Enlightenment & the Enlightenment Intensive

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Journal of Enlightenment 8

Table of Contents
1. Yoah, Enlightenment and the First Enlightenment Intensive
2. Yon Kane talks about his experiences at the first Enlightenment Intensive, July 1-5, 1968
3. Origins of the Enlightenment Intensive
4 1968 Newsletter of the Institute of Ability: Enlightenment: Self and Life, New Technique Shortens Time by Factor of 100, Self Enlightenment by Charles Berner

Volume 8

Yoah, Enlightenment and the
First Enlightenment Intensive

Jack 20 It was in about November of 1968 that I first heard about the Enlightenment Intensive. I was a student at San Diego State University when a friend introduced the Enlightenment Intensive and the dyad process to my circle of friends. We were a circle of friends in our early 20's studying at University who were interested in making love instead of war, living in the here and now and exploring expanded states of consciousness. For the next several months after being introduced to the Enlightenment Intensive and the dyad relating process many of us gathered together and practiced doing the 'who am I' enlightenment and relating dyads.

birthday It was only a few months earlier, on my 21st birthday, July, 2 1968, that I experienced the spontaneous gift of Awakening to my True Nature, as a Zen Buddhist Master might say. On that day I became conscious of directly knowing of who and what I am. It was a moment of Divine Clarity and Enlightened Consciousness that so thoroughly pervaded my entire existence and fulfilled my soul's yearning for Union that it changed the direction of my life forever. It was an initiation into Divine Relating and a birthday present from all those beings and seekers of truth who had walked upon the earth and previously made the journey to the Land of a Thousand Buddhas.

Buddha13
 

That birthday present firmly put me on the path of enlightenment. It was later that I learned Charles Berner's first Enlightenment Intensive was being held on that very same summer day in July when I awoke to my True Nature. In the words of Charles Berner, the man who originated the Enlightenment Intensive, I became conscious of directly knowing of who and what I am. In essence, there was no me. Only Consciousness of the One True Reality, Divine Life. No inside and outside. No this and that. There was no separation. There was only Me, the One Divine Consciousness. That state of consciousness is called enlightenment.

JackSummer1969Yoah

The Attractor Field of Enlightenment

I've always been aware of the cosmic synchronicity that linked my enlightened awakening in July of 1968 with Charles Berner's first Enlightenment Intensive in July of 1968.

Though the events were separated by a distance of more than a thousand miles of physical time and space, they were both part of the same Attractor Field of Enlightenment. Forty-two years later that potent Attractor Field of Enlightenment continues expanding the Light of Cosmic Consciousness and growing brighter everyday.

Berner5Charles

Charles Berner wrote about the first Enlightenment Intensive and how it all began.

"I thought that I had something that people could and would do, so I set a date over the fourth of July weekend, 1968 for a five day Enlightenment Intensive and announced it to my students. Twenty-six people attended. Besides myself I had one assistant, Drew Renner, and Ava Berner was the cook. In a ply wood tent at Crystal Valley in the hight desert of southern California, much to my continued amazement, on the third day several people experienced directly their own self. I acted very matter of act, but I had actually expected that one would have to attend may intensives in order to have a satori-like experience. Before the intensive was over, eleven of the twenty-six had direct experiences of Truth. "

HowItAllBegan1

Berner3

Crystal Creek

Dyad5

 

YogiJack1

1000Palms2

The Movement 1

Jack 1974 2

In 1974 I was practicing yoga, meditation and living the life of a wandering sadhu or spiritual aspirant.

One of the places I resided was on a property in the middle of the desert with a beautiful oasis of fruit trees, abundant water, desert sand, the sound of cecadas, coyotes and the San Andreas Foothills in the background. It was about 35 miles from Palm Springs and very near the remote ancient Indian oasis that is known as 1000 Palms Canyon Oasis.

I was travelling back to my sacred desert sanctuary from Los Angeles when I stopped at a health food store to pick up supplies. I saw a copy of the new age newspaper called The Movement. There was a photo of Charles Berner on the cover and an article about his recent pilgrimage to India, his new practice of Surrender Yoga and his encounter with his new teacher, Swami Kripalu. The article re-ignighted my interest in travelling to his high desert retreat community to take the next Enlightenment Intensive.

I participated in the next Enlightenment Intensive which turned out to be the most difficult thing I would ever done in my life. Inspite of that difficulty, the next day following the Enlightenment Intensive, I asked Charles if I could live and study there . He said, "Yes" and I moved onto the retreat property of the Institude of Ability becoming part of the dedicated community of enlightenment lovers and seekers of truth.

