This post will probably end up being very conceptual in nature. I have so much that I want to get across and normally if I were speaking this blog instead, that would mean you were in for lots of examples of background information in an attempt to help you gain a complete understanding for what I'm trying to say. As it is early in the morning and I still need to sleep however, I'm going to attempt to refrain from going into as great a level of detail as I normally would.
I've come to the belief that there are levels of enlightenment, not because I have read it somewhere but rather because I feel I have gotten to the level at which my mind is clear enough to recognize their existence. When I speak of enlightenment, I mean clarity of understanding. Each of the levels represents a conceptual aspect of life and attaining enlightenment at that level seems to bring many benefits through its understanding. Progressing through the levels requires an understanding of many of the concepts relating to that level and the clarity of thought needed to recognize the level's existence. This recognition is the threshold after which you can start pursuing the next level. Further progress can also be made to gain an increased understanding of the concepts that make up a previously attained level.
At this point I feel as though I have recognized 3 levels. I will call them "Normal Life", "The Business World", and "3D conceptualizations", not because these are the best names for them but because they describe the pieces of information I've learned at each level. As I go on through life, I will probably end up renaming them to encompass new findings, though I doubt I'll ever have the perfect name for them because each level has just too much to understand to be able to sum it all up in one title.
This level is the one that most people in the world seem to live in. It is composed of day to day activities and the "demands and requirements" life makes on us. Examples would include everything from paying the bills, to going out, to a club, to having to work, to going on vacation for fun. It represents the here and now of everything as well as future plans for things that we wish to become part of the "here and now" in the future. This is the level that I was at while working for Citadel and most of my life previous. I was always on call, overworked, continuously stressed, focused on the trivial things, and generally unhappy. My only way to get away from this was to go out to a club and drink and dance on a weekly basis and I often referred to this time as my "mini vacation" because when I was drunk my mind was free of everything. Unfortunately, the same things about drunkenness that would create clarity also put restrictions on any further thinking, so while my mind was clear, I couldn't recognize my mind was clear and therefore couldn't progress forward. A little while after leaving Citadel, moving out of Chelsea and my apartment with Dane, and starting a job that was far less stressful, things seemed to drastically change. I stopped worrying about where my next job was going to come from and how I was going to pay the bills, because they didn't seem to matter and also because I was in a much better state to be able to deal with these things as I had more spare money and savings. I thus had more freedom both in life and thought. The time I had previously spent worry about how I looked when I went out or where money was going to come from began to be spent on the next level, though I had didn't know it at the time (I've only recognized the levels today).
"The Business World":
This is probably not the best name for this level but I chose it because as I had more spare time, I began coming up with great business ideas from seemly nowhere. The freedom of my mind from the "Normal Life" level allowed me to let my mind wander and this wandering produced more ideas in a short period of time than I have ever had. I began to see how some of these ideas were feasible and how to get going on them, which I did. I stopped thinking about what already existed in "Normal Life" (previously thought of and used business ideas) and started to think about the what ifs.
Continuous wandering allowed me to start to conceptualize the next level. I was playing a very interesting PSP game called "CRUSH" which essentially makes you a character in the game world. The object is to navigate through each level, collect all the marbles, and escape through a portal that had to be enabled first. Now this sounds like a everyday video game except for one thing... when you first started the game, you were in a 3D world and could move in any direction. You could also change camera angles so you could look at the things behind your character (whether looking from the front, side, or top). At any moment, you could "Crush" the current camera angle into a 2D world where you could only move left and right. Check out the YouTube Video that shows this 3D to 2D conversion. This would allow you to reach other parts of the level that you previously couldn't get to. You could then uncrush putting you back in the 3D world.
This got me thinking about demensions in general and it became apparent to me that current computers are very limited and based on seemingly silly 2D concepts. They rely on 0s and 1s, representing the on and off states of electricity. Becuase of this limitiation in states, you can only store one piece of information, the state, which can only be one of two things. This concept is extended to computer memory and harddrives. If you think about it, a harddrive is representative of a piece of paper and pen, the magnetic platters being the piece of paper and the head that writes the 0s and 1s is the pen. So here we are, basing this seemingly advanced machine on 2 dimensions and yet the world isn't 2D!. Enter the quantum computer, which stores information based on the 4 quantum numbers that make up the properties of an atom. Essentaily, such a computer would be able to read and set the properties of an atom which each combination of settings meaing something different and thus making many possible states. Because more information can be stored, fewer operations would be necissary to do something than in a current binary computer and by running a computer at the same speed (GHZ) as current computers, a quantum computer would be able to complete a vast amount more operations. Unfortunatly, we don't have the technology to read and write atoms at our whim yet but its coming, and as a business it would be worth $billions if not more while solving many of the problems that trouble humans today. Anyway, this whole 2D to 3D thing got me thinking about the next level.
This level is less about the whole 3D thing and more about moving from looking at business ideas from the busines standpoint and more the conceptual standpoint of how the pieces of things work. This is where acedemic instituations seem to thrive and term it "Research". It became less of "what is a good business idea" and more of "what makes a good business idea". Through freedom of thought, idle time, and clarity, I was able to apply this "reasearch" idea to life as well and now have began understanding things at the more fundemental level nature rather than man made institutions. This is also the level at which I recognized the existance of the levels.
After writing all this, I guess I might modify the level names in the following way, with each level being composed of the next:
Everyday Life --> Man Made Institutions --> Physics and the nature of the universe
I imagine the next level will be something along the lines of the ideas and concepts behind the physics and nature of the universe... I guess including things such as the "Why" things are the way they are... which gets into the area of religion. Though I am working on this level, I am still very focused on learning other concepts at the lower levels, as I believe that the understanding will benefit and enrich my life. Its taken me 23 years to get through these 3 levels. It may take me quite a bit longer to break the next.
In the meantime however, I'm happier then I have ever been. I have a clearer mind, more free time, and a general excitement about each day and its possibilities. In the future, I plan to start living more and stop putting things off until the time is perfect for them because the time will never be perfect. I'm looking into things such as taking stunt driving courses, learning to sail, traveling, and much more. My focus is on enjoying and making the best of each day because what's the point of living if you don't live?
Sidenote: The grammer of this post may not be perfect as I am tired and trying to get everything out very quickly.