Why I Don’t Want to Get Enlightened. ~ Nina Mel

Via elephant journal
on Jun 20, 2013
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Anytime you pass one gate, you see the next one to be passed.

When I quit the yoga business, I wrote an article about it, reflected on all of the responses, comments and my own reactions, and meditated on what’s next for me.

I could clearly see that the next thing I should quit is writing. I know what can be done, but I choose not to—you’ll get an idea why when you finish this article.

If you truly look deep within yourself, you will see that path is a constant process of layering down all the unnecessary stuff off your soul, any material matter—which leads directly to the Center, the Source, the Oneness or God. That is the only path to get there—which is not what we believed the path is (yoga practice on the mat, daily mantra or belonging to a tradition).

This path is strict, direct, bold and uncompromisable; this path leads to One out of this material realm.

But are you really ready for this? Tell me—did you ever ask yourself this question “Do I really want to get enlightened?” I bet you didn’t—as in our spiritual (yoga) community this is an axiom, a foundamental truth, an accepted “desire” and an ultimate goal. Everyone who enters this “community,” this part of society, automatically, immediately gets it.

And this is why in reality they do not get it at all. It goes without saying, without thinking—and without understanding.

Look at this article the same way as at my previous article; even if the style of my writing is a bit more emotional, straight-minded and somewhat harsh in order to get your attention—which always seeks for emotions—this is not a direct encouragement to do this or that, but rather an invitation to think together with me, right now. Perhaps it applies to you (or not); observe what thoughts it awakens in you, what fears arise, so that we come closer to seeing ourselves better and to look inside ourselves to what we didn’t think about before.

Ask yourself “Do I really want to get enlightened?”

Any path you take eventually brings you to the One, but it depends on your level of attachment (conscious or unconscious) to the material plane. It may take thousands of lifetimes until you “get enough” or it may be achieved in this lifetime—this is all your choice.

Enlightenment is a choice; you don’t get it because you don’t choose it.

We all choose to be attached instead; to our yoga communities, like-minded people, gurus, our businesses, fame, success or failures; to our family ties, to love and to pain, to yourself and to what we call life. To be precise—we are attached to the feeling of attachment—it gives us security, belonging, comfort. It gives us this life.

Complete conscious detachment to anything that belongs to the material plane takes us out from the material plane and moves to the other one; that is obvious. It is so simple that we don’t get it, because of it’s genius simplicity; it doesn’t get to our minds as we believe there should be more complex answer, way, technique, etc., because that’s what we’re are used to.

But enlightenment is not to be taught, shared or passed from one person to another. This is an attainment—and a choice.

A human holds on to this reality by his attachments; this is what links him to material realm. Detach yourself from the material—from the attachment to the material—and you are free to go to another place. We can’t combine being enlightened and being here on the material plane.

Doesn’t work this way—sorry.

It’s a myth that becoming “enlightened” means becoming a superhuman who lives here but has no problems in life, no issues with mental and physical health, who has a positive mood no matter what—and what’s more important—who has no more ego.

But a man consists of two parts: he has an “animal-nature part” and a “spiritual-nature part” that is called “human being.” This will never change until he is here on this material plane. So, we can not be on a material plane not being influenced by it and not having a material body, which includes brain hence instincts, thought process, reactions and ego.

The gurus and teachers (of modern days or the past: Osho, Sai Baba, and all other babas, Swamis, Jis and Rinpoches with all respect to them) who claim or humbly let others “accept” they are enlightened, just lie.

Either consciously to others, supporting their important and unique position in yoga society, or unconsciously to themselves, fallen into illusion that they are indeed enlightened after having a glimpse or two of spiritual so called “tests,” the goals of which are different. From preparing the mind to operate on a higher vibrational level, to showing the potential and capability of this exact body-mind in this lifetime, or simply letting know that it already switched to another frequency of operation in this material world.

This is a momentary experience which fades within minutes, hours or a few days, and which, as Patanjali warns, has always been a most “popular” spiritual pitfall and a strongest trap to fall into.

Enlightenment—not the “tests” or spiritual insights—is a full absorption by the One and a merger with It.

