On You Tube last night I watched an interview with a man who claimed to be enlightened. I didn’t hear anything that would make me misbelieve that but during the conversation an entirely new possibility on the subject of realization of consciousness arose in my mind.
The man was saying how the One Consciousness was present in ALL things (people, rocks, chairs, plants, animals, minerals, atoms, etc.) and this Ground of Being, on occasion, ‘woke up’ to the awareness of the Self.
He continued that he did not quite understand why one person would become enlightened and not another but believed it was perhaps a matter of grace or God’s will. So far so good. I understood what he was saying and had heard similar statements by others before.
That’s when the new (to me) thought arose. If All That Is periodically awakens in a human – sometimes in a serendipitous manner – could/does All That Is occasionally awake in a non-person, that is, can All That Is realize it true nature in an atom, a rock, a dog, a star?
In other words, is humanness a necessary precondition to enlightenment? Can a galaxy ‘wake up?’ Is there an avatar among the dog kingdom, among the ants?
We all have heard the Buddhist question, “Does a dog have a Buddha nature?” and know the answer is in the affirmative because Buddha nature means (as I understand it) a soul, a Divine source. Everything is equal in that it has all been created by God. But this question is a little different than that.
Can a dog or a dandelion wake up to its own divinity? My initial reaction was to say ‘no’ because other than mankind, these other ‘things’ do not have the capacity for self-reflection, for thought. But wait a minute, I said to myself. Is not self-identification with thought and the attendant ego, one of the common blockages to enlightenment among humans?
Who said self-reflection was a necessary pre-requisite or part of the definition? Was our type of intelligence necessary for self-realization? Are not all things possible for God? Maybe it is our own narrow perceptions and ego-centered thinking that mistakenly takes enlightenment as an entitlement only for mankind.
Then I pondered the possibilities. What did an enlightened dog look like? How did he act? If a star system was self-realized, how could we recognize it? Is there a Christ figure among the mineral kingdom? Who are the great teachers of the plant world?
I wondered if the gems were not the enlightened beings of the mineral kingdom; if healing plants not the top of the plant world; etc. I have no answers to these questions and perhaps answers are irrelevant but the opening of possibilities reveals a much vaster state of Being than before. Perhaps all those beautiful stars we see at night, all those billions and billions of burning suns that stud the heavens, are blissed out devotees singing in angel choirs.
Perhaps the dog who saves a child’s life is a Master teacher. Maybe transmigration of souls has been misinterpreted. Maybe man does not pass from kingdom to kingdom or species to species; but perhaps God in His evolution of awakening does.