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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A Small Bright Thing


This is from the Emerald Tablet: "That which is above is like that which is below and that which is below is like that which is above, to achieve the wonders of the one thing."

I've been thinking of the concept of enlightenment lately, maybe because I have spent a lot time in darkness. Darkness in my head, darkness in my world. So, I'm drawn to the light, kind of like a moth knocking itself against an illuminated orb.

I've spent much of my life thinking that enlightenment is a big thing. That the sky will open, that lightening will strike me in the head, I will fall to my knees and presto chango, all will be illuminated.

Lately, I'm thinking I've been missing the boat on this completely, that instead, enlightenment, is a little thing, it's a small feeling of bliss, or calm, and actually, I experience it almost every time I meditate.

Maybe I'm dense, or slow, or well, blind, but it has finally dawned on me, that enlightenment isn't an idea, not really, it's a feeling, it's an experience, a knowledge that cannot be put into words. Because I value words so highly, I have devalued or discounted the little, fleeting feeling of calmness, of oneness, of well, bliss, that comes over me naturally when I sink into a deep meditation.

So it's a little thing, this big thing that I have been seeking. It's like a little golden shadow that kind of hovers over me, or it's a warmness that completely floods my body, or it's a silence that fills my head, or well, here's the thing, and it's key, it's the thing that I can't really spell out in words, it's something that overtakes me, but just barely, almost imperceptively, but completely. It's a small thing, but it's really, really big. But here's another thing, it's not something you can hold onto or cling to, it's like a little butterfly, if you hold it too hard, you kill it, so it's there, floating around you, it can land on you, you can admire it, but it flies away too, in a blink of the eye. And well, really, you can't really explain it, even to yourself. And maybe talking about it, or writing about it, is just another fool's errand, and if you're compelled to write it or verbalize it, of course, you turn off the light just like a switch!

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