essential-self, the spiritual being that we are, understands that it serves itself best when it is in service to the whole. Thus we have come here to serve.
Coming here to serve would imply that we have a contribution to make. So, we are spiritual beings who have emerged into physical existence with the intent to serve the whole and make a contribution. We have come bearing gifts. Thus, part of becoming Enlightened must involve the discovery and development of those gifts.
Now, these gifts are probably not anything foreign to you, although they may presently be lying dormant, making part of the Enlightenment process the unraveling of the mystery. This can begin with something as simple as noticing what things, pursuits, activities, we enjoy, remembering to search all the domains of our life. Many of us have, or had, interests that were set aside when we discovered, in some way, that they weren't "cool", or financially profitable, or gender appropriate. When this occurred, we ceased having value for the very thing, or things, that may be a fundamental expression of who we truly are, of our Essence.
For many of us, the pursuit of Enlightenment involves the unveiling of our Essence. This means that we find those things in life that truly give us joy, and devote our vital energy to the pursuit of these things. It also means the development of an inner faculty that has the capacity to sincerely observe our inner and outer worlds, separate out from all it perceives that which is true, and has the courage to formulate decisions and take action on the basis of those observations, living in the confidence that the universe will support and encourage what can be, for many of us, a radical new direction.
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