Tag Archives: Enlightenment

Are you afraid of enlightenment?

Supposing that I say to you, “each one of you is really the Great Self, the Brahman.”

And you say, “well, all you’ve said up to now makes me fairly sympathetic to this intellectually.  But I don’t really feel it. What must I do to feel it really?”

My answer to you is this: “you ask me that question because you don’t want to feel it really. You’re frightened of it. Therefore what you’re going to do is you’re going to get a method of practice so that you can put it off.  So that I can say, “well, I can be a long time on the way of getting this thing, then maybe I’ll be worthy of it after I have suffered enough.”

See, because we are brought up in a social scheme whereby we have to deserve what we get and the price that one pays for all good things is suffering. But all of that is precisely postponement because one is afraid, here and now to see it.  If you had the nerve, you know, real nerve, you would see it right away.  One feels you shouldn’t have nerve like that, why that would be awful.  That wouldn’t do at all because after all I’m supposed to be poor little me.  And I’m not really much of a muchness.  And I’m playing the role of being poor little me and therefore in order to be something great… I ought to suffer for it.  So you can suffer for it.  There are all kinds of ways invented in order for you to do this.

-Alan Watts