Vol-10 Ask Frank, How many people have……
Q. Please explain here where are all my brothers who have reached enlightenment? If you’ve reached it, you have to be at least curious if there is anybody who has. I am one of those who know. I read somewhere that there is only “one” and I’ve read in other places that there are many. Could it really only be me? If there are many others…
There are as many definitions for awakening and enlightenment as there are people who have experienced what they believe it is. Enlightenment is a misnomer from my perspective until this activity has concluded with the dissolution and integration of the soul into oneness and that is the grand finality, which is not here, not now. This is the ultimate path of the soul according to most of the wisdom traditions.
Another more practical benchmark I use in determining the level of awareness others have is their ability to self-inquire. Self-inquiry means to have the ability receive information from the soul or the larger field of existence consciousness or pure awareness. Specifically, to get answers to questions that will shed light upon and guide our journey. There are many among us the world over who can do this.
We really cannot comprehend what that integration Into greater oneness would be like with the limitations of our intellect. However, one experience that might validate this idea is if we could, in meditation, have a vision or a full-on spiritual episode where we become one with every soul on earth and those between lives. If you could know each and every being at their soul level, all their experiences, pain, love and who and where they were in the evolution of their consciousness, I would call that enlightenment. Some have reported this in Near Death Experiences.
In some regards the concept of enlightenment is one of faith until we have such an experience. Most of the wisdom traditions rail against anything outside of our own experiential knowing, so faith is an outlier, yet many accept the dissolution theory. The theory postulates dissolving the individual soul into the larger body of underlying existence consciousness as stated before, yet we cannot know it as an experience, until it happens. Even the concept of it is not a Thing yet it is not No-Thing if we believe in the larger consciousness field that some traditions refer to as Brahman, the Tao, and many other names.
Again, a more practical definition of awakened is anyone who has access to their own higher-self or soul and through it, can seek answers and can retrieve information from the Akashic record or “the knowledge of the universe.”
The ability to go within and self-inquire is the gating issue for moving beyond the awakened state to the knowing state of enlightenment. Know this, that because you are seeking an answer it will become known to you at some point. If you are concerned about getting off the birth/death cycle you can, by staying with your practice and seeking through self-inquiry. What you refer to as enlightenment is a wonderful awakening of you consciousness and I am very happy for you, this is a great accomplishment. I will leave you with this thought, enlightenment is not a destination or an end point, it is a process and a journey.
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