What is Spiritual Enlightenment?

What is Enlightenment?

Weather you call it moksha, nirvana, liberation or anything else you’re essentially describing the very same state.  It’s a state that commonly described as ‘the natural state’.

The eastern concept of ‘spiritual’ enlightenment has nothing to do with the western period of enlightenment

I’ll start this article with explaining this error. It’s very common since both things use the same word.  They have nothing to do with each other

Enlightenment has NOTHING to do with intelligence or wisdom

The eastern esoteric definition of enlightenment has nothing to do with intelligence or wisdom. That’s the WESTERN definition of enlightenment. In the east it means to be in a state of consciousness in which you feel that there are no boundaries and supposedly directly experience the ‘truth’ of how the world is, by that I mean that you experience the buddhist truth that ‘all is one’ and that there is no self.

It is a state in which you are in ‘the void’.  It is a state in which you loose ‘yourself’ there is no wisdom, no art, no love, no hate, no compassion, no good or evil – only pure awareness. Eastern enlightenment is being in pure awareness, consciousness of raw nature, formless and empty of everything.

This superconsciousness subjectively makes you feel like you have achieved the ultimate truth and you feel absolutely peaceful, and everyone can experience it by experimenting with psilocybin or by practicing deep meditation for a few years. The difference between those experiences and ‘enlightenment’ is that someone who’s enlightened experiences it all the time.  Enlightenment is essentially a state of no-thought.

The Energetic Definition Of Enlightenment

As you all know I  debunk the concept of energies a lot in this blog. Enlightenment is traditionally described as ‘the awakening of kundalini’ the ‘integration of ida and pingala’ the ‘fusion of all polarities’ this  is nothing more than metaphorical language used by medieval people who had no  idea about how the brain actually functions.

But at the same time it is true that someone who’s enlightened has a definitive ‘energetic feel’, this is mostly because an enlightened person is 90% of his time in a state of near constant bliss, and we because of mirror neurons can sense it. So we feel ‘his immense energy’.

I’ll discuss and debunk the eastern concept of shaktipat in a future article, but for now let me say that we naturally feel the emotions of people we are close to because of mirror neurons, and as such when we’re near an enlightened person we feel the bliss he feels due to his enlightened state. It’s that simple.

This is there is a very real subjective experience in which when you sit or stand near an enlightened person you feel really feel that he is “filled with an unimaginable energy”, because this is essentially how his state functions and you feel naturally elated by it because of mirror neurons. In the same way when you’re near a schizophrenic without meds you feel dreary and bummed out by them.

This is also why historically everyone was nice to enlightened people – they made other people feel good. And conversely throughout history  society shunned schizophrenics and psychotics because they made the people around them feel bad.

[Tweet “You judge someones spiritual enlightenment by how you feel in his presence”]

This is essentially how enlightened people ‘transferred energies’ to enlighten other people, which I’ll actually describe in a future article so please subscribe if you’re interested

Enlightenment is Fundamentally a Change In the Sense of Self

I wholeheartedly agree with many parts of Todd Murphy’s neurobiological theory of enlightenment, and even though I still have some disagreements (about which I’ll talk about in a future article, subscribe if you’re interested)

In a way this way of looking at enlightenment is consistent with how it’s described in most versions of buddhism

The word nirvana literary means ‘extinction’ as in to extinguish a flame. In pali the same word is used for blowing out a candle. The self- your sense of self, your ego, your story-  is destroyed revealing it’s illusory nature.  Buddhism is actually very clear on the idea that there is no self.

In a way there is a difference between how hinduism and buddhism describe enlightenment, but both are actually consistent with the experiences of U.G Krishnamurti. In hinduism the self ‘unites with god’ and in buddhism the self realizes it’s fictitious.

[Tweet “Spiritual enlightenment is not about self-improvement. It’s about the absolute loss of self”]


Almost Anyone Can Have Enlightened Experiences- This is Not What I’m Talking About Here

We humans are naturally wired for ‘enlightened experiences’ this is why they can actually be relatively easily triggered in most people by using really simple cognitive techniques about which I’ll talk in future articles. This article is not about that.  In this article I attempt to describe the true nature of ‘moksha’ ‘liberation’. The kind of ultimate state that people like U.G Krishnamurti, Osho and other people have attained.  The difference between the two is that  the kind of enlightened experiences that new agers peddle are like orgasm from masturbation – it lasts for a bit and then leaves you unsatisfied there after (And in both cases  you feel embarrassed if you got it from something odd!)
And those experiences can actually be easily induced by the use of machines such as the koren helmet or drugs such as psilocybin. Essentially enlightened experiences are something that anyone can achieve.