Do we really want to get enlightened? Given the thought that “become enlightened” literally means “to die”?

Are we ready for this? Is this what we were seeking? Think of it. Observe your inner reaction to this thought. Feel the fear that arises—this is a functioning of the Ego, the identity, the attachment to this material plane in all it’s beauty. See how uncomfortable it is even to accept thinking of this thought—we rather keep our believes that enlightened Gurus exist on this plane and for us too, it is possible to be both connected to the One fully and still be human.

Don’t you like this thought better? Isn’t it more comfortable and um…compromising?

An earthy approach we’re used to; but this doesn’t work with spiritual matters. No compromises here. We are either this or that.

So do you want to get enlightened? Say it out loud and let the Universe hear you and give you exactly what you want.

I ask this not because I wish less people to seek and ultimately get enlightenment—the opposite is true. The more people are clear on what they really want or what illusion they have, the clearer the path to enlightenment will be and the more likely it will be attained by those who really choose to go for it. And those who discover they in reality want something different will be free from their own imprisoning illusional goals.

Enough of it.

We either choose to get enlightened, “close”our karma, leave this plane—or, we get rid of the false idea that our life goal is to get enlightened, so that we can call the things what they are and clearly distinguish our real needs in this lifetime.

Ask yourself this question: Do I really want to get enlightened?

We can make a conscious decision if we each want this, till what point, or not yet at all. Maybe we’ll come to a conclusion that we need a couple more incarnations to enjoy the game before we get enough and that’s fine. That’s exactly where we are at the moment, what level of “enlightenment” we are at.

But we will all see clearly for the first time—where we are in terms of enlightenment. How far or how close we are. We will see it immediately, no need for guru to tell you. Our soul will show. Our fear will show. Our readiness to get enlightened will show how ready we are.

My congratulations—you have just revealed the truth to yourself instead of living the illusion of spirituality and hunting for enlightenment. You will see in reality you never wanted enlightenment. You never seek for this.

That is why you never get this and most likely you never will—until you are really ready and choose it.

That simple.

Enlightenment is a choice—think twice before you make yours.



Nina Mel bio picNina Mel doesn’t teach and doesn’t sell anything, but writes articles and publishes numerous pseudonymous works on yoga, energy and spirituality.





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Ed: Bryonie Wise


{Photo: via Rene on Pinterest}




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18 Responses to “Why I Don’t Want to Get Enlightened. ~ Nina Mel”

  1. I found this article wise and pleasurable to read. I congratulate you on your honesty, insight and thank you for sharing it with us.
    May you have whats best for you!

  2. Nina Mel says:

    Thank you for your feedback. All the best.

  3. MatBoy says:

    Nina, I think you should keep writing. I may not agree with much of what you write about but I appreciate your courage to put your thoughts and inclinations in writing; it provides a good insight into what many of us are struggling with individually.

    I, for one, am not interested in pursuing enlightenment. If I find it under a rock someday, I'll deal with it then. At the root of this attitude is that I do not believe/think/imagine that there is anything better than my present life. I live through my life and spend NO time dreaming about a potential other life or existence. I do yoga to do yoga, I eat healthy food to eat healthy food, I get involved in political causes because they are important to me. I live, love and grow and before too long I will expire. Instead of wanting to do this life 'correctly' I just want to live it well and die with a smile on my face.

  4. Nina Mel says:

    MatBoy, thank you for saying this and for sharing your thoughts. Blessings on your Path.

  5. Aaron says:

    Nina, you should consider reading Matthew Remski's "Threads of Yoga". He discusses and "remixes" the Yoga Sutras in a way that challenges the reader to question the relevance of the ancient techniques and goals of meditation to our modern way of life. Ultimate withdrawal, ascetism, and transcendence beyond the physical form certainly wouldn't help our world grow to be more compassionate or solve the ecological problems we face. While it can be considered an act of ego to want to teach and share what one has discovered through meditation, ultimately it is a balance between ego, awareness, and conscious reintegration into our very real world that will lead towards healing and treating each other with acceptance and compassion while we are here.

