As part of our mission and objectives Qultura is committed to providing anyone in society with freely accessible opportunities for personal enlightenment in an environment which is kept free from ideology and belief systems. This is not self-emprovement, nor is this positive thinking nor do we require or 'force' anyone to undertake personal enlightenment or agree to such as a condition of our support or assistance. We provide a very basic, rudimentary guide to personal enlightenment on our webpages. Please don't regard this as in any way a comprehensive guide to personal enlightenment. It is merely intended to help you either start or further in your own personal journey of enlightenment.
What is personal enlightenment?
Understanding the limitations of language
One of the problems with explaining what enlightenment is, particularly personal enlightenment, is that in this medium of the internet we are restricted to using words and language, and that involves using symbols, inferences and meanings, which in turn give rise to notions, ideas, beliefs and concepts. Language is physical, and much of what enlightenment is about is metaphyiscal - 'meta' as a prefix means 'beyond'.Providing a 'one size fits all' explanation is extremely difficult without creating or calling on some kind of belief system, be it an ideology, a philosophy, or even a religion.
Only you can know what is personal enlightenment for you
Personal enlightenment is just that, enlightenment which is personal to you. Only you can know what personal enlightenment is for you. Only you can go through that experience of your own personal enlightenment. Only you can take the steps to explore, experiment, research, ask questions, seek, and discover. However everything you need for your own personal enlightenment already exists within you - the individual - or is out there in the totality of the universe and exists somewhere out there for you to find and discover. personal enlightenment is connected to conscious living (which we cover on a separate webpage), in fact conscious living can be seen as the vehicle for personal enlightenment.
What you need for personal enlightenment
While it can be argued that you can go down the shamanistic route and go off and seek your personal enlightenment in isolation it's important to remember that personal enlightenment is achieved through personal experience. A shaman is different from a priest, or a minister in that unlike both, who are appointed by a higher authority and ordained according to a tradition such as you find in religion, a shaman goes off and finds themself and their enlightenment in isolation disconnected from society. This is because some believe you cannot truly be yourself while you are connected to a society when other people are also trying to define you. They will define you by trying to tell you who you are, by labelling you, by imposing demands and restrictions on you. All these things involve various belief systems which are imposed on you and highlight the necessity of finding your personal autonomy and defining yourself.
However going off into isolation as per many shamanistic traditions is an undertaking which takes plaxce later in life after living in a community or society to have the necessary life experiences worthy of contemplation and meditation. It would be extremely difficult to achieve such a state of isolation to be alone with nature without having any connection with society in your typical Western society. Therefore we strongly advise becoming part of a community.
Personal enlightenment is a journey, a process of experiences and some of these experiences and undertakings are not easy but can be challenging and difficult. Not everything is going to be easy or straightforward, you're going to make mistakes and get things wrong. Therefore you're going to need support - trusted support - and also be able to learn when to take a break or step back from your journey.
External sources and guides
While you are going on your own individual journey of personal enlightenment which is a one time, once only experience which is personal and relative only to you, you're not the first nor will you be the last to amke such a journey. You're going to need sources of both inspiration and wisdom from others who have also made their journey and achieved a degree of enlightenment. You may be able to do this within a religious belief, a philosophy, but you also don't need to adhere to any belief system or faith in order to achieve personal enlightenment, because the primary objective is to develop consciousness and your perception of consciousness. This involves going through cycles which have the four stages of perception, inspiration, conception and interaction, which we describe on separate webpages.
The components of a personal enlightenment journey
In a world which appears to becoming more and more lifeless, mindless and soulless and where there is a growth in avoidance by some of anything beyond the physical, more and more people are craving to become more enlightened and aware but don't have a reliable means of finding out how to go about their journey. We do not advocate any particular method of achieving personal enlightenment because we leave that down to the individual to find for themselves. However we give a rough guide of the major components of any personal enlightenment journey.
