Blog #31

Hello there,

Bearing in mind of the human enlightenment concept covered last week, I would like to carry on that idea but it in a different sense for this week’s blog assignment. Hence, consider the practice of enlightenment by the Sokushinbutsu Monks who had hoped their mummified bodies would serve as a bridge between the mortal and spirit world. More information about them here. However, the subject of this week is not focused on the monks, rather the interpretation of one’s enlightenment and if it even exists or not. Read this article and answer the prompt.

Prompt: What are your thoughts after viewing the article? Do you suppose to still believe in this practice? If not, what is your goal to be the best you can possibly be in life?

Advertisements

27 Comments

  1. The article, “Enlightenment: Is It Really What We Think It Is?” by Elina St-Onge talks about how the “state of enlightenment” is the current state we are in right now. It isn’t a state we need to achieve because we are already enlightened.

    This “practice” is kind of odd to me. I guess because I’m still trying to wrap my head around the concept that my natural state is my enlightened state already. I guess I sort of buy into this practice, especially when St-Onge says, “The question we should ask ourselves is not how we can become better, bigger, wiser and more than who we naturally are… but what identities, stories, baggage and ideas we hold on to that come in the way of us being who we naturally are.” We already have all we need, we just need to know how to interpret it.

  2. This article proposes a palpable taoist philosophy. And while I suppose this philosophy can in fact bring enlightenment for many people, in my opinion the path to enlightenment is one filled with many shortcuts and detours. In other words, to find enlightenment you must first find what is fulfilling for you; whether that be praying, spiritualizing or simply being, as this author proposes. In fact, that’s probably why so many meditation practices and religions exist.

    Like Chanel when she says, “This ‘practice’ is kind of odd to me”, I would not follow in this philosophy.For me personally, I never bought much into the whole enlightenment prerogative. It may have worked for millions, in fact it might be the answer to all our negative emotions. Except I have lived my life trying to confront negativity rather than avoiding or rising above it. As Emerson advocated in his work on a strenuous life, I believe the most fulfilling way to live is through hard work and strife.

  3. In the article, “Enlightenment: Is It Really What We Think It Is?” by Elina St-Onge, it explains the concept of how “enlightenment is nothing more and nothing less than a natural state.” She believes that to achieve enlightenment, one has to be himself.

    Like Romel remarked, I also “never bought much into the whole enlightenment prerogative.” Though it is important to remain as oneself, as long as an identity is established, it is not wrong to look up to others. As a matter of fact, I look up to people all the time including my teachers, leaders, and even friends. Yes, I know my capabilities; I know where I am most proficient and incompetent. My aim is never to become like them; it is to grasp their good qualities and apply them to my life.

  4. As the article,“Enlightenment: Is It Really What We Think It Is?”, assumed I really did have the mentally that enlightenment is something that can only be achieved upon years of practice and proper equipment. However, that belief was entirely wrong.

    According to the article“enlightenment is nothing more and nothing less than a natural state”, thus all enlightenment truly is is having a person understand who they are. I personally still believe in the practice, because enlightenment to me is releasing emotional baggage and reconnecting with myself. I along, with Channel, took an interest when the author wrote “The question we should ask ourselves is not how we can become better, bigger, wiser and more than who we naturally are… but what identities, stories, baggage and ideas we hold on to that come in the way of us being who we naturally are.” I believe if people took a minute to close their eyes, focus on their breathing, and clear their mind, then they could truly benefit from the practice and become the best they could be.

  5. In Elina St-Onge’s article, “Enlightenment: Is It Really What We Think It Is?”, she discusses the misconceptions people generally have about what enlightenment truly is, or at least should be. St-Onge writes, “But the truth is, enlightenment is nothing more and nothing less than a natural state. It is within all of us.” and she goes on to explain that we should not seek enlightenment because it is already happening. As individuals, all we need to do is to just be ourselves, notice what is going on, and let it be. There is no need have some sort of spiritual element in your life or even to knock yourself down to be enlightened.

