12 – Enlightenment is not Liberation

There exist several degrees of illumination. If the aspirant has known this experience, i.e., he has unmistakably recognized at least some degree of the higher side to his nature, his work will nevertheless have to continue on another level. Indeed, illumination is not liberation. From that time on, he will have patiently to fight to return again and again to this screen of pure Luminous Consciousness which he will have recognized in himself until he manages to remain there permanently. Only then will he have achieved the liberation of his state of being and ordinary consciousness and will he have conquered death which is not to be found at the physical level.

Fruits of Awakening – Chapter 4

There are different degrees of enlightenment, from a small change in the state of being and consciousness that may elude the seeker at the beginning of its manifestation within him, to the highest and very rare experience, during which he will recognize, with no possible doubt, the Ineffable that he carries within him.

Enlightenment may, after a certain period of meditation practice, sometimes manifest itself in a very sudden manner and at the most unexpected moment (everything depends on the levels of being and consciousness of the meditant) or slowly, by stages, as a subtle modification of the state of being and consciousness, accompanied from the beginning by an inner awakening that, at first, may remain uncomprehended by the aspirant.

Awakening : a Matter of Life and Death

Excerpts from Chapter 3

Before the aspirant decides to embark upon a spiritual path, without his being aware of it, he lives in a world within himself where only darkness reigns. If, as a result of assiduous practice of meditation, he succeeds in attaining illumination, the Light will then appear in him—which means that he has touched a completely different state of consciousness, a Luminous Consciousness compared with which his customary consciousness is only darkness.

Following a more or less extended period of meditation practice, illumination may—everything depends on the aspirant’s levels of being and consciousness—suddenly manifest itself in him, which will simultaneously fill him with a feeling of profound wonder and a strange reverential fear, or, as is represented by most cases, it reveals itself slowly, like a subtle and gradual change in the state of being and consciousness, accompanied from the start by a mysterious inner awakening which may go totally unnoticed by the seeker at first glance.

The fact of having recognized this Clear Consciousness during his meditation sessions and having grasped its utmost importance for his emancipation, represents the greatest Grace an aspirant may wish to receive while he still bears his mortal body; indeed, what more precious thing can he possess than having found the Infinite in himself ? He will then realize that this Pure Translucent Consciousness is none other than what different religions call: God, the Eternal, the Self, or the Buddha Nature.
However, he must never forget that, while he inhabits his physical envelope, he cannot allow himself to be satisfied with what he has been able to gain spiritually, whatever he has acquired; it is only after his departure from this world, when gravity no longer wields its power over his being, that he will be able, without risk, to allow himself to enjoy the fruit of his efforts.

Excerpts from Chapter 9

The fact should never be forgotten that, contrary to what many imagine, even if a seeker manages to reach illumination, he may—because of certain unfavorable penchants which still remain untransformed within him—find himself very far from the ultimate goal: the liberation he wishes to attain.
Furthermore, whatever the degree of spiritual progress the seeker can achieve, he can never allow himself to be satisfied, because, owing to the law of gravity which reigns over everything which has taken on a tangible form, if he does not make a continual effort to rise, his energies will have no other choice than to sink in the direction of least resistance, i.e., descent; in other words, whilst he is still alive, he always risks losing what he has been able to achieve. Only after death can he hope to retain what he has spiritually acquired with so much difficulty.

Inner Awakening and Practice of Nada Yoga

Excerpts from chapter 3

Sometimes, some people say they have read here or there that a sudden and radical inner transformation can occur with no spiritual exercises or meditation practice and that it is thus possible to instantly attain enlightenment. What a dream! This is what is called wishful thinking or taking one’s desires for reality. It is like someone claiming to be able to bring about a radical and instant change in the stone of a date and, without any development or growth, transform it suddenly into a tall palm covered in fruits ready to be eaten. Without effort, nothing is possible.

One can accumulate an enormous quantity of book-based and intellectual knowledge, but, without persistent spiritual practice, one cannot hope to obtain anything of worth. A date stone that one keeps in one’s pocket cannot germinate. First, the effort must be made to turn the soil, to plant it, then to care regularly for the young tree if one wishes one day to benefit from its fruit.

In the same way, if the spiritual knowledge an aspirant acquires intellectually is not, so to speak, “planted” in his being and put into practice through assiduous work, nothing will result from it. Filling one’s pockets to overflowing with date stones will achieve absolutely nothing other than to be a pointless encumbrance; one will remain as poor and hungry as ever.

Excerpts from chapter 10

For every man and every woman engaged in a spiritual practice, all the interrogations that arise within them on such an important subject must be asked and asked again, day after day, with a great deal of seriousness and sincerity.

“What is liberation?”

“What does liberation really involve?”

“Does one truly understand what one wishes to be liberated from?”

“Can there be objective and real choice without liberation?”

“Do choice and liberation go together?”

“Can choice precede liberation or is it the reverse?”

The word “liberation” springs so often from the lips of many seekers; do they truly understand the price to be paid in order to obtain such a spectacular result?

The aspirant must avoid giving herself formulaic responses to these questions. It is preferable for her to leave them unanswered until she senses what is involved for her, personally, in the terms: “liberation and choice.” Indeed, attachments, psychological problems, and unsatisfied desires vary and are different in nature from one person to the next.

The specific tendencies against which one seeker must struggle, sometimes for her whole life, are not necessarily the same as those of another.