ENLIGHTENMENT is the goal of human life, for the individual and for the race. Enlightenment is awakening to the presence of God as the One-in-all and All-in-one and then expressing that non-dual realization in every aspect of your existence. Simply put, enlightenment is God-realization, i.e., making God real in the totality of your being.
Enlightenment, therefore, is a developmental process, not a one-time event. It is the highest aspect of our human potential for self-directed growth in body, mind, and spirit. That human potential can change the human condition.
Enlightenment is not purely psychological. In the course of higher human development, physical changes also occur, most dramatically in the later phases of the enlightenment process. In the final phase, according to various sacred traditions, the body is alchemically changed into light. Enlightenment becomes literally so, through the transubstantiation of flesh, blood, and bone into an immortal body of light. Through a combination of personal effort and divine grace, a perso
n attains a deathless condition through the alchemical transmutation of his or her ordinary fleshly body. This transubstantiated body is called various names in the traditions, such as light body, solar body, diamond body, or resurrection body. I'll expand on that below.
If involution is the materialization of Spirit and evolution is the spiritualization of matter, then the end of evolutionfinal enlightenmentis the complete return of matter to Spirit as humans attain full expression of their inherent divinity and become Godmen and Godwomen. It is the conquest of death. It is the return to the condition of "that which never dies and that which was never born."
If there is an inner unity or transcendent common core to world religions and sacred traditions, we should expect that the human potential for transubstantiation would be understood by all of them. Indeed, that is just what we find.
Some of the names given to the body of light are as follows:
In the Judeo-Christian tradition, it is called "the resurrection body " and "the glorified body." The prophet Isaiah said, "The dead shall live, their bodies shall rise" (Isa. 26:19). St. Paul called it "the celestial body" or "spiritual body " (soma pneumatikon) (I Corinthians 15:40).
In Sufism it is called "the most sacred body " (wujud al-aqdas) and "supracelestial body " (#### asli haqiqi).
In Taoism, it is called "the diamond body," and those who have attained it are called "the immortals" and "the cloudwalkers."
In Tibetan Buddhism it is called "the light body."
In Tantrism and some schools of yoga, it is called "the vajra body," "the adamantine body," and "the divine body."
In Kriya yoga it is called "the body of bliss."
In Vedanta it is called "the superconductive body."
In Gnosticism and Neoplatonism, it is called "the radiant body."
In the alchemical tradition, the Emerald Tablet calls it "the Glory of the Whole Universe" and "the golden body." The alchemist Paracelsus called it "the astral body."
In the Hermetic Corpus, it is called "the immortal body " (soma athanaton).
In some mystery schools, it is called "the solar body."
In Rosicrucianism, it is called "the diamond body of the temple of God."
In ancient Egypt it was called "the luminous body or being"
In Old Persia it was called "the indwelling divine potential" (fravashi or fravarti).
In the Mithraic liturgy it was called "the perfect body " (soma teilion).
In the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo, it is called "the divine body," composed of supramental substance.
In the philosophy of Teilhard de Chardin, it is called "the ultrahuman."
There probably are other traditions that have analogous terms, and I would be glad to be informed of them. As I see it, these are different terms for the same ultimate stage of human evolution. (I feel quite tentative about Teilhard de Chardin because he is not specific in his writings about the somatic changes which lead to the evolved human. I have excluded Nietzsche's ubermensch altogether for that and other reasons.)
The traditions speak of the process in different ways. Is the immortal body created or released, attained or manifested? Is it preexistent within the individual and the gross matter of the body simply "burned " away? Or is the gross matter of the body altered through a process not yet recognized by physical science, which changes the atoms of flesh into something unnamed on the Periodic Table of Elements? Is there more than one route to the final, perfected form of the human body-mind? Is it necessary to actually die biologically, or is there an alternate path to the light body that bypasses physical death? These are provocative questions which remain to be explored. However this state is achieved, the perfected individual is then capable of operating within ordinary space-time through that altered vehicle of consciousness which is immortal. That vehicle of consciousness is no longer carbon-based as is biological flesh. Rather, it is composed of a finer, more ethereal form of energy-substance unknown to conventional physics, but long known to metaphysics and higher mysticism. That condition is, for the individual, the most exalted stage of higher human development; for humanity in general, it is the final stage of evolution.
Sri Aurobindo, a great Indian teacher and mystic, stated that “divine body” is the ultimate stage of human evolution. He felt that a deathless condition resulting from transubstantiation of the fleshly body could be attained by personal effort, meditation, and divine grace.
The seeds of this immortal form are said to exist within each of us. One can understand this analogy as a metaphor. The butterfly emerges from the caterpillar and the two look nothing alike. The caterpillar contains all the information within its genome necessary for its transformation into a butterfly. In the process, there is a complete transubstantiation of its fleshly body into something totally unlike its birth form. According to the ancients, all humans possess this transformative ability.
