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Enlightenment for all?

EarthninjaEarthninja WandererWest Australia Veteran
Hi guys!

I've wondered over this question for a while now and thought I would put it to you guys.

Do you think or know if it's possible for everyone to become enlightened in this lifetime?
I've read about people preparing for future rebirths etc... Or that stream enterers have only certain amount of lifetimes before fully awakening.

I struggle really hard with this idea, if we are already that which is. Surely anybody with enough tenacity can see through the spell?
I'm sure some people grasp this stuff faster than others but surely there is no set date for awakening.
My experience is the person who is looking for enlightenment won't be who finds it.
Therefore the person looking isn't the person reborn.

Because we are not persons. :)

What do you guys think?

Comments

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    @Earthninja said:
    My experience is the person who is looking for enlightenment won't be who finds it.
    Therefore the person looking isn't the person reborn.

    @Earthninja: are you for a minute listening to yourself?
    "Become enlightened in this lifetime"
    "stream enterers have only certain amount of lifetimes before fully awakening"
    "I struggle really hard with this idea"
    "anybody with enough tenacity can see through the spell"
    "set date for awakening"

    I asked you once long ago and I ask you again: where do you want to go so fast?
    You are making a race out of Enlightenment, with Enlightenment as the much-hankered after goal out of sight far away.
    And now you talk about stream-enterers to boot.
    Next thing you'll ask if stream-enterers get promoted faster than arahants or some such thing...

    Reminds me of a film with Jackie Chan, where there's a boy who loves kung fu and always bandies about terms such as "dragon fist," "tiger crouch," "monkey spin" but actually can't even do kung fu.

    Aren't you getting lost in the theory?
    How is all that blah-blah-blah actually translating into your everyday life, @Earthninja?

  • The diamond sutra talks about how there are no beings to become enlightened. For example it says that a stream enterer would not be a stream enterer had they at any moment thought "I am a stream enterer"

    Do I understand? I am impressed but I don't really understand!

    Earthninja
  • @Earthninja said:
    Do you think or know if it's possible for everyone to become enlightened in this lifetime?

    As an enlightened being (objections to the nearest empty bin), I can only speak of what I know.

    I know:

    • It is possible, otherwise Buddhism would be a farce.
    • After an intense and all consuming search, I started to walk the path rather than think I had the qualities required to reach the goal. This was when, in retrospect, everything began.
    • There are people more enlightened than me, that are kinder, smarter and with less suffering and better karma [shrug]
    • I am going to say this because you have heard it and it is true; The enlightened look around and see everyone is a Buddha or enlightened, or a part of them is.
    • Being enlightened does not make you a teacher, smarter, kinder or lotus born, though these things are more likely to arise.
    • The strangest truth of all is most people are prepared to do anything . . . except what is required. What? Introspection.

    Over to Mr Cushion . . .

    BuddhadragonEarthninjaSarahTHamsaka
  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran
    @DhammaDragon‌ I don't understand what's wrong with the question? It's sincere enough isn't it?

    Also you seem to be judging me, yet you know nothing about me.

    It's not theory for me, it's reality. One we both are in. Enlightenment isn't a race for something to achieve. You already are it, and so am I. This isn't a theory. You can clearly find out with introspection.

    Ever since I couldn't find a sufferer I realised the truth in all these teachings. Ever since then there's a burning to be free from this delusion.

    If you find this out for yourself you would understand why you think I'm racing. How can I go about my day thinking I'm a person when he doesn't exist.

    Not on an intellectual understanding, but for an experiential point of view.

    How is it transferring into my daily life?

    Words don't adequately describe. :) I guess you don't understand my point of view and that's fine.

    @Jeffrey‌ i think it's because they realise they are not a person. Steam enterer is just a concept and so is the idea I am a person. :)
    Jeffrey
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran
    edited November 2014

    @Earthninja: I am not judging you and I don't misunderstand you.
    I understand your zeal.
    But I remember you when you began here on the site: enthusiastic and eager to learn, like all of us.
    I have the feeling, but it's probably just me, that you are striving a bit too hard for your own good.

    I feel as passionate about the subject as you do.
    We simply have different points of view: mine is overintellectualising does not get the job done.
    I study a lot. You should actually see me every day slouching over my Dharma books.
    But my point is: okay, now I have the theory covered, how can I internalize it without it getting in the way? How can I put all these material to good use in my daily life? How can I empty my cup?
    How do I chaff out what really helps and what not?

    All this talk about stream-enterers and arahants is all fine, but I see it as superfluous.
    I now understand you see it another way.

