Q; What is enlightenment?
A; i have no idea.
Actually, enlightenment is a word that i prefer not to use, as it carries a huge load of stories. It means different things to different people.
For me, it is a mystery.
It may or may not exist as a description of experience, but it certainly doesn’t exist as a concrete noun.
i prefer to use the word “awakening” or “liberation” as they describe something that is tangible for those no longer seeking.

First a caveat…
Everything that i say is from the perspective of this organism (with the vince label)

Q; So, what is enlightenment?
A: It’s An idea. A story.
There are many variations of it, especially in the pop zen genre, but I have to say that I have no idea if any of them are accurate.

What I can talk to, is the experience that I call ‘waking up’, or ‘liberation’.
These terms come from the analogy of being asleep or sleepwalking, and the analogy of being captive or being a prisoner.

What is sleepwalking?

It can be described from two perspectives.
The first from the perspective of doing it. (although it would be more accurate to say that “it was doing you”)
The second from the perspective of observing it.
From the first perspective there is no alternative. If you are doing it, then you probably don’t know that you are. There is no ‘being aware’, so there can be no being aware of being aware of what is happening.
From the second there appears to be options.
To be able to observe it there has to have  been a shift. A recognition of an alternative.
From this perspective what occurs is that a realization that sleepwalking was happening. That realization usually happens after the event. (although it can happen during or even before that event)
If you can capture the moment that you realize that you recognized being lost in expressing the content of a thought stream (story) – then bottle it.
That moment is extremely valuable.

If we go to a movie knowing that the story is fictional, we voluntarily suspend disbelief in order to share emotions with the plot. Here (in ‘real’ life) there is the option to do this or not. (to varying degrees)
A sleepwalker doesn’t have these options. They believe the plot to be real (actual) They are a prisoner to their beliefs. They take their beliefs to be facts.

The most glaring example of this is the belief that what we observe in ‘the world’ or ‘other’ people, is what is actual.

This, in spite of science of the brain/mind telling us that we really relate to an image that form in our brain.
“It’s really important to understand we’re not seeing reality,” says neuroscientist Patrick Cavanagh, a research professor at Dartmouth College and a senior fellow at Glendon College in Canada. “We’re seeing a story that’s being created for us.”

Most of the time, the story our brains generate matches the real, physical world — but not always. Our brains also unconsciously bend our perception of reality to meet our desires or expectations. And they fill in gaps using our past experiences.”
some examples of our brain fooling us..  (scroll down when you get to this page)

Just as we only know that we have been asleep when we wake up, we only know that we have been a prisoner of our beliefs when we are no longer captive.

When this happens we have the option to voluntarily suspend our disbelief for practical purposes, such as communicating with a ‘sleepwalker’.
So, the question is “Why wake up?” Isn’t the world ok with 99.9% of the population sleepwalking?

Over at LiberationUnleashed, there have been 2952 ex prisoners in the past 10 years. So if we say that there might be 10,000 or even 100,000 awake beings at the moment, then it is 1/80000 = 0.00125% of the population that isn’t deluded by beliefs. No wonder that there is so much shit happening.

What is being a prisoner?

Dostoyevsky said “The best way to keep a prisoner from escaping is to make sure he never knows he’s in prison.”

We start to ‘train’ our offspring from the moment they are born. (maybe even before that)
Using repetition, we impress upon a baby the label (name) that it will carry for life.
We want it’s first word to be “daddy” or “mummy” (mommy if American)

We discourage (or even punish) it from crying.

i point these thing out as an example of how the ‘control’ is implemented.

It is done using Peer pressure
As a baby, it’s done fairly gently.. “Ssh litte baby.”
As a toddler it’s a little more aggressive “Be quiet! You’re too noisy.”
As a 6 yr old, the lessons get role specific. (This one is showing my age) “Children should be seen and not heard.”

That’s the kind of conditioning from parents.
From peers at school/mates/etc, it’s approval/disapproval that shapes us.

Then there is being a prisoner to habits.
Anyone who has attempted to break a habit knows the strength of that cage.

Here is a link to a great description of what waking up is.
It is my mate Paul at a zoom meetup of seekers and guides.

Here is Anna with her experience of what awakening is…

If you had trouble understanding that passionate Irish accent, here is the AI transcript. (it makes some mistakes in transation, but you’ll work it out)

Yeah. I’m not. I’m not. Okay. There is a lot of things happening at the same time, like, nothing happening.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And one day was a lot of fear coming up. And it was pretty intense. was a lot in the head.
you know, like very intense thoughts, you know, like very fearful thoughts. like body was very strongly reacting as well.

So it was just like fully feeling that or this happened. I thought like, for a couple of days, it was on and on and on and on.

