[The Problem with Enlightenment, 883 words, Genre: Experimental]
* Image courtesy of Dirk de Bruyn
There was a problem for Edward. The problem was a resolution and the resolution a problem. Chiefly speaking, Edward’s problem was this; he had become satisfied. Through Buddhist mantras and the theory that supported a Buddhist point of view, he had become at peace with the world. In this, one way of looking at it was, he had become enlightened. All of his dissatisfaction had drained through the course of his body and he had become at peace with the world. All the wars that were occurring worldwide, all the death and devastation, all of his individual suffering and misery. He had become at peace with it, all of it. He was free of fright and worry, absent of what others thought of him, all of his problems and the problems of others did not worry him anymore. He was at peace, he was enlightened. It hadn’t taken much for him to become enlightened, he had to work through his frustrations of life, the problems of the world and accounted for his own existence. Then to be at peace with all of these things. He had done it, he had achieved enlightenment. And it was a problem. It was a problem because through his enlightenment of self he had found peace. This was a problem because the world was not a peaceful place.
The world is fire. The world is destruction. The world is a pathos so chaotic that it can only be described as a dragon breathing fire into the universe. The world burns and for this and his own enlightenment Edward had snuffed out his own flame. He had many more years to live. Many more things to do. But now that he was at peace he lacked the motivation to perpetrate an existence that was more fulfilling than his excercises of self-realization.
What was he meant to do now that he had become at peace with his own existence. Where was the drive? Where was the desire? Yes, he had conquered his desire. He had reached a level that accounted for self-realization and fulfilment of a life well lived. He had done it, he had achieved it. And now, like sand falling through his fingertips life was washing away. He had become detached from the perspective of everyone else. Detached from his own drive. In this he realised that peace was a nuisance of a thing. For when peace, enlightenment and the inner sanctum of the world was contained. Then one is confronted with a bleak contrast of nothingness. The encounter with nothingness was one so extreme that it had to fade away and turned the ashes of one’s life into dust.
In his enlightenment he found one thing. Being content is not what the individual needs. The fulfilment of desire, or the lack of chasing after an impossible dream. Being content is it’s own problem. Enlightenment of the self through a state of peace and contentment is problematic. The individual needs fire, the individual needs passion. They may never be fulfilled, but fulfilment and peace is what one seeks at the end of one’s life. During and in the process of, the individual requires that impossible dream, the individual needs goals and obstacles. When all of these obstacles are done, new obstacles and new challenges must be set. Life is a situation in which we must confront and overcome obstacles and the finish line continues to be pushed ahead ten kilometres down the path. For it is all an illusion. The truth is we decide when the race is over. We decide where the finish line is and as long as people continue to push the finish line off ahead in the distance, there will still be more accountable obstacles to overcome, there will still be a life to be lived.
Life is suffering for desire can never be achieved. However, that is the point of life. To keep on going, to fan the flames of one’s personal desire so that they can go on to achieve. When one is enlightened, one finds peace and when peace is found you have come to the end of your journey. Enlightenment is peace within one’s own life and peace is a useful tool to be used at different points in one’s own life journey. It is the settlement of debt. The eradication of desire. And all one needs to do to achieve it is sit there and think about it. To slowly destroy all desire and obstacles in their own mind. The realization that all obstacles are a creation of one’s own mind. And for this enlightenment can be achieved.
But enlightenment is for the end of one’s life. Peace can be found at the end of one’s journey, but through life one requires desire, one requires motivation. One requires to live the experiences that are achieved in the pursuit of their goal, even if these experiences are not a fulfilment of this goal. Life is chaos, life is fire, life is passion, life is life.
And for this Edward abandoned the enlightenment and peace that he had come to find and once more set unrealistic and impossible goals for himself. Through enlightenment, he had achieved satisfaction with his life, in order to continue on living, he needed to be dissatisfied.