In 1980, after years of study, participating and helping with several Enlightenment Intensive retreats, I began to facilitate them myself.

Thirty-six years later, in the year 2010, my interest, enthusiasm and excitement about conscious direct knowing of who I am continues to flower and bear fruit.

I also continue to facilitate, practice, and teach the Enlighenment Intensive process while living an enlightened conscious life.

On the 2010 July 4th Independence Day weekend we will commemorate and celebrate 42 years of the first Enlightenment Intensive with a 6 1/2 Day Enlightenment Intensive in North County San Diego.

 

ListPeople1stEIThe image above is from the Newsletter of the Institute of
Ability, Issue 9, entitled "New Breakthrough on Mind
Clearing." It lists those individuals who were at the
July 1-5 Enlightenment Intensive and who experienced
enlightenment.

Yon Kane was at the very first Enlightenmnent Intensive in July 1968.

"And suddenly, during the sitting everything disappeared and went into union. There was a union of myself and the word "what", and everything. I was in this infinite, timeless experience of union, and it was like no experience I had ever had before. And it suddenly didn't matter what the purpose of life was because I was experiencing the union. The purpose was this union I was experiencing, not some answer."

This is a transcript of an interview that Lawrence Noyes did with Yon in 1995.

Yon Kane was on the first Enlightenment Intensive ever given, which took place in July of 1968 in the Lucerne Valley, southern California. He was also one of the people who broke through into an enlightenment experience on that first experiment. I spoke with Yon in 1995, some twenty-seven years later. Around a warm fire in his living room one evening, I asked him about his experiences on that first Enlightenment Intensive and how he got involved.

In January of 1968 in California, there was a lot of movement and growth and promise going on. There was a lot of interest in relationship and working things out. Around this time, I began learning about dyads from Ava Berner, who was up in the area (San Francisco). Later Charles Berner visited and was teaching myself and some others more about dyads and clearing the mind. This was about six months before the first Enlightenment Intensive was given. I was thirty-five at the time.

On one of the visits up north he asked me if I would like to take his first Enlightenment Intensive. He already had the name worked out. I asked him what was involved. And he explained a little about it. But he would not tell me, or anyone, the schedule. He later said the reason he did not is that he did not think anyone would show up if they knew how tough it was going to be. This was in the loose, hippie days, you see, and the idea of getting up at 6:00 in the morning to start meditating, and then going all day with it until around midnight. Well, he's right. If known about the schedule we probably would not have shown up.

But I still tried to get more from him about what we were going for in this thing. He talked about enlightenment and he talked about some of his experience. I didn't know what he was talking about. I was very spiritually naive. I didn't know that the Buddhists had been doing things like this for thousands of years. He said it would be over the July 4th weekend, and I said I'd do it.

The Intensive was out on this property in the desert in Lucerne Valley. There was only one structure at the time, which had the appearance of a cabin but which was really an old house trailer partly buried in the sand. Just before the Intensive, a bunch of us built a lean-to onto the back of it, out of plywood and two-by-fours. Then we screened it all in. Ava got the supplies and helped the cook get going in the kitchen.

The evening before the Intensive, Charles talked to us about the schedule, and there was a big groan that went through the group. He also asked for our watches. Charles was strict. During the Intensive he walked around with a big staff. And he would stomp it on the ground and say, 'Hold your question. Hold your question.' The whole theme was to go for the truth, just go for that.

There was an atmosphere of respect for the truth. We weren't really fanatics, we were just really interested in what the truth is. Charles started me out on 'What am I?' but I asked him early on if I could change it to 'Tell me the purpose of life', because I was really interested in that question. Charles had this little interview place around the back, with a couple of chaired, and I signed up to see him. I went around to the back and told him I just was not
interested in anything else but what the purpose of life is. I just felt that if I could not work out what the purpose of life is I might as well just leave, or kill myself. I was not really suicidal as such, but I was at a turning point in my life. He reluctantly let me change my question. Reluctantly because he had just got through saying to the group that he would not change anyone's questions unless they got enlightened. But it was good he did, because it was the right question for me at that time.

The dyad periods were around forty-live minutes, maybe a little longer. The format was pretty much the same as now. You'd ask yourself the question and tell your partner what came. But what happened is that, there was no 5 minute change-over. So sometimes one person would talk almost the whole time and the other person would not get a full chance. Charles and Ava would monitor this. They would come around and say, 'Give your partner a chance.' Later the five minute change-over style was created to prevent this problem. Although I always felt you could go deeper in the original style.