    Before coming across this article, I was 100% one of those people who thought human enlightenment was seeking to become one of those spiritual gurus trying to reach the “promised land”, but clearly that is not it at all. Chanel O. stated my thoughts perfectly when she wrote, “This “practice” is kind of odd to me. I guess because I’m still trying to wrap my head around the concept that my natural state is my enlightened state already.” since I was bit confused by what the article was trying to point out. What is the purpose of reaching enlightenment, if it is already happening? I never believed in the practice in the first place, but it does seem like some helpful life advice that could help in the long run. My goal to be the best version of myself in life is to just “enjoy the ride” like the article mentions because you never know what to expect. Individuals must come to a realization that they are already good enough and truly believe it. You can’t be the best, if you don’t think that you are in the first place.

  6. For three months I sat at the front desk of a yoga studio observing the patrons and their students move in an out. For some students Yoga was just another form of exercise no different than cycling or lifting weights, but for others it was “spiritual.” Passionate conversations on how yoga had changes lives. These were the students who took every flyer to every hippie fest in the desert, walked in with ALL ORGANIC drinks that made them feel better, and shared with me their path of spiritual enlightened. This experience was rushed back to mind after reading Elian ST – Onge’s article. “Enlightenment: Is it Really What We Think It Is?” Onge shares her thoughts on commercialized enlightenment. Enlightenment has nothing to do with clothes or classes, but rather being ourselves. According to Onge, enlightenment is just our natural state. It can be harder more than we think to just embrace ourselves and confront our problems. The only thing necessary to be enlighten is to be aware.
    I agree with Onge that when we are aware of ourselves we feel more at peace. I interpret “being aware” as having emotional intelligence, which is the ability to understand our emotions and catch the vibes of others as well. Onge explains that there are many people who try to be something they are not. When we stop “Fighting, acting, trying, pushing,” ourselves to only realize that once we pause this internal battle, the answers are right in front of us.”
    Articles like these are interesting to read, by wouldn’t live by them. We make our lives complicated and by trying to find ourselves and appreciate that “journey” we waste time. Like that NIKE slogan so eloquently puts it JUST DO IT. I agree with Romel that most fulfilling way to live is through hard work and passion. When I enjoy what I am doing and feel successful I do not care about internals.

  7. By definition to be Enlightened means “having or showing a rational, modern, and well-informed outlook. This is a word we should all generally know, but maybe not in that form. When I think of being in a state of enlightenment I think of being in a state of “zen.” Everyone in the world at some point in their lives are trying to obtain this state of peace, some believe that means getting everything you want, or trying to obtain more to appear better. But why are we trying to make ourselves this better, bigger, and wiser, person instead of trying to fix what we already have? We need to work with what we have to achieve, as stated in the article, “our natural state.” Find your inner self before you try and become something else. In our society everyone is so quick to jump on that “new trend” and we are constantly trying to adapt ourselves to these standards of perfection that we continue to stray away from who we are as a human being. We look up to these “Public Figures” and think “oh hey I’d love to have a butt like that, or oh hey I’d love to have a car like that” when we should stop and be grateful for who we are and what we have, because there are others that try to achieve what you already are. To achieve your personal state of “Enlightenment” I would say just do what you love for that reason and not for the idea of obtaining something in return. I completely agree with Jaydalynn when she stated “Individuals must come to a realization that they are already good enough and truly believe it. You can’t be the best, if you don’t think that you are in the first place.” Stop trying to come to a state of enlightenment when chances are you are already there.

  8. In the article “Enlightenment: Is It Really What We Think It Is?”by Elina St-Onge,the idea that we do not need to achieve enlightenment in any other why except being ourselves is discussed. St-Onge states, “..enlightenment is nothing more and nothing less than a natural state” which I found interesting because for me, and I am sure a good handful of people, I do not feel enlightened in the slightest. I actually do not care very much about the belief of enlightenment and all that weird stuff because it is just not for me but this article was actually kinda interesting.

    As for if I believe in this practice, no not really. Like Chanel states, “This “practice” is kind of odd to me” and I strongly agree with her. I have never heard of this belief before and it is definitely weird reading about it, and although the author does make it sound believable I would never live my life under this practice. For me I guess the idea of enlightenment is just not my cup of tea, rather I believe I can be my best self through my efforts and hard work to reach my goals.

