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Enlightenment, Part II

-Asaf ||

Originally published on, September 3, 2019

“The answer is ultimately found within.”

Does that sound familiar?

But I wonder: Are ALL the answers found within? You might say, “Yes, all the important ones.” But I want to challenge you. Is that REALLY true? ALL OF THEM??

What have we been doing for the last two thousand years? Buddha sat under a tree, and meditated. Moses climbed a mountain. Jesus went into the dessert. Mohammed traveled into the night, and found wisdom there. I think that all these men can be said to have found “themselves”, or maybe I should say “THEIR” selves. It seems that every culture has a hero, and all the heroes have been asking the same essential question: WHO AM I? There are of course different ways to ask this, like: What am I? Why am I here? What is the truth? But essentially, all these questions lead in the same direction. And the way to find the answers always seems to be the same way: by going in.

There is a great truth to be found by going in, by exploring oneself. By all means, don’t let your life go by without finding it.

But there is another truth, as well. I believe that it is equal to the first. And I also believe that we’ve been missing it… or in the very least, I think it hasn’t been getting as much credit as the first one. But I think that this “other” question unlocks the door to the other half of the universe, much in the same way that discovering love during adolescence opens up a door into the other half of the world.

And this question is: WHO ARE YOU?

How many modalities do we have for exploring ourselves? Meditation? Yoga? Psychotherapy? The Buddha once described it as 84,000 ways to reach enlightenment. And that was 2,500 years ago. And it seems to me that every day, someone invents a new way to go in.

And then - how many modalities do we have for exploring each other? I can think of a few… Sexual tantra. Group therapy, maybe… but where and when do we truly explore the very connection between ourselves and another human being? How much time do we devote to really discovering the richness of this connection, the depth of it, the unknown realms of it? Not as much as we devote to ourselves, I think. It seems to me that the spiritual fashion of the world has been to LOOK INSIDE. I wonder if our time calls for a new frontier - not instead of the old one, but as a partner to it.

I believe that there are two great powers in this universe, two great wonders to be explored. The first is awareness. The other one is love.

And I believe that just as there is awakening of oneself, there is also - in equal measure, in equal cosmic wonder, and in equal spiritual significance - connecting to another.

And I wish us all a good journey.


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