To Be Enlightened by Realizing your Potential and No Longer Victim to Yourself

To be enlightened is a narrow subject to define, but can be quite specific. An easy to understand definition of spiritual enlightenment can be thought of as the fading away of one’s illusory identity called the ego-based mind.

Enlightenment is when for the most part all that remains of you is your eternal real Self. I say, “for the most part,” because while in this world as humans we still have the illusions of the material world to deal with.

A Course in Miracles states, “The body is a limit imposed on the universal communication that is an eternal property of mind. But the communication is internal.”

To be enlightened can mean that you sense an inner connectedness, or like mindedness beyond the body to all individuals past, present, and yet to arrive, seeming to enter this space we call Earth.  

My good friend in mind, Henry David Thoreau, who for me seemed to be enlightened through his writings, and in these famous words in his book, Walden:  “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.”     

He went on to write about how rather than bringing forth our dreams and aspirations, every day we accuse, attack, and blame others for our own failures, because it seems they don’t necessarily see things our way. 

Often we look at these others as being in denial of reality, when all along the focus and attention on ourselves has been on the unreal. 

This is the illusion of who and what we think we are.

(Here’s a related article on how to be at peace with yourself and live a happy life.) 

Victims to ourselves

I’d like to share with you a brief parable, told to me when I was in my early thirties by an older gentleman and close friend who is no longer with us physically.  Lyman was his name, and he still lives on while breathing eternal air. 

My memory of him is vast and grateful he as well seemed to be enlightened.

Lyman always portrayed himself as taking the bumps and grinds of life lightly, and with peace.  I can still hear his wit with a clear picture of the two of us fishing from the edge of the huge pond on the wooded acreage at his home. 

In book 2 of my series I describe how Lyman wanted me to understand that “Releasing ourselves is the first step toward realizing our own power.” 

He made us both laugh about my trying to grasp the notion that nothing is beyond our control. 

His message was that “We’re only victims to ourselves and is why many never can understand that manifesting miracles in their lives is truly in their power to do so.” 

At a time when I was struggling over personal problems and having trouble finding my purpose and free will, he injected a bit of humor into my dilemma while sharing this story with me, that at the time helped me to sort things out. 

He had a title for this parable, but my memory has not retained it over the years.  I’ve since given it my own title: “Don’t Struggle to Find Knowledge, Simply begin Realizing your Potential.”

Realizing your potential

There once was a great teacher who had many disciples wanted to be enlightened and were dedicated to learning truth and inner knowledge. 

One day one of his students came to him and said, “Master, all I want is to be enlightened so I may be as peaceful as you. 

Please give me the secret to your knowledge.”  The teacher stood up and quietly walked away.

A week later that same student came to him again and said, “Master, I know you have the secret.  All I want is to be enlightened and intuitive like you.  Please do not hold the secret from me.” 

Again, the teacher turned his back on the student.  After another week the student again persisted.  “Master, I know you have the secret I so desperately seek.  I will not rest until you give it to me.”

This time the teacher asked the student to follow him down a path to the river.  The teacher took off his clothes and jumped into the water.  He told the student to do the same. 

The young man jumped in, but before he was able to get his feet beneath himself, the teacher grabbed him in a choke-hold and held him underwater. 

The student struggled and fought, but the teacher was too strong for him.  Finally the teacher let go and the student rushed to the surface, gasping for air.

After a moment the teacher said, “When you were beneath the water, what was the one thing on your mind?”  The student wiped the water from his eyes and answered, “Getting a breath of air.  All I could think about was wanting air.”

The teacher looked deep into the student’s eyes and said, “When you want to be enlightened and be at peace the same way you wanted air, I will not have to teach you anything.  Your enlightenment will teach you and me.”

(Please note that in a related article we discuss getting where you really want to be by overcoming your fears and phobias.)

To realizing your potential,

James Nussbaumer

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