  9. I have to start off by saying that all though I agree with the article because the author goes about starting their discussion by somewhat bashing on the crazy crystal ladies out there. I must agree with the statement that enlightenment is something we all have and is not as difficult to reach as some have made it out to be. I can say with quite certainty that as an eighteen year old high school student I have not achieved what I perceive to be enlightenment. In my eyes, to be enlightened means to have a profound understanding of any aspects of the world, human nature, or ourselves and although I may be on that path, but I’m not there yet. With this in mind I would also like to point out some what of a flaw I see within the article. The author makes it appoint to let people know that enlightenment is what they make of it and is not necessarily what others lead them to believe but as I had stated previously they also make it a point to state that the crystal lady is the one actually reaching enlightenment either. It’s a little hypocritical but it was in efforts of trying to get their point across. It seems to me that if letting your rocks charge under the moon is how you get closer to reaching your own enlightenment then no one could tell you otherwise. Benjamin T. puts it well when he states that “as long as you maintain your identity through the process” the journey should be fine.

  10. In the article, “enlightenment: is it really what we think it is?” by Elina St-Onge she explains what she believes to be enlightenment. She explains her idea of how “enlightenment is nothing more and nothing less than a natural state.” she believes that being yourself is enlightenment.

    I agree with what Romel said “never bought much into the whole enlightenment prerogative.” I do believe it’s important to be yourself and to be happy with yourself however I don’t think looking up to others is wrong. I look up to others such as my grandpa and some fitness freaks that do some crazy cool workouts. I’m not trying to be them but i want to apply what i like about them to myself to be better than them.

  11. After viewing the article, “Enlightenment: Is It Really What We Think It Is?” by Elina St-Onge I have concluded a new approach to the “practice”. This article is right up my alley as my topic is life itself, enlightenment is something that I truly believe in. Though I do not believe in the way it’s majorly portrayed, I completely agree with the concept that this article explains. Enlightenment is not a destination or a certain being, it is merely what we interpret and define it to be.

    I will always continue to try and be a prosperous entity on the plane of our existence. Enlightenment is encountered by all, not as a practice but as our self inclination to produce and fulfill our self purpose. Romel says that, “…I believe the most fulfilling way to live is through hard work and strife.” And I respectfully disagree with that opinion. With my experience and knowledge of people’s despair, it is hard to believe it is the most fulfilling life to live. A malnourished child breathing his last breath would most likely find further struggle to be utterly repulsive.

    My goal for achieving the most I possibly can out of my life, consists of an ingenious initial effort to produce consistent passive income for myself. After creating a stable flow of support, I will simply pursue my more artistic and satisfying leisures. I only wish to emanate and encompass myself in the essence I desire, which is the certain feeling that manifests within uncharted territories of my metaphorical and physical world.

  12. In the article entitled “Enlightenment: Is It Really What We Think It Is?” written by Elina St-onge discusses the “Promise Land” of spirituality otherwise known as enlightenment. Enlightenment is the state that guarantees “peace, happiness, and fulfillment of all desires.” The article goes on to mention how enlightenment is attainable for everyone because enlightenment already lies within us.

    Chanel perfectly described my thoughts after viewing this article when she stated, “I guess because I’m still trying to wrap my head around the concept that my natural state is my enlightened state already.” Prior to reading this article I had little knowledge about enlightenment, and how it works. I just thought it was this unattainable state of mind achieved by the most spiritually attuned people. So when I read that enlightenment is our natural state, I found that difficult to comprehend. I do not have strong beliefs regarding this practice; I am a bit indifferent on this topic. I do however believe that if I believe in myself, and work hard towards my goal I will be the best I could possibly be in life.

  13. The article that Kenneth provided with us today was about enlightenment and how it is not a state we must reach, but something that is within in. “Enlightenment: Is It Really What We Think It Is?” written by Elina St-onge also talks about how enlightenment has been misinterpreted and what it really means within our lives.

