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Enlightenment is only the beginning, because after enlightenment you still have to engage with physical life, and physical life was designed to be a means for creating expansion. Physical life is a learning hologram. No one who is alive is exempt from expansion and so, no one is exempt from contrast. And as long as there is contrast, there is the recognition of what is unwanted as well as the recognition of what is wanted present within you.
Most of us have a clear idea of the goal that we are headed towards. We want to be enlightened. We want to be absent of ego. Most of all, we want to be free of suffering. We have a picture in our heads of what we think that enlightenment looks like; our perfect image of the spiritually enlightened person. But what most people don't know is that this image we are holding on to, is a lie that we keep telling ourselves.
Enlightenment is not like that. Enlightenment is no kind of retirement from life itself. It is no kind of retirement from the ups and downs. We create the illusion of enlightened retirement from the ups and downs when we feel resistant to the ups and downs. We invent the idea that enlightenment means perfect bliss twenty-four hours a day only when we are suffering and we want an end to that suffering. Enlightenment is only the beginning, because after enlightenment you still have to engage with physical life and physical life was designed to be a means for creating expansion.
Physical life is a learning hologram. No one who is alive is exempt from expansion and so, no one is exempt from contrast. And as long as there is contrast, there is the recognition of what is unwanted as well as the recognition of what is wanted present within you. If we were to reach a state where we were magically transformed into a permanent state of bliss, it would mean ended-ness. There could be no further expansion from that place and that would not serve the universe at large. What serves the universe at large is eternal expansion. So even once you have attained enlightenment, you still have to integrate what it has taught you. You still have to integrate the spiritual awareness you have achieved into your day-to-day life. Even though the samsara waves never stop coming, the more enlightened you become, the more your thoughts change. Your perspective changes to match the vibration of source perspective. And so the meaning of your experiences changes. The way you think about and deal with the ups and downs is what changes and so those ups and downs are not experienced the same way that they once were.
There is no shame in struggling. Having problems is not a character flaw. You have not failed if you have a bad day. Buddha had bad days. Jesus had bad days. Muhammad had bad days. You will not meet a single physically manifested being (whether they are an ascended master or not) that is exempt from contrast and so you will not meet a single physically manifested being who is in alignment twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
To expect this from anyone is cruelty. To feel embarrassment or shame if you are out of alignment is cruelty. To expect yourself to be in alignment twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week is cruelty. And it's time that we stop perpetuating cruelty in ourselves as well as within this spiritual community that we ourselves are responsible for creating.
Spiritual practice is just that... It is a practice. It is still a practice for those who are spiritual masters. Alignment is something that we have to maintain. It is not a prize that we reach and then we are granted alignment forever no matter what we think or do.
Alignment and enlightenment is not something that is done to us once we prove ourselves worthy. It is something we constantly maintain. We choose to come into alignment or not in each moment. And denial is no kind of alignment.
So the question is: Are you bypassing yourself?
Kuan Yin's Mantra (c) 2002 Lisa Thiel - used by permission http://www.sacreddream.com