Society is made up six concentric circles or rings each getting smaller and closer to enlightened as one moves inward to knowing. However, the commonly held view of what enlightenment is, is wrong. How so? Why is correcting this view so important?
Concentric Circles of Enlightenment
The size of a circle represents the number of people at each stage of mundanity or enlightenment.
First and exponentially larger than all of the other rings of society combined are TV watching zombies. They live and die oblivious to the real world they actually live in and the consequences of their lifestyle. They teach their children to perpetuate this lifestyle.
The Second ring includes people who know there is something wrong with society or how they have been taught to live their lives, but they cannot put their finger on it. They carry on as usual.
The Third ring includes people who have decided to start taking matters into their own hands. They start researching. They read as much as they can from spirituality to permaculture. They read read read. They may go down one rabbit hole or a thousand. They are able to easily discard conspiracy theories. These are our activists or as some call them: green tops.
The Fourth ring are people who have found a focus. They learn all they can about permaculture, natural building, wild restoration, herbalism, horticulture, etc. Excluded from the path are: meditation, yoga, fitness. These maybe beneficial, but are human-centric ways.
The Fifth ring are the teachers that train, mentor and write for the third and fourth ring. This is the ring of those renewing the way by passing the light to others. They are no longer students or practitioners, they are teachers, mentors and authors.
Six is a tiny dot at the center, the masters of the Earth’s way, Yoda, those who just know. They are self-taught. They see the way from birth. Enlightened in their area of knowing, indigenous peoples, M. Kat Anderson, Jane Goodall, Masanobu Fukuoka and Bill Mollison. They see the natural way of the Mother vs. the abstract.
Despite popular belief, they are not the Dali Lama, Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, Vishnu, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Einstein. No god creates the Mother. These masters teach paths away from the Earth.
Very few enlightened beings ever exist. True enlightenment and understanding run contrary to core civilized beliefs and teachings. Few see through the ways of the world.
However, all indigenous peoples are born enlightened, for they live with and protect all life: The Mother. The corollary is: indigenous peoples do not need enlightenment when human live in harmony with Earth. For example, Native Americans nurtured ecologically diverse old-growth forests, prairies, and fisheries better than we can today with all of our modern ideas, science, and technology. Where does this leave us and our ideals?
What Is Enlightenment? It Is Not What We Are Taught
Enlightenment is actually not what is commonly held by modern spiritualities. “It doesn’t seem to speak to what is usually considered a state of ‘enlightenment’ which is the the ability to hold opposites at the same time…particularly emotional opposites…love and hate…scarcity and abundance…light and dark, etc.”
Enlightenment is beyond-human. For example, a cubic yard of ancient forest soil may contain hundreds of arthropod and invertebrate species and thousands of fungal, bacterial, and protozoan species are all vital to the maintenance of five-hundred-year-old trees in the Klamath, Oregon evergreen forests. Each one of these millions of soil lifeforms is of equal value and more beneficial than a human.
In its life, a human cannot sustain a tree. Humans generally do not even understand soil, but we can become it. The only way a human can help grow a tree is either dying and adding our biomass to the soil or peeing on the soil adding our nitrogen. What civilized humans are good at is cutting the tree down. Jesus was a carpenter.
Human’s no longer benefit the Earth. We have become the destroyers. This is the first thing that an enlightened person knows. Enlightenment is only possible through a value system that benefits Earth, and all non-human and human life alike. In other words, striving for enlightenment may make yourself feel better as a civilized human but you still have to destroy the world to live. True enlightenment does not make the civilized compromise. Humanity must give back much of what we have taken through population reduction to begin to be in balance.
Enlightenment is not, as ancient texts and teaching would say: of the self, selflessness, holding opposites at the same time, or connection of self to field consciousness. These concepts are selfishness human-centric ideals.
COVID-19 lays bare this selfishness. All we care about today is people. We do not care about the billions upon billions of other lives slaughtered and ecosystem homes destroyed in the name of progress and consumption. How can a society that produces this continued horror even remotely call itself enlightened? Our civilized egos have become so big that it has become tragic.
Ancient teachings are not ancient; they are novel in human evolutionary scale spanning hundreds of thousands or millions of years. What we call ancient teachings 2000–3000 BC were invented to cope with and to support civilization. Abrahamic religions especially were invented to justify civilization and the control system. Buddhism was invented to cope with the distress of civilization. Modern religions and spiritualities are artifacts of civilization. They are not supportive to the survival of all human and non-human life on Earth. Enlightenment supports all life selflessly.
No amount of religion can make up for civilization’s 5000 years of rape of the land and sea. Spirituality can never bring back the wild dead. No god can forgive civilized man’s sins.
The purpose of this writing is to provoke serious thought — To change our lives we must overcome our fears. To overcome our fears we must change our values. Our values are based on our highest ideals. What we see as enlightenment must change. — Author, Chuck Burr
I’ve been diving deep in to the journey since I was very young. What I’m experiencing in studying with Satyen Ra at the Accelerated Evolution Academy on this very subject at the moment…is a deep accelerated dive into merging opposites into one…balance…so that neither side holds a charge…and a state of “enlightenment” is actually reached at an accelerated rate. This work is a gift to humans and can help change the world…bring it more into balance. Everything is an illusion…and we as humans, make up a meaning about things. It’s quite comical and absurd, actually. With that being said, “enlightenment” could be regarded as being in the eye of the beholder…so to speak. It’s all interpretation. But the important thing is for humanity to keep deep diving into the soul of the collective so that what needs to be “enlightened” can be revealed. — Editor, Beth Brown
❦ Originally published 2016-04-24. Revised 2020-05-22.
Post Editor, Beth Brown — Beth is a lifestyle writer and former assistant news editor of the Easley Progress. She graduated from Columbia College with a focus on Writing and Public Affairs. She is also a singer/songwriter/musician, yogi, activist and Love Warrior for Mother Earth.
 Beth Brown. Correspondence. 2020-05-22.
 The Klamath Knot: Explorations of Myth and Evolution. David Rains Wallace. University of California Press. 2003. p 143.
 Larry Korn. Personal conversation.