[Tweet “Moksha is not an experience. It’s a deep change in ones being”]

Moksha is Not an Experience. It’s a Deep Irreversible Change

By definition ‘moksha’ or ‘liberation’ was seen as a state that once you attained didn’t leave you. Although weather or not this is the case in real life is doubtful , since almost every enlightened lama in tibet meditates until  his death, and therefore they are actively doing ‘something’ to keep their altered state of consciousness.

It is clear that someone enlightened is essentially in the state which we experience during intense periods of meditation, concentration or prayer virtually all the time.


 Moksha, Liberation, Awakening Are All RELIGIOUS Words, but Describe Something Very Real. Something Biological

The words :Moksha, liberation, awakening and all the other romanticised words. Are religious words, and as such they will always be colored with the same amount of distortions as the words :”salvation” “grace” or “holy”.

The difference in them and other religious words is that they are describing a very real biological phenomena that’s now is seriously researched, but being the religious words they are they come with a big load of distortion.

[Tweet “Every lasting change is brain change”]

Western Vs Eastern Enlightenment. Self-actualization IS NOT moksha!

In the west the word enlightenment is rightfully connected to the movement started by Kant, and with the period of our western history. This has absolutely nothing to do with spiritual enlightenment.

At the same time moksha has nothing to do with the western concept of self-actualization, which is yet another thing that I see people associate with the eastern concept of enlightenment.  Mostly because both are considered ‘ultimate good states’ and as such most psychologists automatically interconnect the two.

They have nothing to do with each other. You can be self-actualized without being spiritual in any way. And in the same way you can be enlightened without fulfilling even  your base desires or achieving anything meaningful.
For example. U.G Krishnamurti, a man who has achieved the eastern version of enlightenment, was NOT self-actualized in the traditional western sense of the word.  He did not care about ‘realizing his full potential’ he did not care about ‘being the best man he can be’ he did NOT care at all. He even purposely ate unhealthy food just to troll people who thought that they’ll get health advice from him!

Those two things are related as most people who are interested in self-actualization also care about spirituality as spirituality is a very large part of the human experience, at the same time many people ‘actualize’ their spirituality by being atheists. So  they are related terms but not the same thing

[Tweet “Enlightenment is not about improving your mind. It’s about letting go of your mind.”]

Religious definitions of enlightenment vary

The religious definitions of enlightenment vary.  How could they not? Religions disagree on everything. Various christians sects disagree weather jesus is a god or not they disagree whether we should listen to the pope and so on. And similarly buddhist, advaita-vedantas can’t really   put up a concrete definition of enlightenment

An Honest Description Of Enlightenment By U.G. Krishnamurti

U.G Krishnamurti was pretty much the only popular mystic that didn’t try to sell himself. He actually was pretty honest that he didn’t want to be famous after his death, and as such he was not interested in lying by making  enlightenment more appealing than it actually is.

[Tweet “Enlightenment is not happiness without one moment of unhappiness”]

As every mystic has mentioned before. Enlightenment is all about not thinking. But in case you ever wondered here’s how not thinking manifests in the real world:

My mind is only engaged when it’s needed, for instance when you ask questions, or when I have to fix the tape-recorder or something like that. The rest of the time my mind is in the ‘declutched state’. Of course now I have my memory back — I lost it at first, but now I have it back — but my memory is in the background and only comes into play when it’s needed, automatically. When it’s not needed, there is no mind here, there is no thought, there is only life.

On the seventh day I was again lying on the same sofa, relaxing, enjoying the ‘declutched state’. Valentine would come in, I would recognize her as Valentine; she would go out of the room — finish, blank, no Valentine — “What is this? I can’t even imagine what Valentine looks like.” I would listen to the sounds coming from inside me?” I could not relate. I had discovered that all my senses were without any coordinating thing inside: the co- ordinator was missing.

This is the same thinking state one would experience during deep meditation. The difference is that U.G and Osho experienced it all the time.

