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Author Topic: Enlightenment in 1 lifetime?  (Read 1945 times)
ari moshe
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« on: Jun 14, 2010, 12:30 PM »

Hello community,

I was wondering if this topic could be addressed here. It is taught in the Tibetan lineage that Milarepa achieved Vajradhara, which I understand to be the equivalent of third stage spiritual (though I may be completely wrong here) in 1 lifetime.

EA teaches that it can take hundreds or thousands of lifetimes for a soul to evolve from even one substage to the next. Therefore I was wondering what such a notion of "enlightenment in 1 lifetime" could mean.

It is clear to me that Milarepa had a very strong desire for complete liberation. I understand that desire is the bottom line determinant for the degree of evolution that any soul can experience...

... therefore another question comes up for me:
1. CAN a soul evolve through many stages in 1 lifetime? I intuit that most souls come into a particular life with a pre-established intention to only go "so far" (and thus picked all the circumstances ahead of time that would be conducive to it's evolutionary intentions). However, does the possibility exist, WITHIN an actual lifetime, for a soul to cultivate the desire to "go further" and actually achieve that?

Thank you so much,
Ari Moshe
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Steve
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« Reply #1 on: Jun 14, 2010, 01:54 PM »

Hi Ari

A few thoughts

EA teaches that it can take hundreds or thousands of lifetimes for a soul to evolve from even one substage to the next.

I don't recall ever hearing anything in EA that said it can take hundreds or thousands of lifetimes to evolve through a single substage.  It does say it can take a really long time, longer than we like to think. 

I recall reading Yogandanda saying that it is the natural evolutionary condition of nature that a human being will reach what some call enlightenment, naturally, over the course of a million years, without making any special effort at all.  Its part of how human life was created.  Yogananda taught that the Kriya yoga techniques that he taught (and there would be other techniques taught on other paths also, of course) are intended to speed up that natural process.  In essence, that God had included as part of creation (natural law) ways that those who so desired (i.e. choose, voluntary) could accelerate the pace of the natural evolutionary process.  These ways are built in, thus they are also part of natural law.

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It is taught in the Tibetan lineage that Milarepa achieved Vajradhara, which I understand to be the equivalent of third stage spiritual (though I may be completely wrong here) in 1 lifetime.

Therefore I was wondering what such a notion of "enlightenment in 1 lifetime" could mean.

I'm not familiar with the details of this.  What I'd like to suggest is, the story as you presented it does not indicate what Milarepa's background was.  He did not go from a protozoa to an enlightened human spiritual master in a single life, that I will guarantee you. 

Most people who finally "achieve enlightenment" in some life have a desire nature firmly developed that has been concentrately seeking that liberation for a series of lives, potentially a long series of lives.  This creates an inner psychological nature, a character (the nature of the desire nature), that is pre-wired in any given birth to even more of that.  In essence a process of elimination of separating desires has been occurring for a long time.  That final release from the wheel has to occur in some life - when there are witnesses to someone breaking free, they see the before and after effects on that person.  They don't see how many lives it took that person to get to the life in which they were finally liberated.

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It is clear to me that Milarepa had a very strong desire for complete liberation. I understand that desire is the bottom line determinant for the degree of evolution that any soul can experience...

... therefore another question comes up for me:
1. CAN a soul evolve through many stages in 1 lifetime? I intuit that most souls come into a particular life with a pre-established intention to only go "so far" (and thus picked all the circumstances ahead of time that would be conducive to it's evolutionary intentions). However, does the possibility exist, WITHIN an actual lifetime, for a soul to cultivate the desire to "go further" and actually achieve that?

To me one of the key the limiting factors in how far a soul can go in a single life is how much the human can bear to take on in a single life.  When we look at charts with 7, 8, 9 planets aspecting Pluto, and/or 4, 5, 6 retrograde planets, typically these people have had very intense lives.  Lives most humans would say they would never wish on another, or want for themselves.  Why?  Why would a soul take on a life like that?  Because it accelerates the exhaustion of separating desires.  They are literally ripped away, ready or not, over and over.  Emotionally and humanly, many of these experiences are painful and difficult to integrate.  They are taken on as part of accelerating the evolutionary process.

