Enlightenment is not something to be achieved. It is not an achievement, it is not a goal far away that you have to journey to. It is not a pilgrimage at all. The more you seek and search for enlightenment, the more you will miss it, and the more miserable you will be.
Enlightenment is a very simple understanding. So once you stop all efforts to be enlightened and just remain at ease with yourself, totally accepting yourself as you are…. That’s how existence meant you to be. Don’t try to improve upon existence, you cannot do that. Relax, be existential, not religious. And suddenly you are amazed, “My God! I have always been enlightened.”
Your question is right. After enlightenment everybody is amazed – and knows that he has always been enlightened.
Thirty-two years ago I awoke from the nightmare of making a continuous effort to attain enlightenment. I simply dropped all efforts to be enlightened. I simply accepted myself as I am – good or bad. I simply stopped judging myself. And a miracle happened: with judgment disappearing, with ambition to become enlightened disappearing, it was as if I came out of a nightmare fully awake. And when I saw myself as enlightened, I saw the whole existence as enlightened.
You are part of a tremendous blissfulness, but you are keeping yourself closed. You go on doing something against nature, against existence. You have been taught that to be natural is something wrong; you feel guilty when you are natural. You feel happy when you repress your nature, when you become phony, a hypocrite. All religions have been doing only one thing for thousands of years: making people hypocrites.
I want you to drop all that crap, and just be yourself – with no effort to go anywhere, because you are already there, this very moment.
I know about a man who is present amongst you, his name begins with “T.” Forgive me, I cannot tell you his full name. I know his tent number, but I cannot tell you the tent number. He has come here to assassinate me.
I cannot tell you his name and his tent number, because I don’t want to interfere in anybody’s life. If he wants to assassinate me, and can have a moment of joy – I have had enough, so let him have the joy.
xxxBut I would like him to wait at least for the 6th of July, because I have a date with death. Whenever I die, I will die on the 6th of July. The year does not matter, but the 6th of July matters. I want it permanently to be the Master’s day. So, Mr. T., only this much favor you have to do for me.