Monday, March 24, 2008
The query about what enlightenment meant to me needs perhaps a tad more:
Long ago and far away, I had a moment. A connection got made. It didn't put me on a par with Jesus or Buddha or Mohammad, but it was Relampago Santo -- the holy lightning. It burned a hole my my consciousness and let the cosmos in.
Like zen, it's impossible to explain to somebody who hasn't experienced it, but the essence was that, for a brief and blinding moment, I felt the flow of the universe. My part in it, and where all the other pieces were, and why. The good, the bad, and the ugly, and how they all meshed. The essential rightness of it, as if I somehow beheld it all.
Only a moment, then it was gone. I heard the echo for a long time, and I can remember what it felt like almost four decades later. It was in the most mundane place you can imagine: Standing in the checkout line at a supermarket on Winbourne Ave., just off the Airline Highway, in North Baton Rouge, about to buy a bottle of Boone's Farm Apple Wine.
I was not seeking it. Not expecting it. It hit me zap, just like that. Stone, cold sober.
The woman in front of me turned around, looked at my face, grinned, and said, "Oh, yeah!"
Was I touched by the finger of God? Or did I get a neuron zapped by a rare subatomic particle? Is it the same thing? Was it a total hallucination? I can't say -- but I know how it felt. I believed it was real. A door opened, a glimpse, but that was all I got.
What I think enlightenment is?
You get to live on the other side of that door.