The Old Man and Enlightenment
A young man had spent five arduous years searching for truth.
One day, as he walked up into the foothills of a great mountain range, he saw an old man approach from above, walking down the path, carrying a heavy sack on his back. He sensed that this old man had been to the mountaintop; he had finally found one of the wise – one who could answer his hearts deepest questions.
“Please sir,” he asked. “Tell me the true meaning of enlightenment.”
The old man smiled, and stopped. Then, fixing his gaze on the youth, he slowly swung the heavy burden off his back, laid the sack down, and stood up straight.
“Ah, I understand,” the young man replied. “But sir, what comes after enlightenment?”
The old man took a deep breath, then swung the heavy sack over his shoulders and continued on his way.
CONCLUSION: A flash of enlightenment offers a preview of coming attractions, but when it fades, you will see more clearly what separates you from that state – your compulsive habits, outmoded beliefs, false associations, and other mental structures.
Just when our lives are starting to get better, we may feel like things are getting worse – because for the first time we see clearly what needs to be done.
After illumination difficulties continue to arise; what changes is your relationship to them. You see more and resist less. You gain the capacity to turn your problems into lessons and your lessons into wisdom.