In this Changing World, is there a State of Enlightenment? ~ Josh Barzell

Via elephant journal
on Jun 5, 2012
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We’ve all experienced peace in our lives. We get a sense of what this supreme state is, move on with our lives and then spend our energy trying to getting back to it.

We hope we haven’t found that state via drugs and alcohol, or other avenues that would lead us to endless addiction to harmful behaviors. We hope that we’ve found it in a healthy way that doesn’t necessarily mean being a workaholic either. And we hope it doesn’t mean four days on the beach in Honolulu—because that can get expensive. Plus, finding enlightenment in external things isn’t what those ancient ones had in mind. Here are some ways that may help you on this path:

1.  See that the state of peace we all feel from time to time comes from within.

There are a couple of ways to try to get into this state in your daily life. One is to see yourself as you are—but in a new way that you’re not accustomed to seeing. It is to see yourself as a genuine part of the universe. See yourself as completely immersed in those feelings of peace that arise from time to time.  Now, even if you don’t feel good, you know that any good feelings that have ever come to you have come from inside yourself.  So, how is it that we look for them outside, in the world?

2.  Take responsibility for your own state of mind.

I see many people who are happier at times than others, this always makes me wonder why. If one situation is not pleasant, why do people find themselves in it?  We have to be real. This world was not created for suffering. It was created to experience joy. But sometimes, we have to look within ourselves to find it. We can’t just make it the world’s fault if we are suffering. We must make ourselves responsible for our own states of mind. Once we take responsibility for our own minds, we are then able to have more control of our world.  Remember, the world is not separate from you—you exist as a part of it.

3.   Meditate to attain peace within yourself.

Be peaceful in your downtime. Be peaceful at work and be peaceful with friends. If we find peace in our lives, it’s because we’ve allowed it to happen. When it does happen, we always realize in that moment that it is the best feeling there is.

This proves that the body is happiest when it is at peace. Find time to meditate. Find time to tap into this natural bliss inside. When you come out of meditation you will find a much more beautiful world. And you will, as a result, appear more beautiful.

This is the magic of understanding yourself and it will grow with practice.


Josh Barzell has been following an enlightened path for nearly 12 years, first under western methods of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, and later under eastern methods of meditation and contemplation.  He has written on the subject of Enlightenment, with his essay “Enlightenment in the Modern World,” which can be found in book form on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, online.  His is currently undergoing a renovation.  Modern World ZEN website has other short writings that are offered for free.  Josh currently lives in Boulder and graduated With Distinction from CU-Boulder with a B.A. in Biochemistry and has been writing on spirituality since 2009.

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Editor: Hayley Samuelson/Jessica DeLoy.



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13 Responses to “In this Changing World, is there a State of Enlightenment? ~ Josh Barzell”

  1. @shibumiMC says:

    One person finding peace does not a state of peace make. One city being peaceful will not bring an end to conflict there or anywhere. One nation advocating and praying for peace every Christmas will not change one global viewpoint or bring an end to war. The only way peace is achieved is though understanding, compassion and hard work. The methodology for this was set out over two thousand years ago.

  2. "One person finding peace does not a state of peace make." Why not just say it the normal way and not like a Star Wars character? One person finding peace DOES make a state of peace – for that person. Sometimes, in fact, one city being peaceful can end conflict. And one must be honest in the way he approaches his spiritual practice. Praying just for show, for praise, won't help anything – you're right. And yes, this methodology is nothing new.

  3. Mamaste says:

    Just intro'd on FB to: Spirituality & Health & Wellness.

  4. I did come up with the title. I had a longer piece that I divided into three sections and the title was a question I had asked in the body of the long piece. But to put it this way, in sections, is more "worldly." To be truly enlightened, one must not only transcend the world, the material entity, but also one must transcend the spiritual world as well. All too often, one finds someone devoted to the inner world so much so that an ego for this devotion springs up. And when it does, it harms our progress. So, to be fully enlightened, a person must be completely and utterly transcendent. One can't have an ego for being enlightened. Thanks for the comment.

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  7. Chris Fici says:

    Thanks Josh, especially for the call to meditate every day.
    But you say the world is not made for suffering-how does that square with the First of the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism?

  8. I am not a Buddhist, but I do understand a little about it. In Buddhism there is suffering and then there also is an end to suffering. And to get to the end of suffering, there must be a way. And it can't be instantaneous. So, meditation is one of the tools along the path. But it is not an easy path – that is for sure; in fact, it's so incredibly difficult, that those 4 noble truths are all about suffering! Unfortunately, if we look at suffering as the goal of the practice, we are missing the last noble truth – as I understand it – the cessation of suffering. The cessation of suffering is the true goal of Buddhism. But it also happens to be the goal of every religion and every scientific remedy as well. So, if the goal of human life is to be free from suffering, then how can the world be made for suffering?

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