Response to an article by John Tissandier which can be found below.
A very interesting article John you state very precisely the many problems that arise once we accept the idea that there is such a thing as enlightenment, self-realization, awakening etc. Most of these problems collapse if we don’t accept the idea of enlightenment, or at least have a more questioning attitude to whether there is such a thing or not. Even without the idea of enlightenment there is still a hurdle that we all must face. The hurdle is suffering - surely it is this that causes us to invent the idea of enlightenment in the first place. Our quest is not to find enlightenment it is to solve the problem of suffering. Meditation, yoga, residing in I AM, religion, philosophy, seeking pleasure and much more are all the result of our desire to solve the problem of suffering. Each of us will try some or all of these methods or non-methods according to our life experiences and beliefs. This is not a choice it is something we have to do even when we have no ideas about any of this. Life sets us this task whether we like it or not and nothing can stop it until it is solved. You could say that the solving of this problem is enlightenment, but this would be a mistake for many of the reasons that you point out in your non-method sections. The most important reason it is a mistake is because enlightenment suggests something to be attained at some future time. If we believe this we create a sort of paradox in which the very idea of a future enlightenment contains within it a hidden belief that I do not have what I seek - not true, and that it can only occur in the future. This hidden belief dictates that the search must go on forever. The solution to this problem begins the moment we question belief itself, not what we believe. All beliefs are suspect as they all arise from the ego, but questioning belief itself somehow sets in motion a process that will eventually run on its own volition until all beliefs spontaneously collapse. I would not call this enlightenment although I can see how tempting it is to do so. It is not a special state and so removes the risk you stated of arrogance. This is a very real risk judging from all the teachers and masters who pronounce their own enlightenment, awakening etc. In conclusion we are already what we seek yet it is not a choice to stop seeking, the seeking will progress to its natural conclusion which is the futility of all beliefs. Let me be clear about this last point concerning ‘all beliefs’ Beliefs are not just to do with what we think or believe but to do with our total sensory experience as well as the belief that we exist as an individual entity.