For years, after I became disillusioned with "Christianity" as I knew it, and learned of other, more ancient teachings, teachings which, in fact, were embedded within Christian teachings, I fervently "sought enlightenment." Once we come to know what we don't want, we then go searching for what we do want, for what makes more sense to us. And that search can last for years, or the rest of our lives, unless it doesn't; unless we get a different perspective on the subject.

While thinking about this topic, I asked myself the question, "What belief would you first have to believe, in order for you to then believe that you needed to find enlightenment?" Obviously, you'd need to believe that you aren't already enlightened, and that being enlightened would be better than not being enlightened. That's the mechanism, the trigger, that has led billions of people to spend lifetimes searching for enlightenment.

The Quest

For thousands of years, billions of people have followed that path, becoming disillusioned with their spiritual or non-spiritual upbringing, and then longing for and seeking for "something better," which would be "enlightenment" to them. I believe that's a path we've been taught, to our detriment.

How did that happen? Obviously by someone teaching that to us. I believe that we've been deliberately and systematically taught that we're "not enough" and that we need to "become more." Hence, the need for enlightenment, whether or not we attain it.

What if that belief, that we're "not enough," isn't true, and has never been true? After all, it's simply a "belief." And what is a "belief"? It's simply a thought; a thought that we've thought over and over, until we came to believe it, whether or not it's even true. We may not have had the resources or the willingness to fully research whether or not it was true. But, for whatever reason or reasons, we came to believe that it was true, and we simply decided to believe it.

Beliefs

Notice that a belief doesn't have to be true for us to believe it. We can believe it even if it isn't true and even if we aren't aware that it's false. Isn't that amazing, considering how important our beliefs are to our life!

Everything we currently believe is simply a thought, a thought which has become "a belief", and it may or may not be true. Our believing it doesn't make it true, if it's false, but as long as we believe it, it is true for us; it's true in our experience of life. That's because we evaluate everything else in our experience according to what we believe. We make everything else fit into our beliefs, because we believe them and because we're seeing the world through the lens of those beliefs. We color the world to match our beliefs, whether or not they're even true. That's how and why it's done unto us as we believe, as Jesus often taught.

An Alternative View

What if we truly "are enough" and have always been "enough"? What if, as many believe, we were made "in the image and likeness of God", and that's "enough". If we're made by, from, and like God, how could we possibly be "not enough"? We're the holy children He created. How could we ever become "not that"? How could we ever become "not His children"?

What if that belief, that we're "not enough," were purposely ingrained in us as a way to keep us from discovering who we really are, so that those "in power" could maintain control over us, as "less than's"? What if we're taught that we're not enough, so that the carrot of "becoming enough" could be dangled in front of us, egging us on in an unending search for "enoughness", all the while keeping us from just simply being the "enoughness" that we already are? How can we ever become "enough" when we're all the while believing that we're "not enough"? We're continually projecting our "not enoughness" out into the future.

As a former minister myself, I studied the Christian "Holy Bible" long and hard. After becoming disillusioned with its many discrepancies and the church's deviations from the teachings of Jesus, I decided to simply focus on the teachings of Jesus, as recorded in the Bible. I noticed that in his teachings Jesus didn't talk to people about all of the problems presented elsewhere in the Bible. He didn't rant and rave about how bad people were and how they needed to be saved from something. He simply taught people about who they are and how to live life better. I wondered why he didn't teach the things that seemed so important to the church. You'd think he'd have known about those things, if they were as important as the church taught. Well, I decided to "side" with him, rather than with the church.

If you question that or you're curious about that, I suggest that you get a red letter New Testament and just read what Jesus taught--the words in red. His teachings seem so foreign to much of what "Christianity" teaches. He even taught people that the Kingdom of Heaven was within them, not outside of them. Unlike the church, he did not teach people that he was something special that they could never become. Instead, he said that they would do greater works than he. Unfortunately, the church's "programming" has greatly dampened that possibility, by its teaching of "not enoughness." Instead of being The Great Exception, as he's been portrayed by the church, he viewed himself as The Great Example.

Peace at Last

That was good enough for me. In January, 1994, I decided to give up my struggle for "enoughness" and accept what I believe was God's evaluation of who I was--His holy child, created in His image and likeness--not someone else's evaluation of who I was. I gave up the search for enlightenment and simply accepted that "I am as God created me," as is written in the book A Course in Miracles, which I've read from cover to cover and formally taught for a year.

That belief brought me back to the place mentioned long ago, in a quote which I believe may have come from Sanskrit writings: “Enlightenment is a journey of no distance, to a destination you never left. Welcome home, traveler. Your journey ends where it began." -- Unknown

There's no place "to get to" because there's no place we've left. We haven't left "who we are." We've only been taught to believe that we have. We've been taught to believe that we've become "less than" we were. But the good news is that we haven't become "less than." And, we can change that belief, which dis-serves us, into a belief that serves us. Once we learn who we are, and we know that we're "enough," the search for "enlightenment" can come to an end. We were created "enlightened," as God's holy children. Only our disbelief keeps us from knowing and living that. And that disbelief is something we can do something about, once we know better. Then we can simply live who we are, without needing to try to "become" who we have always been, but were taught we weren't.

Charles David Heineke, 2013
Spread the word. Please copy freely.

Author's Bio: 

Charles David Heineke is a single, retired, senior citizen with a long history of study in personal development and spiritual growth. He's the author of a number of inspirational poems and essays available from his website, TheDoorway Inspirational Blog, at www.thedoorway.org.