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Enlightenment

Enlightenment – According to normal conceptions this is seen by most non-religious and religious people as a point in time where a person supposedly progressed to the point where they are ‘all-knowing’ or ‘all-powerful’. At this point they supposedly leave this ‘physical’ realm to continue their ‘good work’ as some ethereal being, or they choose to stay and teach, usually performing miraculous feats of sorts.  According to various traditions the person is then seen as an Avatar, Saint, Ascended Master or ‘Holy Man’. Other ways of describing the person includes ‘non-physical’, ‘higher being’, ‘of higher vibration’ and the list goes on.

According to the strictest interpretation of Buddhism as far as Dzogchen goes, Enlightenment would equate to the moment at which point a being realizes his or her Natural State or ‘true nature’.

As the very word ‘Buddha’ itself means ‘awake’ the Buddha Brats believe that Enlightenment literally means to reach the point of understanding the Knowledge of the Nature of the Mind and then expressing it at all times, therefore forever having escaped the clutches of Samsara by no longer being drawn back into Suffering. According to the Buddha Brats the view that ‘Enlightened Beings’ are necessarily vastly different in appearance and conduct to ordinary people is a mistaken view and that there are possibly many Enlightened Beings living seemingly ordinary lives.  

In fact, the fixation on the ‘enlightened state’ as something that appears to be ‘god-like’ or ‘inhuman’ is in fact an obstacle to true Awareness, and can in some cases lead to people grasping at an intellectualized concept which is utterly out of touch with not only human nature but also the Truth.  This also means that many accomplished beings fail to realize that they are already enlightened and they continue to ‘strive’ to become so. This is in fact completely at odds with the non-duality of Dzogchen and which explicitly states that we are never “not enlightened” and that this State is always present. We just don’t realize it because our perceptions are obscured by ignorance.  

The proof of someone’s Enlightenment is and always will be “the degree to which they are liberated from suffering”. This is an important point, because people may be able to do miracles, but unless they are free from Dualistic clinging, they cannot be said to be truly free.  

On the other hand, in some practices of Dzogchen they talk about instances where the practitioner starts seeing the various emanations of Buddhas depending on their level of awareness and it has been mentioned before that these ‘deities’ can only be perceived when ones perception has sufficiently developed.  Therefore it is possible that people are literally not able to identify that someone is in fact a Buddha, appearing to them to be just a normal person, the reason for this being that their own awareness is simply too degraded to perceive the truth.  

Compare Buddha and Ignorance of the Nature of the Mind. Also see Samsara, Nirvana and Vajra Pride.

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