Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Is this what you really want?

What is Enlightenment?

There are all sorts of concepts about what it is, even the concept that Enlightenment has a purpose - to make ME feel better, to make ME more peaceful, more happy, more blissful, permanently wise and free.

Stripping away all the nonsense - Enlightenment is Annihilation. Annihilation of the self. Is this what you REALLY want? Is this what you're REALLY searching for? If you knew it was the annihilation of the self, instead of just making MY life better, would you really spend all the time and money reading books, visiting teachers, sitting in meditation?

So Enlightenment is a goal - something "I" need to do to "attain" Enlightenment, then "I" will be a better person, have a better life, be happier and more at peace. Then "I" will understand all the mysteries of life.

But Enlightenment is the annihilation of the self - totally wiping out the self. There is no one left to be happy, no one left to be at peace, no one left to have a better life.

But annihilation of the self doesn't mean that there is this "self" here now, and then LATER the self is annihilated. This is TOTAL annihilation - the realization that there NEVER WAS a self, NEVER WAS a ME that could have these things in the first place. Enlightenment means there NEVER WAS anyone there to become Enlightened in the first place, NEVER WAS a seeker, NEVER WAS a "person" who was suffering, NEVER WAS anyone who needed or wanted peace or happiness or a better life.

Total annihilation - is this really what you want? No "person" would ever want this. No "I" would ever want the "I" to be annihilated, to see that the "I" was only ever a concept, a thought. No ME would ever want ME to have never existed. No "mind" could ever envision or conceptualize it's very non-existence.

So annihilation never happened or could happen, because there is nothing to annihilate, no one to BECOME non-existent, no ME to lose. Enlightenment was only ever another attempt by the mind to make this life story "better", to alleviate suffering caused by the reference to something which never existed in the first place.


Anonymous said...


And equally shocking is that immediately after annihilation, nothing has changed. There is still the witnessing of a person, the thoughts, actions, failures, successes, etc. Time marches on unaffected, even if it can be said that time is no more.

Randall, I think you offer readers the best they can ask for in a guide. Thanks from everyone. ;)

Randall Friend said...


Thank you for your comments, my friend.

You also have a nice website at - listened to a bit of the Neti Neti stuff... it's very nice.


Arguments With Reality said...

Thank you for your wisdom.
Amazing that this is exactly what "I" am experiencing right now. "I" want to annihilate "me" that never existed. But "I'm" afraid. Afraid of the unknown. But am I afraid when I go to sleep at night that "I" won't wake up? That "I" won't remember to breathe or to beat my heart?

Cedric said...

Is this the fear that some buddhist and zen practitioners talk about?
I was wondering about how life ain't all suffering and gloom for most people. Even amongst the poor of third world countries I've visited there are still many moments of joy and happiness. The joy of friends and family, the joy of achieving something, loving, eating, resting, even sex. Lots of great things that we are attached to. And when the mind conceptualises "enlightnment" I guess it must think that on the one hand, no more suffering, but on the other, no more of the good stuff either. Is that why, perhaps, that so many so called enlightned beings "awoke" after some instance of great suffering? Kinda like, "hey I've got nothing to lose and I don't give a damn no more". Because there's no fear of losing out on the good stuff when all you can see is suffering?

Randall Friend said...

It is seeing that no matter what is happening in the appearance, in the dream, whether "good" or "bad", relative peace or conflict, love or hate, that none of this is what I am.

What I am is the open space which allows all to arise, unconditionally.

But to say it "allows" is not really right either, because there is no one to allow. What's happening is what's happening - the urge to control it or the sense of liking it or not liking it only arises in the relative mindset of the "human".

And all this happens IN present awareness. None of this touches awareness. Suffering is only relative to the "person", and the person never existed anyway.