I Had Become Enlightened

I had become enlightened. I looked at all the people around me, all the people going up and down the street, or like me, just hanging around in the square. ‘These guys aren’t enlightened’ I said to myself. I could tell. I can’t explain to you how I could tell but I could. When you are enlightened you can tell straightaway who is enlightened (like you) and who isn’t. You just know. ‘These guys don’t know anything,’ I said to myself, ‘They think that they do but they don’t. They’re in a dream, they’re hallucinating a false reality and their minds won’t allow them to perceive anything else.’ I knew this to be true; more than just ‘know’, I could see it to be true. ‘The rational mind is a tyrant,’ I said to myself, affirming what I already knew, ‘It only allows us to see the False Reality, the reality which it itself has created…’ I looked around me in silent amazement. All about me people were milling around, going here, going there, doing this, doing that, talking about such-and-such a thing, talking about such-and-such another thing. It amazed me that only I was enlightened and that no one else was. Not a soul, in the whole city centre. I was alone. I would have known if there had been someone else there who had also been in the enlightened, as opposed to the ignorant or deluded, state. I would have seen it in them. ‘To be enlightened is such an incredible thing,’ I told myself. It’s totally impossible to explain. You could only explain it to someone else who was also enlightened but then there would be no point in doing this because they would know what it was like already. This irony amused me. I could appreciate the deep irony of the situation. This was probably one of the many aspects of being enlightened, it occurred to me – the ability to fully appreciate irony whenever one came across it. ‘Yes,’ I told myself, ‘I really can appreciate the irony in a very deep way.’ All around me there were people doing this and doing that, going here and going there, getting on with whatever business it was that they were engaged in. Participating in the consensual hallucination. Imagining a reality that wasn’t really there. ‘Yes, I said to myself again, ‘this is what it’s like. This is samsara… This is what the world is like when you’re not enlightened. You think that all these things exist when they simply don’t.’ It was a sunny day. Cool enough, with a bit of a breeze, but very sunny. Which is unusual for Galway. The sun changes everything, I realized. Something inside you relaxes, opens up like a flower. Previously it had been no more than a wizened bud, blighted by the constant wind and rain, and then it opens out into the most glorious flower. It flowers unreservedly, no longer timid and weather-beaten. It becomes what it had always been meant to be. That’s just like enlightenment, I realized. Maybe enlightenment is like the sun coming out. Or rather, I corrected myself, what I meant to say is, ‘Maybe the sun coming out is like enlightenment’. Or do these two statements mean the same thing? I wasn’t sure. I didn’t know exactly what it was that I was trying to say. Being enlightened can sometimes be as confusing as anything else, I realized…




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