Enlightenment

The Buddha defines enlightenment as simply "the end of suffering"  Before we became conscious, we did not suffer, because we didn't know any better.  We did not judge our, or others circumstances as "bad" and therefore we did not suffer from them.  Our infinitely compassionate God-consciousness is incapable of passing these judgement and therefore incapable of suffering.  Our minds however, know very little beyond the gluttony of suffering. Most of us know not our God consciousness, and therefore remain in the endless degradation of ego-centrist thoughts, and behaviors.

The transcendent journey from ego-maniacle to enlightened is not a task of great burden, in fact, it is a task of unburdening.  Our minds continual insistence of good and bad, and trying desperately to control good and bad, keeps us dining at the trough of disappointment. 

Four principals apply in the preparation for the journey.
  1. Surrender
  2. Sharing
  3. Restitution
  4. Guidance

Surrender
It is imperative that humans first identify that they themselves are not Gods, nor are they in control of  any ultimate destiny.  When we surrender to the concept of a higher power or higher purpose, we surrender reliance on our finite selves to reliance on the infinite power of the universal compassion.  It makes sense, and when practiced it becomes more than obvious that reliance on a God, or a higher power imbibes the surrenderer with considerably more power than they had when they relied on their own imperfect ego. If it makes it any more palatable, think of surrender as the ultimate act of self will.

Sharing
We were taught as young ones that sharing was about sharing material things.  Sharing of material things is an act of ego. "it is mine but I will share with you with the hope that you will share something of yours with me, or you will like me more for sharing".
Sharing in the spiritual sense is more like "I have found this great peace, and I will share it with you because I must share it to have it myself.  Things of infinite value must be shared to be truly realized.  What good would it be to have all the love, understanding, and charity in the world if we did not share it with others?

Restitution
You may have read my rant on amens if not, the long and the short of it is that I believe that forgiveness is a close relative to contrition.  As this applies in my journey restitution. is the key to pealing back the layers of the guilt onion.  As we all trudge through life lost in the endless Sansara, (Chaos of society) We build up karmic baggage.  Karmic baggage is the layers of deception, guilt, untruth, and resentment that we all carry.  In order to fully live the noble path of righteousness, we must unburden ourselves of this baggage. 
It is kind of like washing all the mud off your Jeep so it is lighter.  It is also not a one time process. Though we are striving to not accumulate more karmic baggage, we, a humans will fall short. That is why we must continually clean our side of the street.  The clouds of discontent will surely block us from the sunlight of the spirit. 

The concept of restitution is multi faceted.  It is not just about paying our creditors or those that we have harmed financially.  Making restitution in the universal sense can be further broken down into two parts.

Make right the wrongs of the past
Perhaps the most important aspect of the restitution concept is to fully identify the wrongs we have done, take ownership of them, and to the best of our ability, make whole the people we have wronged. Sometimes this is purely financial. More often than not however, it is spiritual.  We have caused others to resent us, we have caused others to hurt. and these are the vibes that find us through the universal abyss, and keep us rooted in the sansara.

Live in such a way as to not re-wrong
To right the wrongs of the spirit is to make amens. To make amens, is to amend the behaviors of the past, to leap out of our own self centered nature, and embrace compassion for our fellows. Once this has taken root, it is simple to stay out of the hurting of others. The clouds of discontent hide us from the sunlight of the spirit.

I could go much deeper into the ideas of "taking ownership of our wrongs, but instead I will simply say that until we fully realize the nature of or ego driven livs, and realize that it is to our detriment, and the detriment of those around us. We can never see where we have violated the Golden Rule.
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