You’ve run into them, I know you have, those New Age ‘gurus’ who sell a method or process of enlightenment that is “guaranteed” to work. Well, you have to buy their book or their 10 disc CD set or sign up for their online course (where you get a personal spirit coach and a free reading on your etheric colors).
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking their methods. In fact, I have read a huge number of “how to” and “self help” books that contain some extraordinarily awesome suggestions; tips and techniques that have definitely made my own spiritual journey far richer and more interesting than it would have been if I’d continued to keep slugging away through the underbrush on my own; forging my own path with absolutely no outside help and only a semi-sharp machete.
I only have one problem when it comes to these sorts of spiritual teachers, and that is the overall attitude that there is just one way to enlightenment – their way – when in truth the process of enlightenment is more like chasing rainbows.
Didn’t you ever chase after a rainbow as a kid? You can see it, its right there! And yet, when you get to the point of the rainbow’s origin, what do you find? Nothing but mist and sunlight; nothing tangible; nothing substantial, and definitely nothing that you can lay your hands on and say “hey look, I’ve got me a rainbow!” In fact, once you reach the point where the rainbow seemed to touch the ground, chances are that you will have found that it has moved on to the top of the hill; the top of the mountain; always a step ahead of you and just out of reach.
As you get older you learn about how rainbows are made and even the knowledge that it is nothing but raindrops and sunbeams doesn’t deter us. Even the knowledge that the array of colors is due to the prismatic effect of refraction doesn’t keep us from our goal. We still try. We might even consult with others who claim that they know how to pin one down.
Yes, there are teachers who have a grasp on ways to help you see the colors more clearly. There are those who can give you a step by step description of what each color means and others who will be able to walk you through the process of refraction and be able to discuss the philosophical meaning of rainbows and the importance they play in the human drama, but there is not one teacher out there who can teach you how to lay your hands on that rainbow. Why? Because it can’t be done.
That’s right. There is no such thing as “achieving” enlightenment. I don’t care how hard you run or how many mountains you climb, you will never “achieve” enlightenment. There will never be anything that you can hold out and say, “Here is enlightenment. It is within my grasp. It is mine.” Why? Because enlightenment is not something that you get; it is not something that you get. Enlightenment is the process of stepping back and discovering that enlightenment was inside of you the entire time.
You are the sun.
You are the rain.
And it is in your heart and mind and soul that the rainbow not only has its origins but where you will find your pot of gold as well.
2 thoughts on “The Enlightened Art of Chasing Rainbows”
Good post – I totally agree. Actually most of my wisdom and insight has come from within – awakenings and epiphanies. I think we are all able to connect to this inner wisdom and for each of us it might be a different path with the same resolve to suffer less and be more authentic. Best of luck on our journey – JCB
Thanks John – you’re right. The core of that wisdom lies within each of us, it is just a matter of being able to tap into it 🙂