2010 - I have been asking recently (in myself) why my life, the external circumstances of it, had been so difficult since becoming Enlightened, or Self-Realised etc.? I had become what has been referred to as The Living Truth, and had looked forward to it in the belief that it would be the end of emotional suffering; and soon after I was in a relationship with a woman who was loving and wanted only to be loved - so what else could be missing?
Well, the problem was with my work, and the stress I was experiencing due to the amount of work and the management style, and this was then exasperated by more stress at home as we tried to put facilities in place through which we could escape the stress of work. All in all, the last 18 months have been particularly tough.
However, finally there has been a dawning, and it seems I have been shown the reason for the continued troubles and the lesson it was teaching me: There seems to be a third aspect involved in being able to enjoy a truly tranquil life which is perhaps obvious once pointed out (but then that is the way of much of the truth). The lesson for me is that one can be Enlightened or God-Realised and can be in a truly loving physical relationship, but if one is still in a stressful situation then there will be no lasting peace. Obvious, yes?! ...maybe; but it may not be something we tend to think about when we read about Enlightenment and how to find it, in an attempt to find a solution to our problems.
Therefore, I say here, for the first time in my teaching, that to live a truly contented life there are three aspects to it, and a person cannot genuinely real-ise (make real for them) any one of them until it is time; but any one or a combination of them may be experienced or even realised to some extent, in any order, during their life. They are as follows:
1) Self-Realisation (uninterrupted Enlightenment or God-Realisation of The truth)
2) Loving Relationship (sharing lasting physical love with his opposite 'in form' - experiencing an ongoing joining and exchange of energies and openness)
3) Peaceful Existence (little stress caused by external stimuli)
As I said, the above may seem obvious, but it is only by breaking it down that we see it for what it is...
Eastern Masters are often regarded as the ultimate example of how one should live, and indeed many do seem to be Enlightened from their teachings, but it is their peacefulness that tends to seduce us (and this is often the result of them sitting for years on a hillside (or the equivalent), just 'being'). Then we dig a bit deeper and read of how at least some are reported to have struggled enormously with their pact to remain celibate, for example.
Then we have 'normal' folk who are not Enlightened in the sense of being 'God-Realised' but live a very nice life nevertheless, possibly in a country environment (natural, rural, peaceful, let's say), and maybe in a loving relationship, and yet may still have the occasional nagging question about who they are and what it's all about.
And then there is myself: I have no questions about the Truth of life or what it's all about (besides a mild curiosity at times perhaps as to what it is that life is teaching in a particular situation), and I am in the loving relationship commonly sought after, but life has given circumstances which has produced continued stress for a considerable length of time. And at last I see that this was the lesson:
Often the lesson is simply to show us what we do not want (or to give us so much of what we do want so as to put us off it for good). The lesson in all the struggling I have endured was to show me that lasting contentment cannot be achieved, even in an Enlightened person, if the circumstances of their life are painful and long-lasting! (powerful lesson, yes?).
So, what is the point of this?
Only to say that there are three areas required for the individual to be completely satisfied and content. And as that is what most (all?) of us seek in one form or another, it seemed like a pretty good lesson to share.
However, having stated the above, I am now going to add that in a woman the 'Realisation' bit may not be experienced in itself as a separate 'informational' aspect like in Man. For example, as Sally (my partner) progressed, she soon found she had no questions about anything related to love and life (unlike before we got together - at which time she had a need for something but she was not sure exactly what). She would still not say she is 'Enlightened', but she now has love and she does not experience the same stress at work as I do, and therefore feels totally content with life. This would seem to be the Woman's Enlightenment or Self-Realisation; and certainly her 'God-Realisation', as her Love is God (Truth behind existence).
So, I am going to say here that in order to be completely satisfied in all aspects of his life, Man will need to be Self-Realised (or whichever term is used, but so he has no questions about who he is and the purpose of being here etc); he needs to be in a truly loving physical relationship (so he gives and receives companionship and physical love, and has presence/consciousness with another - his reflection in form); and needs peaceful circumstances in his external life (so his daily life is not painful)...