    After reading this article, when she mentions the idea of the Promise Land was quite weird to me, probably because I am so focused to my religion. That the only Promise Land is heaven and personally, I believed that enlightenment was a practice and was something we have not achieved. I guess throughout the years, teachings and how people describe this idea was viewed as something we can only achieve if abide by the policies. If the author thinks we already been enlightened, but more of how we got to that point and realize what we did to get there. But like Romel M. said in his post how he never got his head around this whole idea, is how I feel also because of the religion I grew up with and the lessons and teachings I learned from my family. Enlightenment in the catholic faith would be praying or going to heaven.

  14. I do believe in enlightenment, and in the practice of achieving it, however I do not think it is something nearly as glorious as it has been painted out to be. Enlightenment should not be a goal for everyone. Mainstream religions today all seem to push the directive that disconnection with the ego is the only “right” way. When Romel speculates that, “It may have worked for millions, in fact it might be the answer to all our negative emotions.” I can firmly say that it has not, and is not. I believe that in actuality, very few are capable of attaining enlightenment. I do not agree with the author of the article when she says that enlightenment is a default state, or that animals are naturally enlightened. I believe that as long as we have a pulse, we have an ego. Even if through intense meditation and practice our mental ego is killed, as long as we are alive, the physical ego will remain. The mental ego never stays dead for long anyhow! The ones who most glorify enlightenment are the ones least enlightened. The only true enlightenment comes at the hands of the rider of the pale horse. Death is the ultimate disillusion, when everything that has appeared to be so permanent is suddenly taken away. Your lives as you read this are leading to that glorious moment! Enlightenment is only a matter of preparation for that day. There is no rush to be enlightened, so enjoy having an ego while you can!

  15. Much like the article “Enlightenment: Is It Really What We Think It Is?” by Elina St-Onge states I do not really “try” and be enlightened but I do not purposely do that. Reaching enlightenment and trying to reach “a “supreme” state of being” as stated by St-Onge. I agree with the main idea that if we stop “trying” and just do then we are enlightened because we already are and how birds do not “try” to be birds they just are. A close friend of mine always reminds me of that because she tells me “Do or do not, there is no try.” That idea I take with me in everything I do in life. What Nicholas said about, “Enlightenment has nothing to do with clothes or classes, but rather being ourselves” drives home the idea St-Onge stated when she wrote “the one “trying to be spiritual” is just the one who forgot.” To be the best me I could possibly be in life I do not stress on pleasing others and focus on what makes me happy also to not depend on others because at some point in time you will be let down.

  16. Enlightenment. If you ask for my take on it, I would say it should be an empowering experience that follows the mantra of being one with yourself. After reading Elina St-Onge’s opinion on the topic, it looks like I was not far off. She wants people to look away from the “misconception” that enlightenment aims to improve, rather she argues that it IS who we naturally are. That confused me for the longest time. Thankfully, Nick’s response that “the only thing necessary to be enlightened is to be aware” was able to clarify her argument for me. I was not sure what make of St-Ogne’s tips of truth at the end of the article. “There is no need to try and control our path.” I believe that when one becomes aware of who they are, they should be able to seek change in their own way. People come to enlightenment for change. It is not always the vision of being “grander, better, or wiser” than who they are, but they come seeking something new nonetheless. That’s not always a bad thing. If you can can understand come to understand the best and worst in yourself, then you should have what it takes to evolve and be the best you can be in life.

  17. I always thought of enlightenment as what people try to achieve through meditation and other means. The author states that the only way that we may be enlightened is by not trying because by doing so you are forcing yourself out of your natural state. I was bit confused when the author mentioned one of the two obvious truths “you already are what you are seeking”. I believe Chanel said it best, “This “practice” is kind of odd to me. I guess because I’m still trying to wrap my head around the concept that my natural state is my enlightened state already.” I believe that everyone has their own method of achieving their goals, but although the concept is quite fascinating I do not see achieving enlightenment as mine. Rather to be the best me as possible I focus on improving myself through hard work and to become a well rounded individual.

  18. The article that Kenneth shared, “Enlightenment: Is it really what we think it is?” by Elena St.Onge is about how enlightenment is something within and is the current state we are in. St. Onge said, “It is nothing less than a natural state.”