PTSD boils down to, more emotional voltage flowing down the nervous system wires than the wires are designed to handle.  The wires literally burn or melt, creating permanent changes in the brain.  It takes a tremendous amount of determination and focused desire to take all of that on, and there are limits to how much the circuits can handle.

You wrote the other day of continuing to meditate vs talking to a woman you would have liked to talk to.  How many people are ready to make choices like that 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every single year, every single time?  Without repressing the desires to do the other things (separating desires)?  Repressing or "transcending" naturally occurring desires (and separating desires are naturally occurring since they also originate in the Soul) is not the same thing as exhausting them.

It would take an incredibly intense lifetime to deal with all of that in a single lifetime, and I kind of doubt there are any humans who could handle it.  Most of us need to attend to our human needs and wants at the same time we try to energize our "return to source" desires.  It becomes too painful, extreme, alienating, or alone to simply pursue merging with this inner divinity 24 hours a day every day.

People seem to feel that coming into a state of what we call enlightenment is some great release from all the pain disappointment and discomfort in human life.  When you look at the actual lives of the people we consider enlightened, you notice one pretty commonly shared factor, that most of them had very difficult lives with tremendous personal discomfort.  They are still in human bodies, the body still has human tendencies and needs.  And yet, they are continually called on to surrender one step further, to become ever purer vehicles for God/dess work, to let go of their personal needs and fears and desires, to give give give (as inwardly directed), expecting nothing in return.  Almost no other people have the slightest idea of their inner reality, which is completely different than the inner reality of the vast majority of the human race. Its between them and God, and God's helpers who they work with.  They are continually misunderstood and projected on.  And they have to learn to bear all of this with dignity and a kind heart with tenderness, and a sense of humor.  They are often given assignments that are not at all fun.  It is a tall order.  That is precisely why for the vast majority of the human species it does take a long time to get there.  We are unwilling or unable to do enough of what is required to go all the way in a given life.  Doing that requires changing the inner desire nature within the Soul into one that is deeply dedicated above all else to doing just that, 24 hours a day.  Very few of us are anywhere near that place.  And for most it requires a series of lives to change that inner desire nature.

Another thing you might ask yourself Ari, is "What's the rush?".  Where is anyone going that they need to be in this great hurry to get there, vs accepting the natural limits inherent in the human form, that for 99.99% of us, it is a drawn out process.  I do know that the American tendency is to want to be the fastest, the first, the best, the biggest.  You have to make sure that none of that cultural conditioning is the motivator of wanting to speed that whole process into a single lifetime.  That is not going to be possible until the only remaining underlying desire is total love of God, and willingness to sacrifice anything and everything as necessary, at any time, to carry out God's intentions, with no underlying desire to get anything back for doing so other than knowing you have done the right thing.  While observing every day that people who do the "wrong thing", that is, advance themselves at the expense of others, or seek to do the right thing while wanting to reap the reward or credit for doing so, seem to be getting the recognition, the material benefits, while you often seem alone, not recognized, under appreciated.  How many people would be able to go through all of that in a single life?
Steve
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bluesky
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« Reply #2 on: Jun 14, 2010, 02:09 PM »

Hi Steve, I bolded and italicized the part of the paragraph I have a question about?

People seem to feel that coming into a state of what we call enlightenment is some great release from all the pain disappointment and discomfort in human life.  When you look at the actual lives of the people we consider enlightened, you notice one pretty commonly shared factor, that most of them had very difficult lives with tremendous personal discomfort.  They are still in human bodies, the body still has human tendencies and needs.  And yet, they are continually called on to surrender one step further, to become ever purer vehicles for God/dess work, to let go of their personal needs and fears and desires, to give give give (as inwardly directed), expecting nothing in return.  Almost no other people have the slightest idea of their inner reality, which is completely different than the inner reality of the vast majority of the human race. Its between them and God, and God's helpers who they work with.  They are continually misunderstood and projected on.  And they have to learn to bear all of this with dignity and a kind heart with tenderness, and a sense of humor.  They are often given assignments that are not at all fun.  It is a tall order.  That is precisely why for the vast majority of the human species it does take a long time to get there.  We are unwilling or unable to do enough of what is required to go all the way in a given life.  Doing that requires changing the inner desire nature within the Soul into one that is deeply dedicated above all else to doing just that, 24 hours a day.  Very few of us are anywhere near that place.  And for most it requires a series of lives to change that inner desire nature.
many people would be able to go through all of that in a single life?
Steve

