Enlightenment: A Simple Choice?
We go through life just assuming that the reality we are living is Truth, taking for granted that we have the best information for living a happy and successful life. We are taught that happiness is an education, a job, a relationship, children, and as much of the material goods available in our affluent world. Yet the hunger deep inside is never filled; the hole just grows. As we go on year after year waiting and waiting for the fullness and the satisfaction that never seem to come, we begin to think that there is something wrong with us as individuals. We rarely see the problem as inherent in the very structure and consciousness of our civilization, of the very reality we accept as a given. We meditate, go to yoga classes, we change our diets and we wait and wait for "enlightenment" to come. And as each year goes by, the world inches closer and closer to some unknown quantity of chaos.
I heard a wake-up call recently that carried a unique twist, brought a new immediacy to our place in the regeneration of the human race on the earth. Dr. Seung Heun Lee, a Korean sage and spiritual leader has announced an "Enlightenment Revolution," a revolution of the human spirit to "sweep across the face of the earth in a blaze of harmony and cooperation." His insistent call to action came almost as a relief, surprisingly and delightfully resonating deep within me, cutting through all of the age-old assumptions and pre-conceptions about enlightenment and its paths.
"I want to strip away the mystical veil from enlightenment. Enlightenment is an experience available to everyone, should he or she make the choice," says Dr. Lee. His message is a simple but powerful insistence that enlightenment is accessible to us all and that we can save the human race with a clear and dedicated choice and a commitment to change the universal paradigm of competition to one of harmony and cooperation.
Enlightenment – a simple choice? The more I thought about it, the more appealing the idea became. The time has come for action. Do we really need more words, more philosophies, more formulas? We're full of words. The mass media is a constant and merciless bombardment of sensual input; the Internet boggles the mind with its storehouse of information; libraries are state-of-the-art media centers with their modern array of audio/visual wonders. What we need now is to commit ourselves body, mind, and spirit to healing and action. We read and read, talk and talk. Now we must act. We must take all of the knowledge and conviction we've had in our hearts and heads for so many years and use them to effect real change in ourselves and in the world all around us.
Prescription For Global Enlightenment
Dr. Lee recently lectured at a forum held at Boston University as part of his lecture tour throughout the U.S. to discuss his recent book, Healing Society: A Prescription for Global Enlightenment. He will be conducting another forum in Boston this coming September 16th at MIT. Since his lecture tour in February, "Healing Society" action groups have sprouted all around the country. Groups are taking his message into schools, prisons, medical facilities, corporations, government organizations, the arts, and throughout local and international communities. Small groups are meeting each week, re-evaluating and renewing their commitments to honesty and sincerity in healing themselves and clarifying their vision of a new world – "one Earth in peace."
Dr. Lee is the founder of the Dahn Hak movement and Tao Fellowship, a non-profit organization established to promote global enlightenment. He has developed a mind-brain system of exercises he calls "Brain Respiration," and a system of physical and mental exercises that uses the energy, or "ki" system of the body, to attain spiritual awakening. Currently, Dahn Hak is a rapidly growing movement of more than three million participants worldwide. Dr. Lee was designated one of the fifty pre-eminent spiritual leaders of the world at the Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders held at the United Nations in August 2000. At this summit, he read his "Peace Prayer," calling for lasting peace on "one united Earth" and for the establishment of a "Spiritual UN." In June he, along with Neale Donald Walsch, author of the Conversations with God series, co-hosted the First Annual New Millennium World Peace Humanity Conference in Seoul, Korea. The historic conference featured prominent speakers such as former Vice-President Al Gore, and political and environmental activist Maurice Strong, a senior advisor to the Secretary General of the United Nations and former senior advisor to the President of the World Bank.
A humble and unassuming presence, Master Lee softly relates his message of empowerment and hope, love and concern for the human race and its mother, Earth. He speaks about information as the basis of everything in society, from the individual conception of self, to national and global identities, and he stresses our critical need to change this information. Our power to do so lies in a simple choice, he asserts firmly and repeatedly: the choice to acknowledge our individual enlightenment right now and live that enlightened choice as healers in our world. Though we have spoken for ages and ages about peace, enlightenment, salvation, freedom, justice, they remain empty words. Because we are not using our full brain potential, because we have no center, no experience of Truth as an absolute, we have no idea what these concepts really mean. Each group, from the microcosm to the macrocosm, from the individual to the family to the global community, has used these terms and concepts as instruments of conflict and discord, power and domination, rather than the vehicles and expressions of peace and harmony, joy and love that they are meant to be.
Only a shift in human consciousness can effect the change needed in the world. Governments can't do it, institutions can't do it, organizations and nations can't do it. The future of the Earth and humanity is up to us. "God has given us this choice now," Lee explains, "and we must make it. We must awaken collective human consciousness and common sense….We have a lot of habits that we hold and cherish. These habits cage us inside a prison. Only those who truly realize that they are in prison can escape, can change. The worst prison is information. When the Earth was first created, there were no boundaries, no races or ethnic groups. These are not natural; they were created artificially….We need to escape from this prison of ideas and prejudices."
