Welcome back! After a hiatus of over a month, Black Hoodie Alchemy resumes — and I’ve got a bone to pick with the notion of enlightenment. While I don’t discount that enlightenment is an attainable state of consciousness, and I don’t discount that there are altruistic people alive today that claim enlightenment, I’ve got a real hard time with the idea of enlightenment for several reasons.
Firstly, isn’t it always more impressive when someone does something first? Buddha, Christ, and others might still be impressive, but even if someone is achieving enlightenment today, that doesn’t make them Christly. The times have changed quite a bit, and “control methods” for enlightenment are few and far between. Even if steps once worked for some people, does that mean that they are always guaranteed to work for everyone? And why does everyone assume that if you are enlightened, you are automatically a good, altruistic person? Could it be that even terrible, evil people could be enlightened? If enlightenment is a thing, it seems to be something like a neurological hack of your habituated thought patterns (and yes I know this a reductionist view). And if all this is the case, then I don’t think there is enough evidence to rule out the dark side of enlightenment.
To me, at this point, someone claiming enlightenment is guilty until proven innocent. I wish it wasn’t the case, but the times have changed. In a word full of wannabe cult leaders, scheming politicians, tick tock celebrities and more, I don’t trust the people that want to sell their answers. Sell food for thought, but don’t sell so-called “fool-proof answers”. Enlightenment to me is in the same category today as someone claiming to be specially chosen by God to change the world, or someone being specially chosen by aliens to change the world. Perhaps enlightenment is the most realistic options of those three, but claims of it so often seem to bring about the same results…
In any case, I prefer disillusionment, and my aim is therapy and catharsis, not enlightenment. It is entirely possible and even likely that all these things are on the same continuum of spiritual development, but suffice it to say, it is like Plato himself said: those fit to rule or lead generally do not do so, and those unfit to rule or lead generally tend to do so. I have yet to see this piece of philosophy disproven.
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