View Full Version : Does age anything to do with enlightenment?

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boni tongson
12-18-2003, 08:23 PM
That the members of this forum suffer from a severe case of premature enlightenment?

I've qoute this from the thread "Fight" in the General discussion of the forum. he mentioned enlightenment which brings me to my question.

Does age of a person contribute or does it have anything to do with enlightenment in Aikido or Martial arts for that matter?

I've always believe that no matter how young you started in MA you'll still have to start understanding all over again once you've gained in age. And I've seen and encountered others much older than I, which have lesser time practiced in Aikido or MA yet are quite mature and "enlightened". I don't think I'm enlightened yet but could say much more matured on the subject compared before.:)

Thanks! Good Day! :)

12-18-2003, 09:22 PM
The thing about enlightenment is they are always moving the goalposts.

My pithy, psuedo- yet pre- enlightened observation of the day.

Ted Marr
12-19-2003, 09:45 AM
Only way to say for sure was to ask someone who was enlightened, I guess.

Still, you generally don't hear a lot of stories about enlightened teenagers, do you?

John Boswell
12-19-2003, 10:21 AM
The short answer to the question is: No.

To elaborate more... Time can help. But if you have someone that is SURE they are "enlightened" when in fact they are not, it will take that person considerably longer than one who knows they are not but are willing to listen and learn.

Enlightenment is dependent on mind-set. Ironic actually... if you think about it. ;)

12-19-2003, 08:35 PM
It is to be enlightned:

.-The true expression of a developed being on that particular direction?

.-A level of conscience?

.-A gained step in comprenhesion?

.-Determined reached state of perception?

.-A state of being?

A facade?, an attitude?, a believe? a thought?


"No one who has lived even for a fleeting moment for something other than life in its conventional sense and has experienced the exaltation that this feeling produces can then renounce his new freedom so easily."

Andre Breton

"Enlightenment must come little by little-otherwise it would overwhelm."

Idries Shah

Anat Amitay
12-26-2003, 02:16 AM
I believe that being enlighted has something to do with age, but not due to age as "when you're 40 there's a chance you'll be enlightened".

Age gives a person the TIME to experience things in life (not only learn and expand knowledge) but to pass the small things that life itself teaches you.

An 11 year old girl can say she's madly in love with someone. But does she know what love is? Is the love she feels be the same expression of love she will have at the age of 25 and will that be the same as the love she feels and expresses at 40?

It's just one example out of millions. I find that at every time in my life, when I look back, things I've done seem childish. Yet all my life I've been told that I behave older for my age.

That means we're all changing, we all learn new things all the time. And if our wish is to reach some goal, or walk in a certain path, we channel some of what we learn to that benefit, and maybe that is the way to enlightement?

meanwhile, enjoy training and life!


P.S. Merry Christmas to all the celebrators!

12-26-2003, 04:11 AM
Chasing rainbows. :)

12-26-2003, 08:10 AM
The amount of time it takes to gain enlightenment is different from person-to-person and from place-to-place but I suppose the harder you work at it and the more time you commit, the sooner you will achieve it.

Of course if you begin at a younger age you will achieve your enlightenment at a younger age. I'm always a bit skeptical of those 12 year old "enlightened" kids though. I think that some communities are just concerned with churning out enlightened beings for their own benefit. I think that the idea of enlightenment is devalued by this sort of thing. On the other hand, the only thing that matters is knowing that you earned your own enlightenment, after all, being enlightened is really just a status thing within your own community. You can't really compare enlightened people between different groups.

I, myself, am just a beginner. I've done a lot of research on the internet and read a few books, though, and I've learned a lot from listening to other people who have become enlightened.

What I've learned most is that there's no value in rushing to enlightenment or gaining it before you've really earned it. You should be focused on the quest for enlightenment. All of the most enlightened people that I've seen aren't really worried about enlightenment by the time they achieve it. Some would even claim to be beginners like me. I suppose that's a lesson in itself. I would like to stick with enlightenment and to do this I guess I should just focus on my own progress. I don't want my enlightenment to just end up hanging on the wall someday; which is I'm sure what happens when those 12 year old "enlightened" kids get bored with their's.


