A common obstacle in spiritual search is that a person being on such a quest does not actually know what exactly he is searching for, but rather is on the escape for something. Often in their search people have a concept of freedom in mind. But freedom towards what? Freedom towards the ego? Freedom towards others? Still we are stuck in dualism created by false identification with an ego that way because there has to be a ‘me’ and there has to be an ‘other’.
Often the state of being ‘enlightened’ is confused with an ego-less state. But this is not possible in our phenomenal world. Having an ego-idea, produced by false identification with the subject of the subject-object split of consciousness is a prerequisite for the existence of this phenomenal world. For humans beings it is an impossible thing to live a life as an individual – even if it is an enlightened – being, completely without some kind of an ego-notice.
The world has known a number of enlightened persons but they all still lived further carrying a name by which they could be addressed even after their enlightenment. Being enlightened they still had an ego-concept. They only understood it throughout. That was actually their freedom. But it is a freedom completely different from the freedom of expressing your own will and that you can do what you want, which in the phenomenal world we usually consider to be the concept behind freedom.
Enlightenment therefore should be more understood as a throughout understanding of the mechanisms of the mind which keeps us in the subject-object split trap and in the delusive energy producing and supporting these mechanisms of the mind.
So does ‘enlightenment’ lead to more freedom in the sense we normally interpret freedom? As a matter of fact no. In our false identification with the subject the only freedom we actually have is to choose a certain option out of all the options we are automatically confronted with in the phenomenal world. But the consequences, the actions being caused be our decision, we cannot influence at all.
And that exactly often is another spiritual obstacle. We undertake certain actions or make certain decisions with the purpose to create positive results which on its turn benefit our spiritual quest too. But it does not work this way. First of all as mentioned once we have brought a decision of our mind to action we do not have any influence at all anymore on the situations and actions resulting from this. We can sow, but we cannot influence the harvest of what we have sown.
Secondly categorizing phenomenal matters as positive is completely subjective. It completely depends on the conditioning and the perception of the person who is observing.
And finally on whom should our actions have positive effects? On us? This would imply a me, and from the me we just wanted to get rid of… On others? This also implies a pluralism of pure being. Again we got stuck in the web of dualism and the play of the phenomenal world…