What happened for me on that Intensive is that the passion for the truth just turned on in me. The night before the last day, I was up all night. I could not sleep. I was working hard on the question 'What is the purpose of life?' I remember lying awake in the middle of the night thinking, 'What is it? What is it?' I was really focused. I was like on a train, and all this stuff was going by the windows: thoughts, feelings, images, whatever. But I knew none of that was it. Meanwhile I had this passion for the truth that had just grabbed me, that was driving this train.

The day before, I had gone through a period of real despair, feeling like I had to find more meaning to life than just working at a job and eating. I got to another place where I felt that if I asked that question one more time I would die. But I really wanted the truth, so I just kept going. Then on the last morning we were doing a sitting contemplation. The schedule was a little different then, we had a sitting in the morning. And suddenly, during the sitting everything disappeared and went into union. There was a union of myself and the word 'what', and every thing. I was in this infinite, timeless experience of union, and it was like no experience I had ever had before. And it suddenly didn't matter what the purpose of life was because I was experiencing the union. The purpose was this union I was experiencing, not some answer.

I was in exquisite ecstasy from this. Now I would use the word 'bliss' but I didn't know that word then. For hours though, every time I would touch onto the experience, there were waves of bliss, just waves of it. It was so exquisite, and so unexpected, that I was crying. Later I was laughing from it all. This continued on throughout the last day.

After the Intensive, I was in this state of bliss for several days. I hung out with friends, doing ordinary things like taking walks and working on a car. But I was in bliss. At the time, I thought this was all completely new and special, what we were going through. But afterwards I was talking with people and I learned that the Buddhists have been using koans for two thousand years or more. After that, it seemed more like a different approach to enlightenment, rather than something totally new.

Previous to the Intensive I had had a big argument with my mother. She had come out here, concerned about me. It was hippie days and I was being wantonly sexual and doing all these things, and she was upset with me about getting into all this. To make a long story short, she left around January of 1968, after an argument we had, to live in San Francisco. This was before the Intensive. I did not see her again until September, a couple of months afterwards. In September I just decided, I am going to go see my mother and get things worked out. I went to see her. She did not know anything about my having done the Intensive. And she opened the door, looked at me, and stepped right back. And she said, 'You are saved!' I was so surprised that she saw immediately that I had had a change of state. And I laughed. She thought I had found God, in the Christian sense. But then I told her about the experience had, and she just opened up to me. Everything that was bad between us just disappeared.

I did not have difficulty integrating that first experience into my life. It became my life, naturally. That experience was my first true spiritual awakening. From that first Enlightenment Intensive, and that first experience of the truth, the main thing I got was self-confidence. I became confident at just being alive, at just being a person. I felt I could hold my own with anybody after that. I could talk to people, or not. I've had a self-confidence about who I am since then. I've been able to go about doing what I do knowing that's it's coming from me. I have a real appreciation for people and who they are. Even if they don't think they're someone, I do. This has changed my whole view of life and my whole way of interacting with people. I still have things happen in my life, and issues, but there is a basic happiness I have that doesn't go away. And I know I am not totally enlightened. I know this happiness could go deeper, but its deep enough for me now, and it's totally satisfying. I don't have any anxiety about getting more deeply enlightened. If I do, ok, and if there are set-backs, ok, but because I have this basic knowledge of who I am, there is no anxiety about it at all. I have a regard for others I never had before. I may not always act in accordance with that regard, I may get overwhelmed with emotions once in a while, but this basic regard for others has just been a part of me since then. There's been a depth to my life that, as far as I can tell, can not be obtained any other way than through enlightenment.

 

   

Origins of the Enlightenment Intensive

Berner Origins

Charles Berner

The Retreat was inspired by three unique self improvement practices fused together by Charles Berner in 1968. Two of them are ancient and Eastern ways and the third is a newer Western approach.

Zen Koan
Zen Sesshin
A Zen sesshin is a self awareness retreat that has been practised for over 3000 years. It originally came from China before it migrated to Japan where it became popular in  the 12th Century.  Today, it is still used and practised in Japan and around the world.  The Enlightenment Intensive Retreat borrowed certain elements from the ancient sesshin, notably the use of a ‘koan.’  A ‘koan’ is a riddle-like question to help a meditator focus and penetrate into the absolute truths of life.  Hundreds have been developed over the years.     “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”  and “What  was your face before you were born,” are two well known koans.   The  practise of contemplating on a ‘koan isn’t  concerned with philosophy, ideas or religion, but with direct experiencing.
Rmana Maharshi
Ramana Maharshi 
The Enlightenment Intensive Retreat also makes use of  the koan, ‘who am I .”  This riddle like question is a yoga meditation that dates back 10,000 years.  Its modern proponent, Ramana Maharshi, lived a simple life in India. He taught during the first part of the 20th Century inspiring a constant stream of local and international visitors who sought his company and spiritual guidance.  His guidance was always the same.  “Seek to know yourself.  Practise self inquiry by asking yourself, ‘who am I’  then you will know everything.  
Dyad
Relating Dyads 

Dyad is a Greek word that means ‘two’.  A relating dyad is two people who work together to bring about understanding through effective communication and focused listening.  It is this element of relating that accelerates the process of enlightenment.