Steve, can you expand on assignment, what would be an example? I'm guessing a guru/avatar (and all that goes along with it) would be an example?
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Steve
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« Reply #3 on: Jun 14, 2010, 03:56 PM »

hi Bluesky

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They are often given assignments that are not at all fun.  It is a tall order.

Well, yes, gurus and avatars. 

But also the rest of us, when for example we strive to be a clean channel while doing a reading.  Sometimes we have to deliver messages the client may not like hearing.  Sometimes the person opens right away.  Sometimes they come back later thanking you for having the courage to speak the truth.  Sometimes they never open up and project back that you are a deluded fraud.

The assignments would be proportionate to the Soul's evolutionary station. From what I understand, as the Soul evolves the assignments can become bigger and more difficult.  Jesus had to speak the truth to the scribes and pharisees.  Yogananda tried to arrange a meeting with Hitler.  The Dalai Lama has to negotiate with the Chinese government after they destroyed the entire culture of his people.   Martin Luther King was not a guru or avatar, but look at what he had to do. 

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Wendy
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« Reply #4 on: Jun 14, 2010, 06:12 PM »

Wow, I really appreciate this question Ari and your response especially Steve.  

One of my spiritual teachers, a Native American woman, who is very connected to Jesus and the Course in Miracles always says to me "what's the rush, you have many lifetimes to evolve!"  I usually find it irritating because I don't think she gets the astrological signature I signed up with.  But I usually laugh, though it is only within the last couple of years that I have realized that this probably isn't my last lifetime. Wink  

I have six aspects to my natal Pluto and numerous retrograde planets.  I was hoping twenty years ago, when I got sober, that this was the final lifetime because I sure didn't want to go through hell and back again.  I was determined to get it right.  I used to tell my sponsor I wasn't coming back again.  For the most part I started out like a beacon of light and as time has gone on it's been harder to keep up the pace, just like Steve said.

The affects of PTSD on my being/body, albeit allieavted when in total alignment with spiritual purpose/destiny and soul signature, in conjunction with mid-life transits and Saturn transits they have a real impact on the wear and tear of the body, the nervous system.

Barbara Hand Clow speaks of the Pluto generations born in the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s (90s?) as the shamanic generations, burning off huge amounts of karma in one lifetime, at least numerous souls born during Pluto's accelerated cycles (Pluto in Leo to Pluto in Scorpio/Sag) have.

Also there are so many times I have felt so lonely or isolated as a spiritually oriented soul, feeling that I was living in silent segregation.  

Your comments Steve really shed light on the path of the spiritual student/adept who is seeking liberation from the mundane consensus individuated state.  I find your response to be solace to the biggest silent internal issues I have grappled with in this life.

Thank you.

In gratitude,
Wendy
« Last Edit: Jun 14, 2010, 06:16 PM by Wendy » Logged
Wendy
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« Reply #5 on: Jun 14, 2010, 06:51 PM »

The Dalai Lama posted this today on his facebook page,

"Being altruistic does not mean totally rejecting our own interest or neglecting ourselves, this is a misunderstanding. In fact, the kind of altruism that focuses on the well-being of others arises from a very courageous mind, an expansive attitude and a strong sense of self confidence - so much so that the person is capable of challenging the self-cherishing and self-centeredness that tends to rule our lives."

