“If Spirit has any meaning at all, then it must be eternal, or without beginning or end. If Spirit had a beginning in time, then it would be strictly temporal, it would not be timeless and eternal. And this means, as regards your own awareness, that you cannot become enlightened. You cannot attain enlightenment. If you could attain enlightenment, then that state would have a beginning in time, and so it would not be true enlightenment.
Rather, Spirit, and enlightement, has to be something that you are fully aware of right now. Something you are already looking at right now… We are all already looking directly at Spirit, we just don’t recognize it. We have all the necessary cognition, but not the recognition. ”
— Ken Wilber
What is the recognition that Dr. WIlber is talking about? It doesn’t seem to me that it can be reached through cognition or any form of conscious endeavour but rather by letting go of consciousness altogether :
“It was a marvelous morning and you could have walked on endlessly, never feeling the steep hills. There was a perfume in the air, clear and strong. There was no one on that path, coming down or going up. You were alone with those dark pines and the rushing waters. The sky was that astonishing blue that only the mountains have. You looked at it through leaves and the straight pines. There was no one to talk to and there was no chattering of the mind. A magpie, white and black, flew by, disappearing into the woods. The path led away from the noisy stream and the silence was absolute. It wasn’t the silence after the noise; it wasn’t the silence that comes with the setting of the sun, nor that silence when the mind dies down. It wasn’t the silence of museums and churches but something totally unrelated to time and space. It wasn’t the silence that mind makes for itself. The sun was hot and the shadows were pleasant.
He only discovered recently that there was not a single thought during these long walks, in the crowded streets or on the solitary paths. Ever since he was a boy it had been like that, no thought entered his mind. He was watching and listening and nothing else. Thought with its associations never arose. There was no image-making. One day he was suddenly aware how extraordinary it was; he attempted often to think but no thought would come. On these walks, with people or without them, any movement of thought was absent. This is to be alone.”
– J Krishnamurthi.