We made it! The last limb of ashtanga is samadhi meaning “enlightenment.” Before you stop reading, enlightenment does not have to mean that we are becoming the “Enlightened One.” The root word of enlightenment, enlighten, means literally “to shed light on.” There is not one definition of what enlightenment is. A lot of people will see it as a place of bliss. Now we think of it as the Buddha which who is literally named “the enlightened one” but it can be more than just that.
Enlightenment can be shedding light on something that needs to be known. When we are enlightened we have a new found knowledge.We have a new outlook on life that allows us to bridge the gap between the divine power and our own reality here. Naturally our reality is based on worldly circumstances. These worldly circumstances are usually things that include shallow events on the lower levels on the spectrum of happiness.
Whenever we reach the highest level of happiness, experiencing that connection with the divine is enlightenment. Whenever we completely remove the ego out of our thoughts and out of the way we live by not listening to your mind telling you that you’re not good enough. We are enlightened when we know the truth that we are good enough because we were made in the perfection of God. Whenever we sense the divine connection we are able to completely act in goodness. We feel this divine connection and we are able to see the perfection of ourselves not just in the worldly aspect of perfection but in the divine goodness that we were created to be.
Because the divine loves us, it doesn’t matter if we are still striving for what the world calls perfection. Once we are enlightened then we can go about our day and experience things differently. Enlightenment, or being “saved” as some Christians may call it, is a new way of thinking and a call to change your life for the better. Enlightenment for Catholics means that we are experiencing the fullness of Christ and his Church. We live out the fullness of the Catholic Church’s perfection because God has created the Church.
This enlightenment is not meant to be temporary. It’s supposed to be ongoing. We are meant to remain in between being completely absorbed in the higher connection with God and still having your feet on the ground to be stewards of the earth. In contrast to what the traditional form of enlightenment is, enlightenment can be recognizing that you are a child of God but not that you are divine yourself. Enlightenment does not have to be some esoteric idea of becoming a god. Enlightenment can be right here and right now, in your own life, coming into the fullness of Christ.
Peace and Namaste,