Steps of Enlightenment

In our tradition, we define enlightenment as the experience of infinity, eternity and perfection, as self. Eternity in every moment, infinity in every spot, perfection in every heart.

When this breaks through into our conscious awareness, it is overwhelming. Anyone who says there is no specific event that indicates enlightenment has occurred, has probably not had it, only thought about it. You cannot deny or forget it when the whole universe appears inside yourself. It might be a day or several days before you can even speak again.

When you can re-enter duality, you’re not the same identity. Your self-concept has changed. It’s not that you are happier, or more alert, less stressful, or more insightful. Those are qualities of a person - - but you’re not just a person anymore. You’re the ocean in a drop.

After enlightenment comes a period of bewilderment as one learns to integrate unity and duality. Eventually you figure it out - you are both universal and individual, both macrocosm and microcosm.

After that comes the great applications of unity consciousness: you can speak to the Universe, and it can answer! That’s a very big step with immediate application. And the next step is the realization that what happens in the microcosm, echoes in the macrocosm. You’re not just dialoging with the universe; you are operating the universe!

We call that “Illumination.” It is a great responsibility to be a co-creator of reality, and it requires an ego. Without an ego, you can’t take responsibility. In illumination, your heart actually emits visible light, so you become “a torch in the darkness,” that illuminates the path for others. And you take on their karma, eagerly.

You might be interested in a book that describes the path to illumination: Follow Your Heart: The Map To Illumination by the author.

Puran Bair 
Chancellor, The University of the Heart


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