Very much in alignment with what Steve posted.
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bluesky
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« Reply #6 on: Jun 14, 2010, 08:26 PM »

Steve thanks for your response. This is a very interesting thread.
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Steve
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« Reply #7 on: Jun 14, 2010, 09:09 PM »

Hi Wendy

Thanks for your kind words, and for letting me know you found value in what I wrote. 

One of the greatest values I've gotten from working with EA is a deeper understanding of why we have to go through so many things we experience as difficult or painful.  That in the long run they are for our benefit, being the most expedient ways to get us to the inner places we yearn to go.   This makes it easier to emotionally accept what at times must be dealt with.

I am certain that after we die and look back at the life we just left, the whole thing will seem like it was about 15 minutes long.

Everything is relative...
Steve
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Wendy
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« Reply #8 on: Jun 14, 2010, 09:16 PM »

I am certain that after we die and look back at the life we just left, the whole thing will seem like it was about 15 minutes long.

Everything is relative...
Steve

That's for sure.  After my mother died, she came to me almost immediately and I realized during our communications (after some time passed) that our time on earth in the spirit world is a bleep in time there.

With everything some of us sign up for, I find it amazing that we make it through.  God love us all.
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Jane
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« Reply #9 on: Jun 15, 2010, 02:01 AM »


Firstly let me thank you Ari for the question. It is one I have thought about many times.

I don't come here often as I am just at the start of learning EA.

Also thank you Steve for your input. Now may I give my input on the subject.

Ari, I do feel that much is possible in one life, maybe not enlightenment but certainly massive growth in one lifetime.

I recently said to Deva that I feel that I have lived more than one life in this body, as weird as that may sound.

I have sun/jupiter conjunct, mercury/mars conjunct, all in scorpio- jupiter,saturn, neptune aspecting Pluto-- moon/venus conjunct, 4th house ruled by pluto, and if that is not enough, to top it off I have pluto 1 deg from the ascendant in leo.

my life has certainly been an interesting one full of all those emotions that I'm sure you all know, emotional/physical/mental abuse, etc, etc, but I also have known compassion, empathy,humility, and the indescribable beauty and ecstasy of the Divine.

With all I have experienced in this life I still feel I am a long way from calling myself 'enlightened'. Getting there, but still I know there is more ahead.


Thank you Wendy for your input also.

Also there are so many times I have felt so lonely or isolated as a spiritually oriented soul, feeling that I was living in silent segregation. 



This I can relate to, but I have never felt lonely. I have not felt that life has been so bad. There are times often I would love to share with like-minded people who understand what I'm saying, but that is hard to find.


It is a wonderous  journey indeed.

love and blessings to all


 
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Wendy
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« Reply #10 on: Jun 15, 2010, 07:01 AM »

Dear Ari,

It seems your question has prompted much interest and I hope my comments are an enhancement rather than a distraction from your original posting.

I recently said to Deva that I feel that I have lived more than one life in this body, as weird as that may sound.

I believe many of us feel this way.  I certainly have.


Also there are so many times I have felt so lonely or isolated as a spiritually oriented soul, feeling that I was living in silent segregation. 


This I can relate to, but I have never felt lonely. I have not felt that life has been so bad. There are times often I would love to share with like-minded people who understand what I'm saying, but that is hard to find.

Before I had my first conscious spiritual awakening as an adult, life was that bad.  I believe this comes from my 10th house Saturn Rx in Pisces conjunct Chiron opposing Uranus Pluto Venus in Virgo conjunct in the 4th, square the nodes and a Cap Moon in the 8th.

I had to get to a very painful debilitating place early in life before I was able to find the spiritual ecstasy within the Piscean domain, except of some experiences in early childhood.
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ari moshe
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« Reply #11 on: Jun 15, 2010, 09:50 AM »

Thank you Steve and everyone else for your contributions...

Quote
He did not go from a protozoa to an enlightened human spiritual master in a single life, that I will guarantee you
lol

An inner question I don't quite know how to articulate yet- but has been coming up for me a lot. I want to share it and see what kind of perspective/understanding can be shared here as a result... I do apologize if this is too much of a stray from the message board. It isn't about ea in particular so I won't be offended of course if this isn't appropriate...