People have been making the same mistakes century after century in thinking of themselves as a collection of information – name, gender, social group, occupation, nationality, religion – rather than as divine souls. "You are not information. This information that should serve you is mastering you, dominating you, but it's not you….We cry out for freedom and justice from within this prison, but this is not and can never be true justice, peace and freedom….How can true freedom shed blood. How can God fight? What we are fighting is just different blocks, different sets of information. Peace is playing well with each other. Play well with your bodies, breathe right, express life, life that exists inviolate throughout the ages. We need to end all of this compartmentalization and see the whole. We need to see through a much larger lens. We must create this lens so that in ten years when 100 million people see through it, there will be a global shift in consciousness, a spiritual revolution. It is my wish that Boston be one of the primary focal points in the creation of this lens." He has called us all to action.
With disarming truth and simplicity, Lee lays down a gauntlet for us to accept the responsibility of acknowledging our innate enlightenment and make the decision to live this choice in our every act. But sometimes, usually when we're tired or in the middle of a stressful and demanding work day, we resist the idea of adding more responsibilities to our lives, more activity in already impossibly busy and hectic days and nights. What really constitutes the healing, what is the essence of the healing activity Seung Heun Lee is asking for? It is a decision to follow a different model, a different example – to change the ideal from the one who competes and wins to the one who heals, supports, and loves. It is a shift in perspective from viewing the human race as a group of separate strangers to a loving family. We must delve deeper and deeper into our psyches to clearly isolate the motivating forces behind our actions, our values, our emotions, our self-image.
Yuln Yo – The Divine Cosmic Brain Wave
In an intriguing analysis, Dr. Lee isolates a constant human drive to satisfy three basic needs – the need for security, the need for control, and the need for recognition – as the basis of all human motivation. The one with the most toys, the best grades, the most trophies, the most money, the best clothes, the most expensive cars, the most guns, the strongest armies wins; the one whose opinions and choices dominate and devour all others declares himself the voice of Truth, the voice of God, and more often than not, wields his "truth" like a bloody sword, even if it means the destruction of his marriage, his children, his friendship, his nation, his Earth. A greater need, the one that goes beyond these three, must gain superiority over our actions. This is our need for a connection to others based on harmony and love. Dr. Lee explains, "If you truly experience this connection just once, it will obliterate any other small needs that you might seek to fulfill….But you have to learn to let go of your three basic needs first. You have to make that choice." We will only be free when we recognize and let go of this system of "self-worth through competition" and replace it with "self-worth through harmony."
In order to truly understand our own enlightenment, we must begin to experience it – to tune into our divine nature, the cosmic vibration that endlessly flows in waves through us and around us. When we acknowledge that life force, focus on it, we allow it to grow. When we dance and sing, stretch and bend, when we enjoy the wonder and exhilaration our own bodies can bring, then we are experiencing what Dr. Lee calls, Yuln yo, the divine cosmic wave of creation that underlies all of existence, the wave of Truth whose essence is love and only love.
Yuln yo is a powerful force to lead us out of bondage, but we don't have to give up all of our worldly goods and seclude ourselves in a high mountain retreat to find it. It's right there in our brain. We just have to feel it. In his analysis of the three major layers of the human brain, the cerebro-cortex, the limbic system, and the brain stem, Dr. Lee aligns his message with the latest neuro-physiological research. Most people live from the first layer, the neo-cortex, the level of language, rational thought and logic. We have to learn to quiet that cerebro-cortex and use the second and third layers if we are going to experience wholeness. He provides techniques to integrate these three major areas, emphasizing the significance and power of the brain stem in particular. "Within your brain stem lies the direct route to all life….Obey as it invites you to approach and speak with the Creator within….That is the Yuln yo….Through vibration you can re-experience the cosmic lifeline…You will hear the Creator within through this vibration of life."
We cannot be content any longer to use just a fraction (5-10%) of our mental potential. We must regain the use of our whole brain. In Healing Society, Master Lee relates the legend of the Castle Margo. The tale chronicles an ideal world where humans existed in a state of spiritual perfection and oneness with the Divine until their fall from grace. It echoes multi-cultural myths and legends of the original perfection of the human race and forces us to consider the reality of our innate divinity. If we wake up and truly acknowledge the perfection already inside of us waiting to be tapped, we must inevitably find our way back to the Castle.
Our focus must be toward our individual healing and everyone's healing. If I'm healing myself, I'm healing the world. If we really focus deep inside, we can feel the connection that unites us all; it creates a ripple throughout the world. We are touching each other every second. The way we turn our eyes; the way we lift our finger; the way we move our body; every single gesture, every single word, every single thought affects all of us. Being mindful of the power of our presence, of our thoughts, of our decision, our choice at every moment to act from an enlightened consciousness, to emit the healing energy of love in every act, no matter how big or how small – this is the secret, this is the key. "Healing does not have to be a grand undertaking," Dr. Lee asserts, "Picking up one more loose piece of trash or saying one more nice thing to your neighbor also qualifies."
We must go deep within, deeper and deeper past layer after layer of old information, and we must reach the light spark, a ray that we will turn outward and shine on our world, a beam of light and love and healing. We must heal ourselves and we must heal the world before our Earth becomes uninhabitable. We must persevere with the blessing of each other's support and encouragement. We must extend our unconditional love. We don't know what effect even our smallest act might have in the world. It could be just an offer to help someone open a door or carry a package. Just the smallest act can effect grand cosmic changes that you can never predict or imagine.
Seung Heun Lee insists that enlightenment is for the Everyman, and that the individuals who choose enlightenment will effect a "total transformation of the human spirit, and collectively recover our sense of true love." Can we accept this challenge? Can we gain conscious control of our human birthright and create a different world? Consider the choices.
Connie Marotta is a poet and freelance writer in the Boston area.