‘Enlightenment’

 

From the Diamond Sūtra:

Subhuti, what do you think? Has the Tathagata attained the Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment? Has the Tathagata a teaching to enunciate?

Subhuti answered: As I understand Buddha’s meaning there is no formulation of truth called Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment.

Very importantly, the denouement is not the newly discovered absence of an ‘Independent and Separated ‘Self’. The denouement is that there never, ever was any such thing as an ‘Independent and Separated ‘Self’. There is no ‘Independent and Separated ‘Self’ here to experience any new ‘Denouement’.

‘Enlightenment’, if you want to give it such a majestic title, is realizing that there is no such special state as ‘Enlightenment’. When you realize that, you are ‘Enlightened’; until you realize that, you are in ‘Ignorance’.

Wake up and realize you were never asleep. If you think you have newly woken up, by that very fact, you are still asleep.


If you hear about how some trekker awoke to ecstatic ‘Oneness’ in him realizing the absence of his own ‘Self’ [or anything along the same lines] you can be sure that he has not alighted on Shūnyam.