Ah, the ultimate goal of any spiritual student is to attain enlightenment To finally awaken to their truth, all truth. To attain inner peace. True peace. To transcend the physical and unite with the spiritual as one.
Whenever I think of enlightenment I am brought back to a high school honors English class focused on Existentialism. We read, among other books, Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. It was a turning point in my life, although I didn't realize it at the time. I LOVED that book. I still have the copy our teacher gave us. She thought we needed it, apparently. It's beat up, written in and the binding is held together with masking tape. I was not the first to posses that copy, and perhaps not the last, but I love it like a child.
I think part of my spiritual awakening happened that year, although I was unaware of it at the time. It was why the book resonated so strongly with me. I devoured it again and again. I am feeling called to read it again, now. I did not fully comprehend it's message at the time, but it catalyzed a journey. As I remember the people in that class, I am still good friends with several of my classmates. It was a small class. Maybe 10 or 12 of us all told. We've been on our own journey since then, together and apart. In and out of each other's lives. In retrospect, it's an interesting study of a spiritual journey within a life journey. As at least 3 of them have been a significant part of my life and helped contribute to who I am today.
When I throw down a reading with my Ascended Masters oracle cards for myself, guess who comes up a lot for me. Yep. Good ole Sidd as I like to refer to him. He's like an old friend.
Siddhartha was on a spiritual journey. He tried the route of fasting, homelessness and renounced materialistic possessions to seek enlightenment. He met Buddha, but did not join his 'tribe', instead choosing to continue to seek his own truth. He then fell prey to materialism and romance, indulging in wealth, beauty and the lovely Kamala. Only to realize this was not the life he wanted, there was no enlightenment there. He returned to being a wandering seeker of truth and enlightenment. He later had to allow his own son to also find his own path, just like he did.
One of the most memorable messages from the book for me was that the truth was in the river. We all see the river differently. We all experience it differently. It has messages for us, but we must listen. It's about learning our 'lessons' in life. So many of us just plow on through, giving no thought to the experiences we have, yet there are so many messages every day for us to discover about ourselves and our world.
All of our experiences collectively help us to discover our truth. Life is our river. Once we discover our truth, we must then choose to speak and live it. Every experience we have brings us closer to our truth. It helps us to understand who we are and who we are supposed to be. The path is different for all of us. Until we can own our choices and understand our river, enlightenment is elusive. The moment we find that inner peace, that universal understanding, when we can stand proud in our own truth, that we can truly love unconditionally and without judgment, we become enlightened.
It's not easy. If it were, we'd all be there. It's work. It's a paradigm shift for many of us. Some of us need life jackets for our rivers! Others, an inner tube to drift on. Some, like Siddhartha, need to sit by the river and listen. Listen to our hearts. Our inner wisdom. Start small. Be aware of your choices and the emotion and motive behind them. Baby steps.
The truth is in the river. Find your river!