My ‘enlightenment‘ came into question during a Facebook Private Message exchange a couple of days ago. It was an interesting case where I responded to a persons PM promoting her business (this person had done it before and I had ignored - but there had been NO other engagement since 2011) but this was right on a fiery Leo Full moon and I am fiery anyway!) with the following:
‘This is spam. Just like emailing without permission’ and when she responded with an apology but said she ‘thought I might like to help a fellow business woman out’ I responded ‘I don’t help out fellow business women who only engage with me when they want something.’. Was I a little sharp? Yes, probably. What can I say, it was a BIG Leo Full Moon on Tuesday and I am not perfect. I had forgotten about it by Wednesday morning but then this happened…..
Her MOTHER messaged me telling me to ‘check your attitude when it comes to what you propose that you are about and what you really are about’ and that they were ‘deeply connected to many in my ‘group‘.’ When I asked if that was a threat she also said ‘I am not threatening you with my connections just trying to awaken you. Who seems who professes to be so enlightened’.
There was more but I only set the scene because this set me to thinking what it really MEANS to be enlightened.
So, let’s start with the etymology from Dictionary.com.
enlighten (v.) Look up enlighten at Dictionary.com
late 14c., “to remove the dimness or blindness” (usually figurative, from one’s eyes or heart); see en- (1) + lighten. From 1660s as “supply with intellectual light.” Literal senses are later and less common in English: “put light in” is from 1580s; “shed light upon” is from 1610s. Related: Enlightened; enlightening. Old English had inlihtan “to illuminate, enlighten.”
Now, in light of this you could say I was ‘enlightening’ this person as to what is good marketing etiquette and what is spam. After all, my background is in Social Media Marketing. But that’s not really where I want to go with this.
Where I want to go is what I believe it means to BE enlightened and how Astrology can help. And what it does not mean.
Let’s now look at a discussion highlights about what it means to be spiritually enlightened as I believe that is where the mother was going. You can read the whole article at Healing.about.com, but the definition that fit my own beliefs best is this.
(Enlightenment is a) state in which one is aware of one’s own true nature. This should not be confused with a state of complete awareness, which is commonly termed “nirvana”
To go deeper. the word enlightenment is said to be translated from the word Bodhi which, according to Wikipedia means the following:
Bodhi (Sanskrit: बोधि; and Pali) in Buddhism is the understanding possessed by a Buddha regarding the true nature of things. It is traditionally translated into English with the word enlightenment and literally means awakened. (The verbal root “budh” means to awaken.) Bodhi is knowledge of the causal mechanism by which beings incarnate into material form and experience suffering.
The key words for me from all this, and I hope I haven’t lost you with all the quotes and links, is ‘true nature‘, and being aware of it and understanding it.
Astrology does this for me. I understand myself and know myself at a deep level. That doesn’t work as an excuse. But it does mean acceptance that I am not perfect and am always a work in progress. But astrology shines a light (enlightens?) on the shadow and brings acceptance about my true nature.
I know I can be a little sharp at times. I have a South Node in Aries (very direct and cuts like a knife) in the third house of communication. I also have FOUR planets in Sagittarius (including Mercury, the planet of communication) and Sagittarian’s are well known for foot in mouth syndrome. With lots of awareness and astrological study I have learned how to temper this but sometimes it’s necessary to be blunt and to allow my nature to be expressed. And this was one. Because unsolicited marketing really gets my goat (I use that expression because I have Capricorn (the goat) rising. See how astrology always brings self awareness? See what I did there?)
But back to the question of what enlightenment is. To me it is ‘knowing thyself‘, knowing the shine AND the shadow. It’s about shining the light on all of you so that you can learn to walk the middle path. It’s about learning to love every little bit of you so that your inner meanie voice doesn’t pull you into self hatred and self judgement. It’s about allowing you to be your own real and authentic self.
I am a passionate advocate of social media rules, an advocate for gender, racial and sexual equality for all. I get steamed when people discriminate or use language that discriminates or makes fun of people for who they are. And I am not perfect. You get the idea 🙂
What enlightenment is NOT. Because I think there is a lot of baloney about being enlightened.
- having no boundaries and never saying ‘this is not okay’ to others
- feeling you have to give, give, give to everyone and ‘help everyone out’ just because they ask (i.e. being sold to)
- being all zen and nicey, nice all of the time. If that’s not who you are.
- being a doormat because of acceptance of others
Back to the original story. The Mother says that I sent her daughter a lot of ‘my stuff’ three years ago and, therefore, I should have remembered that and reciprocated. I have no recollection of this but I do know I do not send my ‘stuff’ unless asked or given permission. I also know this person has never been a client of mine. But I thought you should know that.
Because one thing I do know about myself is that I try to be brutally honest about myself and my foibles. Because part of my enlightenment is accepting that I am feisty, fiery and also changeable. Thanks to astrology. Not that I have ever described myself as enlightened.
So, what does enlightenment mean for you, particularly in the spiritual sense? I would love your thoughts on this. Tell me in the comments.
Oh, and don’t spam me and I won’t spam you. If you ever receive an email from me it’s because you signed up for it at some point. If you receive a Facebook Private message from me it will be to connect not to sell.