Enlightenment

I feel that enlightenment being achieved is a matter of what each individual can consider enlightenment. For me, personally, I believe enlightenment is a matter of being at peace with decisions and knowledge that I have made and achieved over my life. I think that enlightenment is most definitely possible if we don’t set a standard for it. If one can be content in themselves and their lives then that is enlightenment. I think the best way to do this is just make well-informed decisions. That’s the most simplistic way I can think about putting it. Personally, for me, enlightenment is a matter of understanding and dealing with my anxiety. It’s about understanding my reactions to things and how to control the initial defense reactions to things. The hardest part of this whole ordeal is the fact that all these new ways of dealing must be made to be habitual. As Descartes says in his first Meditation, “It isn’t enough merely to have noticed this, though; I must make an effort to remember it.” I believe this is how enlightenment is achieved. I think that in class we have talked a lot about information and the intake of knowledge rather than the actual learning and understanding. It’s sort of like how we’ve all had a whole bunch of English classes and we can’t always remember exactly what we did in any of them. I took several statistics classes and I was very good at it but I couldn’t do a Z test to save my life now. Enlightenment cannot be achieved just by taking in knowledge. Enlightenment must be the complete understanding of something and the remembrance of it. La Mettrie talks about how we have used our intellect to become more intellectual. He says that we have the ability to understand that there are things in the world that we don’t completely comprehend and that because of that we seek out these things. We are meant to understand things. He talks about how that separates us from animals because animals don’t totally understand what they are doing but rather they act on instinct or they mimic something they’ve been taught. I think that’s the difference in being Enlightened and informed. It is easy to acquire knowledge but it is very difficult to understand how all these things work. This is why I say that to be Enlightened for me would be to understand how my anxiety works. It is not enough for me to just know that I have Generalized Anxiety. I must understand how it works and why I react the way I do to things and even how to slow down the reactions.

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