Enlightenment is only visible to the enlightened
Written for, and posted on /r/spirituality
Only a Buddha can know another Buddha (can verify that the other Buddha is legit a Buhhda). The same I assume goes for other stages of enlightenment.
This makes the whole business of finding a worthy teacher, extremely problematic. It’s a “hole in my bucket”/”chicken and egg” problem. You need to attain a state of mind in order to know whether that person has that state, in order to decide whether to learn from them in order to attain that state.
There’s no way for any of us to know if everyone else in this sub are Buddhas.
I see often this idea that we should challenge our teachers. But how can we challenge them? The usual approach taken, is to test them against our expectations. But our expectations are based on our own state. So such tests reveal nothing about the teacher. They only reveal ourselves. It’s like looking in a mirror.
The only meaningful way out of this tangled mess, is simply to practise, as dilligently and sincerely as possible (based on the teachings (not teachers) we have ourselves been able to recognise as helpful), and be unconcerned about anyone’s state of mind but our own.
I’ve also found that rather than asking questions (which are often used as a means of manipulating information out of people, like some kind of interrogation), simply reporting my perception, sharing what I seem to see, hear, think and leaving myself open to any outcome, tends to result in everyone else revealing themselves too. Suddenly everyone stops holding their cards so close to their chest, and plays instead with open hands. Then we can all learn. Then we can all gain.
Hmmm, I suppose, having said all that, I ought to disclose my hand. Shit. I’ve sort of talked myself off a cliff now haven’t I. Often the way.
My current self-assessment (for which any qualification/explanation would be meaningless to anyone prior to this state, and unnecessary to anyone at or beyond it) is Non-returner/Riding the Bull Home though only just - feels like there are some kinks to work out. I would have more confidence saying that I am at the previous stage, but I can’t deny that the characteristics of my current experience reflect this stage more than the previous. Not that it really matters.
This is in no way an AMA.