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I once read, I don't recall where, that Buddha stated that spiritual enlightenment is not suffering. That he put it in a negation on purpose. Ok, I get that, not suffering.

With NLP I learned there are 2 types of motivation. 1). Moving away from. 2). Moving towards to. The second is more valuable in my experience, because it brings me want I want, instead of something that differs from what I do not want, but isn't necessarily something I would want instead.

So to be able to move towards experiencing spiritual enlightenment I need to know what is.

I would like to known, in simple words, what spiritual enlightenment is. So the question is, what is the essence of spiritual enlightenment?

  • Hello - welcome to Buddhusm Q&A. The purpose of this question seems to be to serve as a lead to post the link to your video. While we appreciate the spirit of contribution we would like to preserve the authentic Q&A format of this site and not let it become a generic forum or board. Thank you for your cooperation and welcome! – Andrei Volkov Jul 10 '17 at 14:11
  • @AndreiVolkov I understand your point. Thank you for point it out and for the welcome. How about putting the definitions given in the video in the answer below and come to the final description. Would that add to the authenticity of this site. In any case YouTube is down, the information is still availble. I will add the unraveling to this post. The main motivation is sharing that which adds to the quality of life. – Mike de Klerk Jul 10 '17 at 14:18
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I once read, I don't recall where, that Buddha stated that spiritual enlightenment is not suffering.

This is wrong. Enlightenment is wisdom. The result of wisdom is no suffering. Therefore, wisdom itself & no suffering are not exactly the same thing (although the former leads to the later).

That he put it in a negation on purpose. Ok, I get that, not suffering.

This is also wrong. The Buddha said the sole purpose of his spiritual path was complete freedom of mind. (MN 29)

With NLP

Wikipedia states:

NLP has since been overwhelmingly discredited scientifically but continues to be marketed by some hypnotherapists and by some companies that organize seminars and workshops on management training for businesses. There is no scientific evidence supporting the claims made by NLP advocates and it has been discredited as a pseudoscience by experts.


I learned there are 2 types of motivation. 1). Moving away from. 2). Moving towards to. The second is more valuable in my experience, because it brings me want I want, instead of something that differs from what I do not want, but isn't necessarily something I would want instead.

The Buddhist path uses 'moving away' ('abandoning'; 'giving up') to achieve the goal. It is the opposite of what you have written.

Enlightened Buddhist have said: "To be happy, the mind must give up the desire to be happy".

So to be able to move towards experiencing spiritual enlightenment I need to know what is.

The result of enlightenment is an absence of greed, hatred & delusion. To move towards experiencing enlightenment requires abandoning these very three mental impurities. By moving away from selfish desiring, the mind moves towards what is desired. As Jesus said: "To save one's life, one must lose one's life".

I would like to known, in simple words, what spiritual enlightenment is.

In Buddhism, most simply, enlightenment is seeing how attachment & self-view is suffering; in such a way that attachment & self-view are given up or dropped by the mind.

So the question is, what is the essence of spiritual enlightenment?

MN 37 most briefly summarises the entire teachings as: "Nothing ought to be attached to (as I, me or mine)". This is the essence of Buddhist enlightenment.

  • 'NLP has since been discredited' I don't care. What works, works, no matter what acronym refers to it. The word 'free' can't be found in the MN29 URL you posted. The word mind is found in context of a unified mind, not being free of it. To me that is fundamentally different. My mind doesn't cause me to suffer, how I use it potentially does. "To be happy, the mind must give up the desire to be happy" To be happy I follow my feelings to point towards what makes me happy. "greed, hatred & delusion" don't find their origin in solely focussing on what sensual information provide FAFAIK. – Mike de Klerk Jul 11 '17 at 14:22
  • "Nothing ought to be attached to (as I, me or mine)" doesn't say anything about what spirit nor enlightenment is in the simplest way. – Mike de Klerk Jul 11 '17 at 14:22
  • You can't tell someone to give up and not attach. You can however tell someone to analyse what their senses provide with information and follow what yields positive results. That also results in being free from ego and suffering. But by telling how to, not by telling what should be absent first. Much easier to focus on what feels positive than to tell yourself, I should not be greedy. Simply feeling greedy as negative and therefore dropping it doesn't even need the intellect to define it as greedy. Just feel it doesn't bring foward hapiness and let go. That is spiritual enlightenment,no thinkn – Mike de Klerk Jul 11 '17 at 14:25
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So the question is, what is the essence of spiritual enlightenment?

