Enlightenment Conference Online
- April – 07. May 2016
Readers of JCS may well have encountered such concepts as “enlightenment,” “awakening” or other references to higher states of development of the human consciousness and brain. A recent online conference, organized primarily in German by Ludmilla Rudat and Roland Heine, and titled Conference on Enlightenment has afforded greater insight into such experiences through the direct testimony of a number of individuals.
The organizers report that the conference had in excess of 17,900 registered participants, a number that surprised even them. It featured 35 speakers who were chosen for their reports of direct experiences of enlightenment. The speakers came from diverse backgrounds, some practiced various meditation techniques, others used satsang meetings with various enlightenment teachers, and some reported coming to their experiences spontaneously and independently from any particular practice or tradition.
In a simple but effective format, each speaker was interviewed by Ludmilla and Roland for about an hour, mostly in German, on these topics:
- Do you see a difference between “Awakening” and “Enlightenment”?
- How is life in Enlightenment?
- How is Freedom connected to Awakening/Enlightenment?
- Is Healing connected to Awakening/Enlightenment?
- Is Awakening/Enlightenment always connected to an experience of bliss?
- Do traumas form a barrier for the development of Awakening/Enlightenment?
- Do you see, or did you experience, what could be called the “Dark night of the soul”?
- Are there pitfalls on the path?
- What is Ego?
- Is there an attachment to what has been called a “spiritual Ego”?
- Have you used a technique along the way?
- Is it important to have a Guru?
- Does achieving this state of consciousness bring an increased sense of responsibility?
- Is there a sense of neediness?
- What is Creation?
- Who is the Creator?
Perhaps the main surprise emerging from the conference, apart from its popularity, was the degree of agreement among the various speakers. The various answers to Ludmilla’s & Roland’s interview questions could best be described with the term Multiplicity in Unity.
Nearly all of the speakers saw themselves as “awakened”, “enlightened”, or at least very advanced on a path to enlightenment, a path that was considered by most to be never-ending.
There were some exceptions. A few speakers basically formulated an anti-thesis, the notion that enlightenment really does not exist, everybody is already enlightened and everyone should be happy to live their normal lives; that nothing could be or needed to be changed. However, the majority of the speakers advocated an evolution to enlightenment and spoke highly of such an advanced state of human consciousness.
The following statements were common to the majority of the speakers:
1) An evolved state of human consciousness exists.
2) This can be achieved by nearly everyone.
3) Achieving this is worthwhile.
There was also a wide measure of agreement about the nature of this state. It is, they reported, generally characterized by:
1) A deep, underlying silence.
2) An extreme easiness in living life.
3) Not adhering to common patterns of thinking and behavior.
4) Extraordinary experiences, such as bliss and heightened sensory
5) A highly moral attitude towards society.
About half of the speakers used the terms Awakening and Enlightenment. The others who used different terms like Disillusion and Decondition, still recognized some kind of evolution of consciousness. For nearly all the speakers, a general pattern appeared of evolution in four stages viz:
1) An initial, magnificent experience of awakening. This could be very dramatic and brought about by a variety of practices: meditation; reading books on enlightenment and intellectually realizing it; deep silence for a prolonged time due to sickness; sat-sang (meeting) with a guru, among others. This initial awakening experience keeps the seekers highly interested in further advancement to enlightenment.
2) A longer stage, devoted to the clearing of impurities, stresses, vasanas, imperfections, etc. This can drag on for several years. Many speakers could resonate with the term “The dark night of the soul”.
3) A settled state of enlightenment where the enlightening experiences are integrated into daily life as a human being on planet Earth.
4) A never ending supremely fulfilling path towards higher and higher levels of enlightenment.
All speakers emphasized that life in the awakened or enlightened state is very worthwhile and that there is a significant increase in freedom and free will. They gave several examples from their own lives, such as the phenomenon of “support of nature”, or a sense of flow, where everything works smoothly and effortlessly.
A very high level of bliss was mostly experienced in stages 1 and 2. Sometimes this bliss was experienced along with the burning of impurities in the intense heat or fire of that bliss. In stages 3 and 4, the bliss level usually became fairly normal, much more silent and no longer so exciting.
Traumas were viewed as an impediment for enlightenment, but mostly only for a limited time. They could be resolved with various techniques, however, especially under the personal attention of a Guru. Only a few of the speakers reported rare cases of deep traumas that would permanently prevent students from reaching awakening or enlightenment.
The “dark night of the soul” had been seen by most of the speakers who very vividly described both their experiences and also their sudden breakthroughs to intensive light, after going through the dark phase.
Most called arrogance or egoistic behavior after reaching awakening or enlightenment as one of the biggest traps. They also equated this with an attachment to the so-called spiritual ego, a phenomenon that can easily occur for those who have reached awakening and lost most of their egoistic tendencies. Then, due to the improved qualities of the person, they may easily get into this trap of feeling superior to the rest of the world.
Very impressive were a few descriptions of blissful speakers who would simply refuse to see any difference between them as enlightened and any other fellow humans. They could really no longer describe where the difference was between them and the others.
In that context, the philosophy of Advaita, which describes a state of total unity, was mentioned quite often. Those fortunate ones clearly exhibited this Advaita state in their speech.
A variety of techniques had been used by the various contributors, although in several cases the awakening came about spontaneously and unexpectedly.
About two thirds of the speakers saw the presence of a Guru as essential, but many of them also called life itself the Guru. The phenomenon of “Guru-hopping”, i.e. quickly jumping from one Guru to the next was seen as unproductive. One should attend a Guru for some time at least to get some good progress.
All saw a responsibility towards the world, earth and society, using their increased abilities in the awakened or enlightened state.
A sense of personal neediness was recognized, although most speakers recognized that this can easily be fulfilled in the heightened state of consciousness; this was an intermediate phase and not a permanent feature.
The Creation was described with a variety of views, philosophies or personal experiences. Many had the attitude of humans as co-creators, with free will and in tune with the Cosmos.
Altogether, this was a highly informative and fascinating conference on enlightenment. Online viewers on the Facebook page of the conference sent lots of thanks to both the speakers and the organizers. Furthermore, the information revealed throws new light on discussions of human consciousness and suggests new directions for future research.
The full compilation of the interviews consisting of 33 hours of videos, available at facebook/erleuchtungskongress, promises to be a useful, easily accessible (for German speakers) resource for philosophers, psychologists, religious scholars, sociologists and others interested in such further reaches of human consciousness. At present the material is almost entirely in German but an English translation is also hoped for. In addition, further conferences are planned for later this year, one online, whose dates are to be announced, followed by a live meeting to be held in Berlin from September 9th-11th.
For more information see: erleuchtungskongress.de or facebook/erleuchtungskongress
Heinz Krug, 9. May 2016 http://www.enlighteningscience.com/