The Act of Letting Go
The enlightenment referred to in this article refers to enlightenment in the ultimate sense. Enlightenment arises from a combination of realizing the nature of the ego while understanding the true nature and state of the soul, and then letting go of duality.
Do not be disappointed that you cannot attain enlightenment from reading this article. This article is a guide to the enlightenment path; the path is the direct experience of those who walk the path.
The Enlightenment Environment
It helps to understand the layout of the worldly terrain before embarking on a path to enlightenment. As humans, our enlightenment path normally takes place through the ego while fine tuning the decisions of the soul, and then taking the final step of "no-step." The final step of "no-step" is simply the realization of a perfectly still mind. If you are ready for a perfectly still mind, this article is not worth reading.
The "mind" is the non-material realm of the physical Universe. Most people in the West think of the mind as a kind of thinking machine, which is only partially true, as there is more to the mind than thinking. The physical body does have a thinking brain, an extensive neural system connecting all its parts, an endocrine system, and the body does obey the laws of physics. Within the brain is a region called the hippocampus, which records, stores, and recalls memories. Our memories and feelings are directly integrated with both our mind and our body. The collection of the memories in our mind is what becomes our ego, and the ego is the result of the choices we make through our body.
The soul in its natural state resides within the Singularity. Within the Singularity there is no duality. Without duality there is no choice, but only eternal peace. Yet, it is the soul that has the ability to make choices. The physical Universe experienced through the body offers the soul opportunities for choosing, and it is temptation that lures the soul into making choices. There is no point in analyzing the motivation for the soul to enter into physical existence. It happens. What matters in physical existence is how we develop the ability to choose our way back to the Singularity.
The Lure of Physical Existence
The process of choosing our way back to the Singularity may take uncountable lifetimes, as the lure of physical existence is rich with a variety of seemingly tolerable and desirable experiences. The desire arises from the memories and feelings derived through the physical body. Some memories and feelings are those we enjoy, and other memories and feelings are those we try to avoid. The act of avoiding the perceived negative memories and feelings, and desiring the perceived positive memories and feelings, are both a consequence of duality. However, these desires and aversions are also the acts that perpetuate our lure into physical existence.
Memories and Time
We think of our physical birth as being the beginning of time for us. Our incarnation begins with the most primitive set of memories during its development in the womb. Memories and time are intimately related because memories give us the perception of a past. Past memories direct the destiny of any given physical being; yet, neither memories nor time are physical realities. The concept of time is strictly a function of memories.
The Physical Present Moment
Physical matter exists only in the present moment. There is no physical timeline where physical matter exists in a past moment or a future moment. All physical reality exists only right here and right now. The perception of time arises due to the hippocampus of the brain creating, storing, and recalling memories. We play these memories in loops within our brain, and it is the brain that then creates the illusion of a timeline.
Past and Future
We talk about the past and the future as though they are physically real things, and yet the past and future are weakly imprinted mental images in a network of neurons and other types of cells within our body. Through the shared physical existence with other bodies, humans as a society have evolved to the state where we can now also record memories as photos, videos, and audio. We create art forms, literary works, and cultures to store and retrieve our memories. We develop commerce, technology, and governments to perpetuate our memories through trade, invention, and lifestyle.
With this combined database of knowledge, and the combined processing power of billions of human beings, we have recorded an immense historical timeline that reinforces our belief in a physical past. Further, this knowledge enables us to predict with reasonable certainty our belief in a physical future. Take away the recordings of our past and future, and the entire past and future simply disappear. There is no physical past that one can travel to to recreate the lost knowledge, and neither is there a physical future that can come to our rescue. The physical reality ever exists only in the present moment.
The Soul is the Chooser Within
Tthe soul, having no physical existence of its own, and having no thought process of its own, has the ability to make choices and to direct those choices through the mind and body. The quality of choices then evolve as the soul experiences the effects of its choices in the physical and mental realms. We call the cumulative effect of our choices "karma." For no matter whether the soul makes good choices or bad choices, the state of the soul has its own momentum with regard to making choices.