The essence of Enlightenment, in short, is to be stress free.

This is by understanding the 4 Noble Truths and attaining Nirvana, which is realised through the Noble 8 Fold Path organised into the 3 Fold Training, which essentially is the path out of stress and misery, or the path to Nirvana.

  • Thank you for answer. I've studied Buddhism. I value it. But from my perspective all that information is not the essence of spiritual enlightenment. Rather a lot of implications and 'how to's' including a lot of does and don'ts. That I find valuable after I understood what spiritual enlightenment is, otherwise I feel like I 'can't see the forest for the trees'. – Mike de Klerk Jul 10 '17 at 12:05
  • To me that feels like answering the question: "What is programming"? With going into depth of how a CPU works on the level where electrons fly through all the semiconductors to process instructions and how NAND and AND ports work where there is something like memory which can be addressed, etc,etc. A lot of details, by which the essence becomes obscured. I can't share my sister the 4 noble truths, 8 fold path and 3 fold training when she is not into Buddhism in 5 minutes. I did however, share with here the video I made, which she understood right away. Because it stays close to the essence. – Mike de Klerk Jul 10 '17 at 12:10
  • This is a good answer. The essence is indeed to be stress free and the Noble Truths explain that essential meaning. – Ahmed Jul 10 '17 at 13:34
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The essence of enlightenment is awakening to the truth and getting rid of delusion.

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I think I've found the most simple and truthful description out there. Which is

"Knowing and understanding, without reasoning, how information, obtained directly through the senses, relates to the true nature of the force that gives the time for something to exist and function"

I've come to this sentence by simply looking up words in a dictionary and combining their definitions. To me this is so true. To short cut to how this reduces suffering: Emotion is a sense (almost no one uses it consciously like that where I live). It is a sense that lets you know how you feel. You can sense when you are creating suffering. Then when you sense that you are suffering you can concentrate on that feeling. When you combine that with knowing that you only experience a subjective reality by which meaning is created by you when you observe it, and meaning doesn't exist on its own in an objective reality. You have the tools to find out what meaning you are attaching to something that makes you suffer. When you dive into that you will find that what you are observing, and attaching meaning to, is an illusion. It always comes down to mistake subjective for objective that makes you a victim and makes you suffer. Seeing that you are making the mistake is the antidote for suffering and therefore you can let go of the illusion. So getting closer to reality starts with sensing. So the essence of spirituality is sensing how to stay close to that which works/ is life/ is truth.

Nothing that you observe includes how you need to feel about it. Feeling is only known to you by sensing.

The unraveling of the words "spiritual enlightenment" to the description stated in bold above is shown here in this ~5 min. video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNQiWyX1IIU

  • I like video, it has a great sentiment, but from a Buddhist perspective it does not seem to address the central issue of suffering. – m2015 Jul 10 '17 at 11:40
  • @m2015 I am planning on creating more short to the point videos. In those videos I have in mind we will get to the subject of suffering and the cause of it. But first I want to address, examples of experiencing spiritual enlightenment, reality and the dichotomy of objective and subjective reality, the origin of meaning and content, emotion as a sense and then the bridge to sensing suffering and seeing that you are the cause of your own suffering, that it is a state of mind. But to put that all in one lengthy video is a lot of work :) I like to 'ship' intermediate sequential worthy videos. – Mike de Klerk Jul 10 '17 at 11:48
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    The answer in your 5min video can be summarized as "interdependent origination" in Buddhism. That being said, your explanation is disconnected from the main values of Buddhism and the words of those who have achieved the Goal. Sorry but using a dictionary is not going to be enough to be define Buddhist spiritual enlightenment. – Ahmed Jul 10 '17 at 13:37
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    Spiritual enlightenment is such a general term. Meeting it with a general definition I'd say it's one of those "aha!" moments when you discover the line between our physical existence and our consciousness. Before you try to rewrite your belief system via Noah Webster you might read the Isha, Katha, and Brihadaranyaka Upanishads. I'd recommend the translations by Easwaran Eknath. – Kauva Aatma Jul 10 '17 at 16:42
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    The video is purely intellectual. It transmits little, if any, insight. It sounds worldly rather than spiritual. Its conclusion at the end, about "creation", is the opposite of Buddhism. Also, you told a lie in your answer, when you posted: "I think I found". This was pre-planned. In Buddhism, enlightenment is truth rather than lies. The Buddha taught his 7 year old son to never tell a deliberate lie. – Dhammadhatu Jul 10 '17 at 19:30

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