Enlightenment Through Logic


why om

Throughout my life I’ve taken a keen interest in meditation and the concept of achieving enlightenment through reaching the ideal mental state. I’ve read a lot of books on the subject, which on a whole confused me more than they helped me reach Nirvana. I quickly discovered that no matter what method you used to reach this state you’d find someone who would disagree with your approach. Some would even say that the more you try to reach enlightenment the farther away you’ll get because the only way to reach enlightenment is to let go of all desire and ambition until you’re left in a state of immediate stillness and clarity.

I can’t argue with any of these self-proclaimed authorities, because arguing about what enlightenment truly is…is like arguing about what a party or a lover truly is. You can define any concept however you want and argue until you’re blue in the face about what the true meaning of a word is, and nobody can say who is more correct.

Despite the elusiveness of enlightenment, there’s something in the concept worth exploring. There’s value in the theory that an ideal mental state exists which can be achieved through some kind of mental feat (or the lack thereof). If an ideal mental state doesn’t exist then it doesn’t matter if you spend your life watching cheap sitcoms and reality television; it doesn’t matter if you go to school or think or don’t think about any topic in particular. Everything is equal.

But it does matter what you think. What you think defines who you are, and who you are defines what society is and where society is going. If there were no mental standards then there would be no laws, religions, leadership courses, degrees or awards; we would live in anarchy. And on a personal level, if we didn’t have mental standards then we would have no goals to strive for.

Some people would say this is a good thing. Some people would say that our ambitions are chains that tie us to the vulgar world, and the only way to achieve true enlightenment is to let go of those anchors and simply exist in the here and now free from ego or wants. I’ve looked at life from that point of view, and I can see the value in it. At some point you have to just stop and smell the roses and wallow in the grandeur of existence in its purest form. If you can’t do that then what they hell are we doing here? We’re just chasing after goals that are going to be rendered useless by time.

Still, every generation of humans has been faced with colossal questions and problems. If we made it a categorical imperative that every human being should spend their entire life escaping thought then we’d still be living in caves and pooping in bushes. It’s only because of the conscious, ambitious, logical, scientific thoughts that humans have cracked the mystery of the Periodic Table of Elements, The Red Shift or the Big Bang. Without logical thought we wouldn’t have invented fertilizer, antibiotics, stitches, hearing aids, refrigeration, human rights, legal processes or any other inventions or concepts that solve the problems of life.

If we hadn’t discovered these insights into life through rigorous, scientific thought then we’d still be worshiping the sun and sacrificing humans to appease the thunder gods. So I can’t make a moral imperative out of the idea that humans should abandon logical thought in favor of pure experience…until we’ve solved the problems that hurt us and force us to waste our lives toiling away just to survive.

I can’t empirically prove what “enlightenment” is, but I know what truth is. Truth is that which is, and scientific thought tells us what is true. So my theory (at this point in my life) is that in order to understand truth and live in reality you need to follow the path of scientific thought. Once you understand the scientific nature of the universe and master the art of reason then you’ll see reality as clearly as possible. Then, after you solve the immediate problems that cause you and the people around you suffering then you can relax and soak up the grandeur of existence in stillness. But until you know who, why, what, where, when and why you are, and until you’ve solved the very real, very tragic problems in front of you then sitting around mentally masturbating is inherently irresponsible.

That’s why I hold the philosophy that enlightenment is achieved through logic.

If you liked or hated this post you’ll probably feel the same way about these:

Why: An Agnostic Take on the Meaning of Life

An Old Man From Jersey Explains Life

Philosophies of The Wise Sloth

Seven Steps to Becoming a Genius

How to Argue Scientifically

7 comments

  1. Maybe then, enlightenment is different for everyone, and different for every moment of everyone’s lives?

    I have felt enlightenment from the commitment to compassion through wisdom. If no one around me suffers any longer, or I cannot relieve their suffering, then I no longer feel enlightened. Logically then, should I seek out suffering, or stop and smell the flowers? Maybe I should smell the flowers if I am not yet wise enough for the necessary compassion.

  2. I respect your point of view.
    You, otherwise are putting personal assumptions to the level of physical truth.
    I can’t see an inherent irresponsibility in sitting and mentally masturbating, frankly everybody can do what they want, and the only reason for the world being interesting is variety.
    In your writings the meaningless life is a ghost who scares you. Then you know what a meaningful life is, but are you sure to be right?
    To me enlightenment means feeling a self state of pleasure and joy while looking at reality’s characteristics with detachment. This state is unusual and is fruit of hormones combination and personal training, one influencing the other. This state is certainly rare, cause the main purpose of the brain is to solve problems and unsatisfaction is a powerful evolutive factor, selected hence favoured by survival. The necessity to solve problems is so biologically important, that we invent problem to solve when real ones are not around.
    THERE IS REASON FOR LIFE and it’s just in front of your eyes. It’s matter to make the right connections.
    The universe hasn’t a scientific nature unless you are able to explain what matter is, what a particle is other than a mental representation exactly like a religious metaphor is, on a lower layer.
    You use a believer’s word: mystery related to understanding the periodic table why is that?
    Many more to say, but this comment is becoming too long..
    Hope this pass your “”moderation”.

  3. sitting around mentally masturbating is inherently irresponsible.

    Have you considered the masturbation if in reference to meditation might be not so?
    Spending ones life being lost in one’s head isnt the greatest thing to do. Ever seen those types so lost in thought they run into street lamps and cause accidents?
    Perhaps the purpose of meditation is be better able to pay attention so one doesn’t cause more accidents and suffering unintentionally.

    I did a preview of these various spiritual practices. A lot of them boil down to self hypnotism, and self mastery

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