The Myths People Create about Enlightenment

A painting of a man in red and gold uniform.I’m always amazed at the misconceptions so many people have about what the Realization of Truth really entails.

Some observers who have not been through it often think that this mystical experience, or discovery of our true nature. Some believe it is unfailingly uplifting and always full of blissful moments.  Believe me, it is not.

To understand enlightenment, you must experience it

The true understanding of enlightenment can come only from those who have experienced it thoroughly. Only they are capable of giving a clear explanation of what the transition from ordinary consciousness to a permanently altered perception of reality entails.

The change has its pros and cons until everything gets integrated, as we continue to struggle with constant readjustment in our daily life.

Enlightenment and happiness are not the same

It is a misconception to believe that once you attain Realization or Truth you will walk around in a permanent state of happiness, and that Realization makes everything else in your life taste like nectar. Nothing could be further from the truth.

One is not exempt from the ordinary human feelings of frustration or sadness along with peace and joy. Daily living at this stage is not always entirely harmonious, nor does life become perfect all of a sudden. I think it is more accurate to say that once you taste nectar, everything else tastes terrible by comparison—and continues to taste terrible!

Putting into practice the resulting insights and change of consciousness can be difficult for some time after Enlightenment.

As Jack Kornfield puts it, “We know that our true reality is beyond body and mind, and yet because we also live within this limited body and mind the ordinary patterns of life continue.â€

Read more about my own journey in my book, Home at Last.