Can we Discover on our Own What we Need for Enlightenment?
A phrase “all spiritual roads, traditions and religions lead to enlightenment” is something that’s been widely used in recent times. It goes hand in hand with a belief that” if you start becoming interested in spirituality, eventually you will work out what is needed to progress”. The word ‘enlightenment’, however, is something that’s been used in a variety of ways, and many people would say that they have become enlightened. Today it is not uncommon for someone who watched 10,20 or 30 hours of some ‘eye-opening’ documentaries to think of themselves as being enlightened or awakened, nor is it uncommon to claim that title after reaching certain temporary states during meditation.
Every spiritual tradition with some depth would indicate or explain that enlightenment entails something profound and permanent, an inner change that is substantial and clearly seen and felt, as well as an ability to perceive and know more, etc. The teachings leading up to that are specific, and should be first understood on the intellectual level before they can be put to practice, and once put to practice the knowledge of how to apply them should come from the consciousness, from the depths of the soul. The question arises, is it possible for someone to arrive to such knowledge on their own?
Today we can see that more and more people have a strong resistance towards a spiritual teaching, a tradition, a school or a group, and yet they feel a need to be more spiritual, so they embark on this journey by trying to work things out on their own. That resistance could be for many reasons, often time the main reasons being a worry of being bound to a teaching, or feeling themselves superior to that form of study, etc. Some of these people are highly intuitive and with a lot of spiritual experience, and they can often feel (to some degree) what they need to do to progress spiritually. This is valid, but unfortunately the feeling they get is usually not translated into intellectual or mental understanding, and it is important that one would have that in order to fully grasp that which would take one to deep spiritual change. Therefore, even if we are talking about a case of a natural psychic who prefers to follow their own path, we can say that they depend on the information coming from their Being or other spirits who are willing to help and guide. The problem is, unless the person has reached a substantial form of spiritual development, their psychic senses would be quite limited, and often the person would not know what to do with some information because they would be unable to relate it to anything they know. In most cases, the psychic would depend a lot on their feelings, and it is unlikely that those would be translated into intellectual understanding.
Someone without any feelings of intuition would probably struggle a lot on their way to discover on their own what is needed for enlightenment. In both cases, it is much more likely that they would be directed to someone who will explain to them what is needed to do in order to become awakened or enlightened, once they reach a stage where they become open to receive such information, when they pass an inner obstacle that is preventing them from being open to it. On the other hand, there are likely many people who do not have any obstacles in regard to that, but simply need to walk on their own, needing to go through a lesson that is particular for the stage on which they are in their spiritual evolution.
Overall, despite the fact that we can be taught a lot by our Being in many ways without needing to study from any tradition, if it is enlightenment that we seek, the liberation from the Wheel of Samsara by eliminating the egos and incarnating the Being, then it is necessary that we learn how that can be achieved. The reason for this is that any teaching that deals with such a profound topic as enlightenment needs to have a structure; every serious undertaking needs to have a detailed layout of plans and procedures. To reemphasize, it is necessary to know the particularities of the Path on the intellectual level so that we acquire the full comprehension of what the Being wants us to achieve.
HDP, August 2021.