I had this question posed to me recently: “What makes for an ‘enlightened’ man?”
It was posted in a social media setting, and I was tagged in the comments.
First and foremost, I want to change the score a little. The term “enlightened” has too many stigmas attached to it. Let’s do away with that term and replace it with “conscious”. Not because it really means anything different from enlightened, but because it is far easier for most people to digest.
Now, whether I was tagged because the person who tagged me sees me as a conscious man and wanted my feedback on the topic, or there was some other reason, I’m not sure.
I do know one thing for certain, though. The second I read the question and saw that it was calling for answers from men as to what makes one conscious, I immediately went into judgment. My first thought was, “I wonder how many guys are going to reply purely to demonstrate how deeply conscious they are”.
Then it dawned on me. “Hey, am I not about to do the same thing?” At that thought, I threw my head back and laughed. Deeply!
This leads to the first point…
Point 1: Lightheartedness
A conscious man actually has the ability to laugh at himself. In any situation, he will find the joy that is inherent in that moment. Even serious lessons have a lighthearted side to them. He finds that side and chooses to embrace it. If at any point he takes himself too seriously, he isn’t really living the values of this state of being.
You see, it doesn’t really matter what we do or even why we do it. What matters most is how we react or respond to what we do. You may choose to say that even jumping into judgment in the first place excludes me from having any awareness of what being conscious truly means.
Gandhi is quoted as having said, “It’s better to be violent if violence is in your heart than to use non-violence as a cloak for your impotence!”
Whilst you may very well be correct in saying that the initial action is important, I honestly believe that it comes down to accepting the state of our humanness at any given point. You can feel judgmental about something, recognize the judgmental behavior, and laugh at yourself. Or you can take yourself so seriously all the time in striving to “be” a conscious man that you forget to actually be one. Do you hold yourself to such a high standard that you break yourself upon the rocks of your own standards?
This leads us to the next point…
Point 2: Acceptance and Surrender
A conscious man doesn’t ever have to prove that he is correct. He understands that there are many faces to the absolute truth and that the particular face he sees at any given point, is merely one of them.
The real power in this is that no one ever becomes wrong. People all act from where they stand at any given point. When this happens, even the actions of the self now stand beyond criticism.
There is a powerful acceptance of the many faces of truth and there is an awareness that one person is unable to see them all. This creates a desire to seek to understand, rather than to shoot someone down (including the self) for anything they’ve said and done.
There’s also a process of surrender. A conscious man is aware that surrender is not about giving up, but actually takes a concerted effort. An effort to surrender? What a concept! Perhaps a concept that truly conscious men will understand.
Point 3: Ownership and Recognition
This is perhaps the most important point yet. A conscious man owns his own bullshit and recognizes his role in what is unfolding around him. He doesn’t lay blame on situations or people because he rather seeks to understand how he created the dynamic that he finds himself in.
Through the process of becoming conscious, he has learned that he is not a victim. He has uncovered that he is responsible for his own emotional state at any given point. One thing you will never hear from the mouth of a conscious man is “She made me angry…”
Can you see a trend here? Ultimately, it comes down to responsibility! Self-responsibility, emotional responsibility…essentially, the ability to respond rather than react blindly and then blame others for the reaction.
This is what it means to be a conscious man.
As an interesting side note, there will be men that will read this and react with, “What a load of rubbish”. I’m at peace with this for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I understand that it will trigger those who are still giving away their power. That has nothing to do with me. Secondly, a man that has not become conscious yet is threatened by anything that comes from a place of truth. I should know…
…that used to be me!
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