Table of Contents

Making progress with love aka Enlightenment

Enlightenment. Making progress with love is a phrase my wisdom gave me in 2007 to replace words like enlightenment. Any word that suggests a fixed state as the goal of spiritual work is misleading. The spiritual quest has no endpoint. There's always more progress to be made. Making progress with love was the theme of a website I wrote about the spiritual quest after I woke up a little in 2006.

Nondualism. It's possible for us humans to make progress with love because love is nondualistic. In other words we can become more like god because we already are god. We just lost sight of that. Nondualism appears as the word also in this paragraph. The problem with the word god is it implies god is not us, is not everything that is. Human thinking can't grasp nondualism except as a mental game, a pretend puzzle. But to make progress with love we have to do everything we can to stay open to that incomprehensible possibility. I make progress because I discipline myself to consider the possibility I am all of this, that nothing is different from me. It's a discipline I've struggled with every day since that moment in 2006.

Wisdom of the moment. Attention is my secret to making progress with love. I make progress with love any time I pay attention to the present. Any time I am present, i.e. silent inside. If I'm paying attention and present in any moment, I gain the wisdom of that moment. Every moment has wisdom. This is a vast topic I can't write about. I'm not trying to keep any secrets. Attention is profoundly wordless; it can't be spoken or written of. But all of these stories taken together are about attention.

Headroom. There's no shortage of headroom on the spiritual quest. Enlightenment and words to that effect make it sound like a one-time deal: roshi whacks me on the skull and Hey, I'm enlightened! Waking up is another phrase used to name the goal. It's even worse. I think of waking up as a one-time deal because that's how I experience it: I was sleeping then I woke up. Enlightenment and waking up work fine to express the goal if I understand the process. Enlightenment means having a little more light; waking up means waking up a little more. The advantage of making progress with love: ongoing spiritual work is built in. Making progress implies no endpoint.

Making progress with love focuses attention on love. That's another reason it's a better term. My wisdom is love itself. It is my personal connection to the universal love that everything is. According to my wisdom love is the best word for all this: the universe, the world, all of time and space, whatever. Calling it love makes it real in human terms: everyone longs for love.

Falling. Making spiritual progress feels a little like falling in love. Making progress connects me with the playfulness of the world. That's what separates making progress from the dreary and laborious formal meditation practices spiritual teachers would have me do. I don't listen to them. I have to find my own way to make progress. Playful spiritual work connects me with love. My longing for love is the foundation of my spiritual quest. Spiritual work feels like play, like falling in love. It's the fullest expression of falling in love. If it doesn't feel at least a little bit like falling in love, I'm on the wrong track.

Not blind faith. As I study how my life has unfolded, I keep discovering how much of my life has been a gift of love. Every good thing that has ever happened to me, and every good thing I've ever accomplished, has been the work of my wisdom, not me. All that has been the unfoldment of love in my life via guidance from my wisdom. To go on from here, my wisdom demands I have faith in love. Deeply informed faith founded on the overwhelming evidence that love has always taken care of me. I have to have faith love always will. My faith makes it possible for me to respond to the impossible demands of love.