Road-to-NowhereFunny, isn’t it. You’re positively sure you know some fact or other; you understand it completely from your head down to your toes. And then one day the candle of Knowing spontaneously ignites, and whoosh!  It’s made a liar out of you, just like that.
The other night I came to know — really know — there’s no point to the goal of attaining future enlightenment.
Mind you, I would have said I already knew that chasing a phantom “future enlightened state” is an exercise in futility. I seem to recall I wrote a book on that very topic.
And yet I discovered I was doing just that.
I realized I was still seeking enlightenment as a future-based end goal, complete with checkered flag and trophy cup. One more item to check off the to-do list. But there is no end goal, and no finish line where enlightenment is concerned. How could a limitless state of awareness ever be brought to completion?
I honestly thought I knew better. [You probably know better too.]
But when an authentic knowing floods in and rewires your perception, as it did the other night, you can’t help but recognize with a shock that up until now, you really didn’t know what you thought you knew.
That you didn’t, in fact, know squat.
Because now, suddenly, you have become the knowing — and no amount of shriveled-up previous mental “knowledge” compares, once that fully integrated whoosh of living, breathing, juicy, mind-body-Spiritual embodied wisdom takes permanent hold of you.
•          •          •
It happened this way:
Having recently vowed to live our lives as “loving servants of God *with plumbing*” (it was me who added the plumbing clause to the contract, because I do enjoy a good hot shower in the mornings), Steve and I have taken to spending big chunks of our day in meditation or contemplative prayer, since we have no clear idea of what form that service might take.
But we haven’t been praying in the sense of asking or telling Spirit what our ego minds think should happen; rather we’re doing our best to simply stay open and empty and trusting, and rest in God while listening for…what?
Inspiration, I guess.
Mostly I get Big Silence. Peaceful, sure. Grounded? Absolutely. But not much clear direction happening on the topic of loving service – or any other.
This particular day’s meditation was much the same. But then suddenly at the end, the candle whooshed, the dominoes fell and a fully formed knowing clicked into place:  It’s pointless for me to go on chasing the goal of enlightenment. It’s only my ego mind that seeks it, and what’s the mantra of the ego? Seek and do not find.
I had long ago convinced myself that awakening was a necessary step toward choosing Love instead of fear, because theoretically if I’m awakened I’ll be present enough at all times to remember to choose correctly between them.
Sound enough logic, as far as it goes. But it’s a future-based ego trap, designed to put an end goal on something that has no finish line.
And then a second knowing whooshed in: I needn’t wait for, or struggle toward enlightenment (which is a pointless effort anyway because the time and circumstances of my awakening are not within my control). I need only choose to let my life be guided by Love in every moment starting right now. Awake or not awake is kinda beside the point, when one’s life is being shaped and moved and art-directed by God.
So I let go of enlightenment as a goal. And I chose to let every moment of my life be guided by Love instead.
I can’t say it felt good, letting go of that firmly entrenched goal – which is a pretty fair indicator of how deep my attachment actually was.
I felt disappointed, deflated in the pit of my stomach. And alarmingly close to tears. My identity as a spiritual seeker was a huge chunk of who I thought I was. If I was no longer chasing enlightenment, my ego mind would now be forced to give up acres of prime real estate.
And then a third knowing tumbled in on the heels of the other two: Letting go of the cherished goal of future enlightenment allows me to have less resistance to what’s going on right now, in this moment.
THIS moment is the classroom, the treasure, the eternal choicepoint. Every gorgeous, messy, imperfect, confusing moment of it is a fresh opportunity to be guided by Love. But if this moment is chronically unworthy because there’s no awakening happening in it, how can I hope to embrace it fully and receive all the infinite gifts it has to offer?
Ah. Oh I see. Ok, I get it now.
It’s all well and good to agree to let my life be guided by Love. But it’s not quite the passive activity I imagined it to be. (Not at this stage of my development, anyway.) I’m no leaf, peacefully surrendered to the eddying stream; I’ve got a very bossy ego that is still mostly sure it knows best in every situation. And that ego will not hesitate to grab a motorboat and tear upriver at full throttle against the current anytime I let it.
So am I serious about living my life in alignment with Divine Will? Do I really want to let Love guide me?
If so, then an ongoing commitment to action is required. It’s my moment-to-moment responsibility, as crap hits various fans, to pause, step back and ask: How would Love have me respond in this situation?
To ask it over and over, as many times a day as I manage to remember to do it. And this is key: To ask it and listen. And not assume I already know the answer.
Oooh, another small whoosh: Yes, forgiveness will always be a component of the answer. But Love is chiefly concerned with extending Love. So the decision to be guided by Love is a request to be used by Love as a conduit for actively healing, nourishing and replenishing everybody and everything I encounter.
Them, before myself.
And I haven’t a clue what’s the best way to do that in each new situation. Only Love knows.
So it’s a whole new moderately unfamiliar landscape here that I’m looking at, one with several key landmarks missing. And a certain amount of mildly uncomfortable newfound humility heaped on top.
I haven’t entirely made sense of it all yet, but there seems to be a faint, sparkly joy playing around the edges of it. But I can’t absolutely swear to that.
We’ll see.
I’ll let you know.


