Extracts From Books I & II
What's It Like To Be Enlightened?
Partial Vs. Full
The state of partial enlightenment rests on the experience of a deeper spiritual presence, realm, or dimension. This deeper dimension has been given many names: spirit, the divine, awareness, presence, essence, and so forth. It is distinct from your everyday world. It is beyond physical space and time. It is ever-present, changeless, and one. However, although this deeper dimension is distinct from your everyday world, it is also present behind, within, and throughout it. In short, partial enlightenment entails the persistent perception of this deeper dimension and the knowledge that it is what you, and all things, are deep down.
Though it may come as a surprise to some readers, there is more than one type of partial enlightenment. In Book I, we explore what I consider to currently be the two most popular types: spirit-based enlightenment and awareness-based enlightenment. If you are interested in learning more about these two types—and how they compare and contrast—please refer back to Book I. In Book II we discuss partial enlightenment more generally, without reference to its various types.
Unlike partial enlightenment, full enlightenment does not rest on the experience of a deeper spiritual dimension situated beneath your everyday world—spirit, awareness, presence, or what have you. Instead, in the state of full enlightenment, all of experience is a “spiritual dimension,” you might say. This is one reason that full enlightenment is “full” and not “partial.” It doesn’t rest on a mere part or level of existence. Rather, it encompasses the fullness of experience. It comprehensively includes all that you experience—your mind, body, the world, and all things—within itself.
Therefore, even if you don’t recognize it yet, this form of enlightenment includes everything you are experiencing right now—every sight, sound, smell, feeling, thought, and everything else. There is not a single part of you, the world, or anything in the world that is excluded from it. In the state of full enlightenment, enlightenment is inseparable from all experience.
Seeking The Right Form
If you are seeking enlightenment, you need to be familiar with the partial and full forms. This will prevent you from searching for the wrong form of enlightenment. This is especially important if you are searching for full enlightenment, since the partial form is virtually always mistaken for full enlightenment. Just about everyone who finds partial enlightenment makes this mistake, concluding that they’ve arrived at the final end of the spiritual path when they’re really only partway there.
(End Book II Quote)
The Forms Of Enlightenment
The partial or incomplete forms of enlightenment happen to be much more well known and widely experienced than the full form. More than ninety-five percent of the spiritual teachers today teach partial forms of enlightenment. They are not actually offering the full form of enlightenment. As spiritually developed as these teachers may be, generally speaking, they haven’t the faintest idea that their form of enlightenment is only a partial form and that an entirely different form of enlightenment is possible—the full form.
Unfortunately, the same can be said of their students. They have no idea that the form of enlightenment that they are pursuing as students of these teachers is a partial form rather than the full form. They may be yearning for the full form, but instead they are seeking—or, in some cases, experiencing—a partial form without realizing it. Like their teachers, they can’t tell the difference between the full and partial forms of enlightenment.
By familiarizing yourself with the different forms of enlightenment, however, you will be able to distinguish them from one another. It’s very easy to mistake the experience of partial enlightenment for full enlightenment. In fact, it’s virtually inevitable, unless you know the difference between them. By the end of this book, you will be able to recognize the difference between partial and full enlightenment.
With that said, if what you seek is not full enlightenment but instead one of the partial forms of enlightenment, you are free to do so. You should search for, find, and live out whichever form of enlightenment you consider to be most meaningful and worthwhile. This book will help you to do that, regardless of which form you seek. In the chapters that follow, I attempt to describe each of these forms of enlightenment—both the full and the partial forms—in a way that someone who is experiencing them would easily recognize and accept. At no point do I disparage any of them.
At the same time, you shouldn’t give your life to a form of enlightenment you don’t ultimately want. If you seek full enlightenment, then you don’t want to mistake one of the partial forms for the full form. And you don’t want to spend the rest of your life in a partial form thinking that you have arrived, when you’ve only made it partway to the destination you really long to be.
So, if you are seeking enlightenment—whether in a partial or full form—after reading this you will clearly understand what you are looking for and what you should avoid. As a consequence, you will be able to find enlightenment much more easily, quickly, and reliably. I sincerely hope this book helps you on your journey to enlightenment, no matter what form you seek.
(End Book I Quote)