Is enlightenment just seeing things in a positive light?

a sense any experience of the world is subjective, because our brains actually distort the world to make sense of it. A good example of this is an optical illusion. Optical illusions are possible due to the short cuts the brain takes to represent the world. A good book on this subject is Brain Bugs:How the Brain’s Flaws Shape Our Lives by Dean Buonomano.

That being said, enlightenment is more objective than the unenlightened mind. As we experience life our minds are labeling what we see, having opinions about what we experience and distracting us from our experience by thinking about other things.

The enlightened mind only thinks when it is necessary. The rest of the time, the mind is quiet. This allows the enlightened person to experience the things we rarely experience. For example, the shiny flecks on a strawberry’s skin.

The flecks are not so clear in this photo. Go look at a real strawberry.

In summary, the enlightened person isn’t practicing positive thinking. Rather they are experiencing things “as they are” as much as a human being can.

©2016 Stephen L. Martin

Relief: Gautama becomes a Buddha as Mara tries to frighten him from doing so (my description–couldn’t find much on this panel) Freer Gallery of Art, Washington DC

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