  1. right on, thank you 🙂 “As crap hits various fans…..” You always make me laugh…… at myself!

    1. there was so much left unsaid in this post, Mary Beth, but I just can’t seem to find enough words these days to encompass all the shifts that are taking place. as you and I are reading the same wonderfully eye-opening and door-opening books right now, you can no doubt sense how these insights I wrote about were sparked off by the awesome info we’re taking in. the more I read of it, the more thrilled I am by it. xx

        1. Hi Lisbet! The books are the Way of Mastery series. I’m about halfway through the first one, The Way of the Heart. And there’s a really wonderful series of free youtube videos associated with these teachings, from their “online ashram.” A treasure trove of information that I never knew existed before this!

          1. Hi Carrie! Maybe a little late to tell you this: I’m now the happy owner of both of your books and the Way of Mastery series – almost reading my eyes out and loving every minute.
            I hope that one day I will be able to hear a voice inside my head – and not the one I’m hearing now that is.
            Thank You!

  2. Carrie, I understand those shifts you’ve barely touch upon here. I am happy you are falling into the grace of the moment, one moment, now! You miss out on so much when in desperate pursuit of a goal that is already yours. Remove the Hollywood shades of enlightenment and OMG there’s Life standing before you, naked as a jaybird, asking ,”recognize me?”
    Good to hear from you, kiddo.

    1. LOL, that’s a great description, BD, “Hollywood shades of enlightenment.” The light is blinding, the goal so glamorous.
      Part of the difficulty or the reluctance in leaving that goal behind, is that without the “sexy” finish line looming ahead, the Real Now Moment seems so mundane and unexciting. And of course, nothing could be further from the Truth.
      Nice to hear from you too. 🙂

  3. Oooh, another small whoosh: Yes, forgiveness will always be a component of the answer. But Love is chiefly concerned with extending Love. So the decision to be guided by Love is a request to be used by Love as a conduit for actively healing, nourishing and replenishing everybody and everything I encounter.
    Them, before myself.
    Carrie, Explain” Them before myself” please. I am confused by that. It would seem to me that only in finding love and kindness within
    ( always available from Source) am I able to extend it.

