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W I S H I N G  U P O N  A  B R I D G E

I don’t get this warning: ‘Be careful about getting too enlightened, because you risk ending up in the mental hospital.’ For me, either you are enlightened, or you’re not. And if you’re enlightened, then there’s hardly any risk involved.

I said to someone recently: ‘I bet the cards can tell us exactly what is at stake in this’. I won the bet, because I said the following, upon seeing this string of three cards:

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T H E  W H E E L  O F  F O R T U N E   ·  F O R C E  ·  T H E  W O R L D

Being enlightened means the following: You see it coming (The Wheel of Fortune), you resist first (Force), but you realize that integrating your resistance is actually IT (The World).

In other words, being enlightened means practicing radical acceptance. You accept everything. This is not the same as saying that you give up everything, or that you suspend your actions between liminal states, allowing others to trample on your head, send you to the loony bin, or burn you at the stake.

Radical acceptance means living in the present, not in a narrative; someone’s narrative or your own, revolving around self-realization, overcoming drama, and all the rest. You know, Hollywood style. Radical acceptance means bravery: You see it coming, you deal with it, not dream about fictitious outcomes. You accept your resistance, limitations, demons, and delays. You rejoice in your life. It’s not like you have a choice. If you can see that, you’re enlightened.

Then you can go even further. Imagine yourself practicing radical acceptance. Where would you be able to fit any of your fears in that? Acceptance means zero fear. Whoa! Are you still here yet? Read on.

T H E  C R O S S I N G

A few years ago my sister and I were roaming the streets of Old Jaffa in Tel Aviv. We came to a famous wishing bridge. It was in reconstruction. My sister went: ‘Damn, that’s unfortunate, just when I was ready to make a wish upon it, and see some instant magic at work. Look at us. Looking at the bridge is all we’ve got. How pathetic.’

I looked at her and said: ‘Are you dumb, or something? We can cross this bridge any time. Just use your head’.

Right.

We closed our eyes. We grabbed the end of the bridge, each on each side of it, and we made our wish while flying in our imagination over it. That felt good. In fact so good that my sister insisted we disclosed our wishes.

She asked me: ‘What did you wish for?’ And I said: ‘What I always wish for: Peace of mind’.

‘What about you?’, I asked her in turn. And she said: ‘Wisdom. I wished for wisdom.’ – I think King Solomon was on her mind.

After the initial ‘WOW’, she then said: ‘How similar our wishes are! Don’t you think? Though I have to ask you: Why are you so damn clever?’

She then said that she could intuit that wishing for peace of mind is somehow bigger than wishing for wisdom – she would be sensitive to this sort of logic, as she is my little sister, always desiring to compete and outsmart me.

I enlightened her: ‘If you have peace of mind, you already have wisdom, for you see, without wisdom, you can’t have peace of mind. By wishing for peace of mind you get the absolute, you get everything, wisdom included.’

‘Damn’, she said again, while acknowledging that her magic worked instantly. She got her wish. She got wiser.

CAMELIA ELIAS, TEL AVIV

In Old Jaffa, wishing upon a bridge, 2011 (Photo: Manna Hojda)


I N N E R  K N O W I N G

The point is, again, that either you are enlightened, or you’re not. You know you’re enlightened because you can practice an inner type of knowing that doesn’t always operate with objects of knowledge.

You can be ever so scientific about that, but then, even as the scientists admit it, science is not all there is. If you possess inner knowing, you just see through everything. You see things as they are, not as they pretend to be.

This basically means that you can answer any question whatsoever at any given point in time. Does this look like a risk to you? Like hell it does. It looks like what it is, nothing more, nothing less.

When you know things, you know them the humble way and the glorious way. If that knowing lands you in the mental hospital, lynched, or burnt at the stake, then it’s not because you have risked your mind. That’s plain nonsense.

If you pay unfortunately for knowing things, then it’s because your seeing disturbs too many establishments, not because you took one step too many towards enlightenment. Enlightenment doesn’t operate with linear stages, personal effort, and counting: ‘Two more years, and I’m there.’ Where you are concerned, there’s no conflict about your approach, which is to integrate all your resistance, and relax. All the time, not only some of the time.

When you are enlightened, you are not just a little enlightened, where ‘little’ acts as a safety buffer, enabling you to judge yourself, and even be quite pleased with yourself: ‘Jolly good, today, I’ve managed to stay away from going ‘all the way’. I didn’t risk myself.’ Like, what the hell is that? Can someone please enlighten me? Because I’m not sure I get this. Well, I know what it is, and where it comes from. But do I get it? Do I want to get it? Not today.

Today I’ll take my magic, flying carpet, and visit some realms where things just make sense, without effort and defense.

M O R E  W O R D S  O F  P O W E R ?

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