Sunday, January 23, 2011

Enlightenment: A Process of Unlearning

Enlightenment is not a process of learning,
it is a process of unlearning.

~Dr. Kat Domingo

Of Note: Learning is accomplished through accumulation of knowledge. Eventually, all that learning gets in the way of spiritual progress. Buddha's enlightenment bypassed the concrete mind of knowledge ruled by desire and went straight to the abstract mind where light as symbols rules the day. Here he could contemplate the true nature of Being unobstructed by any physical attachments. For mankind, who dwells predominately in the world of desire, the world of the Mind is the next stage of development. Buddha was the forerunner of this enlightened world; His Brother, Christ, was the forerunner of the next, that of Love. For much of humanity, these steps are in some future life, but we can see the inklings of humanity using its collective Mind right now. Take for example, the recent utilization of identification and shaming to halt the production of sodium thiopental, the lethal injection anesthetic. For years, groups have been trying the emotional route to halt the death penalty in the United States with little success. Although barbaric, some people simply believe it is the best way to get rid of violent criminals, and there seemed to be no way to get past it. The new, more mindful approach is to use the information made available through the courts, such as the previously secret names of manufacturers, to stop the production of the injectables used to kill human beings. Few manufacturers will continue production in the face of endless lawsuits and public derision. In response, the Attorney General from Arizona snapped back: "We will just have to turn to other drugs or other viable alternatives, like a firing squad." But will they? Could be that the day of the mindful approach has arrived and the emotional response will be relegated to the dust bin. Then the United States can join the rest of the civilized world, who on this measure were spiritually ahead.

Today's Weather Report: When I awoke this morning, the glorious sun was streaming through the window. It seemed appropriate to have this happen on SUN-day. However, the sunshine was short-lived and now thick clouds blanket the sky. It looks like snow is imminent. Last night it got down to -24 degrees Fahrenheit but has now climbed to 12 degrees--a good snow temperature. On another note: as follow-up to my blog on the Southern Sudan vote, it may come as no surprise that, in the first official tally, 98.6% of the population wanted to secede from its northern brother although the final result is not expected until February. It comes as no surprise because although the southern area is rich in oil, 90% of the people live on less than $1 a day. These impoverished folks believe it is time for a better distribution of the wealth. We will see how the north responds.

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