[Tweet “Full enlightenment is being in the state of deep meditation all the time”]

It also involved very real changes in day-today sensory experience:

But somehow I couldn’t smell or taste properly. I became gradually aware that these two senses had been transformed. Every time some odor entered my nostrils it irritated my olfactory center in just about the same way — whether it came from the most expensive scent or from cow dung, it was the same irritation. And then, every time I tasted something, I tasted the dominant ingredient only — the taste of the other ingredients came slowly after. From that moment perfume made no sense to me, and spicy food had no appeal for me. I could taste only the dominant spice, the chili or whatever it was.

I noticed a change in hearing. When I heard the barking of a dog, the barking originated inside me. And the same with the mooing of the cow, the whistle of the train — suddenly all sounds originated inside me, as it were – coming from within, and not from outside — they still do.

If you have ever been interested in spirituality you probably heard the tired old phrase you are not your body but did you ever wonder where that belief came from? The thing is that it came from direct EXPERIENCE. Which U.G. Krishnamurti described here

I was lying down on a sofa — Valentine was there in the kitchen — and suddenly my body disappeared. There was no body there. I looked at my hand. (Crazy thing — you would certainly put me in the mental hospital.) I looked at it — “Is this my hand?” There was no questioning here, but the whole situation was like that – that is all I am describing. So I touched this body — nothing — I didn’t feel there was anything there except the touch, you see, the point of contact. Then I called Valentine: “Do you see my body on this sofa? Nothing inside of me says that this is my body.” She touched it — “This is your body.” And yet that assurance didn’t give me any comfort or satisfaction — “What is this funny business? My body is missing.” My body had gone away, and it has never come back. The points of contact are all that is there for the body — nothing else is there for me — because the seeing is altogether independent of the sense of touch here. So it is not possible for me to create a complete image of my body even, because where there’s no sense of touch there are missing points here in the consciousness.

So in a way the experience of enlightenment IS similar to the clinical phenomena in which one also looses one’s body image (this is actually a symptom of many mental disorders)

In the same way Nirvana was always described as extinction. It is literally a process which feels like physical death. Which U.G. Krishnamurti described quite well.

I felt something happening inside of me: the life energy drawing to a focal point from different parts of my body. I said to myself “Now you have come to the end of your life. You are going to die.” Then I called Valentine and said “I am going to die, Valentine, and you will have to do something with this body. Hand it over to the doctors — maybe they will use it. I don’t believe in burning or burial or any of those things. In your own interest you have to dispose of this body — one day it will stink — so, why not give it away?” She said “You are a foreigner. The Swiss government won’t take your body. Forget about it,” then she went away. And then this whole business of the frightening movement of the life force coming to a point, as it were. I was lying down on the sofa. Her bed was empty, so I moved over to that bed and stretched myself, getting ready. She ignored me and went away. She said “One day you say this thing has changed, another day this thing has changed, a third day this thing has changed. What is this whole business?” She was not interested in any of those things — never was she interested in any of these religious matters — never heard of those things. “You say you are going to die. You are not going to die. You are all right, hale and healthy.” She went away. Then I stretched myself, and this was going on and on and on. The whole life energy was moving to some focal point — where it was, I don’t know. Then a point arrived where the whole thing looked as if the aperture of a camera was trying to close itself. (It is the only simile that I can think of. The way I am describing this is quite different from the way things happened at that time, because there was nobody there thinking in such terms. All this was part of my experience, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to talk about it.) So, the aperture was trying to close itself, and something was there trying to keep it open. Then after a while there was no will to do anything, not even to prevent the aperture closing itself. Suddenly, as it were, it closed. I don’t know what happened after that.
This process lasted for forty-nine minutes — this process of dying. It was like a physical death, you see. Even now it happens to me: the hands and feet become so cold, the body becomes stiff, the heartbeat slows down, the breathing slows down, and then there is a gasping for breath. Up to a point you are there, you breathe your last breath, as it were, and then you are finished. What happens after that, nobody knows.
When I came out of that, somebody said there was a telephone call for me. I came out and went downstairs to answer it. I was in a daze. I didn’t know what had happened. It was a physical death. What brought me back to life, I don’t know. How long it lasted, I don’t know. I can’t say anything about that, because the experiencer was finished: there was nobody to experience that death at all…. So, that was the end of it. I got up.

It is also interesting to note that U.G. Krishnamurti also has had near-death experiences, which I’ll also discuss on this blog in the future. Please subscribe if it’s  something that interests you.