Abilitist NwsLet 10

Above: The front cover of Issue 10, The Abilitist, circa 1968.
Below: The article below entitled Enlightenment appeared in the
1968 edition of The Abilitist Newsletter.

The Abilitist


Issue 10


Enlightenment: Self and Life
New Technique Shortens Time
by Factor of 100


Self Enlightenment


Newsletter of the Institute of Ability

 

Enlightenment

by Charles Berner

Enlightenment is an interesting word in itself. Literally it means to put light onto, so one can see what it is he has set out to become conscious about. The first important, well documented enlightenment is that of Buddha. He spent many years in his endeavor to understand and become enlightened about his true nature and about the true nature of life. He finally attained a deep enlightenment after actively working on it 18 to 22 hours a day for 6 to 9 years. With his teachings began one of the first effective civilizing influences on this planet.

Definition of Enlightenment

Abilitism defines enlightenment as becoming conscious of, through direct experience, whatever one has set out to be enlightened about. Direct, as used here, means through no vias or no means by which. If self enlightenment is the goal, one directly becomes conscious of oneself. One employs no vias, nor does he figure it out by a series of logical conclusions. Enlightenment is arrived at through direct experience only (see figure 1).

aKnowingness
bConsciousness
cConsciousnessThruViascConsciousnessThruVias
dEnlightenment
Figure 1. Knowingness is different than Consciousness.
Knowingness (a) is a Self phenomenon. Self can know anything. Consciousness (b) involves something other than Self, with an exchange. Most consciousness is thru vias, (c) thru a body and across space to and from something other than self. Direct Consciousness (d) is without vias.

Self Enlightenment is more easily attained if several concepts are understood. The first to understand is the difference between being conscious of oneself as opposed to knowing oneself. According to Abilitism, consciousness always involves something other than oneself, along with oneself. A person must exist before it is possible for him to be conscious, but there must also be something outside of himself of which he is conscious. An individual can know unto himslef, but it is not possible for him to be conscious of himself by himself. Two different phenomenon are involved. One is self-knowingness by which one knows simply because one is oneself and has the ability to know; then there is the phenomenon of consciousness which involves something other than oneself. It is important to separate these two phenomena if Self-enlightenment is to be attained. An individual already knows who and what he is, but it is completely useless to him in Life. In order for something to be useful, one must have a consciousness of it. The difference between these two phenomena is a very critical point which has been overlooked, as far as I know, by every religion and philosophy on this planet.

Self-enlightenment, then consists not of knowing oneself, but of being conscious of oneself without any vias. This statement imparts some intellectual understanding of what enlightenment is. What is needed at this point is an understanding of the role enlightenment plays in self improvement.

Methods of Self Improvement
There are three ways, that I know of, to acquire self improvement. One way is through education. Learning data and information from others results in a better understanding of Life and thus enables one to live life better. Education is a valid method of self improvement. However, currently in this society, it is the only method of any significance used. The sole answer of the so-called advanced nations to the question, "How to improve?", is education. It is the only method that has ever worked for them. It doesn't work very well, but it is successful to some degree. Education helps, but it is not enough, if one is truly interested in self-improvement.

Another self-improvement method is that which involves people understanding each other. By understanding each other, they can relate better and get closer to one another. The pathways of communication are more open between them. Working to better people's understanding of each other is probably the most important self-improvement approach that exists and Abilitism is highly involved in this work. However, Self-enlightenment does not play a significant part in this activity.

The third method of self-improvement is enlightennient itself.

(see figure 2)

Enligtenment is not finding out information from others through vias as education is. Neither does it necessarily bring about a better understanding between people. Enlightenment is a separate method of self improvement. In the case of Self-enlightenment, enlightenment is directly experiencing oneself.

Enlightenment was a missing factor in Abilitism until the spring of 1968 when we began our deep experimental research on the subject. It was not that I didn't know anything about Self-enlightenment. I had worked on it in many ways and for many years. I found that the techniques other groups use are drawn out and slow, and that they don't work very well. I finally became Self-enlightened in 1958, but I didn't attach much significance to it. Then I realized that certain people's advancement was being held up because they didn't know who they were. They didn't know their own nature. They had read about it and heard lectures about it, but they had never had a direct conscious experience of themselves. Therefore, they lacked a state of complete conviction from which to act.

