Epiphany is used in the following context: A sudden realization or comprehension of the essence or meaning of something
As my mind wanders back through the ages, to half a millennium before the birth of Jesus the Christ, I find myself in the mind of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha.
'There beneath a tree I sat and watched the moonlight gently dancing on the river. I had come so far in life and had suffered so much in my search for its meaning, yet here I was, holding my past in a moment, a past that seemed to be without reward. I was alone, and for all my struggles I realized that I knew nothing of worth, and my quest so far had been in vain. Had I known the path to enlightenment I would have travelled it and reached its end. What have I not done that I am weighed down, confined in a reality without reason, blinded to that which is beyond my physical senses, like a bird in a covered cage, yearning for the freedom of its natural domain.'
This was the time before Siddhartha Gautama experienced the epiphany that would make him the Buddha, the fully awakened one.
You will not find anywhere in the teachings or texts of Buddhism that which actually triggered Siddhartha Gautama's epiphany, causing his Self-realization. You will notice that there is only once person who is given the title of Buddha in any period of history. What does this mean for the world if there is to be only one fully awakened soul in the world at a time?
Firstly, if a soul is not fully awakened then it must be at most, partially awakened, in other words, partially enlightened. Such a soul may rightly claim that it is enlightened, but only to a degree, and only relative to its previous lesser state. In that partial enlightenment state a soul may see more than it previously did, but there is still much that it is blinded to. If you sit in a darkened room and light an oil lamp turning it up a little, then what is in the room will be partially revealed. If you turn the lamp up to full brightness, then all will be revealed. It is the same with the mind. In this partially awakened state, a soul is still subject to illusions and delusions, along with unreleased attachments to the world. What the soul does not see is left to its reasoning and its unsilenced ego. This is why so many believe themselves to be who they are not, leading to false messiahs etc.
Secondly, a good master teaches his students all that he knows so that they can become masters also. Likewise a fully enlightened soul seeks the full enlightenment of others. To not do so would sustain inequality. To maintain inequality is to sustain self superiority, where then is love and compassion? The Buddha was not without Love and compassion, and would not have entered enlightenment and closed the door to others. So you can see that something is missing from the teachings of Buddha. It is also missing from the teachings of the Christ, but not for much longer.
Do you know the difference between a Buddha and a Christ?
Listen and understand:
A Buddha is a fully awakened soul, self realized and free of attachments. From this neutral position, effects and their causes are seen clearly. In the desire to maintain this state of enlightenment, even attachments to other souls are avoided. A Buddha will be kind, caring and compassionate and will teach people the right way to live and how they should treat other souls, but a Buddha will not make a bond of love with another soul, i.e. a Buddha will be loving but never 'in love,' because the other soul would become an attachment. A Buddha may enjoy the gifts of this world while not craving for them. In knowing their own true nature as a soul, they know that they need nothing to sustain their existence, the illusion of need and therefore needless desire has been conquered in them.
On one hand the Buddha encourages empathy for others, yet on the other teaches detachment, but with empathy you share the emotions of another person and in doing so you become attached and affected by them. Anyone who has ever fallen in love knows that they are attached to the other person. The Buddha walks a lonely path, teaching how to end suffering by detachment from all that is outside of the soul and by acting in a loving way, while maintaining a distance between themselves and other souls.
All Love is attachment, but not all attachments are Love.
Buddha was known to God but did not know God, because he was not perfected in Love, and therefore he could not enter God’s Kingdom while still on his life journey. That is why he didn’t teach of God. He may well have known the lesser Heavens but not the highest. How you may wonder could God bring perfection to a Buddha? It is simple, Buddha was placed in an empty space after departing his physical body, he was free from all attachments, including other souls, and he was left there until he realized the need for loves fulfilment, through attachment to other souls. Had Buddha not been perfected in the afterlife, where would he go? There can be no reincarnation for a fully awakened soul, for such a soul would not have lost its Self-realization, would not have forgotten its past life journey, and would have no need of the world if all its attachments had been broken.
