I used to be, and still am, deeply interested in the concept - or rather experience of - enlightenment. Complete spiritual clarity.
But I also used to be, and now no longer am, interested to find out how to escape my human self.
As I found out that the more I try and escape my human self, the more I suffer, and the more strongly I deprive myself from the very thing I seek.
I used to assume when I first heard the word enlightenment, that it would be like a kind of endless peak of ecstasy - the loving, blissful feeling of MDMA at a festival - without taking a drug, without a hangover, just feeling constantly good throughout the entire rest of my life.
An escape to all my human sorrows and problems.
I imagined that with enough practice, I might get there one day at a late age.
What I in reality have been finding, the longer I am into my practice...
...Is that I cry far more often than before I started practicing.
...Is that when I feel hurt, sad, or angry, I can’t stuff it away for very long. The energy wants to move - it even demands it.
...Is that I am not good nor bad, not saintly nor evil. I am not even something in between. This is not the right view of humans. My essence is consciousness, my life is made up out of potential energies in my body-mind. My actions and my words only prove my delusion or clarity.
...Is that what I seek is not a future destination, or something to obtain; it was what I always had right from the start. Waiting to flower open. As they say sometimes in teachings on meditation: 'The sun always shines, even when it is cloudy'.
...In summary: that there has not been one emotion on the human spectrum that I have transcended - nor expect to ever transcend.
The only thing I have been transcending - and am still humbly in the process of - is the universal human tendency to try and escape.
And what I have been growing into, is my ability to not do that, and feel.
The realest part of the practice; to be with the mess.
The most self loving thing we can do; the exposure of every single gram of our own bullshit.
Acknowledging of all the parts that live in us that we thought of as unloveable.
Can we be with this human theater, the 'Leela' as they so beautifully have a word for in Sanskrit?
The human theater of falling in love and of breaking hearts, of friendships and quarrels, of successes and dreams that fall apart?
Can we be with it until we simply laugh at the idea of becoming enlightened?
Until the mess has become so worth the beauty, that instead of seeking to end the cycle of birth and death, or chasing an ideal of unbroken abidance in non-dual presence, we no longer seek to transcend duality?
Until we accept our our inability to always be perfectly present, to the point that we don't need to have our last life, we don’t need to free ourselves from suffering...
To the point that we would be more than happy to incarnate, again and again and again... from now until infinity?