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Is Ecstasy a Prerequisite for
February 5, 2010
New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous
lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why
Q: Is ecstasy a prerequisite for enlightenment?
A: It depends on
what we mean by ecstasy, and also on what we mean by enlightenment.
If by ecstasy, we mean the energetic flow of stillness through the human
nervous system, and by enlightenment we mean the unfoldment of stillness in
action expressing the unity experience, then, yes, ecstasy is a prerequisite
for enlightenment. Without the energetic component, there can be no divine
outpouring, no stillness in action.
On the other hand, if by ecstasy
we mean the so-called ecstatic
created by energy flowing through still purifying nerves, then this is not a
prerequisite for anything, except a continuation of the purification
process, which can be an ongoing dramatic experience, according to the
matrix of obstructions being dissolved within us. In time, such symptoms
will refine and become very subtle, residing on the border between physical
ecstasy and the bliss of abiding inner silence.
this borderline, we have used the term "ecstatic bliss," and here,
distinguishing between the two is not possible, for they
have merged. For more on this, see Lesson 113.
Likewise, if we define enlightenment as blissful abiding inner silence,
which we call the first stage of enlightenment in AYP (see
Lesson 35), then ecstasy is not a prerequisite for that either.
come into the equation in the second
stage of enlightenment, which is the awakening of ecstatic conductivity and
the refinement (introversion) of sensory perception. This is necessary
before the unity stage can happen, as mentioned above. But the degree to
which this stage will be experienced as "ecstatic" or not is a function of
inner purification and opening. If the purification is advanced, there may
not be many ecstatic fireworks at all. This is certainly the experience
later on the path. And so there may be cases where "ecstasy" is not much
noticed at any point in the second stage of enlightenment. But something
will be moving, and that something is stillness, which refines our
perception of inner and outer objects toward
realization of Oneness. This stimulates the flow of divine love,
which leads us to service.
question is whether we can be enlightened and not engaged in service for
others in some way. Not that service is a prerequisite for enlightenment.
Rather, it is a symptom of it. By definition,
enlightenment is not a personal attainment, including the garnering of
ecstasy or any other kind of personal experience. It is a condition of
universality. Ecstatic bliss is a natural byproduct of that. So, it is
enlightenment that is the prerequisite for ecstatic bliss, not the other way
around. And practices are the prerequisite for enlightenment.
Clearly, nothing can happen in the world
without a flow of energy. If we are to define enlightenment as something
occurring in the world, then it will, by definition, have an
energetic component. Whether we call that energetic component stillness in
action, outpouring divine love, an expression of unity, or ecstasy, will not
matter. It is all the same thing. For stillness to move, a vehicle is
required. That vehicle will have different faces under different conditions.
All symptoms of purification are this also, including the unpleasant ones
that inspire us to self-pace our practices.
experiential distinctions are not that
important, except to inspire us to carry on
with our practices
to the end. Then we will
be dependent on
designations anymore, and can describe our
experience first hand with any words we choose. This is
why we do not make such a big deal of enlightenment prerequisites,
milestones, etc. It is all in each of us, and that is where we will find it.
External prerequisites, milestones and definitions are merely props to keep
us going until we unfold the reality within ourselves. The human nervous
system is the doorway to the divine. This is what we are discovering through
The main thing is to keep going, not
getting hung up on prerequisites, preconditions, or preconceived notions
about what we think enlightenment is supposed to be. For each of us, the
scenery along the way will be a little different. We will know it when we
see it, and can carry on, favoring the procedure of our practice over
whatever symptoms are occurring, including any tendency we may have to be
over-analyzing symptoms, or the lack of them.
to enlightenment is about the consistency of our practices over time, not
about the scenery we may encounter along the way.
The guru is in you.
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