View Single Post
Old 05-09-2012, 12:13 PM   #71
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,225
Re: Does Modern Aikido Teach Enlightenment?

Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Again, getting back to the Buddhist definition of enlightenment of being fully aware...well, that doesn't mean fully aware of every single atom in the cosmos! It means being fully aware of your current situation, your current reality, wherever you happen to be, whatever you happen to be doing, whatever is happening now. Plenty of people have had enlightenment experiences.
Just to be clear, I'm not saying nobody has enlightenment experiences, or that solving a tough math problem is automatically enlightenment (or enlightening). I'm saying I believe what most people mean when they're talking about enlightenment is a form of understanding which carries a profound emotional componant. I would describe it as a combination of external and internal comprehension coming together in some cohesive way...something close enough to "whole." I view enlightenment as pertaining to that raison d'etre thingy...kind of the opposite of an existential dilema.

So what you're calling an "emotional eureka effect" may very well be an enlightenment moment. But it's not, as I said, like a merit badge: having had that moment, you don't then go on and be enlightened for life or something. You keep walking down the street, and the moment is gone.
Absolutely agree.

That's the picture that a lot of people have, the key word being "transcendence" -- the key word, and the central fallacy. It's not about transcendence. Rather the opposite.
Transcendence of previous states of mind though? Not transcending the reality around you; certainly I think enlightenement, whatever that might actually be, is a very grounding thing.
Thanks, Mary!
Take care,

  Reply With Quote