    Edit: your comment "burning to be free from this delusion" rather bespeaks of a purpose being defeated. To me, it translates as craving and attachment.
    And a negative outlook on reality.
    But once again, that might be just me.
    I like you a lot, @Earthninja <3

  • robotrobot Veteran
    edited November 2014

    I think it's possible to be completely awake in this lifetime but I'm not holding my breath in anticipation for it to happen.
    Look at the teachings that are attributed to the Buddha. If we accept that he is responsible for the bulk of them it gives us an idea of what a fully awakened being is capable of.
    Or take the Dalai Lama. He has written many books and his attainments are obvious in his ability to teach and lecture on the highest teachings. He has been living in a monastery since he was five or so, and has been studying and meditating since then. I don't think he claims to be or is considered to be a fully awakened Buddha.
    Myself, I don't have 1/100th of 1% of his wisdom and experience. And time is running out.
    Just keep your nose to the grindstone and don't worry about enlightenment,

    lobsterEarthninjaBuddhadragon
  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran
    @DhammaDragon‌ I agree with you on the over intellectualising bit. I don't read books any more, they all point to the same thing :)

    There's no point chewing without swallowing. I like to do self inquiry now more than anything else.

    @DhammaDragon‌ say one day you have an experience whereby everything you've ever believed in appears to be false. The idea of who you are is false. You can see it clearly.

    Then a day later it returns back to what it was but not quiet like before, you now know everything is not what it appears to be.

    Can you honestly say I'm striving to hard?
    How can I go a day pretending to be what I'm not. It's like being in a dream and you know it's a dream. But you get caught up in it time and time again.

    It appears we are coming from two different points of view. I understand your concern. I thank you for it.
    I should definitely look at my attachment to being free. Got to better than attachment to a career change or a new car right? ;)

    I used the term stream-enterer from a therevadin perspective not from my own. Hence why I put my own opinion underneath.

    @robot‌ good sounded advice , the only reason I asked us because a lot of people I know treat Buddhism as a religion. Less self inquiry, more deity worship and rituals. To the grindstone is great!
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    @lobster said:
    "I know:

    • It is possible, otherwise Buddhism would be a farce...."

    You mean it's not?????

    Earthninjarobotlobster
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @Earthninja said:
    Do you think or know if it's possible for everyone to become enlightened in this lifetime?

    No, I don't, and my experience is that most Buddhists are simply not doing enough practice for that to even be a possibility. On the other hand I think that it's a gradual process and that Buddhist practice is worth doing anyway.

    Earthninja
  • Enlightenment for everyone? That reminds me of an animated movie called "Ratatouille" where a famous, dead Chef had a slogan: "Anyone can cook!" and whether or not the characters in the movie agreed with that depended on their understanding of what he was trying to say.

    My short answer is: I don't know if everyone can be enlightened because I don't know everyone. There are over 7 Billion people on this world and rising. Also, I heavily suspect your expectations of enlightenment and mine differ quite a bit.

    Anyone can be a Buddha. I do know that much.

    Earthninja
  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran
    In this current lifetime? I think it's always possible but highly unlikely.

    I do think everyone can be awakened though because I think at least one of us has been awake. The qualities must be there.
    Earthninjalobster
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Do you think or know if it's possible for everyone to become enlightened in this lifetime?

    How would we know ?

    "Before enlightenment chop wood carry water after enlightenment chop wood carry water"

    EarthninjaBuddhadragon
  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran
    Because some people do talk about it. There wouldn't be Buddhism if they didn't
  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran
    @Jeffrey‌ that is so true, words point to something. It's then up to the individual to look at what it's pointing to to verify it.

    Otherwise we become almost attached to studying Buddhism rather than practicing it.

    I've read beginners mind which is great, it's a small book and I feel this is a good point. Words can never adequately describe anything.

    Reading about surfing is not even close to experiencing it. The same way I feel about this stuff.

    Which is why I want to know if it's possible for all of us to experience it :) not just read and talk about it.

    Thanks @jeffrey
  • @Jeffrey said:
    In any case I think with enough study it is less that you know about the dharma and more that you have become the dharma. That's what it seems to me.

    :)
    This is the level of sangha or serious practioners. It is also where a great deal of transmission takes place. The passing on of a template, a body of knowledge, traditions and practices. Many people in this situation behave or imply that they are operating from an enlightened perspective. That may not be the case.

    People assume that when their teacher who seems to have so many worthy traits says they are not enlightened, they are being humble. They may in fact be displaying integrity or dissuading veneration. They may if of sufficient understanding have gone beyond enlightenment and become 'ordinary'.

    The enlightened are known by their reflection not their projection. Wether their projection is open or covert is not known except in the results.

    People confuse certain behaviour traits with rationalisations of their expectations:

    • Has students, must be enlightened.
    • Wrote acclaimed books, must have been enlightened.
    • Behaved unconventionally, crazy wisdom master.

    On occasion people break through into enlightenment, they see through their shams, others shams and see what is real. The Buddha said everyone can do this. That is true. Don't count on it, work towards it. The path has many benefits:

    Dhamma, good in the beginning, good in the middle, good in the end

    . . . and now back to the written test . . .

    EarthninjaShoshinDavidsilver
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    @Jeffrey said:
    In any case I think with enough study it is less that you know about the dharma and more that you have become the dharma. That's what it seems to me.

    This is what I meant when I said that I read a lot of Dharma books, but then manage to empty my head and internalize all that I have read.
    Somehow don't transmute all that learning into intellectual knowledge, rather gut knowledge.

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran
    edited November 2014

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