In other words, they’re not talking about the next life?

…or the next state. I think the most important thing about the translucent revolution is that most people I’ve interviewed have cancelled their subscription to the concept of enlightenment as a fixed state. Instead, life itself is an endless river of enlightening, where every moment there is the possibility to live with more love, creativity, humor, art, and generosity of spirit.

If you’re translucent, do you believe there is an afterlife?

I don’t know. What I can tell you is that I live my life in relationship to what I can recognize from direct experience. I don’t have much relationship to things I don’t have direct experience of. So I’m completely, totally, madly, passionately in love with the present moment. I don’t even have a relationship to tomorrow, let alone the afterlife.

Is being translucent a kind of freedom from your own mind?

Absolutely. It’s total freedom from the mind. The mind, of course, doesn’t really exist. There isn’t a thing called the mind. It’s a collective way of speaking about thoughts. And it’s not to say that thoughts stop. But now you know that they are thoughts.

Is this movement happening now because we have enough science about the brain to understand what the brain is--and therefore what we are?

I don’t think that has been a very important factor. One of the things I think has precipitated this collective awakening is the fact that our physical life is becoming less secure. The fact that we have so many more people on the planet then we ever did, and we’re using up resources much faster than we ever did, and we’re impacting our environment so much more than we ever did, and we developed our technology for weapons of mass destruction, which are now in the hands of strange characters. This makes life less secure, less reliable, less predictable than it has been in the past. And this uncertainty about the future has been an important factor in precipitating collective awakening.

But you could also look at the idea of being translucent as avoidance. Because if you realize that everything is so overwhelming, which it is, then maybe the only way to deal with it is to go inward.

I don’t think it’s a question of avoidance, and I want to explain why. There are several things about the translucent revolution which taken together make it remarkable. One is that many people are having these awakenings. The awakenings are similar to what happened to Buddha, what happened to Jesus during the 40 days and 40 nights in the desert. Human beings have always had awakenings, just not in such large numbers as we see today. That’s one part of it.

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  • But there are other things that make the translucent revolution even more remarkable and unusual. And that is the way that the awakening is embodied. In the past, in most established traditions, awakening has been associated with renouncing the world--as you said, avoidance. So spiritual experience was a way to get free of this horrible realm, this dirty, messy realm of incarnation. That’s certainly characteristic of many oriental traditions, that you send the energy up the spine, as far away from the genitals as possible, up into the highest chakras and out into the cosmic void, where you don’t have to deal with human incarnation anymore. And that’s been how we’ve thought of spirituality.
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