Immediate enlightenment means to be enlightened right away. At that moment, one begins to sit down to face the Supreme Master inside oneself. This is the true self. This self truly belongs to you, and you had it before you were born, before you were absorbed in greed, hatred or lust. This self is truly your Supreme Master. When you descend here you should open your mind and listen to what He teaches you, then you will be enlightened immediately. Therefore, there is no need for it to be written down, nor for instruction.
It is not easy to bring home these abstract ideas with simple and ordinary words, but when we understand that it is deep inside us, and part of ourselves, then we feel very easy and very elated. But this is one of the intellectual enlightenment only. In Zen meditation, sometimes they call it Sudden Enlightenment or Immediate Enlightenment, because one word from the teacher sets you free in some parts, or maybe sets you free a great deal, or completely.
But then again, why do we have to meditate after enlightenment, or after we already understood what the Master or the teacher wanted to say? It is because we have too many habits, too much knowledge, because one time is not enough to convince us that we are enlightened. We probably will forget it the next day. So we should repeat these experiences of enlightenment until our mind accepts it. It is not enough for the Self to recognise itself, because the Self has always known the Self anyhow. But because we are in this world, we have to do everything with the instrument that is the mind, the computer. That is the tool that we have to use to work in this world, to bring the blessing and power of love into the chaotic environment, in order to make a better world for our children to come.
Q. The initiation periods in ancient Egypt, for instance, were at least 7 years. Usually initiation is regarded as a rather long process by which one earns enlightenment. It seems to suit our modern life to say "You can now be enlightened!" I wonder how is this so?
M. In ancient times, it was not easy to find a Master even. And if you had found one he would test you for long years, very long, like Milarepa of Tibet. He was tested for 4 years with a lot of scolding and beating sometimes. But today, if you do that, the Master will be put in jail!(laughter) It is not allowed anymore, and besides with our world's very fast and advanced way of life, we can't just cling onto this kind of method of testing disciples. Today we have to tune in with the modern pace of the society. Of course, it makes more troubles for the teacher, because he doesn't have time to ground the disciple, to make him earn what is very precious. But what do you think, if a Master does that' How much longer before he will be enlightened. It takes a long time. You see, the enlightenment is very fast, but the process of seven years is to test the disciple, and to ground him into moral discipline. This is very good also, but because of that, in ancient times, not many people were enlightened. Because of ignorance, they crucified Jesus, because not many people knew what enlightenment was, and what meditation practice was, it was so new and so strange. Therefore, today many Masters make it open to the public as a sacrifice of the Master's time, expense and a lot of efforts to bring their disciples into a fast moral standard, and a very high level of enlightenment. It is a different time, and enlightenment doesn't mean that you are completely enlightened. You have a taste of enlightenment so you are encouraged to go further with it. In the old times, the Masters didn't do this. They would let you work first and really suffer for it and you would appreciate it more.
Q. It is said that the enlightened soul doesn't think or act, he is only an observer and doesn't make decisions. How can we live in this world without acting or choosing' It is also said that to act is to disturb the order of nature, and to compensate for this imbalance, nature will create some opposition. Do you agree with this?
M. Well, you must first be enlightened, and then you will know what happens! To act without acting doesn't mean that you are lifeless, mindless, without a soul, but that you are simply doing everything naturally. It is true that you no longer have to make decisions, you only act according to God's will and you know exactly what to do. Even if from the outside, you seem to act like everyone else, it isn't the case because all your acts are dictated by God. You no longer have responsibilities and you always act for the best. But this doesn't mean that anyone behaving without thinking is acting God's will, because he doesn't know His will. After enlightenment we know the original Plan and act accordingly. Before being enlightened, we only disturb it by trying to force our will over the Divine Plan.
Q. How many levels of consciousness are there and how can you find which one you are on?
M. Before we reach the highest level of Truth, we have to go through five levels of consciousness. We can know this by recognising the light, the intensity of the light we see inside, and also the scenery, the heavenly abode we see inside and that we can recognise. Another way of recognising is through the sound. Each level of consciousness vibrates at a different rate and by knowing which sound corresponds to which level, we can know more or less our own achievement. But after some time, you become expert, and you will know immediately someone's level. We can judge our level of inner achievement by our own outward actions, like becoming more loving, more tolerant, more dedicated to the whole of mankind.