You’re Enlightened. Now What?

Zohar Atkins:

Suppose you are enlightened. Whether it was because you were born into it, stumbled into it, or worked at it, no matter. Perhaps you ate some magic mushrooms. Perhaps you had an epiphany on a park bench. Perhaps you spent decades meditating in a monastery. Perhaps you read a self-help book or attended a retreat or some high-end executive workshops. How do you translate the experience or insight into the wider world?

Do you try to turn your experience into a commodity so that everyone gets to have more of it, on the cheap? Do you create a tribe of like minded missionaries?

What makes you think that your company or religion or city-state will avoid all the pitfalls that have traditionally bogged every other cult: authoritarianism, corruption, hypocrisy, compromised quality produced by effects at scale? Why should you be exempt from “the innovator’s dilemma?” Doesn’t every new Jesus eventually become a Grand Inquisitor? Is enlightenment compatible with bureaucracy? 

You describe your experience as one in which you realize everything is one. You are photosynthesis. You are infinitely compassionate and truly feel the pain of all beings.

But there are political considerations. Will you go to war to protect your values and ideals against those who are not infinitely compassionate and do not feel the pain of all beings? Will you renounce your family and your communities of origin so as not to be overly tied down in your loyalties, being free to love everyone all the same? But you will have to choose a country in which to live? You already speak English and are unlikely to learn more than one or two second languages.