Progress Toward Enlightenment

Progress towards enlightenment seems to be a process of "anti-learning". It is the gradual realization that understanding and judgments that you have taken for granted are arbitrary parts of your own frame of reference. These judgments come from learning during childhood, or are part of the human condition.

Here is an example. I recently realized that my conception of "greatness" was a value judgment buried deep in my psyche. A supernova seems grand, great, profound, but why? Because it is unimaginably big. Its size is a mystery and inspires awe. That is no reason to consider a supernova as deeply special. "Bigness", "grandness", "greatness" -- all arbitrary value judgments, meaningful only within my frame of reference.

The realization of an insight is different from the intellectual acknowledgement of a fact. The most empty understanding is one which evaluates the expression of some tautology within a logical framework and merely states that it's true. P implies P doesn't affect your life. The deepest realization changes the way you see the world forever. It liberates you from the bondage of an established pattern of thought and makes you able to evaluate the world from new angles. The enlightened person has realized emptiness. Meditation is an effective tool for achieving realizations.