    I agree with Joshua when he said, “That the only Promise Land is heaven and personally, I believed that enlightenment was a practice and was something we have not achieved.” I agree with him because I am also very religious and I have always been taught that the “Promise Land” was heaven and we had to follow certain teachings to get there. It is not something that we are already in, but something we have to work towards. I grew up being taught that going to heaven is not something that will just happen.

  19. In the article “Enlightenment: Is It Really What We Think It Is?” mentioned about someone striving reaching their natural state. Before I read the article, I just thought when people were trying to find enlightenment is when someone is trying to find themselves. So when I was reading this, it just clarified what people were seeking when they did these practices. I can say that I somewhat believe why people would do these kind of practices because not everyone knows who they actually want to be or who they actually are unless they do things out of their normal routine. In my point of view, I would not do something like this. Those practices can somewhat help them or there can be better practices for the individual. I would not recommend this to someone just for enlightenment. We are already in our natural state, some just need to recognize it. Like Chanel said, “We already have all we need, we just need to know how to interpret it.”

  20. The article, “Enlightenment: Is It Really What We Think It Is?” written by Elina St-Onge, talks about how enlightenment is not achieved but attained from within. Like most people that responded, i find this practice odd and would never see myself following it.

    I agree with most points made in the article, but I believe enlightenment isn’t attained by being in your natural state, I believe enlightenment is achieved through finding a purpose and working hard to fulfill it. Everyone is different, similarly, Maryela said “ I believe that everyone has their own method of achieving their goals, but although the concept is quite fascinating I do not see achieving enlightenment as mine.” My goals are to better the people around me, including myself.

  21. After reading the article “Enlightenment: Is It Really What We Think It Is?” I find myself in agreement with the author. I was always under the impression that “enlightenment” was very far away and could only be attained by extraordinary feats. St-Onge argues that why try when all you have to do is be yourself. I find that to be a better way to tackle “enlightenment.” Enlightenment doesn’t seem that far away when all you have to do is exist in your pure natural state.
    I agree with Maryela when she quotes the author and says that we already know what we are looking for. Basically we can achieve enlightenment at any time all we have to do is stay true to ourselves.

  22. As cliche as this article is, it does suggest a more common outlook that is often difficult to understand, which is the common advice of “Be who you are”. Many look at this with confusion cause the meaning is hard to grasp. The idea of enlightenment that the article expresses, “Enlightenment: Is It Really What We Think It Is?”by Elina St-Onge, is the thought provoking idea that we really don’t need to try to be ourselves. It’s the raw parts that we use everyday that keeps us being ourselves. This belief suggests that the things a person does during their day that restricts them and what they believe in makes them themselves.

    By following their beliefs and not trying to be someone else, they are truly enlightened and true to themselves. What Audissey said is important, “Stop trying to come to a state of enlightenment when chances are you are already there”. It’s important to stay true to who you are and not try to force being yourself when trying is not needed to be yourself.

    As far as this belief, I’m not sure how correlated the two are. Being religious and motivated by your actions in fact encourages your natural behavior. It becomes when you try to be something other than yourself to achieve anything other than yourself, but these thoughts don’t necessarily meet with each other. Instead to be yourself you need to be happy with the inner you and be able to the things that express you in every way.

  23. After reading the article “Enlightenment: Is it really what we think it is?” by Elina St-Onge, I have come to the conclusion that “Enlightenment” manifests itself in a variety of ways according to different religious and spiritual beliefs. The article is written in a way that suggests that there is a definitive and universal understanding of the process of enlightenment, mentioning that it is reached when a person is in their purest spiritual form; in other words, when a person eliminates all other things in their life that makes them less of who they really are, and more of who they want to pretend to be.

    Like Chanel said, I found this depiction of enlightenment in the text to be a bit odd to me. I questioned the meaning of enlightenment while reading the article, and realized that what one person thinks will help them reach enlightenment is not necessarily what another person would agree on. Personally, as a Catholic, I see my enlightenment as my sense of salvation through my ministry. Helping out and volunteering at my church is what makes me feel enlightened. It is not to say that I feel like I can get away with being my inauthentic self and still feel enlightened because of my ministry, because that is not the case. I think that through my ministry and in practicing my faith, I am able to connect with my Catholic community and feel like I am being my authentic self, and am therefore, enlightened.

