Awareness is a state which runs on a continuum with enlightenment is on the top, and enchantment on the bottom. There are a lot more people on the bottom than the top. So they say being enlightened is lonely, whereas being enchanted is being surrounded by friends.
The arena of spirituality can be confusing because spirituality is a universal term with a broad range of meanings and uses. The primary part of this term is the word spirit. It refers to the non-physical part of our mind.
Many people believe we are spiritual beings having a physical experience. At our core, we are Spirit. People think their religion is leading toward enlightenment. But if you look deeper, you will find religious faith is a form of self-hypnosis—belief in mythology results in a trace state of bewitchment.
Enlightenment Versus Enchantment
These two concepts couldn’t be further apart. The arena of spirituality and religion is famous for confusing the meaning of these terms. Some believe this is a blatant attempt to counterfeit or plagiarise. Regardless of the motives, it certainly is helpful to step back and review the real meaning and usage of the terms. So, let’s start by reviewing the most widely accepted definitions.
What Being Enchanted is Like
Enchantment is a “heightened state of euphoria or delight.” The effects are like being under a spell or state of hypnosis. Perhaps rightly so, when one feels this type of euphoria, it suspends the mental processes responsible for common sense reasoning. It is identical to the effects of self-hypnosis and group hypnosis. Self-hypnosis reduces peripheral awareness and conscious thought. This state enhances the capacity to respond to suggestions. Thus, it is a primary tool for reprogramming beliefs, ideas, and values. So, they reject anything that threatens their enchanting state of euphoria.
Being enchanted is a state that can be voluntary or involuntary induced. When you are enchanted, you are in a trance-like state of self-hypnosis, which makes you susceptible to the power of suggestion. It is a form of brainwashing (1) which is found in religions that employ systems of continual indoctrination. Your susceptibility to this kind of propaganda and programming depends on the amount of exposure and indoctrination level. Propaganda is a form of covert brainwashing.
The outward manifestation of this state can take many forms. For example, we see people “fall under the spirit” when touched by a preacher. They fall to the floor in a trance induced by touch, which is a conditioned response bolstering the cause-and-effect belief relationship between falling and the self-hypnotic state. It’s serious stuff for those involved.
The purpose of brainwashing is to implant thought patterns and values that result in desired behaviors. These methods override the individual’s ability to use common sense and reasoning. When someone is brainwashed, it enables them justify things like falling on the floor with the preacher touching them, killing people who don’t have the same imaginary friend.
How Being Enlightened is Like
It is easy to confuse enlightenment and enchantment because our culture has put a lot of effort into eroding the difference. Enlightenment involves an increase in clarity and comprehension. It is a new level of understanding that can come from analytical or intuitive thought, or both. Enlightened people never stop growing. Enlightenment isn’t a static point, it is a process of gaining clarity, understanding, wisdom, learning, and knowledge. They frequently attain higher states of awareness and consciousness because being enlightened expands awareness, understanding, and greater clarity of rational thinking. It is not an emotional experience.
Some people are born freethinkers, but most people who achieve enlightenment do so by engaging in practices that expand awareness. Enlightened people differentiate the watcher, Observer, from the mechanisms of personality and instinct. They use processes to enter higher states of consciousness.
An example of a higher state would be the 4th state of consciousness, transcendental consciousness. I
This partition of awareness is most notable for a profound state of rest while the mind remains alert but without thought. Scholars from Joseph Campbell to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi call this state of bliss consciousness because they are self-aware without typical inner dialogue. In this state, the practitioner’s awareness expands. The best way to reach this state of consciousness is Japa Meditation, or a more commercial version of the branded version known as Transcendental Meditation.
How Being Enchanted is Different Being Enlightened
So, we see there is a substantial difference between these two terms. Enchantment and enlightenment are opposite points on a continuum of awareness. Enchantment is the result of a hypnotic emotional state.
In comparison, enlightenment is a tangible, measurable change in awareness, perception, and consciousness. Your task is to examine your worldview, and find out where you are on this continuum of awareness. We’re asking you to find out if you are you living in a state of self-hypnosis or on the path of enlightenment. Will you do it? Many people are afraid to find the answer. Now you see why being enlightened is lonely in our culture. The emphasis is on enchantment.
On the continuum of awareness, enlightenment would be at the top of the chart, and enchantment would be at the bottom. Enlightenment is characterized by freedom and clarity of thought, enchantment is a state of self-hypnosis. The emotional component of being enchanted is related to the belief in mythology. It centers on the denial of facts so that thinking is can be overshadowed by religious, ethnic, and gender bias and prejudice.
Enlightenment and enchantment come from different points of perception. Organized religion drives the cultural narrative that is dominated by the belief in superstition and mythology. It redefines the term enlightenment to skew the meaning to fit the paradigm. So people follow a religion, thinking it will help them become enlightened. But, what they are doing is exposing themselves to group hypnosis and self-hypnosis manipulation. Religion becomes their identity, and they protect it with any means. This is not a path of enlightenment.
Some say that being enlightened is lonely because it moves you out of your comfort zone. It separates you from the counterfeit comfort of your Ego. The Ego can trigger negative feelings in response because it wants to remain in control.