A state of enlightenment is uninvalidatable. An individual experiences himself as a fact, not as a belief, an assumption, or a possibility. He is directly conscious of himself. There are only a few basic facts about life. One of these is the nature of the individual and the experience of this is enlightenment.

 

Education

 

Understanding

 

 

Enlightenment

 

Figure 2.

The Three Methods of Self Improvement
(a) Education, (b) Understanding and (c) Enlightenment

Methods of Enlightenment
Many techniques for attaining enlightenment have been used. Perhaps the strongest and best developed technique was that started by Buddha and which has been carried on through Zen Buddhism. They have probably had a higher percentage of success than any other group. However, their techniques are still very long and arduous.

The Yoga approaches are other examples of techniques which have been used. These have often ended in a semi-enlightenment that is usually dependent upon holding the body still. This is a type of somatic state- a samadi. A person first experiences this state through various yoga. His body will get absolutely still. He can retain this state as long as he is not moving, or dealing with his body. It is a true state, but it is not very practical. Enlightenment is more useful if one can walk around and talk with people and be in the depths of dealing in life, and still be in the state of enlightenment. There have been other enlightenment techniques used in the past, and many are still being used today, such as Transcendental meditation, and Love and Inspiration. However, to my knowledge, the techniques of Abilitism are the most rapid and the deepest going enlightenment techniques extant today. (see Table 1).

Table I. Types of Enlightenment Techniques
Method
Religion or Philosophy
Approximate success
among participants
Average Time
Intellectual Education .5% 40 - 60 years
Inspiriation Christianity 1% 20 - 30 years
Mind & Body Separation Yoga, Scientology 4% 10 - 20 years
Love Meher Baba, Christianity 15% 8 - 12 years
Meditation Zen 20% 1 week - 10 years
Presentation of Self Abilitism 75% 1 day - 2 weeks

Purity of Thot
Self enlightenment consists of an individual creating a thot in his own universe of himself. Thereby he has consciousness. In his own universe means in his realm of thot which is not connected to, related to, or dependent upon anything else. If his thot is related to or dependent upon something else, then it isn't in his own universe. A thot that is in an individual's universe is purely itself.

Purity of thot is the crux of Self-enlightenment. Purity of thot means having one thot and one thot only. In Self-enlightenment, this thot is a pure thot of oneself which is not connected with or related to anything. In order to be a pure thot, the thot of oneself can't be in words such as 'I am a spirit'. That thot is connected with sounds and words and symbols of those sounds, and it is also connected with the thot 'spirit'. Purity of thot means not connected with or related to other things, not even other thots. To become Self-enlightened, an individual must have a pure thot of himself. It must not be connected to any other thot, especially an intellectual idea of who or what he is. (see figure 3)

PureThot1
Confused Thot

Figure 3a. Purity of Thot

The thots are knowingly created by self and are not connected to or dependent upon anythikng other than Self.

Figure 3b. Purity of Thot

All the thots are connected with each other, the body & the physical objects.

Methods of Creating Pure Thot
There are several ways to create a pure thot, but to do it in a reasonable period of time, there are two choices. The first is to separate oneself and one's thots from Life, and thereby create an artificial separation from Life. If a person disconnects from Life until there is nothing else but himself, it is relatively easy for him to get the idea of just himself. (see figure 4a) This is what many teachings and disciplines of the past have led to. It works, but it has a disadvantage. An individual has the idea of himself, but only when he's by himself and not dealing with Life.

Drugs have the same effect, Drugs create an artificial separation between an individual and his brain, and between his brain and the rest of Life. Therefore it is easy for that person to get the thot of himself. However, when the connections to Life are made again, he can no longer hold the thot of himself. He can remember, but that is a thot of the thot; it is a connected thot, not a pure thot. Abilitism does not use the technique of isolation from Life. In Abilitism, one ends up with a state that one can maintain when involved in Life. The path of Self-enlightenment that involves entering into Life through a carefully planned out technique will be covered in detail below .(see figure 4b)

SelfLife1
Figure 4a Isolation of self from the rest of Life works but is not useful because when one recontacts Life he has only a memory of the enlightened state. Figure 4b Self is involved in Life but the thot of Self is pure. Enlightenment is then useful.
 

How to Tell if an Individual is Self-Enlightened
The people who speak with true authority and don't act like fakes or personalities are people who are speaking from themselves. An individual who is enlightened speaks from himself and can be distinguished from one who is just relaying learned information. To be able, to speak with honest authority and certainty, a person must be at least Self-enlightened. He must be conscious of who he is. An individual is the source from which things come. But if he thinks he is a relay, he becomes a relayor; however, that is not his true nature.