12-26-2003, 04:31 PM
I believe that there is no substitute for time. No matter how much training you do in the practice and study of aikido it will not be complete without real life experiences. Enlightenment comes from time not age. It just so happens that we age with time.

Chuck Clark
12-26-2003, 06:49 PM
The time factor many of you have been mentioning just may be in "life times"... not years.

Safe and Joyful Holiday Season for All,

boni tongson
12-26-2003, 07:06 PM
The amount of time it takes to gain enlightenment is different from person-to-person and from place-to-place but I suppose the harder you work at it and the more time you commit, the sooner you will achieve it.

but almost all of the elders here I encounter (not necessarily confined to aikido community) say that the harder you work at it the more you will not reach it. but I agree that it depends from person to person.

(i don't know, but before reading your posts i was thinking a lot on what to write but after reading here i think i more or less digested what you wrote and instead ended up with what i wrote above hehe) :D

Good day! :)

12-26-2003, 07:11 PM
The example about love through ages is placed properly.

Quote./"after all, being enlightened is really just a status thing within your own community. You can't really compare enlightened people between different groups."

Jason B.

We must be talking about diferent things here I think.


12-29-2003, 08:46 AM
No, not different things.

I was being a bit facetious and making a comparison between the quest for enlightenment and the quest for Dan rankings. Or the quest for any form of external validation for that matter. I wasn't commenting on the question of achieving enlightenment as much as the goal of achieving it.

It seems to me that discussing "enlightenment" as if it's a kind of "finish line" you can cross is attempting to quantify something that has no defineable quality. After all, how do you know your enlightened? How does someone else know? How can you verify this? Name one enlightened person...now tell me who decided it happened?

My point is not that the idea of attaining an enlightened state is not a valid one. My point is that giving the concept a name and setting it as a goal seems like a sure path towards not attaining it because the label itself is an external thing and enlightenment is supposed to be internal. Are you aiming for a point in which people around you say, "Oh that guy...he's enlightened." If so, you may completely fail to achieve enlightenment while you're so busy spreading the word about your higher state.

I'd like to think that the enlightened one could be the guy baggin' groceries for me down at the local Piggly Wiggly. After all, once you attain this state, you shouldn't care anymore if people know or not.

Or I could be completely wrong.

12-29-2003, 10:18 AM
A monk and a Master were walking on a path. The Master was carrying a heavy rock. The monk asked "Master, what is enlightenment?" The Master dropped the rock.

The monk then asked "Master, what happens After enlightenment?" The Master picked up the rock and went on walking.

12-30-2003, 09:59 AM
No Mr. Breitzman, you arent wrong it is logical and well explained.

Then: anybody can reach enlightment, nobody can claim it, and me nor you have meet an enlightned person is that correct? or how the clasical questions about it: it is verificable? can be measured? can be compared?

It is my own conclusion that the grades and qualities of success in this matter are uncontable, moreover relating to such a complex thing as evolution of being.

A man owns a nice Mercedez Benz , he have a flat tire, when trying to change it, he finds a wench (?) missing to lift it up…

“Well, I will stop by the next house somebody will lend me one. Maybe the owner will charge me 10 dollars for it, maybe he will take advantage of my need and charge 50, No, wait he will see my car he will charge 100 dollars… and while walking the prize increases.

When he reach the house and the owner open the door he screams: You are a Thief!! A wench doesn’t cost that much!! You can stick it up..!!


12-30-2003, 10:34 AM
Sometimes I think that gaining enlightenment is nothing more than understanding what it is. Like the light bulb coming on when you've been working a long time to understand something, you can see something and have someone explain it but that's not the same as understanding it. I had someone explain what it was like when a large rock fell on his foot, but I didn't UNDERSTAND it until a large rock fell on my foot.

Another guess I have about it is that it's nothing more than a way of looking at things. A single, unifying way of looking at the way the universe interacts with itself. A simple understanding that holds true wether you're observing two people fighting or watching a glass fall off the table and break into a thousand pieces.

