Our Western culture has done a great disservice to the idea of enlightenment. As is often the case in Western culture, that which is meant to invite us deeper into the human experience has become a vehicle for escape.
Enlightenment is not about transcending the human experience so that one might always know peace and happiness, rejecting anything that might disturb that peace – especially that which might be emerging from within us. Instead, enlightenment is about being, and learning to be, fully human.
Enlightened people experience anger. Enlightened people grieve in the face of loss. Enlightened people become resentful, frustrated, impatient, worried, anxious and afraid. The difference is the way in which these emotions and experiences are expressed. Those who are moving along the path of enlightenment have learned to recognize these feelings when they arise, honor them, and give themselves time and space for processing (either alone or…
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