We can say that there is a Source of manifested creation. Or a space from which all things ever arise. The natural laws- all aspects of reality- including astrology- are a part of this creation, all arise from this space. They are not "absolute" or the "only way". They can be destroyed, they can fall away too.

When I tune into a client from the level of soul, and connect with their evolutionary state, in combination with their chart, I am able to contextualize and understand SO MUCH about what's going on, and really provide meaningful guidance/perspective for them. This still blows me away time to time.

However I keep on thinking to myself "is any of this actually real? What if my deeply rooted, karmicly rooted belief in these laws as being 'how it must be' is keeping me and the world in a state of 'evolution'. What if I just stopped investing in these beliefs entirely?"

Beyond the phenomena of soul and the nature of soul as evolving- there is a space, an emptiness that doesn't change- from which all things have arisen. That emptiness is right here.

Is the paradigm of "progressive evolution through time" the only paradigm? Can I absolutely know this for certain?

I keep on wondering if my understanding/intuitive connection to the nature of evolution, states of evolution, the nature of soul- all things that are becoming more and more intuitive and real for me- ARE IN THE END actually just a positionalality that is limiting the direct experience of what ACTUALLY IS.

I want to clarify I'm not trying to start an argument here- just expressing these thoughts with the possibility of sharing/gaining more clarity if it is appropriate.

With Love,
Ari Moshe


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Jane
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« Reply #12 on: Jun 15, 2010, 06:28 PM »


Hi Wendy,

I feel that this is directed at me.

Dear Ari,

It seems your question has prompted much interest and I hope my comments are an enhancement rather than a distraction from your original posting.



I would say that Steve answered clearly and deeply all of Ari's questions.

If you look closely you will see that the posts immediately after Steve had a somewhat 'personal' theme, personal stories that reflected exactly what Steve had said regarding his own personal learning from working with EA.

When one comes to the awareness of soul and the purity of heart that Steve speaks of, the absolute dedication 24/7, then one will understand where I am coming from.

When one finds purity of heart that encompasses all of life everywhere, including the sharing of one's own stories, that is what will teach and enlighten us all.   

love and blessings to all
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Jane
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« Reply #13 on: Jun 15, 2010, 07:18 PM »


Hi all,

maybe this is away from the ususal.


Hi Ari

may I say your raw and open honesty is something I greatly admire.

Your recent post being a question that I feel is needed by many.

.....However I keep on thinking to myself "is any of this actually real? What if my deeply rooted, karmicly rooted belief in these laws as being 'how it must be' is keeping me and the world in a state of 'evolution'. What if I just stopped investing in these beliefs entirely?".....


I don't think any of us can know for certain. For me personally I have had many mystical experiences in my life, I'd say so have you with your soul level of attunement to your clients.

One must be able to feel at a very deep core level permeating their being for it to become real, so it is a form of belief/faith, and there is only one thing to believe in and that is oneself. I feel this to be the only approach to enlightenment.

Your being more and more intuitive are just steps along the way. Everyday comes enlightenment in some way.

.....I keep on wondering if my understanding/intuitive connection to the nature of evolution, states of evolution, the nature of soul- all things that are becoming more and more intuitive and real for me- ARE IN THE END actually just a positionalality that is limiting the direct experience of what ACTUALLY IS.....

I would say it is limiting for some, but then there are those who need to start somewhere to understand, I suppose it depends on the level of evolution the soul has experienced.

I feel it becomes a matter of knowing what you are doing, what you believe is right for you,  whether it is right or wrong does not matter.

Maybe your question is the question that has been asked for centuries. Why not just ride the wave in the ocean and enjoy the ride.

in jest: From the beginning of time this game has been going on, and it will go on for an eternity.

Thank you all for reading the above. It is after all only my opinion.

love and blessings to all


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Steve
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« Reply #14 on: Jun 16, 2010, 01:52 AM »

Hi Ari

We can say that there is a Source of manifested creation. Or a space from which all things ever arise. The natural laws- all aspects of reality- including astrology- are a part of this creation, all arise from this space. They are not "absolute" or the "only way". They can be destroyed, they can fall away too.

