SocraticGadfly: What is "enlightenment," anyway?

January 16, 2011

What is "enlightenment," anyway?

I just got done reading John Horgan's "Rational Mysticism," a very good book. And, it provokes the question.

Is enlightenment recognizing there is no need for enlightenment? Is it recognizing that he self, the alleged target of enlightenment, is fleeting and changing? Is it recognizing that an alleged enlightenment experience cannot be seized, captured or chained up? Is it living in an "eternal" present that isn't eternal, only momentary, recognized as such, and therefore recognized as being incapable of being "lived in"? Is it accepting that life is often no more than muddling? Is it recognizing that there is no such thing as Big E-Enlightenment? Is it recognizing that while some experiences and moments may be more enlightening than others, there is no absolute enlightenment?

I think "enlightenment" of the best kind ultimately involves acceptance, in some way, shape or form. and, acceptance of one's self, and the self's circumstances, is usually at the bottom of that, followed by acceptance of the luck, arbitrariness and capriciousness of life.

So, viva Steven Weinberg!

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