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What ISN’T Enlightenment?

What ISN’T Enlightenment?

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Sometimes the only accurate way to describe a thing is to define what it is not. Enlightenment is one of those instances, as every word to define it is more of a distortion than an accurate portrayal. Therefore, I am going to present the top 3 misconceptions I have found on my spiritual path.

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Pursue Your Passions

Pursue Your Passions

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“Follow your bliss. If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you.”
-Joseph Campbell (March 26, 1904 — October 30, 1987)

Do what makes you happy. Not just superficially happy, but on a deeper level. So that you are so passionate about what you are doing, the potential rewards are of secondary importance.
The trick is to discover this for yourself. This will require some introspection, along with some trial and error. Especially if you haven’t been in the habit of already practicing.

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The God Within

The God Within

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“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

This quote from Emerson may seem so mundane and trivial that it isn’t even worth repeating, much less devoting an entire blog to its discussion. Never-the-less, I hope to demonstrate how important this statement actually is.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog, How to Be a Greater Person, the word enthusiasm contains within its root words a hidden meaning. It comes from Greek, where “theos” is defined as “God,” and and “en” means “within.” Therefore, it translates to “the God within.”

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Do It for You

Do It for You

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“God requires a faithful fulfillment of the merest trifle given to us to do, rather than the most ardent aspiration to things to which we are not called.”
-Saint Francois de Sales (August 21, 1567 — December 28, 1622)

Try not to dismiss this quote because of the language. It was being written for a Christian audience, who had certain beliefs about God at the time.

If words like “God,” “faithful,” and “called” bother you, just set aside those worries for the moment. There is something profound that this Saint is trying to express and it isn’t specific to his religion.

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Live Your Dreams

Live Your Dreams

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“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
-Henry David Thoreau

If one wishes to live the life of their dreams, they must first put themselves on a path which leads to where they want to end up. They may not know where the path may twist and turn, but it is necessary to take the first step none-the-less.
This can be scary at first, and many would prefer to play it safe rather than risk everything they know. But if you behave the way you always have, how can you expect life to ever change? If life is less than satisfactory, what have you got to lose?

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Love Your Job

Love Your Job

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Choose a job that you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.
-Confucius (551 BCE — 479 BCE)

How many people do you know who endlessly complain about their job? Even if they aren’t verbally expressing their dislike, it is likely they are repressing their opinion so as to seem more positive or amiable.
There are people who make work look effortless, however, and I imagine you know a few of these people. Teachers and artists are often examples, but it can be anyone. I’ve met janitors that genuinely enjoy their work.
Now, imagine for a moment that you never had to work another day in your life. Perhaps you are already so fortunate as to be in this position, and you’ve found your calling. For the rest of us, let’s consider what it would be like to wake up each morning enthusiastic about what we have planned for the day. How does that feel?

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