Read this with an open mind. Don’t worry if it doesn’t make sense now. The point is to open you up to a new possibility- that the absolute truth of your own existence is beyond (or prior to experience). Some familiarity with enlightenment work is assumed, but the thought experiment can be useful for anyone.
We tend to imagine that enlightenment will feel or look some way, or that some new knowledge will be imparted unto us.
This is an easy assumption to make because experience (perception, sensation, thought) is all we have. Many spiritual traditions feed into this assumption with claims that the truth is something perceived like a white light, a blue pearl, or an infinite expanse.
This essay is intended to detach your mind from this notion.
The truth is that enlightenment doesn’t show up as an experience or perception at all. Anything perceived is a perception, and not the perceiver. Enlightenment is only ever represented by the mind, never present in experience as anything in particular.
In our search for the absolute truth, we will have to use our minds (‘mind’ is all there is), yet the mind is inherently incapable of grasping the truth.
Although the mind is capable of taking a wide variety of forms, it will never be capable of truly ‘knowing’ or experiencing the absolute truth because it is already a subset of the absolute. The absolute is the substance and container of the mind and experience, so it inherently transcends it.
Because the absolute has no form, it cannot be experienced or perceived. At best, the mind can ‘reflect’ what Is. It can represent the true condition in the form of perception and concept.
This representation is like an analogy or metaphor, it is never the thing itself. The absolute will not show up in experience as experience, but the experience can be informed by the absolute.
Even this ‘reflection’ of the truth is not the truth itself. Do not mistake images and feelings of emptiness or nothingness with the absolute truth of You. Ask yourself, “who perceives this emptiness?”
Only that from which the mind arises can know itself as itself.
This knowledge however is different from conventional knowledge in that it is not taking place in the same location and does not have the typical qualities of subject-object knowledge. It is IS- which is inherently conscious. Mind cannot look back at its source and comprehend it because ‘comprehension’ happens long after this source,
Give up the need to grasp the absolute with your mind. Mind is only ever dealing with images sounds and feelings. The truth is prior to and less than all of that. The Truth is in the place of it all. True is IS.
Whatever is absolutely true is in the same place as all experience, and is the substance of all experience. Truth can not be elsewhere.
The truth does exist. And it is here.
Become directly conscious- no need for perception.
Just be there/here.
Don’t expect or attempt to perceive something that is absolute. Intend only to become conscious of the truth- without knowing what this means.
Upon enlightenment, everything perceived remains the same. The difference is found in your understanding of the ‘nature’ of that content.
This understanding will be reflected in the mind as new ways of thinking and perceiving. But these new thoughts and perceptions are not enlightenment, they are the mind’s attempt at representing the absolute truth. The mind functions by self-generating a perspective and then seeing from it. Every perspective is generated from nothing and has no absolute reality. Every perception is a function of a generated experiential relativity.
Truth does not exist as a relative thing. It is that in which and out of which all relativity is generated.
In order to become directly aware of this truth simply intend to do so, and be absolutely open.
Ask yourself, “who/what perceives?”