When I tune into a client from the level of soul, and connect with their evolutionary state, in combination with their chart, I am able to contextualize and understand SO MUCH about what's going on, and really provide meaningful guidance/perspective for them. This still blows me away time to time.

However I keep on thinking to myself "is any of this actually real? What if my deeply rooted, karmicly rooted belief in these laws as being 'how it must be' is keeping me and the world in a state of 'evolution'. What if I just stopped investing in these beliefs entirely?"

Beyond the phenomena of soul and the nature of soul as evolving- there is a space, an emptiness that doesn't change- from which all things have arisen. That emptiness is right here.

I don't feel there is any way to see or know the totality of reality while in human form.  That is like a tiny minnow seeking to understand the totality of the oceans. 

Jeffrey spoke and wrote many times that the nature of God itself is imperfect, is seeking to perfect itself - why would a perfect God create anything?  What would be the point?

The essence of astrology is "as above, so below", and observation and correlation.  I think these apply to your questions, also.  If we are created in the image of God/dess, and God/dess is imperfect, seeking to perfect itself, well, that is also how humans are wired.  So either we reflect that which exists on a vast cosmic level, or else we are projecting human qualities onto the vast universe. 

We have to believe something, as we need meaning in life to bother going on another day.  We may well, in the long run, discover we have been very wrong about many things.  None the less we still needed to believe them and act as we did, because we have to be doing something.  So there really is nothing else one can do.


Quote
Is the paradigm of "progressive evolution through time" the only paradigm? Can I absolutely know this for certain?

how can you know anything for absolute certain?  are you absolutely certain you will still be alive by the end of this day?  however, are the odds of your still being alive at the end of the day high enough that you'd be willing to place a bet that it is true?  you might lose. 

using observation and correlation we make our best choices and guesses on how things probably work.  what else can you do?  we pay attention to the feedback we get from life itself based on our best guesses.  if you get better information you refine your guesses - that is, attempt to self-improve.

Quote
I keep on wondering if my understanding/intuitive connection to the nature of evolution, states of evolution, the nature of soul- all things that are becoming more and more intuitive and real for me- ARE IN THE END actually just a positionalality that is limiting the direct experience of what ACTUALLY IS.

Ari, its been suggested to you several times (not by me) that you try asking fewer questions and simply act on what you already know.  In essence, live less in a Gemini way (gathering endless conflicting information) and more in an Aries way (take action on the instinctual urges you get, learning and refining from the reactions to your actions that naturally come back from life) - trial and error learning.

Let's assume what you said is true (not saying it is, just let's assume it is).  How would you change how you are approaching things if it was true?  If you don't have an answer to that, what is the value in asking the question?  Its just going to confuse you.  What difference does it make even if it is true?

It goes back to the original question you asked that started this thread.  We have to go through what we have to go through.  Your desire to not make any mistakes, so to speak (wrong beliefs), is very similar to the desire to do it all in a single lifetime.

Its going to take as long as it takes, and you are going to look back and see that you made mistakes (that were unavoidable, as you only had part of the information).  There is no way to get out of that reality (that I can see).  Its just the way it is.  If it is that way for all humans (and it sure appears to be) then by definition that must be part of the design of being human.  yes?  Otherwise why does it affect every single human? 

I used to be really concerned about not making mistakes, for similar reasons.  I was sitting on my bed journaling one day when these words came out of my pen "Your constant need to know the outcome in advance keeps you separated from the mystery and the poetry of life".  That changed my life, over these years.  We are part of this mystery, whether we believe we are, whether we believe it even is a mystery, whether or not we want to be part of it.  Its just the way it is.  Part of coming to terms with the mystery is accepting there are facets of it we can not understand while we are in human form, no matter how much we ponder and yearn and question.  It comes down to that Virgo lesson, take one step at a time, and do the best you can.  You will at times make mistakes, you will at times fall short.  Get used to it, and let it be OK!
Steve
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