The moment you drop this separation, the moment you see that you are not separate, that you cannot be separate, that there is no way to be separate, that you are part of the whole, intrinsic to the whole, that you are in the whole and the whole is in you, the matter is settled, and settled forever. Death disappears, fear disappears, anguish disappears, and the whole energy that is involved in fear, in anxiety, in anguish, is released. That same energy becomes the celebration of the soul.
What is enlightenment? – the capacity to see oneself as one really is. We are utterly empty of the ego. The ego is just a make-believe. We have created it, we have projected it, it is our illusion, our dream – it exists not, in itself it is not there. So the more one becomes aware and looks within, the more one finds oneself not. The more you become aware, the less you are. And the moment awareness is full, you have disappeared – no more water, no more reflection of the moon in the water, emptiness in your hands. And it is emptiness…“therewith the matter is settled.”
This happened to Chiyono: she had studied for years, she had practiced all kinds of meditations, she had cultivated all kinds of techniques but was unable to find enlightenment.
You cannot cause it. It is beyond you. If you could cause it, it would be below you. If you could cause it, then it would be again nothing but a new decoration for your ego. You cannot cause it. You cannot make it happen. You have to disappear for it to be.
So you can study all the scriptures of the world: you will become very learned, knowledgeable, but you will remain unenlightened. In fact, you will become more unenlightened than you were before because the more knowledge you have the more ego you have, the more you practice ascetic techniques the more your ego is strengthened: “I am doing this and I am doing that, and I have done so much – so many fasts, so many bows.” The more you do, the more you feel that now you are worthy and you can claim enlightenment.
Enlightenment cannot be claimed. One has to utterly disappear for it to be. The mind has to cease for God to be. Call it God or enlightenment – it is the same thing.
“Chiyono studied for years but was unable to find enlightenment.”
Enlightenment is not something that you can find by searching; it comes to you when all search proves futile. And remember, I am not saying don’t search, because unless you search you will never come to know that search is futile. And I am not saying don’t meditate; if you don’t meditate you will never come to understand that there is a meditation which you cannot do but which comes to you.
Your meditations will simply cleanse your eyes, will make you more perceptive. Your heart will become more alert, aware, loving, sensitive. Your being will start seeing things you had not seen before. You will start exploring new spaces within your being. Something new will happen every day, every moment. Your meditations are like a bath: they will give you a freshness – but that freshness is not enlightenment. That only prepares the way. You never reach to enlightenment. It is always the other way round: enlightenment reaches to you.