It is an interesting phenomenon that every person who has become Self-enlightened tells the same story of who he is. The words may be different, but the story is the same. One might expect them to come to different conclusions, but their conclusions are always the same.

The value of Self enlightenment is that it enables an individual to speak from himself. He is conscious of who he is. He is conscious of himself, so there is no doubt about who or what he is. He has the composure of a person who can consciously create thots, can cause things, and is conscious of his relationships with others.

A Graph on Self-Improvement
If education is chartered on one axis, and understanding on the other, and if more knowledge, and fewer barriers are considered desirable states, the chart would look like the chart in figure 5a. An individual has 'x' amount of ability to live life (the shaded area). However there is a third factor, and that is the factor of enlightenment. Imagine a third line perpindicular to both of the others and forming the three dimensional graph (see figure 5b). This factor represents 'clarity of thot' or 'degree of enlightenment'. In other words, this thrid line shows to what extent an individual can think a thot without it being connected to anything else.

graph
graph.b
Figure 5. A graph of Self Improvement

If a person is well educated and has few barriers to his own communication with others, but no clarity of thot in his own universe, then all his is education and all his relatingness would be meaningless. We would feel as if we were a fake and Life would have no meaning, no certainty, he would have no confidence. He is open with people, and he understands them, but he is not sure of anything. It is currently popular in education circles to' not know anythings for sure. There are people who have fairly good clarity of thot, are reasonable well educated, but can't talk to anyone. Then there is the person who is open, has fairly clear thot, but who is completely uneducated.

A well rounded person would be one who knows some things about Life, is open in relating with others, and who has a direct conscious expereince of himself. He knows what he is, and beyond that, he knows what Life is, which is Life-enlightenment. He know what Life is, not because anyone has said so, but because he has directly experienced it.

The thing that has been missing in our work for years was, this fact of Self-enlightenment. Those who had some Self-enlightenment responded well to our techniques. Those who had a little enlightenment respnonded some. Those who had none, didn't resond at all. They got changes, but, to them, it didn't mean a thing.

The role of enlightenment is not a casual one in self-improvement activities. It would be wise to consider it very seriously, and to have as much knowledge on the subject as possible.

The Nature of Thot
It is easier to obtain Self-enlightenment if one has an intellectual idea and some knowledge of enlightenment. Knowing the nature of thot will help in this aspect. One of the major discoveries of Abilitism concerns what a thot is. For twenty-two years I worked on the question, 'What is thot?' and I finally became enlightened on that subject. It is because of this that I think I can relate to others the key factors of enlightenment in a way that is not too foreign to them. Here is a summary definition of thot and even if only the most cursory understanding is drawn from it, it is enough to point the way to Self-enlightenment.

The key to understanding what a thot is lies in the realization that the answer is not to be found in the nature of an individual.It is not something that an individual is capable of by himself. He is capable of 'knowing' by himself, but even though he has the capacity to communicate, he still needs someone else to communicate with or communication is not possible. (see figure 6a) In a similar manner, thot involves others. A thot is an individual choosing to relate to another. The nature of his choice determines what the thot is. How he chooses to relate, in what way, to what degree, through what means, determines what that partioular thot is.

Thot a
Thot b
Figure 6. Thot (b) involves others. As in communication (a) thot requires another. The type of choice determines what thot exits.

Thot and Self-Enlightenment
A thot is the state of having elected to relate to another. Self-enlightenment, then, is the choice to relate oneself. The moment a person has the thot to relate himself to another or others he becomes conscious of himself. That is Self-enlightenment. Let me explain this point further. Consciousness, as I stated earlier, is dependent on an outside something, and in this case, it's another person. Electing to relate oneself to others brings about a consciousness of oneself.
Everyone has a consciousness of himself to some degree. For example if someone has a consciousness of himself as a body, he is presenting his body. In other words, he is electing to relate as a body. That thot of himself as a body is a via, a thot about himself. As long as one chooses to relate to others through vias, he will not become Self-enlightened. However, there are no vias between an individual and his thots. He experiences his thots directly. Therefore, when he has the thot of himself, it is direct experience, not a via, not through a via. This is Self-enlightenment.

