The Christmas lights in my home office window went on early this year because of Rubber Ducky’s enlightenment.
The great part about having an awakened being like Rubber Ducky sitting on your home office window sill is that I can ask him about enlightenment.
Here is a transcript of what Rubber Ducky explained to me last week Sunday on the long drive home. He says this is guidance. His enlightenment happened to prepare for a large number of enlightenments this coming December 8, Bodhi Day, and many more on Christmas when the real (lunar – 8th morning of the 12th month) Bodhi Day coincides with it:
“Enlightenment is just a choice, chronic angst versus everything about you and the world you know. It may seem like a tough choice to start a long, arduous journey – like getting a PhD, climbing Mt. Everest, or losing 100 pounds. But it’s just flipping a switch on.
It sounds like a brain-dead decision, so why can’t people just flip that switch on? First, people think enlightenment will somehow make the world go their way which is not enlightenment, just really lucky. Everyone can be calm when things are going your way. But this world is a complex system in constant flux, never exactly the same instant to instant.
Enlightenment isn’t magical. Once you realize there is nothing magical about Enlightenment, what becomes clear is it means you must drop everything. It doesn’t mean you give away all of your material possessions. Possessions of any quantity are fine as long as you know in all sincerity that you will be happy without them.
What is very hard is to give up everything you believe. But it’s only hard because those beliefs are all your brain knows and it keeps computing that if you drop a belief, it contradicts with another. For example, if I decide to change my eating habits for good, no more luscious brisket from Papa Gus, which means less income for Papa Gus, and he’ll go out of business.
Dukkha is a web of linked angst, which like cancer, can only be removed in whole. It requires a wholesale drop of all you believe, 100% humility where you have no beliefs to defend; 100% acceptance of what is right in front of you – “Is that so?” You then see all possibilities – when you become nothing, you become everything.
Enlightenment isn’t a mid-life crisis on steroids where you will give away all of your possessions or abandon your family, friends, and career in exchange for a vagabond or cult life – even though ironically, that’s exactly what Siddhartha Gautama did … hahaha. It also won’t make you a magical creature with any new powers. You will still be a normal human playing your part in this life, just as eagles and trout play their parts to perfection. You will still win and lose like everyone else. The difference is that free from angst, your energy can focus on what is right in front of you. And you won’t be a contagion of angst spreading it like a flu to all you encounter. You will truly believe that even when you “lose” you’ve really won more and become all the richer.
All of your angst are computations of your neurons. Your brain wants to “solve” problems and we just can’t “save the world” – some problems are other peoples’ success, some things such as life and death are intricate aspects to how we evolved to here in the first place. When we decide to flip the switch on, we’ll see everything – everything is in relationship to everything else, it’s in constant motion, and our brains went haywire trying to control it all, but now our brains accept and play jujitsu with it all. There is only a One, not you and that and that – so there are no problems to solve, just playing being our parts as genuinely as we can.
You flip the switch to on by dropping that heavy burden you’ve been carrying, look around at everything now that you’re unburdened, then pick that bag up and continue joyfully along that same path. Enlightened, you fully embrace what is right in front of you, not pulled away by any Dukkha. Nothing outwardly has changed, but everything changed.
Or maybe not. Don’t worry, if you find enlightenment doesn’t suit you, the world will bring you back to this ‘ugly stage’ of life caught between animal and fully sentient.”