There are moments.
Fleeting, ephemeral moments that freeze the mind, stopping everything in its tracks in an instant.
Before, they were unclear things, causing tangents and diversions. Flashes of genius, of brilliance.
Now. Now they are instants of clarity. Slivers of the purest thought. A fraction of the immensity of eternity, caught in thoughts that are briefer than the time it takes for the neural impulse to travel across the cell.
Sometimes, its like being in a foggy room, when suddenly the sun shines in and the walls turn to glass. You can see everything, for a briefest instant, before you’re blinded by the sun’s brilliance.
Other times, its like walking in darkness, then seeing a pin-prick of light in the far distance, that grows slowly. It still blinds you, but only up close. Further away you get a bit used to it, you can use it to pick out details of your own mind.
Either way, these moments, they illuminate. They are flashes of enlightenment. They show you how you’re trapped. Trapped in your own mind, your own habits, your own life.
Seeing yourself illuminated so, it can be horrifying, nauseating or even cause despair. No one likes seeing their faults, their flaws and their shortcomings picked out by a spotlight that knows us so well.
I believe that many people, countless people, see this type of illumination at times of introspection. I’m sure that it causes despair, depression and troubles the mind of someone that sees themselves like this.
It’s what you choose to do after it that makes the difference.
Do you keep staring at the cracks, deeper into them, into your soul, widening the cracks, making things worse?
Do you choose to hide your cracks under a veneer or good works and desperate charity?
Do you choose to burn the Ego and the Id to nothing in the light of this illumination?
It’s when you see a path forward, lit by the light of your enlightenment that you truly stop looking.
And start see-ing.
You begin to learn to embrace your nature, good and bad. Faults and strengths. Flaws and perfections. You start to understand: You are at once alone and not alone. You lose the petty fears and worries. Or at least, they have less of a hold.
One must still live in the world, with pressures of money, home, work, love abounding.
How do you live with these, and still try to desperately hold onto the feeling of enlightenment?
I haven’t figured that out. I don’t know if I ever will.
I just follow the path, as best I can. When I need to; I stop. The path will become clear. When I need to go on. I go on.
There is a saying in Zen. “Chop wood, carry water.” The Zen monks used it to describe a life after enlightenment.
Ultimately, it comes down to choice. A choice no one else can make for you. A choice perhaps, no one else can understand.
People who have made their own choice can perhaps feel empathy of what may be happening, and compassion is a wonderful trait to cultivate, but at the end, only you can choose if you wish to follow the path you choose.