‘Enlightenment is not a fixed place. There is no fixed place.
All of us---yes, all---are in bondage, some of us more so than others. Some are in bondage to alcohol or other drugs. (I’ve been there. Done that.) Others are in bondage to other sorts of addictions including being addicted to work and other people. (Oh, how we crave the useless attention and approval of others! But why?) Still others are in bondage to mental obsessions and physical compulsions, things that make even their moment-to-moment existence misery. What can we do about all this?
When we get right down to the bottom line all bondage is addiction to self. Yes, addiction to self. Self-obsession, self-absorption, self-centeredness, selfishness. Yes, there may be mental illness as well as physical illness involved as well, but deep down all forms of bondage are bondage to self, that is, to a sense of self that is illusory. I have written often about this subject. We are not a ‘self,’ or those many, many ‘selves’ which are nothing other than mental images. They are not the real person each one of us is. So, what is the answer? We need to ... wake up! We need to experience self-release, which is the ending of illusion. Once we see the false as false---and self is the ultimate illusion---a whole new world opens up for us.
Actually, that is a very necessary thing to do, for we all must learn to escape our unwanted selves, that is, all those false and illusory images we have of ourselves that prevent us from seeing things as they really are. The problem with alcoholism and all other forms of addiction and bondage is that drugs and the like are never the answer. Indeed, they increasingly become the problem, and more and more of a problem, until the sufferer either dies or goes mad. That’s true. Don’t doubt it, even for a moment.
Yes, there is a power-not-oneself that can make all things new. That power, as Norman Vincent Peale has written, is 'a spiritual giant within you, which is always struggling to burst its way out of the prison you have made for it.’ The power can restore you to health and vitality, release you from all bondage, and make your life worth living. The power is your 'real self'---that is, the life in you manifesting itself as you ... your very ground of being ... the source and essence of your life, health, strength, and vitality.
May you come to know this power today ... indeed, right now!