Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Generic Enlightenment

Posted 21st of May, 2008 @ Vraja Journal.


Cross-posting from Gaudiya Repercussions.

A friend asks:
"So can I ask what you are hoping to attain now? Gaudiya Vaishnavism gives a rather specific idea of 'enlightenment' and all that it entails, so are you now aspiring for a generic sort of enlightenment?"
I'd talk about desired perfections rather than enlightenments, since the Gaudiya Vaishnava final objective is not the attainment of untainted, illumined awareness. They are quite clear in their perfectional objective being one where the conscious faculty and range of awareness are covered and limited by certain divine illusions.

I don't know what generic enlightenment might mean to you. My ultimate aim certainly is not in a world of personal deities, I have grown to seek the transpersonal ideals lurking behind symbolic worlds. I suppose there is a large enough body of shared material among the diverse traditions (Advaita, Buddhism, Sufi, Tao etc.) holding non-personal concepts of ultimate reality to justify the generic enlightenment concept.

I listed my working objectives here a while back.
  1. There is a need to wholly weed out greed, anger and delusion from the mind, and cultivate their opposites, namely generosity, kindness and wisdom.
  2. There is a need to develop infinite compassion, loving kindness, sympathetic joy and equanimity.
  3. There is a need to transcend the conceptualizing mind and obtain unslanted clarity or plain awareness.
  4. There is a need to learn to still the mind and bring it to perfect, single-pointed meditational focus.
  5. There is a need to, equipped with plain awareness and high focus, explore the nature of the conditional factors to eradicate ignorance.
I suppose the above are methods universal enough to yield "generic enlightenment". In any case, if we are to assume there is an ultimate, non-dual experiential reality that different traditions observe from different angles, the external clutter of each respective tradition — if its way is to reach enlightenment that is — is bound to be shaken off with the escalating attainment of higher reality-experiences, leaving us with a uniform experience.

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