  6. Nina Mel says:

    Thanks, Aaron! I appreciate your feedback and will check the book you mentioned. Namaste.

  7. Yogacult says:

    Ahh, the ever bold and controversial Nina Mel. Such a gift is your writing, it would be selfish to withhold it. Your article reminded me of a Mayan Shaman I once met who said he was puzzled by Americans desire to become shamans. In his tradition, it was more of a divine burden, neither to be celebrated, nor lamented. Not A choice. Not something to be sought. Difficult, harrowing work, but work you must undertake if it is your path. To desire enlightenment, or to cling to an expectation of how awesome it will be when you get there, moves one further away by the very nature of such emotion.

    Your audience has grown since your declaration you will stop teaching. You have been criticized for being physically attractive, for clothes and jewelry you like, for speaking your truth, for putting your struggle out where we can see it. You dare challenge our comfy assumptions and expectations about our trendy, stylish spiritual path. Oh, how terrible! I must now think…..

    I find your work and your persona beautiful, fascinating, revealing, stimulating and refreshing. There's no better parable than a good paradox. Your path is your own, just like each of ours. You've been given the burden to share yours.

  8. Madv says:

    Very entertaining & well thought out…I just question this "Nirvanic" Homogenized enlightenment that is pushed by the New -age yoga culture in general. The Gurus you mentioned do not have much of a ticket to enlightened according to my intuition and research, so I am seeing this as a "G-U-R-U" Swami Beyondananda style empowerment…Masculine and Feminine principles both need to be entwined for Genuine spiritual practice…The path of detachment/renunciation does not ideally need to be polarized with the path of the world- as the meet very lovingly in Bhakti when one is not blinded or traumatized by Dogmatic institutionalization…Enlightenment happens both in the stillness in selfless service & Love & in the moments of Meart/Mind Melting in Ecstatic Kirtan…but some like to contemplate emptiness and non-existence…many flavors, but as your story showed, most don't want to jump in headfirst..but that is the only way in to avoid the mundane costume show..

  9. Linda V. Lewis says:

    Your style reminds me a bit of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche's–provocative and wakeful. I think you'd like his books. Tilopa said, " It's not things, Naropa, that binds you; it's attachment."
    Trungpa Rinpoche said, in his Sadhana of Mahamudra, "All apparent phenomena are the play of the mind./ All qualities are complete within the mind./ I, the yogi, am fearless and free from occupations;/ Hopes and fears of achieving and abstaining are all used up."

  10. Nina Mel says:

    Your comment also sounds like a good paradox to me – you are so tired of this all, you know what it is, but you still manage to enjoy it somehow. Perfect balance.. Isn't it? 🙂

  11. Nina Mel says:

    Madv, thanks for the feedback.

  12. Nina Mel says:

    Thank you for commenting, Linda. I'll check the author you mentioned. Namaste.

  13. JWL says:

    I'm going to play with words here. hopefully, it adds to your article and clarifies the vagueness of the word enlightenment. We would like to think that there is a path to enlightenment and it is our choice to chose it. What is a choice? Most of the time most of us chose to do exactly what our parents, society, peers, teachers, religion, science have informed us. This is precisely because we are able to think and make choices.

    Take the idea of suicide. Have you seriously explored it? Do you think that it's morbid or selfish or some shit like life is sacred? Examine these believes. Who else are saying that? Well, pretty much all the people you know who have not committed suicide and all the established religions. Isn't death the most natural thing in life?

    Every single thing you ever thought of has to be examined to its death before you can even begin to dig yourself out of your choices. So, don't even bother about enlightenment. You can chose to kill your body, your believes and all that constitute you. But you can't chose enlightenment. Enlightenment is choicelessness. You do not exist in choiceless awareness. In choiceless awareness, you are already dead.

