If you have read a lot of this web site you will understand that a lot of things have happened to me which may be the causes of why i became enlightened in the first place or the reasons I am no longer enlightened now, over thirty years later.
As a guide to becoming enlightened, if you want to take that path, this page describes as best I can, how I used to approach what life presented.
PART ONE - GETTING THINKING RESTARTED
In my early youth I got on well with my father and he bought me the series of weekly magazines “Book of Knowledge” which built into an encyclopedia for people up to about 12 years old.
In that there was once an article describing atomic structure. this being the 1960s it did not go very far, probably because of the limits of science taught in universities those days so it described taking a sugar cube and cutting it, then cutting one of the bits left, the cutting those until you had the smallest piece imaginable, that would be a molecule of sugar which was made up of atoms of elements like carbon. I cold not grasp that idea because I something was accepting that such could not be right. Two thoughts as an eight, nine or ten year old, (not sure which) were in my head. Firstly, “What knife are you using to do that?”. this is a good question from a child but not really the thing that was bugging me. What bothered me was what if you take this strange knife the author’s claimed to have, to the molecule and divide that.
While I do not have a passing knowledge of the structure of atoms and the link between matter and energy, what matters for the purpose of this description of enlightenment is having the presence of self to say in your thoughts, without getting into paranoia over being deceived, but very calmly, “That can’t be right”.
I actually did not go on to become fascinated by the nuclear structure of matter. However, where this is significant is in the consideration of spiritual or other dimension to life which, once entered can lead to enlightenment, I think. Firstly, in describing my early life, I have told of how when ill with chickenpocks I had a nightmare of a sort of impersonator of my mum in a flat desolate telegraph pole populated landscape where the poles all started collapsing and she was indifferent to my screams for her and of something seeming to enter my head and affect my sight when ten or eleven years old is about the time I hit a Jewish boy for sticking a pin in my bum, when I was a regular church attender, four times a week for choir rehearsals and services. I am hard pushed to remember if I ever had that child hood, that can’t be right again as I seemed to accept my role in the church after that, whereas it had always been perhaps something mum wanted me to go to but not something I necessarily fully believed.
I did have a similar thing to my own reasoning saying “That can’t be right” which was “I wonder if ... no I can’t be bothered”
It is as well to mention that of that encyclopedia a few other things stood out, including a short biography of Galileo, perhaps for reasons I did not understand but perhaps indicated the beginnings of blocking and controlling of the intellect by weights on the mind as I have described elsewhere in discussing neural networks. These can eventually become mildly obsessive, it being difficult to get Galileo out of one’s thoughts, (perhaps someone in the group Queen had the same problem where he is mentioned in one of their songs).
To attain a road enlightenment it then is perhaps necessary to get over obsessive thinking, (about Galileo for instance) but also to continue to reason around the thought “That can’t be right”. That latter way of thinking can also begin the road to compassion by applying it to relationships in the sense that whenever and if ever you are rejected or mocked by those you thought were close to you or friends, the considering “That can’t be right” is a way to understand that perhaps they are not perfect souls, but is not a question to use as a prosecution of friends in the sense of “That can’t be right therefore I demand justice”
If you have understood what I have been trying to coax out of the complexities of my experiences you may see that each of the above is a traveling companion of the mythology of the Abrahamic traditions of the Middle East God. The thinking about matter and the associated structure of the universe, which includes how it came into being is very much oriented toward the creation stories of the Old Testament book Genesis, the life of Galileo is oriented toward the New Testament, heresy, Protestant and Catholic animosity and guilt, and the demanding of justice is oriented toward Islam’s reason for being.
If you can think, “that can’t be right” about each of those above in the context I have described, you may be on the first part of a path to enlightenment which is to open your mind.
As another aside, this describes how I thought as a child and Jesus was supposed to have said that a man must be as a little child to enter heaven. This is not about getting your thinking to the state Jesus believes children’s thinking should be. It is about being a smart learner, which is what many religious schools can offer, but also about being a smart doubter. The latter is condemned by Jesus as being from “ye of little faith”. In understanding the position of thinking I am describing you need to first be able to declare, like the prostitute in court who said during the infamous Profumo British Government scandal of the 1960’s, when the prosecutor said to her “You do know all these men deny your claims”, “Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?”. Say of Jesus, “well he would say that, wouldn’t he?” in trying to protect his claim to integrity, like the British upper classes.
So what can’t be right:
Creation mythology - because the idea that every scientists who has ever discovered something important to our understanding of the world is a work of Satan is absurd
Galileo’s life - because theologians dividing us all and causing wars and threatening scientists may well be a work of Satan ..... and God, or just a work idiots who study theology and then start guessing.
Condemning those you know - because resigning yourself to others ambitions may be the start of abandoning your own. Buddha declares our wants and ambitions as the cause of our suffering, although of course Buddho-Darwinism as described here does not condemn the ambition to raise two or three children in harmony with the natural world. Harmony is over-used, but as I have pointed out in elsewhere in this site, most conscious living creatures, ie not including viruses for instance that have no minds, one fed and watered, do not really intend any other creatures harm. So the preservation of biodiversity is important as an example of demonstrable respect for other living things and respect for those in generations to come who may not have a lack of interest in the natural world that you either have, in the sense that you do not care if creatures become extinct, or have in the sense that you are seeking exclusively enlightenment to escape the eternal cycle of reincarnation. The latter is the beginnings of detached compassion.
PART TWO - NOT YET WRITTEN