--- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, "Patrick Gillam" 
> --- jim_flanegin wrote:
> >
> > enlightenment does not adhere 
> > to ANY tradition. It is what it is. Period.
> I've been given to understand that enlightenment 
> changes quite a bit from one spiritual tradition to 
> another. I'm told, for instance, that Buddhists 
> disagree with Hindus on key points, and when 
> their adherents attain end states they call awakening 
> or enlightenment, the attainees describe their 
> experiences differently from one another but 
> consistent with their traditions.

That is my experience as well. It's as if the myth
of enlightenment that members of a tradition grew
up with becomes by default the language they use
to express the inexpressible.

> Native Americans have no such states in their 
> traditions, suggesting enlightenment is not 
> something that all traditions recognize.

I have spent time with Yaqui shamans and read a 
bit of Native American traditions, and I have to
agree with you. The quest for power, yes. The 
quest for altered states of consciousness, yes.
The quest for an impeccable life, yes. But it's 
tough to find an analogue for enlightenment as 
we know it from Eastern traditions.

> View determines fruit, as Vaj quoted a master 
> as saying. Or as Dana Sawyer says, precept 
> determines percept.

I have to agree. That which one expects seems to
color awakening into the unexpected. The experience
it what it is, but when it comes to describing or
interpreting it, one's previously-established 
view (carried over from and structured in ignorance)
seems to become the default.
> I'm not sure if I'm disagreeeing with you here, Jim. 
> I don't know enough about either side of the discussion. 
> I'm simply expressing some cognitive dissonance with 
> the statement that enlightenment does not adhere to 
> any tradition.

I don't feel any cognitive dissonance, but that
may be because I've had occasional flashes of 
enlightened states, *and* I've had decades of
indoctrination into trying to anticipate and
explain such experiences. The anticipation was
fruitless; I was waiting for what was already
present. And all of the explanations fell flat,
because they didn't do justice to the experience.
Close, but no cigar.

Still, when you're discussing cigars, you need a
language to express the differences between a 
true Havana and a cheap Baltimore Stogie. Even
though *no one* you speak to will ever under-
stand the difference until they've fired up 
both. :-)

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