Acceptance of both yourself and others for being who you really are is a necessary and fundamental part of personal enlightenment. Within this comes acceoptance of one's own individuality and that of others, understanding that we are all unique and individual beings each making our own way through life in our own way. This involves accepting not just the lighter, more positive aspects of one's being but also the darker, more negative aspects of our nature. Obviously acceptance here doesn't mean acceptance of negative attitudes or behaviour with a view to perpetuating or continuing harmful cycles, but merely acceptance of their existence. Personal enlightenment is about action, or karma, and about taking action against anything which prevents you or holds you back from developing consciousness and awareness.
learning to understand and identify energy in all its various forms is a key step of personal enlightenment. Energy exists on a spectrum which is part of a cycle, and everything in existence is made up of energy of different wavelengths, frequencies and levels of consciousness. While in terms of the Theory of Creativity energy is described as dramatic or traumatic, but this dichotomy or duality is expressed in other ways, such as light energy and dark energy, or energy which is based on love and energy which is based on fear. Learning about energy, where it comes from, and what it does is key to any journey of personal enlightenment.
This goes hand in hand with understanding energy. Understanding power is key to being able to empower yourself and also empower others. Power is about relationships and relativity and the core principle of power is that power exists to be shared. This principles applies not just to two or more points in a relationship but also between the individual and the totality - the universe or cosmos - and this principle applies to power in whatever form it takes whether it be electrical power, solar power, wind power, personal power or political power. Does an individual (or organization) have power to empower others or to disempower others? Do you seek power for reasons of control and to disempower others? Or do you seek power to empower others? part of the process of personal enlightenment is the ability to give up power to the totality so that it can come back to you. This is also often the difference between an attachment and a connection.
Attachments v. connections
Superficially both imply the same thing, the existence of a relationship but the difference lies in the nature of that relationship. Attachments tend to be things you cling to, and can be such things as personal possessions, money, friendships, relationships, personal beliefs, aspects of your thinking, behaviour and communication which can often keep you in your place and disempower you. However when you let go you cease to become attached and become free. Connection can be pretty much the same things, but they have the effect of empowering you. part of the personal enlightenment process is learning to free yourself from attachments and getting into the habit of developing connections which are significant and meaningful.
What if everything you were taught was a lie? What is much of what you were taught to believe in your education is false and has no basis in reality? What if events you believe took place in the past actually didn't happen? What if passages in a religious scripture such as the Bible or Holy Koran were edited in or changed? This is not to suggest that these things are false or untrue, but just to consider the possibility. A significant part of the process of personal enlightenment is learning to challenge beliefs, both personal beliefs and beliefs held by others. This is essential to becoming grounded in reality, being able to create or discover trith, achieve inspiration, and acquire knowledge, greater awareness, wisdom, and the increased ability to perceive consciousness.
This doesn't apply to just your own personal beliefs, because out in society there's no shortage of people out there willing to sell you their beliefs, impose their beliefs on you, and get you into a situation where you are thinking the way they want you to think, believing what they want you to believe, and accept their definition of you as an individual over your own personal definition of yourself. They do this in various ways by simply telling you what to think and believe, making demands on you, imposing obligations, and even manipulating you and using strategies based on fear, guilt or shame. This also includes much of what social conditioning and social engineering is about, and this has become more widespread in recent years with the development of information technology.
Often the process of process enlightenment is better served through a process of unlearning, examining and discarding beliefs rather than merely replacing older beliefs with new ones. It's important to understand that truth seeking and maintaining contact with both reality and truth are destructive, traumatic negative processes where you are dletting go of attachments and beliefs and facing up to facts which may be uncomfortable, if not painful to accept. This doesn't just relate to general beliefs shared between people such as social or cultural beliefs, but the beliefs which determine the nature of your own thinking, emotional responses and patterns of behaviour. It is this process which is central to any process of personal enlightenment. It isn't always easy, or pleasant and this explains why so many people avoid it or prefer to abidcate personal responsibility for their own choices and actions to some external authority.
