picture: skeeze (CC0 Public Domain)
Many people chase endless bliss, infinite joy, and even immortality. They keep searching for these states but what they do not realize is that the searcher itself has to die to reach that state.
On the journey to enlightenment, the very person that takes the journey has to die a thousand deaths to reach enlightenment. As you may guess, reaching the death of self is not easy. Few are willing and few even have the courage to do this.
Reaching enlightenment is not about physical death. Physical death is easy compared to the actual death that is required. Enlightenment requires the death of self. Specifically, you the person, you think you are has to die. Not once, not twice but probably ten, one hundred or one thousand times.
Sounds good for you? Getting rid of the parts of yourself you don’t like, right? Letting go of old habits, bad character traits that annoy you? Easy. Let’s do this. So you are on board when it comes to the negative stuff.
But are you on board when it comes to the positive stuff? The things you like about yourself? Like really like? The things you even love about yourself, the sides you love to present to people?
That’s the point where most people start seeing what this journey actually requires from them.
Because even if you are willing and even if you have the courage to die a thousand deaths, you don’t really know what it’s like. Actually, 90% of the people who are willing to reach the state of enlightenment withdraw as soon as the first death is about to happen.
And the other 9,99% withdraw when they realize they have to let go of the things they really LOVE about themselves. Why? Because it is freaking painful. In fact, physical death is way more comfortable than the death of self. The death of the self you LOVE.
Many people cannot deal with the following aspects on this journey and they give up because of these factors.
You will resist dying. Like crazy. Furthermore, the amount of resistance you will experience will gradually increase the more you progress.
Imagine the general resistance you have to do a task you don’t want to do. Things like cleaning the house or doing taxes. Double, triple, quadruple,… this resistance to get a taste of this.
But don’t get frustrated because here comes the cool part. You deal with the resistance the same way you deal with every emotion that arises. You surrender and let go of the resistance. The more you learn to surrender and let go of resistance, the easier it becomes for you even though the resistance gets bigger.
The tricks the mind plays
Your mind will resist this journey. It does not want you to get rid of the self because then it loses its power. That’s why the mind has all kinds of tricks it plays on you to distract you on that journey. For example, it will do anything to make you not look to at the core of a problem. The mind will bring up stories and justifications.
Sadly, there is no one way you can go about it. Because even if you have this “one solution” your mind will sooner or later use it against you.
The only thing you can do about it is to be super aware and kind of trust the process if you set the right intention to go on this journey.
Another way is to find a person on the same journey as you are and share what you think and how you feel. Furthermore, where you are currently at and what’s blocking you. They then guide you through by making you aware of something you may be denying. Sadly, these people are very rare, so I can recommend getting some coaching in this case.
The emptiness you have to hold after letting go
You have to learn to hold emptiness on this journey. Because as you progress you will constantly let go of aspects of yourself and the trick here is to NOT fill this void with new aspects like beliefs, stories, desires or so. But to learn to hold that emptiness. It’s very tempting to fill the void but really be careful here. You have to constantly empty yourself more and more with the purpose of holding that emptiness.
Because the journey you are on is one of emptiness and at the same time “everything-ness”.
These are a couple of aspects you have to deal with on your journey. Maybe you can see now why so many people do not go on this journey in the first place and why many people fail. Because these aspects can be tough.
The pre-work you really have to do is to make a conscious decision to go on this journey. Set the intention and then you will get into the natural flow where you will encounter these aspects.
Furthermore, the path of truth is not for everyone. And you don’t have to go all the way. Just go and see where you want to stay on this journey and what feels best. There are no shoulds. It’s always your choice and it will always be.
But if you really go all the way, be prepared to die. Not just once or twice. Be prepared to die a thousand deaths to get enlightened.