The more I think about creating an enlightenment website, the more I feel like a wannabe. Yet, I created the website out of a desire to be of service and to grow by pushing myself to think, learn and practice more.
- More thoughts on Creating an Enlightenment Website
- and ideas about enlightenment and biofeedback
- Enlightenment Central
Rabindrath Tagore wrote, "By plucking her petals, you do not gather the beauty of the flower," suggesting that you can't appreciate the great beauties of the world by studying the parts.
But I feel that it is possible to become enlightened or to make progress towards enlightenment in parts of our life, while still being very human and flawed in other parts.
A first step is to have insight into the way you want to see the world and then, the next step is to interact with it based on that insight. The next step may be for this to happen automatically, all the time.
Robert Thurman talks about becoming a Buddha, about creating a Buddhaverse, as one becomes enlightened. I wonder if such a situation is an all or nothing process, like either being in a room, or not-- or whether it is like having a radio receiver which may pick up a faint, intermittent, barely audible message, or it may clearly detect a booming, clear, steady signal.
It would be nice to think that we can start getting weak reception and gradually tune in clearer and clearer. Learning seems to work this way. Yet Stephen Jay Gould has described the evolution tapes leaps, not small steps. Perhaps a leap is necessary, or rather, perhaps a leap is what occurs when one becomes enlightened.
But Gould is talking about genetic change. Enlightenment doesn't require this. (Just dimensional hyperwarping)
I like to think that the radio signal analogy holds some water (Is that a David Boehm wavicle particle physics pun?) because it would seem to allow access to more people to feel they are making progress on the path, every now and then making fuzzy, albeit brief connections with the enlightenment frequency.
Since so many people speak about love as being one of the essentials dimensions of enlightenment, we could even say that any time we experience loving feelings towards others, towards our concept of God, that we touch, or tap into that enlightenment "frequency."
There's an old Zen saying, "Chop wood carry water" That's what you do before you are enlightened and after. This suggests that the material realities of your life do not change. You still have to eat, take care of your basic needs for food, shelter, warmth. So enlightenment must have effects on Maslow's higher need states.
Thom Hartmann, who has written much on ADD/HD, has suggested that perhaps there's another need state Maslow overlooked-- the need to feel alive. I wonder if people with ADD can become enlightened and what happens to their ADD characteristics.
Can they still hyperfocus? Possibly.
Can they be easily distracted? This is not such an easy question to answer. One might say that No, they are clearer, like a quiet pool of water. But then one might also argue that they are not attached to any one idea, so this allows for distraction. I could use more enlightenment in this area. It seems pretty obvious to me that being too easily distracted can cause problems. But being able to hold within one's mind a plethora of ideas simultaneously, without allowing any one to prevent us from entertaining new ideas could be a highly valuable ability.
One way I have sought to further myself along the path of enlightenment has been with biofeedback, which I have always conceptualized as a western tool which can speed up the learning of some of the eastern skills of attention, concentration and meditation.
Over the close to 30 years I've been in the field of biofeedback and self regulation, I've concluded that biofeedback is a good beginning. It can probably shave a year or even a few years off the early stages of learning self awareness and self regulation. Perhaps more important, because it produces relatively fast, palpable results which one can clearly experience, it enables people who might otherwise give up, and leave the path, to stay on it, since they have tasted the nectar, and begun to enjoy the benefits.
Ironically, as biofeedback has evolved, it has been bastardized by people who took the flower and, ignoring its most precious dimension-- it's subtle scent, turned it into flour for bread, ignoring the higher spiritual, transcendent gift it offered. They took the instrumentation and saw it as a tool for treating disease and ignored the rest of it-- like cutting down apple trees and using them for lumber.
Ironically, this has produced hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of people who have had the tools of enlightenment in their hands (well, probably on their heads or fingers, in the form of electrodes) who have been imparted some basic skills which could move them along the path, but they never learned they were on the path, nor that they had been given the beginnings of a travel kit.
I wonder if it could be possible, in moving forward the world's Inner Revolution, to somehow come up with a way to take these people to the next level. To show them how to take what they've learned and use it to keep moving along the path of enlightenment.
Of course, one problem that will come in is that many biofeedback trainers are so "non" heartful, so disconnected from the elements of enlightenment-- kindness, compassion, etc.,-- that the biofeedback training they did could have actually set people back. If all these "biotechnodrones" did was hook people up to a machine, then leave the "patient" in the room to "make more beeps" then this could have actually turned the person off to the potential of not only biofeedback technology but also to related meditative approaches which involve quiet sitting.
Thurman talks about how the Tibetans took the science and technology of inner awareness, consciousness and self control to levels comparable with the levels the western world has gone with the material world, with technology. Imagine the reaction of a person alive 2000 years ago, if you told him of the technology we have today-- jets, television, cell phones, the internet, microwave ovens, lasers. He'd think you were a liar, crazy, or a magician. Well, Thurman asserts that the Tibetans took the "inner" technologies just as far. Those of us in the field of biofeedback know how often people respond with incredulity and disbelief to the simple, primitive level of change we can produce with our biofeedback tools and techniques. It's hard to imagine how much further the Tibetan adepts can go. But its fun to think about it, and to helps one to stay on the path. And further, perhaps we can help the Tibetan Phoenix rise out of the ashes, here, in the west.
Is this essay at all on target? Is it useful? Any suggestions on a publication which might find it publishable?