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Sixth Century B.C.


The Purpose of Life is Enlightenment

Last Revised: 9 February 2005

Enlightenment Teachings and Experiences

Details of bibliographic acronyms are available here .

Subject: Lao Tzu (meaning “Old Sage”; born Li Erh)
Dates: 570-490 B.C.
Tradition: N/A.; one of the founders of Taoism.

The Way is a void,
Used but never filled:
An abyss it is,
Like an ancestor
From which all things come. (WOL, 56.)

A deep pool it is,
Never to run dry! (WOL, 56.)

The Way is a void,
Used but never filled:
An abyss it is,
Like an ancestor
From which all things come. (WOL, 56.)

A deep pool it is,
Never to run dry! (WOL, 56.)

Between the earth and sky
The space is like a bellows,
Empty but unspent.
When moved its gift is copious. (WOL, 57.)

Thirty spokes will converge
In the hub of a wheel;
But the use of the cart
Will depend on the part
Of the hub that is void.

With a wall all around
A clay bowl is molded;
But the use of the bowl
Will depend on the part
Of the bowl that is void.

Cut out windows and doors
In the house as you build;
But the use of the house
Will depend on the space
In the walls that is void.

So advantage is had
From whatever is there;
But usefulness rises
From whatever is not. (WOL, 63.)

Touch ultimate emptiness. (WOL, 68.)

Man conforms to the earth;
The earth conforms to the sky;
The sky conforms to the Way;
The Way conforms to its own nature. (WOL, 77.)

In this world,
Compare those of the Way
To torrents that flow
Into river and sea. (WOL, 85.)

The Way ... is nothing to look at
And nothing to hear. (WOL, 88.)

Most perfect, yet it seems
Imperfect, incomplete;
Its use is not impaired.
Filled up, and yet it seems
Poured out, an empty void:
It never will run dry. (WOL, 98.)

The further you go,
The less you will know. (WOL, 100.)

Harmony experienced is known as constancy;
Constancy experienced is called enlightenment. (WOL, 108.)

The knowers are not learned men
And learned men may never know. (WOL, 134.)

Subject: Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama)
Dates: circa 560 – 480 B.C.
Tradition: Avatar; gave rise to Buddhism.

So long as the brethren shall not come to a stop on their way (to Nirvana) because they have attained to any lesser thing (as riches or power) -- so long may the brethren be expected not to decline, but to prosper. (CC, 87.)

Ananda, can you not see the difference in nature in that which moves and changes, and that which is motionless and unchanging? It is body which moves and changes, not Mind. ... As one forgets the true nature of Mind, so he mistakes the reflections of objects as being his own mind, thus binding him to the endless movements and changes and sufferings of the recurrent deaths and rebirths that are of his own causing. You should regard all that changes as "dust-particles" and that which is unchanging as being your own true Nature of Mind. (BB, 131.)

Into Nirvana my mind has passed,
The end of cravings has been reached at last. (GB, 33.)

I have obtained deliverance by the extinction of self. (GB, 37.)

Thro' many a birth in existence wandered I,
Seeking, but not finding, the builder of this house.
Sorrowful is repeated birth.
O housebuilder, thou art seen. Thou shalt build no house again.
All thy rafters are broken. Thy ridge-pole is shattered.
Mind attains the unconditioned.
Achieved is the end of craving. (BT, 31.)

Now is all suffering ended; he who saw is seen no more. (BPM, 178.)

There is a particular Samadhi called the Highest Samadhi, which was the Lord Buddha's Crowning Experience, and by it he attained a perfect realization of all manifestations and transformations. It was a wonderful door that opened to the mysterious Path that all the Tathagatas of all the ten quarters of all the universes have followed. (Speaking of himself in BB, 114.)

The reason why all devoted disciples do not at once attain to supreme enlightenment is because they do not realize two primary principles [the principles of individuating ignorance and of integrating compassion] and because of it some attain only to Arhatship. (BB, 123.)

Highest Reality is an exalted state of bliss; it is not a state of word-discrimination and it cannot be entered into by mere statements concerning it. (The Buddha in BB, 287.)

Nirvana is Universal Mind in its purity. (BB, 324.)

Subject: Zarathustra (also known as Zoroaster)
Dates: circa 628-551 B.C.
Tradition: Avatar; gave rise to Zarathustreanism.

God clothes himself ... with a star-studded celestial robe, whose end none can see on any side. (Zarathushtra in GZ, 7-8.)

[He is] closer than the nose is to the ears, or the ears to the mouth, to all that the bodily world thinks and speaks and does; ... [but] though present in everything, He is unseen anywhere. (GZ, 8.)

The wise Creator ... knows all and can do all and is fully perfect in His own Self. (GZ, 22.)

The final victory is the Lord God's own. (GZ, 23.)

When the Sun rises, then he purifies the Earth created by Ahuramazda, he purifies the flowing Water. ... He purifies all the creatures of the Holy Spirit. (GZ, 49-50.)

The Lord God ... is a Spirit even among the spirits. (GZ, 170.)

God (my) Lord, beyond whom there is none. (GZ, 178-9.)

In my mind I [shall] realize Thee as the First and Last. (GZ, 187.)

O Lord (my) God, these two things I long for -- a Vision and a Talk with Thee. (GZ, 201.)

The wise find bliss in all things within Thy (Majesty), O God. (GZ, 205.)

O God, with such (questions) do I implore Thee for knowledge through the Holy Spirit, Giver of all. (GZ, 219.)

Subject: Ezekiel.
Dates: c. 595.
Tradition: Hebrew.

Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. (Ezekiel 1:1.)

And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.

And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward..., and it had brightness round about it.

As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face. (Ezekiel 1:26-8.)

Then the spirit took me up, and I heard behind me a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory of the Lord from his place.

I heard also the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels over against them, and a noise of a great rushing. (Ezekiel 3:12-3.)

And, behold, the glory of the Lord stood there, as the glory which I saw by the river of Chebar: and I fell on my face. (Ezekiel 3:23.)

Afterwards, he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east:

And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory. (Ezekiel 43:1-2.)

Subject: Daniel.
Dates: c. 537.
Tradition: Hebrew.

I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheel as burning fire.

A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. (Daniel 7:9-10.)

The Purpose of Life is Enlightenment

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