Of course, each and all the above only applies when one is ready. One cannot enjoy the peace before they are ready, any more than they can love before they are ready, or be Enlightened or Self-Realised before they are ready. This is all still a journey, and while it can help knowing what to look for along the way, the journey must still be travelled.
p.s. It is now the first week of Jan 2012 and I have received an email asking how the above piece would be changed following my developments since I wrote it (towards the end of 2010). Something was obviously changing in me as I wrote it, because it has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride since:
1) First, at the end of 2010 and into 2011, it was discovered that I am dyslexic. More-so, that this was the cause of all my difficulties at work (and indeed my difficulties going back all my life to my childhood). At 38 years old we found that I had managed throughout my life to cope with many of the symptoms, but this had taken its toll and was causing stress.
2) One morning in March 2011 I felt a sudden 'giving up' inside, and a new phase was entered, which at the time was introduced to me as being called 'No-self' but later I adopted the name 'Liberation'.
3) A trying 'transition' period at work occurred between January and July 2011, and then things changed. The new knowledge re. my being dyslexic meant I was able to put into place new practices to make the work experience more 'user-friendly'. I was also permitted to reduce my working hours, so Sally & I work only 4 days per week with Mondays off, and generally the working environment is far more relaxed.
So, considering the above, what do I have to add to the piece above, about the requirements to lasting contentment and specifically living with stressful circumstances (one of my 3 requirements)...?
Well, first I would say that the above piece is still correct to me. However, there are a couple of points that I would like to elaborate on, one quite obvious, and the other somewhat more subtle:
I am still in the same situation and doing the same job in the same place, and anyone looking from outside may suggest therefore that it is my 'Liberation' (new state of mind) that has meant that the job is no longer stressful, implying that stress does not occur to a Liberated person because of their internal state of mind regardless of the situation...
However, one must not overlook the fact that the finer points of my day-to-day role have indeed changed: with the new knowledge of being dyslexic and the added support from the employer due to this; and reducing my hours of work, which effectively makes every weekend a bank-holiday weekend.
Also, one must not lose sight of the fact that this place is all one 'being' - one's own being. The external circumstances of one's life are a reflection of a Truth 'within' one's self.
Here's a fictional example to mkae the point: There is a chap in a prison. His cell-mate is a violent, aggressive, highly abusive nutter, and our chap lives in a state of constant heightened awareness, forever under extreme pressure and fighting for his survival, aware that at any moment he could be plunged into a situation of extreme pain and even death. The guards don't care, and actually encourage the aggressive cell-mate to take out all his rage on our (relatively) innocent friend...
Then, one day, our chap is moved to another prison, sharing a cell with a really nice bloke and they get on well and look out for each other; but at the same time knowing really that there is no need as this prison has a totally different atmosphere and attitude and there is very little personal danger to either of them on a day to day basis. Life is good, despite still being in prison...
So, our chap is still in prison, and to observers outside they may think nothing has changed, but to our chap the experiences are world's apart.
So what is the point of this story?
The first point I am trying to make is the obvious one: that sometimes an apparently minor change in a situation can flip the experience on its head, turning a hellish experience into quite a pleasant one.
The second point is more subtle, and is a reminder that one's external situation is a formal representation of the truth (need) within. It is no coincidence that during the same period of time that I was changing 'within', the external situation was changing too...
So, we have a bit of a 'chicken and an egg' situation: The internal state of mind changed, meaning one is not so susceptible to stress; and this in turn meant that the external situation changed because there is no longer the need for it to cause any stress (as the lesson has been learned and one has moved on), and so the cycle is broken...
The question could therefore be posed: If the Liberated person was to be put into a long-term situation which is extremely 'stressful', would they be stressed? and it is a fair question. In answer, I can't help assuming that it would not (or could not) happen, and I will explain why: As with the prison scenario above, whatever situation a Liberated person was to find themselves in, I suggest the circumstances would change to make it an easier experience than it could otherwise be; and therein lies the magic of Liberation! As within so without! The In and the Out, the Yin and the Yang, both aspects of reality become one smooth experience.