Our brain is constantly making sense of the world around us through looking for familiar concepts, recognizing familiar objects and shapes and putting them all into an inner map telling us whether we are doing fine, how do we fit in, how do we compare, how should we feel, whether “our life” is good and fulfilled or not – that the way it was “set up” since the childhood. This conceptual map is tightly connected to an emotional one, constantly pulling strings of emotions whenever we presented with a concept, recognizable as sad, happy, joyful, etc.
But this map is not real, it is made up in our heads through the process of thinking, through assigning labels to everything we encounter around us. In reality, the world doesn’t have any concepts, it exists in constant flux, constant change and movement. It exists as a magnificent kaleidoscope of forms, sounds, chemical reactions, energy waves translated by our brain into a picture of some stable and predictable dreamworld, which at some stage starts to suffocate an eternal intelligence peering through your very eyes, manifesting as unexplained, illogical, existential state of dissatisfaction.
We try to find an explanation, try to find ways to satisfy this longing, but it never works for long, because this is the sign that your essence has grown beyond the concept. All meaningful concepts existing in this world – relationships, love, career, learning, adventure, creativity, fulfillment – has been explored to the extent possible in this conceptual framework – and your essence is looking for something more, something real.
Habitually, it is looking for it in familiar notions, one of which is Enlightenment. Not really knowing what Enlightenment is, we try to fit it into what we think we know (like emotional high) which has really nothing to do with it. Enlightenment is a process of destroying that nice and familiar, yet totally illusory conceptual map in our heads. But for us, it is not illusory, it feels very real, and when it starts to crumble it felt like the end of the world, like an intense suffering, bitter disappointments, meaninglessness, “betrayal of the world”, far from imagined eternal emotional high.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with our conceptual maps, with the world of labels, we need them to exist in a society. It is just at some stage we simply outgrow them. Like children who grow into adults and don’t need to believe in fairy tales (we can still enjoy them knowing that they are fairy tales). We need to face the world directly, face the energies as they are, face the enchanting eternal dance, with its complete lack of any stable holding place, except for its own eternity and being completely at peace with itself.
When all the concepts are seen through and let go – that real peace, peace of the eternity, “peace beyond understanding” as Adyashanti calls it – simply comes and settles in your being. There is no reason for it, there are no conditions, it does not depend on your marital state, the shape of your body, your age, your bank account or anything else in that matter. It simply is, it is you, it is a splendid shiny canvas for you to paint that ever changing, glorious painting of LIFE.