The Five Stages of Enlightenment… by Bill Harris (May 19th, 2008), continued
So that’s the first stage. You can visit the transcendent, but it isn’t your permanent experience. To get to the second stage, there are some important insights you need to have and certain things you need to drop. The first thing you need to do to get to the second stage is to fully surrender to what is. In doing this you understand at a deep level that there are certain things about the universe and about being human that just are the way they are. There’s no escape from them, and there’s no changing them, and resisting them just creates suffering.
For instance, people, things, and events exist in time. They come into being and eventually pass away. Because of this, and because to be here as a human being you have to be attached, at least a little bit, to the people, things, and events in your life, there always will be suffering in the world. Most people, of course, are attached a lot, and as a result they suffer a lot. People live, and then they die. There are causes and effects–karma. Sometimes you don’t get what you want. Sometimes you get what you don’t want. Resistance to these fundamental facts of existance, and attachment to it being otherwise, creates suffering, and keeps you stuck in the relative world.
To move into stage two you have to surrender to all of this – not intellectually, but at a deep level.
This is, by the way, the first of my Nine Principles for Conscious Living–Letting Whatever Happens Be Okay. Surrendering isn’t passivity, however. It doesn’t mean that you don’t act to get what you want. It does, however, mean that you understand (and accept) the way the universe works, and even while you take action you aren’t attached to your actions turning out a certain way.
So, surrender is the first step in stage two.