Enlightenment Clearly Explained
By Sufi George
The experience of enlightenment is simple to state. It is the experience of awareness only, awareness that is aware of nothing at all except the existence of awareness itself.
During the experience of awareness, the thought-processing mind is empty, body awareness is lost, there is no feeling, all reality disappears. There is nothing in the imagination, there is nothing anywhere. It is an experience of nothing, of the void.
The key understanding that results from this experience of pure nothing is that one is still alive even when everything is gone. One realizes that one's existence does not depend on anything except awareness itself. One realizes that awareness is the primal reality, the permanent core of ourselves.
The enlightenment experience makes many things immediately clear. It is clear that one's existence does not depend on anything except awareness. This brings complete relief and liberation. It is clear that life is awareness, and not what awareness experiences.
So the body, the mind, the physical universe as well as dream universes, feelings, knowledge, are all non-essential to being alive. Fear and guilt vanish because awareness is beyond harm and experience is not part of one's being.
It is clear that all experience comes from outside of oneself, that experience merely flows through awareness, and that one is not responsible for the helpless act of experiencing one's experience.
In short, this state of freedom solves every problem by eliminating it, and provides a completely unburdened peace. This is so attractive, so magnetic, that it cannot be actually forgotten, only displaced by the usual contents and concerns of life.
Before the enlightenment experience, one has no idea of life without content. Rather, one's awareness is flooded with content, with all of its concerns and hang-ups.
It should be noted that, after the initial impact of the enlightenment experience wears off, it can be set aside and one can easily slip back into one's old lifestyle patterns.
Yet, after the enlightenment experience, one has a yearning for the remembered peace and freedom of the void. This yearning gradually influences one to decrease the amount of experience in awareness so that there is room in awareness for void. This becomes a balancing act between being aware of void and being aware of experience. The less experience one is aware of, the more void one is aware of, and the more free and peaceful life becomes.
With too much void and too little experience, however, one becomes an idiot, and so there is the need for learning to balance between void and experience.
With enough void in the balance, there is nothing in life that can consume one. Life is fluid and changeable. Life becomes more like a movie than a trap. More accurately, life becomes a group dream.
Yearning for the void influences in the direction of keeping awareness empty of experience. Balancing involves deliberate efforts to remember specific things out of practical necessity. The more experiential content there is in awareness, the less room there is for the void. The more void there is in awareness, the less experience there is, and the less important or consequential experience becomes.
The Components of Consciousness
We live in a lucky century. For the first time in our known history, we can understand much about the basic nature of our own consciousness. Drawing on the work of particle physicists and other scientists, and on my own 40 years of consciousness exploration, I have designed the Dynamic Model of Consciousness (DMC). This model explains what our consciousness is and how it works, and its accuracy can be confirmed in our own experience.
The DMC gives us a completely new perspective on the nature of our reality, with an understanding that is practical, rationally satisfying, and intuitively accurate. I'll describe and explain the DMC, and give you ways to see it at work within yourself.
This is not merely interesting; it is powerful. Understanding how our consciousness works gives us the power to create the reality we experience. Our first step to understanding consciousness is to break it down into its components. Later, we can reassemble the components into a consciousness system.
The first component is awareness, our fundamental reality. Looked at by itself, awareness is aware of very little, only of itself as an entity, and of course, aware of being aware.
Intuition is the next component. Despite its popular mystique, intuition has only one function in the model. It focuses patterns of experience so that they become vivid or real. Intuition can receive patterns from any direction.
The practical heart of consciousness is our attention system. It is the only component that moves under our direction, and it works like an antenna or tuner that focuses or limits our experience. Without attention, we would not only be aware of all experience patterns at the same time (chaos), but we would have no sense of individual identity.
Awareness, intuition and attention are the heart of our consciousness system. They process experience patterns and give us our sense of living reality. Aside from these three, all else is outside of us, as experience.
Awareness can be visualized as a clear glass marble at the core of the model, enclosed or surrounded by a larger crystal ball, which is intuition.
Attention can be visualized as a ring around intuition, like a ring around the planet Saturn. In the DMC, experience patterns pass through attention, intuition and awareness, and that is how we get to enjoy experiences.
The important point to grasp at this stage is the basic difference between who we are and what we experience. We are awareness. As awareness, we know only two things: that we are aware, and that we are individual. Everything else comes to us from the outside as experience.
We pay attention to experience patterns, and intuition brings them alive in our awareness. Technically, experience patterns are frequency wave interference field patterns, or morphic fields. This is not at all as mysterious as it may sound. Just think of the frequency waves from TV stations filling the space around us. They are invisible until they are tuned in to and focused into a meaningful image that we can experience.
Very much the same thing is happening in our consciousness system. The frequency waves of experience patterns are tuned in to by our attention, focused into a meaningful reality by our intuition, and experienced as real in our awareness.
In the DMC, intuition is visualized as a crystal ball because this illustrates how light waves are focused down to a point in the center, the same thing we see when we hold a magnifying glass under the sun and make a hot spot. We aren't aware of experience patterns until they are focused down by intuition.
Because of the lens effect of a crystal ball, we can visualize experience patterns entering the ball of intuition. getting focused down to where we are aware of them as intense realities in the center point of awareness, and then seeing them get defocused or expanded back to their original form on their way out the other side of the ball. This is how we experience anything and everything, other than our awareness itself.
To illustrate this further, let's talk about the common experience of seeing light. Physically, light rays (frequency waves) enter our eyes, but are stopped by the retina at the back of the eyeball. From there, the waves are converted into electrical and chemical signals, and travel through the brain in darkness. Where is the light? Also, we see light in dreams. Where does this light come from? These mysteries are explained by understanding that all experience patterns are resolved or focused by intuition and are then experienced in awareness.
By approaching our experience from the viewpoint of consciousness, rather than from our physical and mental sense, we can understand how we are able to have experience.