And I was just like feeling this feeling and and falling and falling. And then one day I was just like, you know, it’s kind of like a pressure cooker, you know, full.

And I just stronger, like just, you know, like body shake and then just crump and all this. And I just came out and then that relief.

And then you feel, you know, like it’s coming up more a bit more and like, you know, but it’s not that intense.

So I just sat there and I started to play with it, zoom and then zoom in out. You know, like you zoom really into that sensation and it gets pretty intense and you zoom out, like you can hold all your body sensations, like a wholeness and it’s kind of license.

And then you zoom in again and it gets very intense and that release just comes out like, you know, naturally there.

And after that second strong release, it just felt like something snapped. Like some someone’s just snapped strings because body just settled down and mind just quiet.

That’s it. I just stop generating some thoughts on like, you know, like body settled as well.

            Wow. Yeah.

I was just like instantly like, you know, mind just like that’s it. That’s done. I’m done.

I was very interested. So, so head, head and you. feel when thoughts came back in, did they come in, did they come in with a rush or did they trickle back in?

Um, they didn’t settle, they settled down, whenever since settled down, but when they came in, there was just a live situation and you know like that fear response and they just like, we need to do that and something’s going to happen and something something, as is the panic mode.

Um, yeah. You have a reaction to them coming back, how did you feel about the fact that you, that that beautiful space of quietness had been invaded by thoughts again, how did you feel about that?

No, they didn’t come, you know, I can send sometimes like see some kind of whispering happen and then you know like it’s like body getting the reaction, but they’re just like, like a wind.

Okay, you’re still in that place of quietness, eh?

I think so, yeah, because like today it’s been so like nothing is happening. You know, I was just like really tuning into a body and just you know, like I could say like relaxation.

Right, wow, wonderful.

Yeah. Yesterday, yesterday morning, I was you know, like I can’t say I did retreat because I was more cheating than retreat.
I got something got triggered. My expectations didn’t match his reality. And but I did it was like very, very, very light.
You know, like you didn’t feel like a lot of emotional church result. But next morning, I woke up on a reflector on that.

And so it was, you know, like I have been ignored, know, like they don’t care about me. They don’t take my interests in in consideration.

So, you know, like, I just sat with that and I said there and I can feel that, you know, like, a heart, you know, like your chest getting tight and like knocking the throat and things like this.

I’m just sitting with that, feeling with that sadness or heart-oldness when I was a day. And then, you know, like, but like, in the game, like, nothing is coming out is just like, sit in there, sit in there.

I remember Angela said, you can ask emotions like, if you could speak, what would you say? And that’s exactly what I’ve done.

And next thing, just like so intensely coming up, they don’t love me, they don’t want me. And I really just, you know, I just in that moment, I just feel there is an abandoned child, you know, so like, just feeling so alone and so not wanted.

And that Christ coming up, and it was so interesting when you see all that sadness in that heart and, you know, that’s kind of painful emotion.

And same time there was that like innocence, let’s child innocence and sweetness. So there was bitterness and sweetness at the same time.

And I could feel contraction and openness in the same time. I was very, very interested in experience. And then I was like thinking about what happened.

And I just, you know, like it’s not about getting rid of what we call bad emotions. And it is, it is opening your capacity to hold anything all bad and all good.

It’s just like you just hold anything in yourself, whatever is there. And you can hold both simultaneously. can experience like pain and pleasure simultaneously.

Yeah, I was like, whoa, that’s basically like soon. I lost you the long pace.


It was well said actually.

Yeah, I’m like, you know, I always thought like, oh, awakening, you know, that’s my idea about awakening. Once I get awakened, I get myself fixed and sorted all my negative stuff is away and I’m just enjoying life in place full state.

And then, yeah, you just actually realize you just open up for everything. Whatever is coming up, you just feel, you just fully engage and feel everything what is there.

That’s what awakening is about. Not running away, not fixing, but just feel.


Yeah, wow. Can I use that? Can I use Whatever you call it, monologue is not the right way.


But you know what I mean. I’m my sport.


I want to cut that out and put it on my website. Can I do that?


Okay. Yeah, great.


That was beautiful. I’ll put you right next to Paul, who has a take on what an awakening is that’s also really good, but different, you know?

Really good. I love that. That was great. feel really glad listening to you. That was beautiful.


Thank you. Yeah, but no, it’s just, know, like, and also, um, It kind of feel like more like appreciation and gratitude.


Yes. Like deeper, yeah, deeper.


You go into all this. It’s not, you know, like, it’s not that much, you know, like wanting to get rid of, but actually wanting just to go deeper and just feel just more feel and just feel into everything.

Yeah. So yeah, it’s not basically all what’s happening here.


Nothing basic about that, but I got my email.


Like nothing is happening and the longest happening is the same.


Yeah, nothing and everything at the same time.