Only three percent of the three billion base-pair genome of our DNA encodes the physical body. Ninety-seven percent of our three billions DNA base pairs appear to be totally inactive during the normal course of a human life. Is it possible that the vast dormant potential represented by these billions of base pairs forms the basis for the formation of a higher state of physical expression for the body? Is it possible that the human body acts as a cocoon for a higher, more complex longer lived form which has the potential for immortality. In the process of my research I found a number of well documented historical cases that seemed to bear out the reality of a multiplicity of a spiritual forms, including the Light Body, that are connected to the human body in everyday human experiences.
One such incident was reported by an Italian writer name Ricardo Bandini in 1951 in his Posito super virtutibus. He wrote that in the summer of 1930 he was visiting Assisi around the last day of June or the first of July.
At the Sacro Convento of Saint Francis I ran into a…………………….
Franciscan a rather tall fellow with a beard, nice looking……..….Seeing that he wore a beard I imagined he was a missionary, something I had desired but which problems with my eyes had made impossible. I asked him if he worked in the missions and he replied affirmatively and introduced himself as Father Maximilan Kolbe. He conversed with me about the Madonna……Speaking…with great enthusiasm, he became, as I watched, transfigured, in a diaphanous form, almost transparent, and surrounded by a halo of light, all of which lasted while he spoke……I found myself trembling with a sort of fear, filled with confusion-so moved that tears came to my eyes.
In 1899 Moslem and Christian Lebanese officials received reports of a great shining light that emanated from the grave where Maronite monk Charbel Makhlouf had been buried. The monk had died on December 24, 1898. The body had been half-buried in mud, unembalmed, and without the benefit of a coffin. Religious pilgrims even tried to steal pieces of his remains during this time. The phenomenon continued for 45 days and officials were prompted to exhume the holy man. The body was found floating in the mud but was itself completely free from signs of deterioration “as if it had been buried the same day.” In 1950 Sister Maria Abdel Kamari was taken to the gravesite while suffering from a serious intestinal problem. She could not keep food down, had been bedridden for 14 years and she had already received the sacrament of extreme unction three times. While she prayed at the grave she suddenly felt a powerful surge of energy and was able to stand unaided. Since that time Sister Maria Abel Kamari has been completely free of her previous ailments. On January 21, 1993 Nouhad El-Chami, a 59 year old Lebanese woman saw the holy man appear to her in a body made of light. She stated that she tried to see his face but she couldn’t because the light coming from his body and eyes was too blinding and powerful. Pope Paul VI canonized Charbel Makhlouf on October 9, 1977 and since that time he has been known as Saint Charbel Makhlouf.
In another similar story, Clement Boccardi, secretary to The Venerable Vincent Morelli, archbishop of Otranto, wrote the following account of his employer “The Servant of God”.
While I was with the Servant of God during a visitation of the diocese of Castignano dei Greci’im house of the deceased Mr. Antonius Marini, Iooked one morning into the Servant of God’s bedroom, which contrary to his usual ways, he had not left yet. I observed the room illuminated with a radiance which to me appeared to be neither candle nor daylight---especially not candlelight owing to my observation in the course of the night that no candle had been lit because I slept in the adjoining room. The scene held a surprise for me, but I kept my counsel and reflected whether the light emanating from his person might not be supernatural in nature. Presently, I was approached by the master of the house, and told that he had looked through a keyhole of another door, and had observed the Servant of God on his knees surrounded by light. This convinced me that the illumination which I had seen in the room had not been due to the light of day or candlelight, nor some other natural source but to a supernatural action. The master of the house was a prudent man, highly esteemed for his moral rectitude, and possessed of a capacity for clear judgment.
The bestselling author Carlos Castenada wrote that following the death of his spiritual teacher and mentor Don Juan Naguel, he witnessed the transformation of the old man’s body into a Form of pure light. The Form then ascended into the air where it was joined by a number of similar Light Forms that hovered above. The beings then drifted away toward the neighboring hills and disappeared through an opening in space itself. The literature was teeming with records of many such transformations in all the major religions and spiritual sects.
There was much more to the reality of human evolution than Darwin had ever suspected.
These people had gone through years of spiritual training, meditation, and discipline. One of the fruits of these endeavors appears to be a gradual transformation of the body into a form unlike that of the physical. The key to the transformation of the remaining 97% of the human genome seemed to lie at least in part in the persistent application of will and focus in the meditative arena. Research has shown that the human body emits a variety of electromagnetic radiations across the emission spectrum. DNA has been shown to have the ability to conduct electricity and displays bioluminescent properties when bombarded with laser light. At a very real level, DNA is probably capable of storing a great deal more information related to light and electromagnetic energy than to solid physical matter.