Can a person claim to be enlightened?

buddha1

Haha! A person can claim whatever they want, but in reality no person can truthfully claim to be enlightened because the moment enlightenment happens there is no longer a person left to claim it.

Enlightenment is the final and complete dissolution of the personal entity. There may still be a body. Thoughts will arise as long as the brain is alive. But there is nothing personal about this.

For me, if I must confer a term, I prefer awakening. Awakening infers process, and since every day the quality of thoughts arising is different, more refined, freer, process seems accurate enough.

Awakening, the dream over and the real world coming into sharp focus, the foal staggering to it’s feet. Awakening as time and space dissolve. Awakening as pure bliss becomes the new sky, evaporating the clouds of ignorance. Awakening as love reveals itself as the flow and impulse of existence. Awakening as all words disappear in the futility of their task.

*   *   *

I was once at a gathering where someone asked the Dalai Lama “Are you enlightenment”. There was a ripple of discomfort among the others assembled. The Dalai Lama replied “Just getting there”. And bowed to his audience in Añjali Mudrā.

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