Two buzzwords, I’ll grant, and what I want to do here is to take the buzz out and leave something meaningful where the buzz was. (Buzz is, to steal a phrase from our incompetent previous Chairman of the Federal Reserve, irrational exuberance. Being excited for no good reason. Seeing something as A Good Thing and maybe not knowing why.)
Enlightenment is impossible to describe completely. There’s nothing I can say that will leave you, the reader, aware of the experience of being enlightened, without you having the experience yourself.
Enlightenment happens in an instant and happens to the degree that it does. That is, from one moment to the next, you are as enlightened as you are, and a moment from now, you may be more or less enlightened than you currently are. What is actually is, is a realization of something profound about the nature of your life, or of your experience. There are many of them. What you realise is not a truth; it may not even be true. It may be ridiculous, nonsensical, or paradoxical. What makes a realization into an enlightenment is the drastic and sudden change it brings to your experience of your life.
When you are enlightened, nothing actually changes, in the sense that before and after enlightenment, your life is exactly the same. When you are enlightened, everything changes, because your perception of everything is instantly and completely altered. It’s you who are doing the changing, and you change completely, even though you actually don’t change at all. “Before enlightenment, chop wood, haul water. After enlightenment, chop wood, haul water.” -Lao Tsu
Life becomes light and easy. Things that were challenging are easy. Pain ceases to cause suffering. Serious things are funny, and the seriousness with which you approached them is fucking hilarious. Everything becomes something worth laughing about.
Enlightenment is worth pursuing, though pursuing enlightenment won’t bring it about. In fact, chasing enlightenment is one sure way to keep it from happening. But now I’m getting off on a tangent.
Transformation is different from enlightenment. In transformation, things change. You change. The world around you changes. It’s tempting to say that transformation is applied enlightenment, but enlightenment cannot be applied to anything, or used by or for anything. Transformation, on the other hand, is really useful. It’s worth doing. Transformation brings about shifts in the nature of ones’ self, ones’ surroundings, and the world in which one lives. It is a process, rather than an event, and I’m pretty sure it’s never finished. There is always more that remains to be transformed.
The work that I am undertaking is aimed at causing transformation within and around myself to the greatest degree possible. Enlightenment is worth having because transformation without enlightenment is a total bummer. It’s basically intolerable to put yourself through the wringer that transformation is, without some degree of enlightenment to make it… well, light!
Who I am is the possibility of a world that works for everyone. I postulate that enlightenment and transformation being present in the world are the most important parts of making that vision into a reality. In service of this possibility, I am dedicating as much time and energy as I can, with integrity, to causing enlightenment and transformation among all the people I can.