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Seeking Enlightenment: RH'L3 in Practice

Up-Side

The happiness stemming from enlightenment-RH'L3 is liberation from states of ignorance and illusion. This provides for an equilibrium, even serenity, in the face of social events that cause others distress, or lead them to react inappropriately.

Social effects are prominent and may be difficult to manage. On the one hand, false ideas are common in groups and wider society, deliberately fostered by leaders for political purposes. Confronting these ideas is disruptive and automatically rejected by the mainstream. On the other hand, at times of confusion and uncertainty, providing the truth can be illuminating and electrifying as «scales fall from the eyes». This may lead to gratitude and a positive re-orientation of social efforts.

The earnestly sought truth concerns human nature and social life seen from a practical perspective. The intrinsic challenge in these searches is the need to look deeply and completely into oneself. Self-awareness and self-knowledge are fine in theory—the unexamined life is not worth livingSocrates in Apology 21a (Plato)—but what is found may conflict with existing activities and your self-concept. There may then be a beneficial knock-on effect: although for those not on the Quest, a hasty retreat may be preferred.

The means applied to penetrate ignorance and social illusion are primarily attunement, reflection, contemplation and meditation. However, we must underpin and bolster these by dialogue, wide reading, and listening carefully and critically to those who are knowledgeable. We need to pay more attention to people speaking and writing from their own experiences: i.e. to others who are also applying contemplation and reflection to social life.

Down-Side

The inherent problem with this Quest is the probability of resistant, hostile or even condemnatory social reactions. Enlightened conclusions or discoveries are rapidly attenuated, abbreviated, adjusted and actively distorted to fit social convention and personal prejudices—and to make it easier to sell via books, lectures &c.

Because awareness of truth often calls for change, and that upsets the powerful, all writings may be informally or formally censored or totally banned. Exile is sometimes forced or voluntarily chosen: as the Christian GospelsJohn 4:44; Mathew 13:57; Mark 6:44 noted, a prophet has not honour in his own land.

Given this type of reaction, a considerable degree of self-belief is a necessity in an Enlightenment Quest. Quiet acceptance and a humility based on how much is not known is a necessary concomitant. The temptation, however, is to feel superior and even justify an arrogant attitude. Such mental states lead to blindness and sometimes absurd or foolish behaviour. Ignorance and blindness are the negative states that only recede once humility and the desire to «know by reflection» regain the upper hand.


Originally posted: 29-Jun-2012




All posted material is part of a scientific project and should be regarded as provisional. Visitors are encouraged to think through the topics and propositions for themselves. Copyright © Warren Kinston 2009-2016.
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