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Spiritual Growth

What is Enlightenment?

Spiritual GrowthThe three key gateways to enlightenment. An article by Chris Bourne.

There are three key gateways to enlightenment. The first is the recognition that everything in the external world is merely a reflection of something being experienced internally. To step through this gateway, we have to surrender the need to shape external events. We need to realise that the key to our unfolding is the release of energy arising within us - caused by our attachment to external events - so that we may find internal harmony in all circumstances.

The second gateway is the realisation deep within that there is no separation between what is 'in here' and what is 'out there'. In other words, as we step through the gateway we experience unity consciousness. We become the witnesser - the consciousness of the creator in all things. With this comes a sublime feeling of being at one with the whole of creation, as the apparent duality between inner subject and outer object dissolves. There is a liberating blissful feeling when stepping through this gateway and many think they have become enlightened, but while we may be awakened, this is still only a reflection of enlightenment.

The third gateway leads to total liberation. It is stepping out of the illusionary world of experience into absoluteness beyond all experience. It occurs in all of us from time to time, although it is mostly missed. For example, it could be the experience of gardening on a warm summer's day when time dissolves, and hours later we rediscover ourselves, not realising where the time went. It is so awesomely ordinary that we have great difficulty in accepting that it is the objective of everything we have been seeking and doing throughout our countless lifetimes.

The moment we are 'looking at' this experience of freedom and liberation - a 'non experience' - is the moment we recreate 'the witnesser', and step back out of enlightenment. We step into and out of this third gateway many times, until finally we give up trying to understand it. We surrender trying to experience it and simply settle into full enlightenment. The witnesser becomes witnessing.

The experience becomes a normal state of perception without an inner witness seeking or trying to understand what that state of perception is:

"To know the truth is to know the self.
to know the self is to know what the self is not.
To be at one with what the self is and is not...
in every moment,
is to be enlightened by all things.
Then there is no trace of enlightenment,
although enlightenment flows through our daily lives



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Chris Bourne is the founder of The Openhand Foundation, a not for profit organisation dedicated to helping people evolve spiritually and to ultimately ascend into a higher vibrational reality based on unconditional love, joy and respect for all life.
The Inspired Heart: An Artist's Journey of Transformation
The Inspired Heart - An Artist's Journey of Transformation
by Jerry Wennstrom

In this book, Jerry Wennstrom tells the extraordinary story of his daring exploration into the source of his creativity.

In the late 1970s, Wennstrom was a rising star in the New York art world when he realized that he was too attached to his identity as an artist, and set out to discover the rock-bottom truth of his life.

He destroyed his large body of art, gave away all of his possessions, and spent the next 10 years living in the moment, on basically nothing, surrendered to unconditional trust and the creative inspiration of his heart.

More info