Shining World

Enlightenment Sickness and the Rich Inner World

Jason: Ramji, recently I have really started to contemplate what it means to withdraw my attention from the outer world and to devote myself within. Even after realizing the Self and learning that life is a zero-sum game, the ego remained onboard congratulating itself on a job well done. It was like a kid at his father’s side ready to tell anyone what he knew, in my case, that life is a zero-sum but harboring a desire that success in the spiritual world would yield some sort of secret prize, in my case recognition for my goodness. “Love me, I’m a really good, kind, loving person.” The fact is that I’m no better or worse than anyone else. The idea that the true goal of Vedanta is improvement of the ego is the final battleground. As I begin to pull away from that thought and realign myself with this inner reality, I feel such a sense of relief and uncaused happiness. This feels like a very big door to walk through.

James: I love your honesty, Jason! Seeing enlightenment sickness for what it is is a great blessing. Good for you. I wasn’t as sensitive as you, and my teacher had to take the piss out of my ego, which to my credit I accepted. It saved me a lot of grief. Most people who have not actually realized that life is a zero-sum and who realize the Self don’t want to hear that Self-realization is just the beginning of one’s spiritual life. They aren’t appreciative of the vast riches of the inner world, so they don’t listen when they are told that they are going off half-cocked pretending they are somehow special because they have discovered something that they should have known all along. They seek approval from others. The modern spiritual world is little more than a raft of man-babies crying for attention. With the help of the tradition, only you can validate yourself. The world, which is not actually real, meaning others haven’t a clue, because most people are so wrapped up in themselves they don’t really care about others. I feel so much compassion for the proud, hurt young men who condemn themselves to so much suffering because they abandon their teachers and only listen to the teachings that suit their fancy or seek teachers who will tell them what they want to hear.

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