Enlightenment is the acquiring of a state of mind where the present is experienced blissfully and never-ending. Usually viewed as a utopian idea beyond the reach of the average man, learned masters of the East say enlightenment can be obtained during this lifetime for those determined and dedicated to the effort.
A Mandatory Singular Focus
The gift of acquiring eternal happiness as given by sages through the ages begins with a dedication to the cause. You cannot serve “God and mammon” says the Biblical Jesus, the West’s universally and singularly recognized Master. That two masters cannot be served is present in the Eastern religions, Hinduism and Buddhism, a universal idea of the religions. It is deemed a central element of Christianity and is known and understood universally. Yet there is no other such religious principle that is so dispensed with in practice, and is a common brunt of jokes and criticisms about Christian hypocrisy.
Free-market capitalism and Christianity look not to mix, the principles of the two in conflict. This is, however, illusion, for the world is itself illusion. A resolution of the apparent conflict comes in the linguistics of the statement: You must serve God only and use “mammon” for that purpose. That is, mammon (wealth) belongs to God and is for serving God.
The idea of living in an enlightened way with material wealth follows the important Buddhist element of non-attachment. We experience the many blessings of a diverse physical world but we do not attach to them. The world is symbolic language and is our clothing. We decorate our consciousness with forms and sensations created by God and man. This is given in the Old Testament book of Genesis. God separated the firmaments, then land and ocean, etc. Man’s free-market merely expands on that, separating the natural elements into the refined and complex images and sensations of today’s industry and advanced technology, which although symbolic and of the mind, is useful and necessary for communication.
Eternal happiness is not found in seclusion and exclusion from the complex reality we are absorbed in. It is true that some who are dedicated to their religion will exclude themselves from having such possessions, particularly dedicated Buddhist monks, some of whom will forego all such material things and live with few or no possessions, even to starve themselves of food. This is for disciplining the mind and removing frivolous thought, a vehicle for arriving at the elusive state of enlightenment. Such may be useful but is unnecessary to finding enlightenment. The serving God alone is the one necessary ingredient for reaching enlightenment.
Recognizing the Eternal
Material wealth is a product of mind, and is temporal. Attachment to temporal forms invariably leads to loss. An inner focus does the reverse; it leads to the limitlessness of the mind. There is no limit on thoughts, we may think one after the other without concern that we will run out of thoughts, there will always be another. Thoughts are the source of the physical world, the physical world being the recipient of thoughts. Placing import on the thoughts, not the result of the thoughts, is an early way of making God alone our focus. Thoughts are, however, of similar distraction as is the created world of thought, for thoughts too are temporal and will die. Yet the eternal source of thoughts — the mind — tells the story and gives the hint that shows the way to eternal life.
God and mammon, mind and wealth; the two opposites are necessary to one another. Yet following wealth, the mind will lose its way. It would be like the guide following the guided, whereupon both fall into a pit. Mind must prevail over physical wealth, not allowing the things of the physical world to confuse it. Mind is the emperor over wealth, using the physical assets as tools for negotiating through the pristine uncharted aspects of mind from which mental thought can branch out in any direction or path at will of the mind.
The eternity of mind and infinity of thought creation leads us along a pathway that will take us somewhere. The two extremes identified in every religion are heaven and hell, illumination or darkness, bliss or torment. When we give in to the world, when the forms and sensations are allowed to hypnotize us to the point where we believe the created forms are what is important and of greatest worth, we lose our trusted guide, the higher mind, God.
Many pathways have been charted for locating and securing the eternal bliss; the one thing necessary to all is the singular focus: God, the mind, is always our center. Whenever we lose our way or see that we are beginning to, we must return to that singular focus — God.
About the Author
Arthur Telling has written numerous stories and articles on religion, philosophy, and metaphysics. His article, “A Different Jesus Message” appeared in the Nov. 2011 AMORC Rosicrucian Digest. Telling is author of nine books, including the untold stories of Cleopatra and Jesus, a just released novel based on true events titled: “THE INCARNATION: Cleopatra’s Story of Jesus”. His website: www.arthurtelling.com and Facebook page “Philosophy for a Modern Era: www.facebook.com/philo30