Mastery of Attention
The depth and purity of thot that must be attained in order to become Self-enlightened is Self-defined. With the best techniques of Abilitism, it takes between twenty-four and one hundred hours of continuous attention on one subject to get the pure thot of Self. This is continuous attention. One must spend one hundred hours on only oneself without any distractibns or extraneous thots. I m'ean no thots like, "Gee, I'm hungry" or, "I wish I could quit," or, "I wonder if I'm getting anywhere." In order to do this, an individual must keep his attention on one thing. If I said, "Just consider who you are", most people would spend fourty five seconds out of an hour on the subject. Let's figure this out. If they spend fourty-five seconds out of an hour, and they have to get one hundred hours in, it would take 8000 hours, or at four hours a week, fourty years. It's a long task, so being able to keep one's attention on the subject is very important. What we do in Abilitism is to get an individual into an environment in which he has relatively few problems. We get him out where he is not being distracted by his everyday problems. What is desired is a few days away from an individuals usual routine, with its usual problems and distractions.

A Proper Question is Needed
We also need a question upon which to put one's attention -some target for one's attention. In Abilitism, we use a specific question that aims directly at an individual. "Who are you?" is one of our key questions. As one works on this question for several hours, one may start to get sleepy. However, it is important for one to be as conscious as possible. So, we have someone walk around and keep people awake. The important thing is that one is awake and conscious. The more conscious one is, the better the chance one has of becoming enlightened. So, we use monitors who help one keep awake and conscious and on the subject. In Abilitism, though, we go even farther than this meditational stage.

Ability Exercise Structure
In Abilitism, we have what we call ability exercises in which two individuals work together and take turns helping one another. Each person works for five minutes at a time. One partner gi0ves the other the instruction, "Tell me who you are" and the other says, I'm Charlie, I'm five feet eight and a half. The person doing the instruction or answering the question sits there for five minutes and alternatly meditates on the question and explains to his partner what thots he is having. In Abilitism, we have a partner sitting there with his attention on his partner. He keeps his partner on the subject that way.

Having a partner is a further advantage because one has someone who will listen and understand when one speaks. An individual can work on many things in his mind, but if he does not relate them to someone, they stay in his mind. In Abilitism, we have a person relate what he is working on to his partner, and this gets it out of his mind and frees his attention. In a meditational discipline, it might take an individual three months to realize that he is not what he thot he was. However, if he has someone to talk to, it might take three minutes to gain the same realization. The two partners take turns listening to and understanding each other. This helping of one another is a very powerful technique for improving one's opinion of oneself. In increasing one's demonstrable ability in Life in general, and in attaining Life-enlightenment, it is also very important and powerful. So it can be seen that the use of this technique of Abilitism facilitates enlightenment by allowing an individual to complete the thot he is working on, free his attention from that thot, and thus enables him to continue with the next thot. (see figure 7)

7AbilityExercise
Figure 7. Ability Exercise Structure. The roles reverse every 5 minutes, exactly.

The Importance of Treating Others Well
If one has the thot of oneseIf, one will become Self-enlightened. The question now is how does one find out who he is. One answer to this question involves being conscious of other people. This is another thing one needs to understand about enlightenment.

Being considerate of others is important because an individual's opinion of himself is determined by his opinion of other people. If he thinks they are worthless, that is what he really thinks of himself. It works both ways: What a person thinks of himself is what he thinks of others. A person knows that he is equivalent to others, that their basic nature and his basic nature are the same.
As long as a person thinks of others as being worthless, he is going to fail to reach Self-enlightenment. Not until he'is considerate of others will he discover his own basic nature. People of other diciplines who have become Self-enlightened always say in one way or another the same thing concerning their basic nature. It always has the attributes of God in one respect or another. Unless an individual is involved with others and treating them as God, he will fail to discover his own divine quality.

Isolation from others brings about a shallow enlightenment. Because the person isn't involved in relating to others, he doesn't have very much of an opinion of others. Therefore, he doesn't have the problem of being considerate of others in order to become Self enlightened.

Enlightenment, then, a true enlightenment, consists of very much involvement with others, and a very great consideration of them.

The Role of Being a Master
The next thing that is needed for rapid Self-enlightenment is a master. A master is simply a person who has two characteristics: one, he is Self-enlightened, and two, he can recognize this in others. In other words, he is open enough to other people that it becomes self-evident to him when another person is enlightened. Many people come up with the right answers intellectually. They'll say, "Well, I've thot it all out very carefully and I am God." They go through all the types of connected thot but fail to have one pure thot, a consciousness of themselves, That is all enlightenment involves. They are conscious of, and presenting themselves. Once a person has the consciousness of himself, he has all the right answers and doesn't have to think about them. He can answer a list of about eighty questions without hesitation even though he has never considered any of them previously.

A master is also needed for inspiration. Enlightenment is not a matter of intellectually grasping a thot. It is a matter of having the courage to delve into the subject of oneself with sufficient intensity to break through the barriers that stand between one and Self-enlightenment. It is part of the master's role to inspire one to do this.

