1. It is part of our materialistic
thinking, that once you "have attained" you will be forever happy. Nothing is
further from the Truth though. First of all the purity of motivation plays a decisive
role. If your quest is fuelled by ambition, it will stay the driving force, even after
having attained. Your Enlightenment will be serving you, rather than the other way around.
It will strengthen the identification with self, resulting in an ego, compared to which
your old ego was only a shadow. This is a first and major hurdle.
2. It is thus a fairy tale, that once you are
Enlightened you are automatically purified of all "worldly attachments". You
better consider Enlightenment as a special "wavelength". If you listen to the
BBC it doesn't mean other wavelengths - radio Paris, Moscow or Berlin - are not there. Or
to put it more precise: various wavelengths have temporarily disappeared into the
Universal Space. After "having returned" (some of) the old frequencies still
appear to be functioning though. Sooner or later you will be confronted by them, like
after my ten years of uninterrupted bliss.
3. A "spiritual identity" may be the
greatest danger on the Way. Once you have identified with the true Self, Enlightenment,
unity, harmony and love, there is every danger that you do not allow your shadow entering
your consciousness anymore. You have identified with the positive, excluding the negative.
Because everything is depending on this new identity - your status, position and success -
negativity (anxieties, fears, hatred, pain) is becoming a threat. You become "an
apostle of light" fighting darkness. By projecting your negativity into your shadow,
the latter will become stronger and stronger though. Sooner or later it will erupt.
The biggest trap
possible: clinging to Enlightenment
4. The challenge for everybody awakening is to
acknowledge the fact, that parallel to the true Self there are bits of pieces of the old
self left, which still have to become integrated into the New Identity. It requires
courage to face this challenge. In a way it means going back to zero, coming down from
your celestial realm. Again joining common souls and just like them working hard on
integrating the various aspects of self - therapy - can be a "humiliating step".
It is crucial though. Not attainment, but the purity of self, which determines the
transparency with which IT will be shining into the world is decisive. E.g. Augustine was
Enlightened, but his self remained "polluted", hence his distorted message to
5. At this crossroad the temptation is to cultivate
the New Self on the expense of self-integration. Here the "masters of the east"
are usually not a good example. For instance their philosophies have two major errors. One
is their duality - denying one major aspect of reality in favor of the other - the other
the axiom that Enlightenment is the alpha and omega. Both are excluding "the
world" denouncing it as "lower", maya, and illusion. A deep schizophrenia
will be the result, one in which you stubbornly pursue your "spiritual quest"
unaware of the fact, that you are moving deeper and deeper into trouble. The irony is,
that these hopelessly schizoid people/teachers consider themselves the saviors of an
6. The greatest danger though is that a very strong
emotional complex - fear, hatred, insufficiency feelings etc. - will not be integrated.
That complex will suck all the energy freed by your Opening Up. The former may become
uploaded and grow to misshapen proportions. The more openness the more his unwelcome guest
is benefiting from it. A battle between Light and darkness is unavoidable. Soon the latter
will dominate the unlucky searcher. Your inner Space - peaceful, transparent, empty and
thus helpless - has no answer to this misfortune. Sooner or later it will come to a
turning point in which the "counterpart" is taking over. The entire system
suddenly changes from love, peace and harmony to bitterness, self-pity, hatred and
destructiveness. There are many examples in history of those people. Rulers, dictators
like Adolf Hitler for instance.
Rather than rejecting
parts of your self once again -
first in your childhood, later while being on the Way
- you should stop the war against yourself and
start to lovingly embrace them
7. Once Enlightened, you have to take up
your cross. It means to still embrace those parts of yourself which were once denied,
rejected, suppressed or excluded. Everybody has his/her own loving Mother within. It
should be a natural outcome of your attainment: the realization of your true Self, which
is Love. Embracing your own inner stepchildren will be a necessary exercise in order to be
able to embrace others and their suffering. How, on the other hand above-mentioned
"apostles of love" can ever love others, while still hating the most vulnerable,
denied and rejected parts of themselves? Walking around with a "heavenly smile",
pretending "love" and "harmony", while being so dark, rotten and
troublesome within? Hypocrisy all over the place. Please, don't do that (...).
Fully Enlightened Ones
embrace the entire world without being touched by it. The content can never hurt
Emptiness. That's why "Jesus -
and not only he - was able to take all suffering upon him"
8. Accepting your own shadow is the
first urge of those who opened themselves up to the infinite Source of Love within. It is
ITS logic. First IT embraces which is most close, while subsequently drawing concentric
circles. After having included parts of your old self, IT will (actively!) include the
ones who are most near to you: your lover, wife, husband, friends and neighbors, after
which the "rest" will follow. It is like sunrise. Its warmth first reaching the
sea, then the shore, then the dunes, then the forest and then the village, nothing being
excluded. The wave of Love is all embracing. So, it is not that "wisdom teaches you
that there is Nothing, while Love teaches you there is everything" and that
"your life somewhere flows in the middle", as some teacher has said, but rather
the unity of both: Being Nothing you are everything.
9. The message here is, that Enlightened Ones also
have their tough time regularly. To them facing rejected parts can be painful too. All
others who pretend otherwise are simply trying to spread a (their) myth into the world.
The more an Ikarus you try to be the more painful your fall. Fortunately few manage to
hide the truth all their life. Stories about recent Enlightened teachers illustrate
what I mean. If you acknowledge the (often painful) fact, that despite your Enlightenment
you are not perfect (surely Whole but that is another thing) and never will be, then you
are saved. Gratefulness of not being separated from the world will take possession of you.
It becomes clear to you, that this is even the core of your existence: being part of both
Heaven and earth. Without having united those two elementary aspects of life, you will
never be able to be a messenger between the two worlds or to fulfill your mission.
See Emotional self-integration, Optimal Vitality
Care, e.g. Guasha purification and Zen fasting sesshins.
Without "taking your
suffering upon you", you may never
really able to love