The only reason a Buddha would reincarnate back into the world would be because it sought something that it did not have and that would be the fulfilment of Love.
One of Buddha’s quotes is: ‘Love is a fleeting emotion, to reach true nirvana one must know themselves and forsake love, for it breeds contempt.’
Another of Buddha’s quotes is: ‘He who loves 50 people has 50 woes; he who loves no one has no woes.
It is clear that Buddha taught that Love is an obstacle to be discarded if Self-realization is to be achieved. So rather than being a religion of Love, as most people believe it to be, Buddhism is actually a religion that is anti-Love, because it teaches selfishness by teaching that Love for the Self must come before Love for others.
Becoming Self-realized and therefore realizing that you are not of this world, is indeed liberating, for with it comes the realization that you cannot die even when your body dies. The feeling of invincibility and immortality, along with the realization that the Self needs nothing of the world to sustain its existence, silences desire. This feeling of power and peace is what is known as Nirvana.
But what is Nirvana worth without Love? What is an expanded consciousness worth when there is nothing to fill it but the Self, and you are alone with no bonds of Love with others?
Buddha also taught empathy, but why share in another’s feelings if your own are enough and greater? Empathy is also the creation of an attachment, even if it is temporary, and so to teach empathy and teach not to make attachments is an oxymoron. Without empathy it is not possible to share or receive Love.
Buddha taught others how to become Self-realized, but you will not find his teachings on his personal experience concerning what triggered his Self-realization, although he had revealed this knowledge. You see this knowledge was too dangerous to the ambitions of those who sought power in the world and so much was denied the people, and instead they were given a path to follow that was impossible to achieve Self-realization if followed. Soon after Buddha left the world, Buddhism fractured into different sects, each claiming to be the true followers of Buddha, it was no different for Christianity, when Jesus Christ left the world.
Now I want to speak about enlightenment and clear up a few misconceptions.
Self-realization is not enlightenment, but rather enlightenment is expanded by Self-realization.
Both Buddha and Jesus Christ were teachers of Self-realization and enlightenment, and to begin with, I want to take you to the bible to the New Testament and to John 1:4 ‘In him was the life and the life was the light of men.’ KJV.
The light refers to consciousness, and here it refers to one who is fully conscious, fully awakened. Without consciousness life cannot be experienced. Everyone is enlightened but only to a degree, and so they are not experiencing life in its fullness.
When the Self (which is capable of awareness) becomes aware of something, it experiences life, which is consciousness, also known as the light.
Now for John 1:5 ‘And the light shineth in the darkness and the darkness comprehended it not.’ KJV.
Consciousness can comprehend that which is unconscious, but that which is unconscious cannot comprehend that which is conscious. Consciousness is like a candle in a dark room, you see the darkness beyond the light, but the darkness can see nothing.
In the light you see, but in the darkness you are blind.
Darkness represents ignorance or the unknown. If all was seen then there would be no need to search.
Many claim and believe they are enlightened, but to what degree? If they were enlightened enough then they would have come to know themselves in that light and in knowing themselves they would have known all souls, and they would have seen the light in them and its degree of intensity.
In John 1:9 it says; ‘That was the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world’. KJV
Look into the eyes of a child, and look again when it is grown up and see what the world has taken from it. It is in the eyes of a child that we see the light, its consciousness, its life.
There was a soul who found himself, and in doing so he found life, his name is Buddha, and he gave a great gift to the world, but few have taken that gift because they love the world too much.
There was another man who came to know himself, he too gave the gift of life, but he also gave a greater gift, the gift of Love.
I found life by emptying my cup of all that the world had poured into it. I became like a little child, containing no darkness. I did not find God, God found me when I chose Love and made it unconditional and more important than my own life.
I will share what I have found, take it with my Love, it is unconditional.
Love and peace