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The Enlightenment Trap

New Chart - The Seeker's trap
Article - The End of Seeking

End of the Searcher

This is the irony, the great cosmic joke, the great secret of "enlightenment." When the person who searches for enlightenment dissolves, then and only then is the object of the search revealed - having been obscured all along by the "me" who wanted it.

The discovery that "personal enlightenment" is a myth can be received as quite a shock. From my own experience I can verify that the mind and personality does not happily embrace this discovery when it is first glimpsed, for it makes one look somewhat ridiculous. All the searching, all the practicing, all the trying to "get" it, is seen as worthless, is seen as having per perpetuated the illusion of "me," as having obscured what was and is already here, what all this striving and practicing is occurring in-one's own limitless Self.

Amber Terrell
Surprised By Grace

When peace comes at last to those who wrestle with temptation and fight against the giving in to sin; when the light comes at last into the mind given to contemplation; or when the goal is finally achieved by anyone, it always comes with just one happy realization; " I need do nothing."

To do nothing is to rest, and make a place within you where the activity of the body ceases to demand attention. Into this place the Holy Spirit comes, and there abides. He will remain when you forget, and the body's activities return to occupy your conscious mind.
A Course in Miracles T-18.VII.

My understanding is that enlightenment itself is just another trap that many get stuck in for lifetimes.

While I benefited enormously from the training offered in the Thai and Burmese monasteries where I practised, I noticed two striking things. First, there were major areas of difficulty in my life, such as loneliness, intimate relationships, work, childhood wounds, and patterns of fear, that even very deep meditation didn't touch. Second, among the several dozen Western monks (and lots of Asian meditators) I met during my time in Asia, with a few notable exceptions, most were not helped by meditation in big areas of their lives. Many were deeply wounded, neurotic, frightened, grieving, and often used spiritual practice to hide and avoid problematic parts of themselves.
Jack Kornfield

Buddha cannot be found by searching, So contemplate your own mind. This is the highest teaching one can practice; ..... I attain all my knowledge through observing the mind within, Thus all my thoughts become the teachings of Dharma and apparent phenomena are all the books one needs. Seeking the innate face of the self-mind is supreme How can common meditation match it?

When I began my teaching work, people were having phenomenal experiences, but things weren't changing their habits, their neuroses. It became clear that if people didn't work with their psychology, no matter how devoted and sincere they were, they were effectively blocked at a certain stage. If we don't efficiently deal with our psychology, we can forget spiritual work. Not that we can't have experiences, but we always come down from them.
Lee Lozowick

There is no process of becoming in God, but only a present moment, that is a becoming without a becoming, a becoming-new without renewal. . . All that is in God is an eternal present- time without renewal.
Meister Eckhart

'Who in heaven's name do you think is enlightened? You?' How could it ever be possible for a person to be enlightened? The personality is just a series of pictures in your thought, and a couple of pictures of enlightenment simply get added on to that. The pictures come and go, they are not constant. So that so-called enlightenment is not constant either. If you have found this 'enlightenment', it means that you must have been searching for it to start with. You will not find it by searching for it. The searching stops because of total insight. You can only search on the outside, and this changes continuously.
Jan Koehoorn

Meditation on oneself was a necessary and admirable pursuit, but it did not constitute the entire activity which life was constantly asking of man. It was good, but it proved to be not enough. For the efflux of time had shown me the limitations of mystics, and more time showed that those limitations were accountable by the one-sidedness of their outlook and the incompleteness of their experience.
Paul Brunton

I don't encourage anything. I let it happen. If a person thinks he is getting spiritual, then he isn't spiritual. Having the very idea "Now I'm getting spiritual" means he's not, because ego has come in. You must become like an empty flute of Krishna. Krishna can play his tune through the flute, the correct tune. But as long as the flute is saying, "I am playing a good tune," there's a stoppage in the flute and Krishna can't play. The higher you go, the less you think you are anything. When you ask me about a teacher, what teacher? Who teaches who? Everybody teaches you something. Some teach you what not to do and some what to do. Everybody's your teacher in this world. We are just one infinite body, and if I begin to think that I am a teacher, then I cease to be a good teacher because I have ceased to be at one with the one and only teacher, God.
Hilda Charlton

The One Ultimate Reality Offers no self-help teaching, path, practice, course, seminar, or therapy: all of those are made by egos and for egos. The Teachings Of the few True Incarnations who have lived are Founded primarily on Grace; and secondarily on the follower's passionate inviting and allowing of, and thus participation in, That Grace. The true follower is looking to Reality to be Used and Consumed By That, rather than to use and consume It.

Q: What is Moksha, or enlightenment?
A: It is nothing. It is not an event that occurs, but is ever-present, already existing in everything. This needs to be strongly emphasized, because most people make the mistake of thinking of it as some kind of dramatic happening, some kind of "spiritual experience." No, it is simply the fading away of ignorance, and the realization of our true nature, which is unbounded, limitless, beyond the realm of space and time. This fading of ignorance is happening slowly in everything and in everybody. Everything is moving back toward the knowing of reality, which is revealed only when ignorance is gone.
Tim Gerchmez

Goals, especially the highest and finest, work like over valued ideas, the roots of delusion that nourish great canopies of sheltering paranoia, these spreading ideas of size and import which characterize positive goals. Such belief in an overriding idea about one's purpose in life turns out to be the very thing which blocks the way and may result in destructiveness.
Pat Hawk

For forty years I traveled all over the world, actively seeking freedom. I have gone down many paths, been with many acclaimed teachers and gurus and experimented with most of the known techniques for awakening. I have not seen anything work effectively. My conclusion is that nothing on the outside works. No method, no technique, no teaching in itself, leads to freedom or awakening.
Ava and Paul Lowe