ANY construct is ego. What’s actually existing is pure beingness; that’s the reality. Anything whatsoever that is abstracted from that primal fact as an idea, belief, or supposition, is ego. Any models. And we use those models to create a story, the story of what we are and what our life is. The elements that make up the story are the supposed “things” that we think exist; our bodies, other people, objects, cities, society, the solar system, every “thing”. The story of all this presupposes that these “things”, the elements that make up the story, actually exist; whereas in reality they are just imaginary concepts that we’ve abstracted out of this infinite, indefinable Being.

All those supposed elements we use to build a story, and the very act of building that story, is egoism. And that’s all that traps us, when we get trapped. We build these elaborate stories in imagination and then we identify with them, we think we’re IN these stories, and then we think we’re STUCK in those stories. Once you see that all the elements that your story is made of don’t actually exist as objective realities in the way you think they do, then your whole story collapses; and where does that leave you? You don’t know where you are, you don’t know what you are; but then there’s nothing to trap you, and no you to be trapped. THIS is liberation. THIS is enlightenment; simply seeing that there is in actuality nothing that can possibly trap you, and no separable you that could be trapped.

Peter Brown in Dirty Enlightenment

5 thoughts on “Enlightenment

  1. Oh, this is a good one. Thank you for extracting it and sharing.

    This seems like it would fit with some of the density of thought that wafts into Michel de Certeau’s "The Practice of Everyday Life" that I have been slowly reading for years. Some of the book is good views and insights, but there are pages with three dense ideas in on a page that each take a month of mulling to move on from.


  2. I like this! I’m going to post about this subject soon. You see we live inside a field of energy – of light, sound, heat, taste, smell… Etc. Our bodies sense these energies using those limited sensory mechanisms that a human biological organism possesses and the our conscious awareness assembles our perceptions into "film show" which we perceive as "reality". Benjamin Libet showed that our perception of reality is up to 500 milliseconds AFTER we have received the energetic input. So what does that say about our perception of reality?

    It says that our personal realities are necessarily egocentric. Don’t be offended by the use of the word ego. It’s not meant to portray anything selfish. It’s just stating that each of us has a reality which isn’t objective – its just our self-centred interpretation. And we shouldn’t rely on any other interpretation because that would surely be the result of someone else’s egocentric view of reality.


  3. Hmm. This is a string of assertions, for which there is no demonstrable proof, it is no different from any other religious pronouncement and I have great difficulty assigning any value to it whatever.

    I say this as someone who has chosen (I think – who knows whether I am actually free to make my choices or am conditioned an controlled by matters beyond my perception) multiple times, to change his life in quite radical ways.

    I have been married three times, I have been an aspiring author, a broadcaster, an actor/director, an internet thought leader", same with pandemic preparedness, a gardener and now a small farmer. I have uprooted myself multiple times in NZ, gone to live in the UK, then back to NZ then to Australian and now back to NZ again. I would say that I am one of the least trapped people I know.

    But when I read stuff like this, all I can think of is that we are already free if we have time and resources to "think" these things, when you can convince the starving, the oppressed, the benighted and the desperate of the truth of these statements, and they can act on it, and it works (Oxford comma) I will be more inclined to take it seriously.

    /harshing the mellow.


    1. I am no more a fan of religion, or pseudo religious mumbo jumbo, than you are Earl but people become "oppressed, the benighted and the desperate" because of the actions of other people. Those other people think it is OK to behave the way they do because of the stories they tell themselves or are told by others. They then defend those stories, often to the death. I am always interested in trying to unpick the reasons for this aspect of human nature, not least in my own life and relationships.


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