Thank you for your thoughtful article on enlightenment. I don’t think many people give a hoot to nirvana except during sex or when listening to Kurt. I also reference another person who took his life, David Foster Wallace. He gave a commencement address with the topic This is Water. Here’s the joke:
There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, “What the hell is water?”
I think, no I live his mantra, “This is water”. Because it is like a lost spectacle on your nose. It is stupid to think otherwise. Or a bacteria in our gut wondering who God is, giving up curiosity and claiming itself king of the hill. Thus suffering, the runs, and the evolution of stupid — but not in that order. I think seeking enlightenment is like seeking water through humanity’s drought. I seek it when all hope is lost and I wonder if this is a dissociative state. Even then we are pathologizing a natural state turned unnatural by history.
It is unbelievable that it takes years of quiet meditation to realize enlightenment is just water or earth or air or sun or moon for the monks. Is our civilization that stupid that we forgot something children innately know? It’s bred in the way I discipline my son. Right there is the stain of Caine, son of the Morning Star or whatever. We have to discard so much hate and stupidity to achieve calm. How ridiculous is our society that we mistreat our fellow humans and animals alike causing a global catastrophe that unites our planet under one pandemic mask? How ironic.
I digress, but I think enlightenment and our stupidity are biologically linked. Every animal is enlightened in Buddha’s definition. They are in the flow and never micro-managing their time for the next gig. But, give them self-awareness and not only our society, but our planet is in jeopardy. Our need to be distracted is so irresistible that we have micro-plastics in our cells and Covid-19 in our DNA. Enlightenment and who can forget love are the twin keys to humanity’s salvation, but can anyone turn off their cell phones long enough to know you don’t have to control everything? Smelling the roses is so 20th century. Snapchat it instead, and enlighten later.
Please try less to attain enlightenment, it will save you the photo. I leave you with another quote from one of my heroes from my son’s media consumption:
Spinjitzu is inside of each and everyone of you but it will only be unlocked when the key is ready to be found — Sensei Wu