  24. The article “ENLIGHTENMENT: IS IT REALLY WHAT WE THINK IT IS?” by Elina St-Onge looks very glumly upon people who dedicate their lives to enlightenment. While yes, reaching that star of mind may be very difficult, that does not mean that people should not try to reach for it. Everyone has personal goals and has the ability to live their lives however they please.

    Personally, I am not seeking to be enlightened. My motto is “I am here for a good time not a long time”. So to go out of my way to feel enlightened is not very high in my list, because I feel no desire to be. If being happy is enlightenment, then yes that would be my goal. But to me, enlightenment is synonymous with tranquility. And unless you are a Buddhist monk, I do not know if you have met true tranquility. While I may agree with the article that “enlightenment is nothing more and nothing less than a natural state”, I do not agree with how the author disregards other possible paths to enlightenment. Enlightenment varies from person to person, so there is no one way to reach it.

    While I may not agree with reaching enlightenment for myself, I do not believe we should disregard it either. Who am I to dictate how someone else should live their life? I am a great believer and supporter of “to each their own”, so I do not feel I have the power to say whether it should stay or go. I agree with Romel when he said, “to find enlightenment you must first find what is fulfilling for you”. The path to enlightenment is personal, it is not a one size fits all situation. To be enlightened we must find our own path, because only you will know if you have reached enlightenment.

  25. After viewing the article I must admit that I am shocked to realize that true peace is to be happy with yourself. In other words, to be satisfied with your life to the point of reaching piece. Enlightenment was always something that I figured was out of my reach because of the person I have become. Inner peace would mean holding no grudges, no judgmental thoughts, nothing against the world you live in. I find that the practice of seeking enlightenment is ok especially because enlightenment can mean a different thing to different people. The practice is completely fine but it can’t really be defined f everyone has a different definition of it. In my personal opinion I still think that enlightenment is a journey for myself. The closest I will ever get to enlightenment is to forgive those who have wronged me, no more grudges and just smooth sailing through life. To be at my best is the ultimate goal and be able to help others if they need it. I agree with Josh when he states that the overall point of the article is to show that we have always misinterpreted the idea of enlightenment.

  26. Elina St. Ogne, disillusions the readers in matters regarding the true meaning of enlightenment throughout the article, “Enlightenment: Is it really what we think it is?” Enlightenment is to have “a rational, modern, and well informed outlook” according to the dictionary, instead of the preconceived image most of us has of a meditating Buddha. I agree so much with the author because Enlightenment is not about being zen and having the “I’m in tune with the world” attitude instead it is a mindset which can be reached by anyone.

    I do not agree with the “practice” of enlightenment because enlightenment is more of a state of acceptance rather than a repeated exercise to constantly think about. My goal as a human being is to grow both physically and mentally, not to take the little things too seriously, and just live my life. That is my personal definition of enlightenment. I also agree with Benjamin T. when he says, “ my aim is never to become like them (mentors, peers, etc.); it is to grasp their good qualities and apply them to my life” because we could all learn something from each other. Everyone is an expert at their own interest which the world could benefit from.

  27. Elina St Onge’s article, “Enlightenment: Is It Really What We Think It Is?” delves into the idea that to reach enlightenment, one must accept the natural state or in other words accept who we are naturally. It’s not about pretending to be something you are not in order to be able to boast about reaching the enlightened state. Though the idea of being natural to reach enlightenment seems great, I do think that there’s nothing wrong with trying to change to become a better person. Like Jose said, “In my eyes, to be enlightened means to have a profound understanding of any aspects of the world, human nature, or ourselves and although I may be on that path, but I’m not there yet.” I want to be comfortable with my natural state but also be aware of flaws to understand my nature and the world’s. I think that of everyone just did what was natural and didn’t try to change, we’d live in a world of hurt. For example, if a person is naturally explosive, they are likely to speak without thinking. That can lead to hurting others, even when they don’t mean to. Overall, I think to reach enlightenment, one needs to balance the acceptance of what we can’t change and what we can.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s