At the same time enlightenment or any spiritual experience for that matter will not make you more ‘moral’ and it won’t really change your personality

The personality does not change when you come into this state. You are, after all, a computer machine, which reacts as it has been programmed. It is in fact your present effort to change yourself that is taking you away from yourself and keeping you from functioning in the natural way. The personality will remain the same. Don’t expect such a man to become free from anger or idiosyncrasies. Don’t expect some kind of spiritual humility. Such a man may be the most arrogant person you have ever met, because he is touching life at a unique place where no man has touched before.

Note: The quotations of U.G. Krishnamurti are taken from his book “The mystique of enlightenment” which is available for free here 

So the important thing to understand is that enlightenment is NOT constant bliss or ‘amazing’ it’s just a state in which you loose your ego, your sense of self, and through that are free from suffering

One has to remember that all the traditional religions (including hinduism) that propagated enlightenment basically assumed that everything is suffering. They didn’t live in a world in which first world problems were a thing

Those religions were created in countries in which RAT HUNTING was a thing because it was a cheap food source. It arose from places in which the promise of ‘no suffering’ seemed like the best thing ever.

The problem is that most ‘spiritual seekers’ nowadays would probably scoff at the reality of enlightenment because they are mostly looking for liberation from their first world problems and not from real suffering.

That’s why the idea of “dying while alive” might not be as appealing to them

[Tweet “Nirvana means extinction”]

Nirvana is EXTINCTION. When the buddha awakened he did not say “I am liberated” – he lost his ego, his sense of I. He instead said “It is liberated”

When I knew and saw thus, my mind was liberated from the taint of sensual desire, from the taint of being, and from the taint of ignorance. When it was liberated there came the awareness: ‘It is liberated.’ I directly knew: ‘Birth is destroyed, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more coming to any state of being.’

It was the same for UG krishnamurti

How I got into this state I will never be able to tell. I may trace it back to a particular point and beyond that I don’t know what happened. There is no story; my autobiography comes to an end on 13 August 1967. It is finished. It is just living. The search has come to an end. The continuity of all kinds has come to an end. The evolution has come to an end. It is finished, complete. Everything is done by itself. It is just a flower giving out its own fragrance.

Enlightenment is a biological change of how you perceive the world. It’s a completely different experience. The experience of someone who’s enlightened is as different from that of a normal person than that of a schizophrenic. It is a state in which there is no I, no thinking. It’s a state in which you are inn0cent because there is no you. You are pure because you have no thought. It’s a state glorified by eastern religion, and a state that’s not unpleasant, but different.

It’s called a ‘natural state’ because in that state you’re free of cultural conditioning  and the bondage of thought. Krishnamurti describes it this way


Once the thought structure is destroyed, not actually destroyed, but disappears, then what takes over is only the physical. Everything falls in its place, even the thought, the mind (stripped of its psychological content), which had been a master of this body, goes silent, becomes a servant, letting the body function in its own natural way.

The problem is that enlightenment is described in most religions in psychological terms as an act of understanding, when the truth is that in true enlightenment there is just no demand to know or understand. True enlightenment destroys all of your story, all of your autobiography, all of your sense of “I” all of your thought. You’re in a state in which you’re ‘free’ of the control of your memories, your beliefs,  and everything that’s understood in western psychology to make you.

Enlightenment won’t give you an orgasm.
Enlightenment won’t make you happier
It actually won’t give you anything you might ‘want’ at all
It will just kill you while you’re still alive


The Buddha Had A Different Brain

Siddhartha Guatama achieved a very real brain change. This might seem daunting but if we find the exact nature of the brain change maybe in the future we’ll be able to replicate it far more reliably than what most spiritual techniques  do now.

I believe that in the future we’ll know enough to help  people achieve enlightenment much much more quickly than ever. We’re actually getting close to it with the discovery of the koren helmet and brainwave entrainment, about which, and more on the neurobiology of enlightenment, I’ll talk in future articles. So subscribe if you haven’t yet, and if you did, please share this article with your friends.

Additionally in future articles you’ll learn more about effective meditation techniques that will give you all the benefits of spirituality without the donwsides.


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About the Author ()

Hello I’m Matt Pepliński, the lies in alternative medicine have literary given me psychosis and as such I created this site to take the pseudo out of pseudoscience to make it actually useful in your life.