The soul exists within the present moment of the dualistic physical Universe, whether the soul is incarnated or not. No matter how long the soul remains in the physical Universe, it will always be presented with choices due to the constant changing nature of physical reality. It may be that the soul in between physical incarnations takes a long break from physical embodiment, but until enlightenment is attained, the rebirths are likely to continue.
Each individual human being creates their own unique set of memories, and these unique sets of memories become our personality, or ego. Even groups of humans such as families, local communities, and greater communities, form their own group personalities, or cultures. The personality is an effect of the soul incarnating a body. The personality only partially is molded by the soul through the soul's choices; the personality is also molded by the physical limitations of the incarnate body and the environment in which the body dwells.
When a physical body, which the soul inhabits, can no longer function and then dies, the personality that was developed through that body also dies. What remains is the state of the soul at the time of the body's death. But just as the soul was born into the present body, it will be born again into a different body, and the soul will still have its same state as in the end of its previous incarnation. In other words, the soul's new birth will continue the soul's karma from its previous birth even as the soul develops a new personality through the new body.
The Physics of Temporal Reality
Within the present moment, physical matter changes in the forward time direction. The present moment is an oscillation between forward time and backward time, which is why the present moment makes no progress toward the past or toward the future, and always remains right here and right now. Physical matter, at the subatomic level, has a property called "half-spin." The half-spin refers to only half of the temporal cycle of forward time - backward time. Thus physical matter exists within the present moment, but advances only in the forward time direction. Thus physical matter has the physical property of aging within the present moment.
Since there is no physical linear timeline, physical matter changes within the present moment in cycles. The quantum frequencies aggregate into macro frequencies and manifest in innumerable ways. The Sun appears to rise and set every day. Our body changes through periods of waking, eating, working, and resting. Plants grow in yearly cycles. Everywhere we look, there is a cycle of change taking place whether it is a relatively fast change or a relatively slow change. And so frequency, rather than time, is the temporal reality of physical matter, while linear time is an effect of the brain as it sorts through memories. We imagine a past and a tuture, and we even live as though the past and future are physically real, even though the past and future are not physically real.
Again, the concept of time is just that, a concept. As far as physical reality goes, there is only a present moment with aging physical matter that continually changes in form. The soul always exists in the present moment. There is no past or future for the soul; anymore than there is a past or future for the mind or the body.
The Reality of Illusions
Our mind shows us things that do not physically exist, and yet we use these mental images to direct our physical existence. And even though our mind may imagine anything the soul chooses to imagine, the physical realm must follow physical laws. There are laws of gravity, electrostatic force, and magnetic force. There are laws of electrical behavior, and momentum. At each scale of physical existence from quantum existence to galactic clusters, there are rules that physical matter obeys.
Real or not, our imaginary concept of time is useful in making sense of the changes we continually face. Our non-material feelings are useful in the operation of our physical body. The world of duality functions as a viable living system where souls can make decisions. Whether the soul can ever find eternal peace within a dualistic Universe, or not, the physical Universe is physically real.
Peace in the Physical Universe is Ephemeral
In the soul's natural state within the Singularity, there is eternal peace. Within the physical Universe of duality, there are the ephemeral choices, and while there are choices, some of those choices will lead to pain and suffering. Many of these choices are instigated by relatively random events, such as stars that explode, volcanoes that erupt, earthquakes, meteor impacts, and climate change. in the soul's constant search for the eternal peace it has in the Singularity, the eternal peace within the physical Universe is always just out of reach. The soul grasps for what it cannot have in the physical Universe.
There is no Escape through Death
Duality cannot be escaped through death of a body. The path to enlightenment must mirror the Singularity, which is eternal peace. Unconditionally giving of one's self to the good health and well-being of others constructs the mirror of enlightenment within the mind. Through our choices, and by applying all our resources and our full will to recreate an image of the Singularity within our physical brain, we prepare the soul to take the final step of "no step."
At some point, all souls come to the realization that there is no choice that can bring the satisfaction of eternal peace, such as the eternal peace that exists within the natural state of the Singularity. It is at this point that the soul (not the personality of the thinking mind, or body), ceases to make choices. The soul, mind, and body become perfectly still. There is no choice made for enlightenment. It happens.