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Human Development/Consciousness Evolution
Record Type: Review   ID: 150

The Enlightenment Process: How It Deepens Your Experience of Self, Body, and Community

Blackstone, Judith

 Exceptional human experiences connect the experiencer to deeper aspects of self, other humans, other species, the world, the universe. The ultimate is knowing oneself as one with all things all the time. This is enlightenment. I have said this for 5 years now, and millions of people have said it or experienced it. At the stage where I am, even though I can effortlessly realize the unity often and can deliberately attune to it quickly when I lose it, there are many periods, sometimes for hours, when I lose sight of it entirely, and on these occasions I’m quite capable of behaving like a two-year-old. The Enlightenment Process by psychotherapist and developer of "subtle self" work is one of the most enlightened and enlightening book I have encountered. She never wavers from her knowledge of who she is (the same one we all are) but at the same time she offers ways of returning to that awareness and of staying with it at times when one unconsciously falls back to childish levels. Moreover, whereas many books on enlightenment emphasize only its transcendent aspect, Blackstone is equally aware of the inscendent aspect as the subtitle indicates. Enlightenment extends within as far as it extends without and in either direction she says: "Individuation and transcendence both occur as a result of penetrating inward to the vertical core of the body. They are one and the same process" (p. ix). One gives way to unity. I have written that we must honor our EHEs (and enlightenment is the supreme EHE) not only by remembering it but by sharing it and living from it (i.e., performing it). The saints quite obviously performed their EHEs, but we all are called to do so in our own ways. Blackstone offers the most enlightened advice on how to do this, beginning with where we are at any given moment or circumstance: in our bodies and whatever constricted component of our consciousness in which we may be stuck. She teaches how to recollect and be rooted in the unique state, which is the only one in which we can relate fully to the Self in others that is also our own self. She closes by noting that "our true relationship with the universe contains an inherent ethical perspective" (p. 132). This appears to be the message of many EHEs. Judith Blackstone has been there, done it all, and as a result, was bound to find a way to communicate what she has found. She has found one that couldn’t be more down to earth. Yet it is rooted equally in the universe at large.
Publisher Information:Rockport, MA: Element, 1997. xiii + 145p. Chapnotes: 136-140; Glos:141-143; Ind: 144-145
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