Saturday, 14 June 2008

What is enlightenment?

Just the word enlightenment, if you pause and think about it, is liable to bring a smile to your face – at least that’s the effect it has on me. What an extraordinary experience that might be if you or I became “enlightened”. It is the dual symbolism of light as opposed to dark and light as opposed to heavy which makes the word such a beacon of pleasantness. What would it be like to live “lightly”, to move “lightly”, the think “lightly”.

Our job as members of the “enlightenment party” (party as in “I’m having a party – would you like to come?” vs. political party), our job is to provide what’s missing. The question is, What IS missing?

Providing what’s missing is not the same as making a name for yourself, providing leadership (leadership may not be missing), etc.

If you provide what’s missing most people may not even notice that you did. In fact one of the first jobs of people who are providing what’s missing is to notice when other people provide something that’s missing! And the second job is being able to identify stuff that’s missing. What’s missing is probably not obvious.

Obviously people shouldn’t have bombs dropped on them, obviously people shouldn’t be deprived of basic necessities or the opportunity to work to obtain them as necessary, but what’s missing to have them not be deprived in this way or be free from having wars waged against them is less obvious.

One thing we may gather from a quick survey of current affairs, although it is not pc to say so, is that huge swathes of the humanity (a big majority) care only about their own petty concerns – and unfortunate or not, they have every right to live out their lives in that way. It doesn't elevate humanity for them to do so, but it is their choice. And so we return to the question – what’s missing for the elevation of all humanity, and how can we provide that?