From the book: From Here to Nowhere: A Spiritual Journey into the Unknown by Mu
The journey to enlightenment is a journey to simplicity. It is a journey to sobriety, because you are no longer drunk on the illusions of the world or your egoic self. And it is a journey to a profound ordinariness and a place of rest. You relax into your true nature. This journey is made up of many awakenings. Only you can decide how far you want to go.
You don’t need to know everything right now. You only need to know where you are on the path and what you want in this moment. The path meets you wherever you are. As you go deeper into your awakening, you will change, and therefore, your choices and experiences may change.
Most people who say they want enlightenment are actually seeking bliss, happiness, or some measure of peace. If you want your life to flow with ease, if you want to be happy, then align your ego with the will of Spirit. When you let go of your personal will, you’ll flow with life as it is. On the other hand, if you want to be free, if you want to be enlightened, then both your personal ego and your spiritual ego must be released. Within enlightenment, even your attachment to bliss and happiness falls away.
Some people are disappointed to find out that enlightenment is very simple and ordinary. It is not dependent on spiritual experience, it is very quiet, and it can even feel like nothingness, because there is no experience and no self-reflection. It can be hard to let go of our addiction to spiritual experience. This does not mean that there isn’t ever bliss and happiness. It also doesn’t mean that there isn’t occasional pain. Everything exists within enlightenment!
There are countless awakenings on this journey, and there are certain stages to waking up. The start of the awakening process is an emergence from the slumber of the dreams of the world. If you are reading this blog, then you have probably started that process and are somewhere on the awakening journey. It is unlikely that someone would be interested in this information or understand a word of it if they had not come out of that slumber at least a little bit.
Then there is liberation, that fork in the road where there is no going back. It is the radical realization of emptiness or Nirvana. This is an initial liberation or primary enlightenment. Enlightenment is not a “once and done” thing! To become fully enlightened requires many years of realization, integration, and embodiment. In fact, the time after initial awakening is one of the most risky times on the path. Maybe you’ve witnessed this in yourself or in others. The spiritual ego can blossom, and a new identity—the identity of enlightenment—can set in. Or the tremendous currents of Light that suddenly flow through you are owned, humility diminishes, and a spiritual superiority complex takes root that blocks the journey to full enlightenment. For this reason, not everyone will become fully enlightened. For some people, the initial awakening—that first dip into the Absolute—is enough. They are satisfied. Or they get stuck in the fascination of the amplified energies of awakening and can never break out of it. But for those that get beyond the spiritual ego and can release all spiritual identification and experience, full enlightenment is possible, and it is possible in this lifetime!
There is one more stage, and I hope you realize how ridiculous it is to even be talking about stages of enlightenment, but we do our best with the limitations of language. This final stage is what my teacher called becoming a Complete Buddha. These are the avatars who have been enlightened in so many lifetimes that there isn’t a molecule of their being that isn’t pure enlightenment. Avatars are rare. In fact, my teacher explained that if you encounter an enlightened being, they are able to change the trajectory of your current lifetime. They can change the energy, dynamics, or patterning of this life. But if you encounter a Complete Buddha, they can alter your entire multi-lifetime profile. They are off the charts. It can be hard to look at a being like that and imagine that some day you, too, may know your own enlightenment that deeply and completely. Start where you are. Even avatars had a lifetime where they realized their enlightenment for the first time. They once woke up from a deep slumber and took the first step on their journey to Light.
Enlightenment itself is a mystery, but the journey of awakening is not really such a mystery. The awakening process is slightly different for everyone based on their unique past life profiles, their current programming, and their particular inclinations, all of which make the journey somewhat different for each person. In general, though, the awakening process ultimately unfolds in a similar way for everyone. Awakening is also cyclical. There is practice, then realization, followed by integration, and finally, embodiment of realization, which flows through your life effortlessly. This happens over and over again as we cycle through the enlightenment process, and it never ends. There is no end to enlightenment.
Excerpted from From Here to Nowhere: A Spiritual Journey into the Unknown © 2019 Mu.
Mu is the author of four books about the direct path of awakening. From Here to Nowhere accelerates awakening and the deepening into full enlightenment, and is available on Amazon.com, CA, UK, FR and DE. Transcending the Advanced Path, a detailed exploration of the shift from realization to full enlightenment, is available on Amazon.com, UK, CA, FR and DE. Walking the Advanced Path, a clear guide for how to navigate the pathway to enlightenment with responsibility, awareness, and grace, is available at Amazon.com, UK, CA, FR and DE. Songs for the Advanced Path is a collection of lyrical verses about the journey to liberation, available at Amazon.com, CA, UK, FR and DE.