I was reading Douglas Brooks blog the other day about the idea of revelation after I had just finished teaching an Advanced Intensive at Prasad Yoga on the tantric text the Pratabhijna Hrdayam -The Heart of Recognition.
here's a clip:
“To consider that our mortal embodiment is not only yoga's goal but also the very revelation we seek means we needn't quest for an extrinsic source, wait for the guru's grace or receive it from prophet or prophecy, the burning bush or last word that will provide the missing piece, the essential understanding. We can venture into worlds of awareness and experimentation, inside and out, without having to reach transcendence or finality, a perfectly imperfect sojourn. What we seek is right before us and as the famous Ganesha story suggests, there's no race that doesn't end where we might just as well have begun.”
In reading Tantric texts like the Heart of Recognition, the word "attainment" is used many times. This can sound like there is a fixed state..like if you get this you will be living in the "perfect" I-Consciousness and that is the point.
However, attainment means accomplishment, or achievement and I don't think of that as being a fixed state. Even to Obtain or to come into possession of some other state of awareness seems like something that is pointing toward a threshold that has been crossed over, not necessarily into a static state of Bliss or One-ness vision. It simply may be that once you have crossed that threshold it informs your way of being in the world and experiencing your world in a completely new way.
Even if "knowing" from experience that the 'The Self is everything' once you have crossed that threshold..you crossed it. Like once you learned the aphabet you knew it- NEXT.
So let's say 'Shiva vision'-to see as Shiva sees- is an experience you have, great- then what?
I mean how could that be it, meaning every accomplishment (attainment ) we make is just another expereince in the infinite sea of experience.
I have been in the company of great beings that are clearly living in a much bigger world of experience on many subtle levels than I am, and I feel the power of their wisdom or energy. It is so palpable it is like walking through water. I know I am not experiencing the same thing they are - not that we can ever really experience exactly what another is, but you know what I mean? Like the first time I heard of Inner Spiral-what the heck is this? Even after I saw John Friend demonstrate it and explain it again and again I still didn't get it -until I did. When I crossed that threshold, the getting it wasn't static, it was just a threshold of knowing that now continues to expand.
There have been many times when people I know have crossed a threshold and they told me, when you cross it you will know..there are certain things they can share of course that may some have in common, like for women when you are pregnant you may feel like x,y, and z, although everyone’s specific experience is slightly different, still before you are pregnant you are not and can’t really understand what it would really be like until you are.
When I read these Tantric scriptures I am reminded that I am NOT JUST this body, I am not JUST held captive to my limited self assessments, that is not the only reality.
So what would you call the growth and broadening perspectives and experiences that comes from this? Wisdom? Is it education? Is that life experience? Is it enlightenment-(meaning experiencing the "light within"-light bulb moments?)
All I know is that now I have a much different experience of myself than I did when say I was 15, or even last year for that matter.
I agree that enlightenment isn't a state that is fixed, still there is a definite "I was here in my understanding and now I am somewhere very different- sometimes so radically different that it is hard to remember what it used to be like before that big shift in understanding.