Someone asked me recently about enlightenment. There are many ways to answer that question.
The question was:
What is it?
But it the “how” that matters most.
Mohammed Ali, he had a spark about him. And he once said a very beautiful thing.
He said that if he was a street sweeper he would be the best street sweeper in the world.
There’s a clue to the ‘how’ there in what he said.
From what I have surmised from looking very carefully at the mind there are two things that are paramount to fulfillment.
One is natural interest. Every child comes with certain creative draws and gifts. The right atmosphere to nurture those is paramount. No matter how sad or angry you may be, if you can appreciate a flower and you can move the smallest digit on your smallest finger – you can do the yoga of silencing what is not virtuous in you. The root meaning of virtue is what is of merit – it is also: “man.” That, by the way is why William Shakespeare, who wrote in a period known as the Enlightenment, had the character Polonius say:
This to thine own self by true, as it follows as the night the day, thou canst not be false to any man.
Shakespeare stated a profound truth in that line. It’s an older more experienced man giving advice to a younger adventurous man with his whole life ahead of him. If you can honor your own interests, life supports the flowering of that beauty in mysterious ways. That’s a law of nature.
And the second factor: like Mohammed Ali, you must put your whole heart into everything you do. Mastery of this is key.
Even if you are the greatest fool on earth, if you do one and two, discrimination is inevitable. But you can’t do it by halfs. You must engage your whole heart and your sanest mind.
When you do that you begin to plumb the depths of the meaning of
“The measure of man.”
Meditation in Sanskrit (dhyana) means “to measure.”
© Copyright 2021 Nathan Curry