Units of Perception

Units of perception means that, since we are autonomous beings, our perception could also be autonomous. But it is not, because by coming to an agreement with our fellow men, we all perceive the same thing. That extraordinary ability, which began as a voluntary consent aimed at survival, has ended up tying us to our own descriptions. ~ Carlos Castaneda, Encounters with the Nagual

That said, I would like to explore enlightenment, a concept that is the goal of many. Enlightenment is described as a state of blissful liberation that includes detachment, emptiness, silence and peaceful being. It promises freedom from all suffering, never-ending happiness and unsolicited joy and is most often depicted with a person sitting cross-legged, eyes closed, oozing compassion with a serene look on their face and sun rays and halos illuminating them from behind. The image may vary slightly, some with chakras ablaze, fractal universes or angelic trumpeting from a carpet of clouds. Really? Well, I guess so, for some. This idea, this concept of enlightenment is very limiting and has the potential through its definition to prevent the most enlightened beings from realizing that they are. Worse, it provides a concrete definition wrought with expectations and narrow single-mindedness that encourages others to feel obligated to live up to a concept and as such produces a bunch of phonies. Here’s the story the way I see it. People strive to become enlightened, to attain the supreme state of detachment and utter bliss. Many claim they achieve it and project their joy onto the world with lofty attitudes, breathy voices and various techniques with promises for success. However, some seekers find themselves striving and striving repetitively, caught in the pattern that holds them to chasing after yet another carrot dangling in front of them. The über carrot.

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