I realize I am making a lot of statements in this book that are obviously not true. After all, how can I say that every human being on Earth is already enlightened when there are so many evil, horrible, and obviously unenlightened people all around us.
Not only that, but every spiritual path ever devised claims that enlightenment is a long arduous journey of self-discovery.
Well, that’s one way of doing it. Or you could simply ease into the reality that you are already a spiritual being living in a spiritual universe and realize that everything is already “perfect” just the way it is, with a simple change of perspective.
The universe is already whole. There is nothing that needs to be added to it. Life is already exactly the way it needs to be, or it wouldn’t be here, thriving. You are already exactly the supreme spiritual being that you think you might want to be. You just aren’t consciously aware of it.
Besides, your larger consciousness doesn’t want to be enlightened, because it already is. It wants to be here experiencing physical reality. Stop striving for anything else. There is nothing that needs changing. There is nothing that needs “improvement”.
Do you think “God” needs more personal development? Does “God” meditate every day in order to become more enlightened? Does “God” try to be a better, more spiritual “being” and beat itself up when it doesn’t meet its own standards? It’s ludicrous.
Either you accept the existence of Ultimate Reality, All That Is, “God,” the Universe, or whatever you want to call it… or you don’t. If you accept that this exists, then there is nothing left for you to do.
The Universe doesn’t need you to be any different than you already are. If it did, do you think the Universe has such little power that it couldn’t compel you to be different? If “God” wanted you to be “enlightened,” would it be very difficult for “God” to make you “enlightened”. Obviously not.
Same goes for everything in the universe. If the Almighty wanted anything to be different, it could do that in an instant. So relax. If “God” is cool with shit the way it is, why can’t you be?
Stop trying so hard. If you must try, try appreciating life exactly as it is right now, because there is nothing else you can ever experience, except this exact moment.
The point is that we are here in these seemingly small, painful bodies for the most exciting reason in the universe. We are here to experience life itself, because evolving from an ignorant little frightened hateful soul into a loving creative spiritual being with all the power of the gods is one of the most exciting adventures in the universe. And you don’t really want the adventure to end, because then it would be over. You don’t really want to be God, and so end the Game of Life. God wants to be you, experiencing the infinite variety of the multifaceted universe it has created.
And all you need to do, if you want to be “enlightened,” is to accept the awesome truth of this mystery we call life.
In fact, you don’t even have to accept it. You are immersed in the infinite love of the intelligent universe whether you are conscious of it or not. There is nothing you can do to remove yourself from this reality. You can ignore it, but you can’t extinguish it.
You are already enlightened. Whether you know it or not. Whether you want it or not. Whether you believe it or not. You are already a god traveling the path of physical reality. For joy, for fun, for growth, for wisdom, for love; to embrace the power of creation. That is all you are doing.
Accept it, enjoy it, love it. This is life you are experiencing. One of the most fascinating rides in the infinite amusement park that is the universe.
Enlightenment is Boring
Besides, enlightenment is nothing more than embracing the moment as it is right now. Enlightenment isn’t about any woo-woo nonsense or supernatural bullshit. Enlightenment is boring.
That’s why Zen teaches “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”
The logical mind finds this impossible to understand, and frustrating as hell. The logical mind thinks you should go sit under a tree in India to find inner peace.
(Or, these days, pay outrageously inflated tourist prices for a 10-day yoga retreat in India, where you can pay exorbitant amounts to downward dog near the river where sadhus sit for free.)
But you could be sitting on a stinking crowded bus in rush hour on your way to a shitty job and be equally at peace if you just stop over-analyzing, over-judgementalyzing everything with your mind.
Anyone can get meditative when everything is peaceful, or when surrounded by nature on a beautiful day. Practice calming your mind when real life is screaming in your face. Try non-reactivity. Try the path of acceptance.
The logical mind always wants to make things complicated. That’s the only reason life itself seems complicated. It’s just a trick the mind plays on you. Don’t fall for it. Again, just be where you are. That’s where inner peace lies.
It’s not about living on some exalted plane of existence. It’s not about communing with higher realities. It’s not about cleansing your chakras and living on nothing but sunlight. The mind loves all that shit because it keeps control that way. It doesn’t care what you are wasting your mental energy on, as long as it gets to keep churning out thoughts.
But mental noise isn’t what life is about. You’ll never get there by thinking about it. You get there only by realizing that you are there already. It’s not about anything other than fully living the experience you find yourself in. There is nowhere else to go.
Enlightenment is about living life itself, while searching for “enlightenment” is just a chase for more mental abstractions.
You can’t become enlightened because you are already enlightened. All your searching just covers it up so you can’t find it. You are playing an elaborate game of hide and seek with yourself. But you are here, now, the entire time. Nothing is hiding, so stop seeking.
And “after” you become “enlightened”, you will act like a zen master. “When hungry, eat your rice. When tired, close your eyes.” Enlightenment is that dull. Enlightenment is boring.
Boredom Is Enlightenment
Conversely, boredom is enlightenment. After all, what is boredom? Boredom is the absence of anything agitating your mind. That’s a damn fine definition of enlightenment as well, the absence of anything agitating your mind.
You’re not hungry. You’re not cold. You’re not exhausted. You’re not in a fight for your life. You’re not stimulating your mind in any way. You don’t have a single problem in the entire world. You’re bored. That’s enlightenment. Like everything else in the dualistic world, they are two sides of the same coin. Just flip that coin.
Flip your bored mind into this moment. Experience this moment. See it. Hear it. Feel it. Smell it. Taste it. Live it. Move into the present moment as deeply as possible and you will shift from boredom to enlightenment.
It’s all right here. Right where you are. The entire universe is right in front of you. Just open your eyes. Or close them, that works too.
Franz Kafka may have said it best:
“You do not have to leave your room. Just sit at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice. It will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”
Sitting in your room isn’t even necessary since we’re not talking about physical inactivity. What we are practising is psychological non-reactivity. Again, just accept reality the way it is. Learn to embrace this moment until the majesty of the eternal now dawns upon you. Just watch. Just wait.
Become a receiver, and stop tuning into stations that blast nonsense into your brain. Turn the volume down and you will hear the beautiful music that animates life.
As this fake Buddha quote advises:
“As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are; otherwise you will miss most of your life.”
And before you call me a stupid unenlightened moron, let me do it for you.
Of course I am being facetious when I say that enlightenment is boring, and boredom is enlightenment. Of course I am trying to somehow pry your mind out of its normal way of thinking about things. Of course, when you accept and experience life exactly as it is, you will never be bored again.
You will love every moment of life, because you have learned to love each moment, and that is all that life is. This exact moment. This is your life.
This is an excerpt from Everything Is Infinite, to be published on February 29, 2020.