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 the Path to Awakening – Chapter 4

There exist different degrees of illumination, from a small change in the state of being and consciousness, which may be missed by the seeker at the beginning of its manifestation in him, up to the highest and exceedingly rare experience during which he unmistakably recognizes the Ineffable he is carrying within him.
Illumination may, following a more or less extended period of meditation practice, sometimes manifest itself in a very sudden manner and at the most unexpected moment (everything depends on the meditator’s levels of being and consciousness), or slowly, in stages, like a subtle change in the state of being and consciousness, accompanied from the start by an inner awakening which, at first sight, may be not understood 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, certain people suggest that they have read here and there that it can happen that a sudden and radical inner transformation occurs without any spiritual exercise or meditation practice, and that in this way it is possible to achieve illumination immediately. What a dream ! This is what one calls “wishful thinking.” It is like claiming that one could bring about a radical and immediate change within a date stone, and, without any development or maturing, suddenly transform it into a large palm tree covered in fruits ready to be consumed !
Without effort, nothing is possible. One can accumulate an enormous amount of literary and intellectual knowledge, but without relentless spiritual practice, one cannot hope to achieve anything of any worth. A date stone one keeps in one’s pocket cannot germinate. First of all, one must make the effort of turning the earth, planting it, then regularly looking after the young tree if one day one wishes to enjoy its fruits.
In the same way, if the spiritual knowledge which an aspirant acquires intellectually is not, so to speak, “planted” in his being and put into action through assiduous work, nothing will come as a result. Filling his pockets brimming full with date stones is of absolutely no use, other than to load himself down unnecessarily; one will be as poor and hungry as ever !

Excerpts from chapter 10

And, for every man and woman involved in a spiritual practice, all the questions which spring up in them regarding such an important subject must be asked and re-asked day after day, with great seriousness and sincerity:
—What is liberation ?
—What does liberation imply ?
—Does one really understand what one wants to be liberated from?
—Can there be an objective and real choice without liberation ?
—Do choice and liberation go together ?
—Does choice precede liberation or is it the other way round ?
The word “liberation” shoots forth so often from the lips of numerous researchers; do they really understand the price to pay to achieve such a spectacular result ?
The aspirant must avoid providing himself with ready-made answers to these questions. It is preferable for him to leave them unresolved until he senses what is implied for him personally by the terms: “liberation” and “choice.” Indeed, attachments, psychological problems and unsatiated desires vary and have different natures from one person to another.
The specific tendencies against which a seeker must fight, sometimes throughout his entire life, are not necessarily the same ones as those in another person.