Another fundamental part of the process of personal enlightenment is embracing the fact that you are your own highest authority and rejecting belief systems in which you abdicate personal responsibility for your own choices, decisions and actions to some external authority source, be it religious, political or social. While this carries a greater degree of personal responsibility, simply because you are electing to hold yourself personally responsible for everything you decide, say, do and believe this also comes with the gteater benefits of personal autonomy, freedom, and insight.
It's at this point you will probably become aware that this process of personal enlightenment isn't just about self-improvment, nor is it just merely food for the brain, intellectual stimulus, or indeed a system of one upmanship with your fellow human being, but relates to something which is far deeper. This is about your whole being, your purpose in life, and about making your life significant and meaningful.
Developing meaningfulness and significance
Much of what is written about personal enlightenment, the journey and the process is focussed on mindfulness and awareness. This often doesn't touch on the more important aspect of meaningfulness, the pursuit and achievement of that what is meaningful and fulfilling, which provides the inner peace, the clarity of vision, the happiness and the feelings of security and well being which motivates so many to undertake the journey. Life is after all about the journey, it's about the connections you make to other people, the significance and meaning behind those connections, the experiences you share, the memories you develop and the legacy you create so that you leave behind something of value when you die.
Acquiring the experience
It would be so much easier if the process of personal enlightenment was simply down to thinking and introspection but this is not the case. A necessary part of any journey towards personal enlightenment involves actually going through the experiences and living. This does not mean simply taking part in an economic system, because like language the economic system is physical, man made, and not part of what can be described as actual reality, but is primarily focussed on the exchange and flow of money between people and organizations. To undertake any journey in personal enlightenment you need to get beyond that and go out into the world, the real world, and participate so as to develop the meaningfulness, connections and experiences which are going to be a part of your own personal journey towards enlightenment.
Understanding the connections between individual human creativity, cultural development at local community level, the desire to participate in the dveelopment of one's community and also the desire for personal enlightenment Qultura is set up in a way so as to support all of these objectives without imposing any specific ideology or belief systems on anyone. We make freely accessible our theories and contents of our website and also provide the inafrastructure and opportunities through which people can seek out contact and community with others and share ideas, experiences and everything else so as to develop new connections, take action and develop new projects and undertakings. However participation is key.
Conscious living is all about living on the basis of a fundamental awareness that as an individual you are connected to everything else and also everyone else in your environment. There is no concept of separation or separateness, therefore no need for division or to form attachments. You either connect or disconnect. Like social design conscious living is inspired and influenced by the concept of mutual arising.
Reverse participation is a fundamental Qultura concept and forms the basis for our Pledge and Support system. All experience is just that, experience and unlike so many in society Qultura values the negative experiences and limitations equally because these things are what make you human, vulnerable and unique. Therefore we make no distinction between creativity and poverty, innovation and inequality because these are things which make you stand out and individual. For this very reason we believe it is a fundamental human right for you to be able to define your experience in your own way and your own words and expression, rather than be defined by others and authority and be forced to accept the definition of others. Therefore reverse participation is simply a statement that you need not just support from others but also their understanding and awareness because you need to define your experience in your own way.
Social design is about people in a community coming together to craete a new social or community structure for the benefit of everyone. To date we have always been ruled by authority through hierarchy and even today it is always a hierarchy which gets to decide our culture, our social structures and the civic amenities in our local communities. This is what needs to change, and local communities should be developed and shaped by community participation and cooperation, not by authoritarian decisions over what people need or worse, "deserve". We are not children. We are adults. Therefore social design is about people working together to properly design a society paying attention to aesthetics and how well that society functions. Instead of sitting back and hoping that those in authority end the austerity they imposed, people need to work together to take the initative and end austerity themselves. Government should be about governance, not exploitation of people. This is not about fighting or destroying hierarchy, but about changing the relationship to a much more mutually beneficial, cooperative, equal relationship.
Mutual arising is a key concept which influences al the other concepts here. Mutual arising is about the connection between the individual ajnd other and also the connection between the individual and totality. Therefore it is based on both creative law and universal law.