Identify Your State of Mind
Here are various quotes on enlightenment from Osho, Carl Gustav Jung, Thomas Paine, Immanuel Kant, Albert Einstein, Lao Tzu, and Ilchi Lee. These quotes will help you understand the difference and determine where you are on the continuum between enchantment and enlightenment.
Our first quote is from Osho, also known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, he was born Chandra Mohan Jain, December 11, 1931 — January 19, 1990. We know him for creating yogic and tantric practices, building upon Neo-Hinduism of the 1870s. This quote explains the growth of perception evolving into the sixth state of awareness known as Cosmic consciousness. Being enlightened is self-observation and witnessing your thoughts and emotions without being attached emotionally.
“I’m simply saying that there is a way to be sane. I’m saying that you can get rid of all this insanity created by the past in you. Just by being a simple witness of your thought processes. It is simply sitting silently, witnessing the thoughts, passing before you. Just witnessing, not interfering not even judging, because the moment you judge you have lost the pure witness. The moment you say this is good, this is bad, you have already jumped into the thought process.
It takes a little time to create a gap between the witness and the mind. Once the gap is there, you are in for a great surprise, that you are not the mind, that you are the witness, a watcher. And this process of watching is the very alchemy of real religion. Because as you become more and more deeply rooted in witnessing, thoughts start disappearing. You are, but the mind is utterly empty.
That’s the moment of enlightenment. That is the moment that you become for the first time an unconditioned, sane, really free human being”. — Osho
Carl Gustav Jung
The following quote is from Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung (July 26 26, 1875 — June 6, 1961). Many of his theories about personality have become the foundation of modern psychiatry. This quote points out a common truth about the real inner work. It is painful.
The Ego struggles to maintain control because it is temporary. If we expose it, it fights back. The pain of separating ourselves from the mechanism is startling for most people. He describes the contrast between imaginary friends and exploring the shadow world of consciousness. It is how people often confuse enlightenment versus enchantment.
“There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” — C.G. Jung
Thomas Paine (January 29, 1737 — June 8, 1809) was a writer and philosopher famous for his writings on common sense. This quote emphasizes the point that enlightenment brings with it some unintended consequences. Once you are awake, you can’t go back to sleep. Once awakened, your conscience will force you to see the cultural narrative’s bias and prejudice.
“The mind, once enlightened cannot again become dark.” — Thomas Paine
This quote is about walking your path. It shows a significant contrast between enlightenment versus enchantment. Immanuel Kant (April 22, 1724—February 12, 1804) was a German philosopher who created transcendental idealism, also called formalistic idealism. The idea that the human self and Ego construct reality out of sense impressions and universal ideas called categories imposes upon them.
“Enlightenment is man’s release from his self-incurred tutelage. Tutelage is man’s inability to make use of his understanding without direction from another. Self-incurred is this tutelage when its cause lies not in lack of reason but in lack of resolution and courage to use it without direction from another. Sapere aude! Have the courage to use your own reason!- that is the motto of enlightenment.” — Immanuel Kant
We normally think of the field of physics when we hear the name, Albert Einstein, (March14, 1879—April 18,1955). His ideas about physics transcended many disciplines, he understood the value of inner work, and used his analytical skills to communicate what he learned by intuitive thinking. The self or Ego is not an enemy. It’s just a mechanism necessary to connect consciousness to our fragile nervous system. Liberation from the self is an ancient concept synonymous with an expansion of awareness or enlightenment. People think being enlightened is lonely because they are often surrounded by those who are not.
“The true value of a human being can be found in the degree to which he has attained liberation from the self.” — Albert Einstein
Lao Tzu was a Chinese philosopher circa 375 CE, best known for Taoism, the Daodejing. There is some question about whether he is an actual person or a pen name attributed to the work of several philosophers of the era. At any rate, this quote underscores the wisdom of understanding the Observer from the mechanisms doing the observation.
“He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.” — Lao Tzu
Ilchi Lee (Lee Seung-Heun, born December 23, 1950) is a South Korean author and the founder of various mind-body training methods, including Dahnhak. His quote explains how we are expressions of life, of consciousness. Enlightenment is not about the belief in imaginary friends or enemies. His quote challenges us to seek who is actually behind the act of breathing.
“Observe your own body. It breathes. You breathe when you are asleep, when you are no longer conscious of your own ideas of self-identity. Who, then, is breathing? The collection of information that you mistakenly think it’s you is not the main protagonist in this drama called the breath. In fact, you are not breathing; breath is naturally happening to you. You can purposely end your own life, but you cannot purposely keep your own life going. The expression, “My life” is actually an oxymoron, a result of ignorance and mistaken assumption. You don’t possess life; life expresses itself through you. Your body is a flower that life let bloom, a phenomenon created by life.” — Ilchi Lee
If Being Enlightened is Lonely, it’s Worth it
To summarize, enchantment is a conditioned emotional response. To be enlightened is to live in a state of expanding awareness, resulting in increased perception and positive transformation of consciousness.
When you are on the path of enlightenment, you are growing. It’s a natural process that makes us less susceptible to the negative programming of the dominant cultural narrative. So, it also separates you from those who are still asleep and under the control of the mass hypnosis of negative religious and political propaganda.
It makes you think about where you are on this continuum of enlightenment versus enchantment?
(1) Brainwashing: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainwashing