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Enlightenment is Ordinary
Ordinary - adj. Uninteresting; commonplace.
Enlightenment - noun. That awareness which frees a person from the cycle of rebirth.
I have seen people say that enlightenment is completely ordinary, that being enlightened is just 'living'. If this were true, then we wouldn't need to do anything to be enlightened. We are already there because we are already living. We are already ordinary. For instance, I'm enlightened. So... there is nothing else for me to work toward. Yet, I will continue to go through life's ups and downs, suffering all along the way from attaching myself to emotions/views/ideas/thoughts, right? It's almost as if walking the path is unnecessary if enlightenment is completely ordinary. Does this mean that the ordinary person is already free from rebirth? There is no reason they should be reborn since they are ordinarily enlightened.
In a way, I don't really agree with this over-simplification. I think we all have the potential to be enlightened (buddha-nature?), but we obviously haven't made it there yet. I understand that enlightenment is a shedding of all the outer layers to get at the core. Like an onion that has many layers. The center of it all is enlightenment. The layers around this are attachments. So, we try to shed these layers to attain the enlightenment within. Still, I wouldn't say that the whole of a person is enlightened. If the whole of a person is enlightened, wouldn't that mean to say that attachments are also enlightenment?
For instance, a baseball isn't a rubber ball. It's a baseball. Deep within the baseball is a rubber ball. So, it has the potential to be a rubber ball. But it's still a baseball until you take everything off of it.
I'm just trying to figure out why people call enlightenment ordinary when it is extraordinary. Being extraordinary doesn't mean it is unattainable though. Having the potential isn't the same as having, right?
Just something I was thinking about. I think it's better to say enlightenment is simple, or basic. Simple can be extraordinary. Just look at history's geniuses who have the extraordinary ability to point out the obvious.