    1. yes, thank you for bringing that up. I knew as I was writing it this is one of the many nuanced areas left unsaid, that could do with deeper explanation. But the richness of the knowings can’t be adequately described in fullness…not by me anyway, or at least not in the limited format of a blog post.
      This takes as a given all that we have discovered previously: that love and forgiveness of others can’t truly begin to take place (not the very juicy Real McCoy love and forgiveness) until we first extend love and forgiveness to ourselves. And the self love, self discovery, self non-judgment is a continuous process as we learn to appreciate the vast miracle we are. Part of appreciating the brilliant gifts of the now moment must necessarily include appreciation of the unfathomable gift of life that we ourselves are. I doubt you could have one appreciation without the other.
      With that understanding as a backdrop, in this sacred union of choosing to let our newly loved/tenderly respected self rest within the perfection of God (for those limited periods as long as we can stand it), a knowing arises that service to God, as it would be expressed here in the 3-D world, is to act as a conduit to serve others. In whatever way one is inspired by Love to do it. For one person, that might be the Peace Corps. For another, it might be just going about their everyday business and career, but with the intention of allowing Love to inspire their actions toward everything and everybody they meet, in every moment.
      All the while, great self love and gentleness is flowing, and HUGE divine Love and tenderness and support is flowing in to you at the same time. So trust becomes necessary, that all one’s own needs are way more than met, allowing us to focus full-time on extending Help here in this world where it’s needed so greatly. (Yes, it’s all an illusion. Blah blah blah. Pain still hurts those who believe in it, ourselves included.)
      Does that explain it any better? xx

  4. Dear Carrie,
    Thanks a lot for these insides about giving up the search for enlightenment sometime in the future to
    ‘ THIS moment is the classroom, the treasure, the eternal choicepoint. ‘
    Keep shining your very bright light…..!!!
    Big hug,

    1. LOL, Katrina! Steve is my partner in…I was going to say crime, but it’s more like innocence. Or whatever the opposite of crime is. 😉

  5. Howdy Carrie,
    Lovely insights shared! Gratitude.
    We are studying (more like applying) acim and wom concepts with a TOG who awakened, unexpectedly, a little while back. See his work/play @ onewhowakes.org . John Mark Stroud is the guy’s name. His presence, humor and wisdom just blows me away. Very easy to understand. Talks with Jesus, wears a clown nose, yadda, yadda. We are looking forward to meeting him at his ‘plorkshop’ (play & work) October 3-6. (One year anniversary of meeting you & Steve in Crestone) Recommend. His Tuesday night livestreams are about study of WOM, free to all & recorded. FYI.
    Uncanny that you are heading in the same direction as us! No surprise in our One Mind.
    Happy that you & Steve are meditating for All! Yay!
    Big Love,
    P & T

    1. Howdy back! Yes, I know John Mark Stroud. And even more coincidentally/funnily enough, he awakened, apparently, while in India doing the Oneness University/Deeksha thing that I’ve been so connected to recently. So it all comes around and weaves its mystical threads into mind-blowingly beautiful tapestries of mystery. Glad to share space on the loom with y’all. 🙂
      Big love back,

      1. *laughing* Ahhhh, yes, I recall your telling me/us about some Deeksha experiences. So, yes, indeed, quite a lovely tapestry! (“Tapestry” by Carole King was the first album I bought in the 70’s…telling! LOL) And btw, I finally began to read TheWay of the Heart this evening…with a gentle nudge from Within. *bought the ebook right after Ireland, but delayed opening it until hearing so much from John Mark that I had to dive in* Humility is a great soup. Thanks for helping to stir my pot, Sis.
        Love always,

  6. Hi Carrie!
    Thank you!!! I’m reading this now, and of course it’s so divinely timely! When I started this round of my journey in 2012, I had a beginner mind that wasn’t focused on any goal let alone “enlightenment.” I was just presented with opportunities after opportunities for healing and forgiveness, and all I needed to do was to receive them with a little willingness. But this year’s experiences have been a different story… I realized that this was another trick, but I found myself in and out of it often.
    The message same as the one in your post is coming to me from many, many directions, and I’m just so grateful. You said it so beautifully, “I need only choose to let my life be guided by Love ***in every moment starting right now***. Awake or not awake is kinda beside the point, when one’s life is being shaped and moved and art-directed by God.”
    Thank you, Sister!!
    Much love!

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