  14. Charlotte says:

    Great stuff, Nina! I think enlightenment is knowing in our core truth that it is enlightenment we will find without any seeking, grasping or attainment whatsoever on the 'other side' once we return to from whence we came – call it what you will: God, Allah, Nirvana, the Divine, All That Is, Source, the One… While in human form, so called enlightenment, that vague idea necessarily (perhaps thankfully? would a deeper understanding blow our circuits?) limited by human concepts, ego and attachments, is probably impossible. Although, as is often the paradoxical way with spiritual 'truths' I also think we are, at our fundamental nature, already enlightened. We were born so and will die so and it thus follows by my logic that we live this life so – somewhere well beyond the realm of the intellect we can never escape. We are all of Source, of the Divine, of God. Both can be true – even though in the human material world we prefer black or white certainty and are (unenlightedly!) uncomfortable with sitting in paradoxes. I don't seek enlightenment. It's enough for me to know I already am and will never be. Peace and Namaste, Charlotte.

    P.S. Of course you must do as you are called but please don't give up writing!

  15. Logan J. says:

    Enlightenment is a choice, this is true Nina. However it is just a state of consciousness as there are many, and it is not the highest as in one sense there is no highest or no end but a continual expansion in consciousness this I am very much sure you are aware of. After enlightenment, there is the illuminated consciousness, it may sound the same yet there is a difference. Enlightenment is still an object pursued and viewed where as illuminated is when one has merged with this level of consciousness and enlightenment is no longer what is pursued. There are voids in between levels of consciousness, some would call them lulls, others the ceiling or even the end of their journey, many souls reside in these locations calling it the highest and saying there is no more. Really it is a rest stop and a great place to reflect if somewhere along the way something was missed.
    I get what your saying about gurus, yet not all gurus have reached the same level in consciousness or are who they claim to be.
    A Sat Guru (Sat meaning True) does not purposely lie, nor accidentally, they have just reached levels beyond Self and Spiritual realization (which are three to four levels above enlightenment). At this point or height in consciousness how does the lower mind, and even the higher mind really comprehend what is here….to simplify how does one put the ocean in a cup. One can't but you can put the cup in the ocean. One has to to transcend one's mind to understand that which is outside of the box, for the mind only understands its matter and even can struggle at that. This is where soul is supreme as the eternal, yet without a True Guru to show the way (not be the way) soul remains a prisoner to the little labyrinth of mind. Just a quick footnote I am not putting down the mind, for once transcended or negotiated it can be what it was meant to be…a great servant.
    Pardon me if I have gone to long but I'd like to add on one more thing before I part, and the most Important….Love.
    This is the key to all as it is all there is. Not the relative view of loving an object such as a person, place, or thing but Consciousness, Soul, Spirit, True Master, God, what is known and unknown all come and relate to Love. I often say Love needs a new name for in many ways it has been minimized into what it is not, and to this Love replies…I Love all one and the same.
    Thank you for your article it was very good to read and I can relate, but with all due respect there is more than enlightenment we just have to learn to adjust and expand. Much love and many blessings to you Nina Mel. 🙂 <3

  16. Nina Mel says:

    Thank you all for taking your time to comment and leave your thoughtful feedbacks, I really appreciate it. Best.

  17. Daniel says:

    My opinion is that al this is just a ''psychological technic'' of keeping yor ego and thougts going back tot their source,but I tottaly agree with you.I just use it as a way of getting rid of incorrect thouths, plus meditation(not concentration as in yoga or buddhism) gives you power.
    Incorrect thougts i wrote up are also dicated by ego.Anyway this is impossible or at least completely difficult to understand becouse being enlightend means just going away from this ''box'' in nowhere(the box created by our mind).For me it's better to be somewhere.
    I trully appreciate what have you written and the way of thinking and maybe we are in the same boat.
    sorry for mistakes…I hate scanning what I have written.

  18. bob says:

    Forgive me, but the term Enlightenment is a Buddhist term. The definition of this word Enlightenment is very precise. The nine yana path is also very precise. Which is the process working towards Enlightenment.
    90% of the attitude and theorizing in the above comments are mistaken.
    Yoga comes from a Hindu ground. It would be smart to use a different word
    than Enlightenment. This is not a Hindu term. It is Buddhist. Be precise please.
    Enlightenment is the top. so to speak. Nothing higher.
    Good luck