The master also answers key questions. Key questions are those fundamental to a gaining of enlightenment and not those of a long intellectual study. There is nothing wrong with intellectualizing, it has its role in education, and gathering data and ordering it into knowledge. But, the key questions mainly concern how to get enlightened. A person asks the master, "Am I doing this properly?" or "Should I change my question?" These are the types of questions the master answers to guide the person seeking enlightenment.

1. Know the Natute of Thot
2. Keep attention on Subject
3. Ability Exercise Structure
4. Be Considerate of Others
5. A Master
Table II. The items necessary for rapid enlightenment

Eat Lightly
Another important factor is diet. It is helpful to eat lightly when one is seeking enlightenment. Overeating burdens one's body and one's brain to such an extent that it is more difficult to become Self-enlightened.

The Stages of Self-Enlightenment
The first stage of Self-enlightenment is intellectualizing. A person is asked the question, "Who are you?", and he goes through all his past teachings trying to figure out the right answer. It's usually necessary to do this, but its just a stage that people go through in becoming Self-enlightened. One inteliectualizes, and finally he goes to the master and gives him his answer, and the master says, "How do you know that is true? There's more". A person goes through all the intellectualizing again and again and comes up with the same thing. He consults the master and is told, "There's more to it than that". He returns to his partner; despondent, and gives up trying to figure it out.

A person will then just sit there and finally he'll become inspired. He'll hear something in the lecture and think that maybe it really is possible to attain enlightenment. He begins to consider the possibility that there is a barrier he hasn't broken through yet. He really starts working on his question and on comes the phenomena stage. He is very determined now and his body starts to shake. The room may appear to move back and forth. He get's cold. He gets hot. He sees bursting suns and other hallucinations. The effect is the same as if he were on some drug. He is trying to make his brain to think the thot of enlightenment. This stage is the point at which the separation of thot from the brain takes place. The amount of phenomena varies from person to person, but everyone experiences it. A person will see the master at this point, and explain that he has seen himself as a glowing sun. The master will say, "That is a phenomenon. Continue." Sullenly, the person returns to the others.

The next stage is no man's land. The person doesn't know which way to go. He doesn't know what to think about, or what not to think about.
Then he'll start hitting body barriers. He will discover that he can now keep his attention on the subject better if he keeps his back straight. He will want to sit straight, but he will keep slumping. He will get so interested in enlightenment that he won't want to go to sleep, and yet he wilI get sleepy. He will feel pain in his body, but he is more determined than ever.

Then, he comes to the point where he doesn't care whether it hurts, or whether or not it kills him. At that moment he goes through the barrier and he has what is called the experience. He may laugh, he may cry, he may scream, he may experience thrilling ecstasy. The experience, however, is not Self-enlightenment. It is just the Self-enlightenment experience.

Usually, at the moment of the Self-enlightenment experience, or shortly thereafter, because the person has finally broken the barrier, he becomes Self-enlightened. Once the barrier is broken, Self-enlightenment is a certainty.

The next stage is the glow. The person walks around very conscious of his state of enlightenment. This stage lasts a few hours or a few days.

Then comes the final part of Self-enlightenment, the steady pure state. One of the most distinguishing factors of this deep enlightenment state is that a person no longer has any interest in himself. He answers all questions in terms of other people and Life. He is interested in Life in general, instead of himself.

1. Intellectual
2. Phenomena
3. No Man's Land
4. The Barriers of Emotion and'Pain
5. The Break Through
6. Enlightenment
7. The Glow
8. The Steady Pure State
TABLE III - THE STAGES OF ENLIGHTENMENNT

Life Enlightenment
The steady pure state of Self-enlightenment leads to what we call Life- enlightenment. Life-enlightenment differs from Self-enlightenment in that it is a deeper state. One cannot become Life-enlightened unless he is Self-enlightened.

Life-enlightenment consists of being conscious of the potential of complete understanding between individuals. In other words, it is the direct consciousness of the contact potential between all individuals. If one has a direct conscious experience that there is a possibility of contact with every being in the universe (not every being that exists), then it becomes obvious to him what the purpose of Life is and how that purpose is acheived. In some religions this is called the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit. In other religions, it is called Universal Nind. It is what is behind Tao. It is the miracle that it is possible for us to be able to relate with each other at all. It's not a matter of choosing to be committed to others. It is realizing that one already is. We do have the choice to act on that commitment or not. It is just a matter, then, of one doing the things that it is obvious to him need to be done.

Life enlightenment and Self enlightenment can now be achieved through the techniques of Abilitism in the Enlightenment Intensive format provided by the Institute of Ability.