In the comments of my last blog a commenter stated that the blog "What is the Matrix" reminded him of a saying he ran across while studying philosophy. That saying goes like this:
When I was young, I knew that the mountain was the mountain and the sea was the sea.
As I began seeking, I had the epiphany that the mountain was not The Mountain and the sea was not The Sea.
Once I finally became enlightened, I finally understood that The Mountain was the mountain and The Sea was the sea.
This made me think about what it means to understand enlightenment philosophically. As I pointed out earlier, language cannot explain enlightenment. As soon as you begin explaining what you think enlightenment is you are already not describing it. This is the reason why the Buddha describes it by always saying what it is not and never what it is. So if that is true, then what is the point in trying to talk about it or understand it philosophically? It would seem a rather pointless exercise in masochism to attempt a philosophical explanation for something in which there can be no explanation. At least there can't be one according to those brilliant beings whom have actually reached this mysterious state of human awareness. A better place to start would be to define what philosophy is. This would seem to be a viable goal.
Dictionary.com seems as good a place as any:
Philosophy: The rational investigation of the truths and principals of being, knowledge, or conduct.
I've made a study of philosophy myself, and the one thing I know is that it's all just opinion. Philosophy is nothing more than the opinions of individuals throughout man's history being combined and separated into various branches of study. Logic and reason appear to be the binding theme behind philosophical debate. The one thing I noticed while studying philosophy was that there is no agreement within philosophy about what is true and what is not. There isn't even an agreement on the definition of what philosophy is (and for different reasons than those of enlightenment). It would seem that the goal of philosophy is to arrive at this understanding, but nothing of the sort will be found. In the end, after your study is complete, you just have to decide which flavor of philosophy is true for you. The irony here is that intellectuals like to use logic and reason backed by the mandates of philosophy as if these things are somehow Gods in their own right. Just invoke logic and reason and you become more correct. Never mind the fact that philosophy is all just mere opinion with no "proof," Or that there's not even an agreed upon definition amongst the practitioners of philosophy on what it is. It may sound as though I'm hating on philosophy...I'm not. I simply wish to point out that it has just as much claim on truth as any other claim on truth...it's subjective.
Alright, so now I've expressed my opinion about the ultimate subjectivity hidden behind those fortified walls of intellectual superiority. What does any of that have to do with understanding enlightenment philosophically? What is enlightenment? Well this is sort of like a virgin attempting to explain what sex is like isn't it? I've made an extensive "study" of enlightenment in my life. I've studied more angles on this than I have on philosophy. I could go on and on about what I think enlightenment is, but I'm not enlightened, so I'd just be wasting everybody's time. So if philosophy is mere opinion reached by bending logic in whatever direction you wish, and enlightenment can't be talked about cause talking about it is already not it, than what in the hell am I trying to accomplish? Maybe if I invoke Jebus I'll start making some sense. Or possibly Cheesus...or perhaps "Cheebus" as my wife has laughingly referred to the nonsense found in the below video. I'll leave your noggin' with this gem of matrix gone bad until next time...