So what have you gained with enlightenment? A perspective? So what, you always had perspective on things. Although, sometimes our perspectives on different issues conflict. How many people have you met who project a peace and love attitude towards nature and the environment while they rage through their personal human relationships like a bull in a china shop?

Maybe there's a single thread that runs through the universe. Maybe if you can grasp it you have a single uniform perspective that can be applied to everthing you effect. Maybe you would glow in the dark then.

Ooh. That would be cool.

12-30-2003, 10:40 PM
...After all, how do you know your enlightened? How does someone else know? How can you verify this? Name one enlightened person...now tell me who decided it happened?...
from Diary of the Way page 79

One day it was announced by the Master Joshu that the young monk Kyogen had reached an enlightened state. Much impressed by this news, several of his peers went to speak with him.

"We have heard that you are enlightened. Is this true?" his fellow students inquired.

"It is," Kyogen answered.

"Tell us," said a friend, "how do you feel?"

"As miserable as ever," replied the enlightened Kyoge.


12-31-2003, 08:54 AM
Personally I have been enlightened about about a huge number of things by both experience and the instruction of others.

However I am certainly not someone who has achieved "Enlightenment".

John Boswell
12-31-2003, 12:34 PM
That Master/Monk/Rock analogy was a very good one. Defining "enlightenment" is very key to the whole thing and I feel is also a personal issue.

Some would argue that Enlightenment is a state of spiritual being. Such a state is gained and then... there you are.

Others might say Enlightenment is an epiphany, a fleeting moment in time regarding a realiztion about self, or even OF self.

To find and maintain a constant state of enlightenment I think would be against everything it is to be human. Mankind, as a species, is comprised of beings that go looking for trouble for the sake of this game called Life. Ironically, we're all trying to get out of the trap we've put our own selves into years and years ago. And should we find the way out, who would believe it? Why would they want to? That would mean the game was over... and what would you do then? Hmmm??

Can it be a constant state of beingness? Yes.

Have other's achieved that state? Yes.

Do you truly want to reach that state yourself? Well... if it meant leaving all your friends behind, don't you think you'd find a way to drag your feet until more were ready for such a state of being?

Ahhhh... I'm gonna hush up now. Getting too deep. ;)

01-04-2004, 10:07 PM
Diary of the Way is an out-of-print book ISBN 0-89104-054-5. One of the people it describes is Yukiso Yamamoto, one of the first Aikidoists in Hawaii. Before studying Aikido, he was a 6th Dan in Judo. What he says seems very appropriate to this forum and thread.
The word enlightenment has never been used in Aikido training. If enlightenment means to have enough knowledge or to reach perfection, then we feel that this state cannot be attained. The moment you think, "I have got it," the flow of your own ki stops and you are powerless. "I have reached it," "I am at the top," and so forth; these are expressions we do not use. They express only self-conceit. We talk about being enlightened. This is possible, being on the right path, et cetera. To be enlightened is a constant undertaking. If you stop because you think you have attained complete enlightenment, you have lost it. To stay on the path of enlightenment is a ceaseless effort.

Jamie Stokes
01-13-2004, 12:02 AM
Greetings all.

An intersting question.

enlightenment is a bit like Honour. Hard to define, no two definitions agree, if you declare you have it, you're not always believed, and if you act true to yourself, others might just give you the title, which is fine until you find out about it and start to believe it.

for me, some one who seems enlightened, has usually already struggled through the questions/ difficulties I am facing now.

what I dont see is the difficulties and struggles they might be going through now.

Personally, I threw away that kind of stuff, just to try and live in the moment. Thats hard enough, with searching for this enlightment stuff.

Warmest regards,

01-13-2004, 07:49 AM
One of the most human things to do is to cut down those that are considered enlightened hence making it rare, mysterious and dangerous. No wonder those enlightened people flee up the mountain

01-16-2004, 12:00 AM
From how I see Enligtenment, it is to identify trully with the spirit self, and to let lose of the ego/thinker. Ofcourse time doesn't apply on this, only for those who value it.


- Jop den Daas