Enlightenment is Wholeness not Holyness

Veröffentlicht im "Harbin Quarterly IV", Kalifornien 1992

von Heide-Maria Koubenec (Ranjita)

The word “enlightenment“ is part of the lexicon of the New Age.

Whether approached through reading books, taking workshops, sitting with a teacher, or traveling to India, it seems to represent some vaguely sensed ultimate ideal towards which all serious spiritual seekers must be aspiring.

Many years ago only a small number of hardy pioneers would dare to give up their daily routine in exchange for meditation, yoga, or an eliminatory haircut. Belittled and ridiculed by society, family or friends, these spiritual stalwarts searched long and hard, through deserts, over mountains, and across seas. Now the passage to India or a meditation retreat seem relatively simple and commonplace things; anyone with the desire and motivation can do them.

Enlightenment or the idea of it, even for the most ordinary people? Something in it catches more than just your eye; it takes hold of your soul. This yearning that burns your insides out, sending you dashing all over the world, searching for.. desiring... something.


What are we looking for? Truth? Peace? FuIl self realization? And what does that mean? Does it mean to become holy or does it mean to become whole?

It is easier to become holy than it is to become whole. Holiness is a part in each of us and it is highly valued and subtly enforced by society.

To stay holy is more difficult, because this is not all that we are. Only a part of everyone is the saint; it exists even in a criminal. The saint is just over identified with his holy side. He is “holy“ but not whole.

Now if being holy makes you feel good, I would encourage you to go ahead and manifest your saintly part. If, however, you feel you are in need of the total truth and enlightenment experience: become whole and you may be blessed with a higher understanding of the mysteries of existence.

Becoming whole is by no means easy, and it‘s certainly not instant. It’s an oftentimes humiliating process as you must look at parts of yourself you never thought even existed, parts of yourself you literally forced out of your consciousness; who me? a deceiver?, who me? selfish?, who me? jealous?, who me? power-hungry? Who wants to accept such punishable sins?. . .Or so society says.

When we live in a world that is constantly maneuvering the “shadow“ side of life out of view, then why should you stand alone and be different?

Unsupported by society and maybe even by your spiritual friends, your journey towards wholeness is constantly challenged by others who reject and judge the parts in you, that they are still denying in themselves.

Whether people seek wholeness or Holiness, they often desire the guidancc of a spiritual teacher. Many people gravitate toward the holy appearance of a teacher. But a saint does not know himself. People who follow a saint-like teacher are often afraid to look deeply at themselves.

The kind of teacher you choose depends on how much truth you can handle and how ready you are to go for it.

Traditionally many spiritual teachers have come from the East, especially from India, where men pursued their search for Enlightenmcnt while the women were bearing and raising children. With the blossoming of the New Age this has changed. Now women and men, young and old, from the East and the West, attain enlightenment. However people have not changed their traditional images and concepts about what enlightenment is and how a realized being may look or act.

Most people expect an enlightened being to be somehow holy in their lifestyle, and in their manner of appearance — or disappearance! They are expected to be able to leave their bodies when they visit the dentist or at least be detached from pain and feelings.

We expect a Nazarene-like being who can perform all kinds of miracles.
They can may be even walk through closed doors or at least know everything about you and read your mind.

Someone who is beyond human. They should not eat meat or ice cream or have sex. We expect them to be a man, to have gray hair and a beard or to be bold, and to come from India or some other exotic place.

Not that Indians are so mystical, practicing meditation day and night, or are so highly developed in their souls or personalities.

I guess one reason that so many masters come from India is that Indians are naturally so surrendered, and surrender is one of the most essential parts in the process of Enlightenment.

India seems to be quite a holy country but most people there are not whole, because wholeness requires a balance of yin (female, passive) and yang (male, active) energy.
Many Indians have excessive yin energy and are sometimes too surrendered, even to the point of apathy. If you reject your yang energy — like the saint does —you will be suppressing a lot of your­self.

The only difference
 between you and the saint is that he has succeeded in ignoring his shadow side and you have not!  Good for you!


lt is still alive in you‚ sometimes bothering, pushing or even haunting you because it wants to be understood and integrated. You strive to become whole and only then you can see the truth. How can you possibly see the truth when you are judging, oppressing, hiding or ignoring half of your own and another’s reality.

How can you understand anything  when you are ruling out half of what existed for thousands of years? :The shadow side, or the bad, or the “evil“.

I don‘t believe that God created a beautiful world and then the devil came in and messed it all up. lt is one energy, the “divine“ as well as the “evil“ forces. Yet we prefer to project the dark forces into something foreign, into another person, another race, another country or a forbidden planet out there in or beyond our solar system.

First we have to acknowledge that there is nothing wrong with darkness. There is Light and there is Darkness; both can exist only through, and in the absence of, the other. Yin and yang energies have to be balanced within ourselves and in our relationships, as well as in our communities and eventually in the whole World.

Excessive Yin energy may appear as apathy or resignation, or in a positive way as meditation. The manifestations of “evil“ are suppressed yang energies which accumulate for a certain period and tend to be released in explosive ways, such as  arguments, war and violence. Owning and using the yang energy  in a positive sense means to take action,  to create, to express yourself, to say no,  to go forward, to have sex, to  move according to your energy.

Learning to use all of your yin and yang energy towards wholeness as well as developing your personality is often overlooked in discussions around Enlightenment.

Many teachings focus solely on the mind, either controlling or being detached from, feelings, thoughts or bodily sensations. For this process, only the mind is needed. Even “unconditional love“ and “loving kindness" are  achieved through the  mind. The ego is considered the final problem, but the ego also is only in the mind. Enlightenment cannot just be limited to understanding and mastering the mind. Where does the mind come from? What about our feelings and our body? What do we have feelings and the body for? And furthermore, why is there so much violence in this earthly paradise? Where do we come from? And why are we here on this planet?

To find answers to these questions, you have to look much deeper and higher than behind the illusion of the ego and the mind. Developing your awareness, becoming empty, floating in nothingness and being pure consciousness are just stages on your spiritual journey towards Enlightenment. There is so much more beyond that.

To find truth, you first have to accept absolutely everything and become whole.


Acceptance is the key to full understanding and the key to Enlightenment. The process starts with wholeness but this is only a preparation to see Truth and be able to live in that Truth.

To become whole, the body, the heart and the mind have to be considered and understood as an interchangeable and inseparable Union, existing probably in more than three Dimensions in different forms of energy.

When you concentrate on the teachings of the mind and ego and learn to be detached from everything else, you may lose the pain of the heart and the body but you also lose the tremendous gifts of love, wisdom and ecstasy that they have to offer.

In the ancient teachings of Yoga and Tantra the body is included as an integrative part of the path towards Enlightenment. Most paths towards self realization do not explore the heart and emotions as deeply as they do the mind and the body. Emotions are thought of as something you need to be detached from, observant about, or able to control...or not even to have any emotions except for love.

Emotions are energy patterns which allow or force you to set something “in motion“. Emotions are guiding us “to do“ or “not to do“ what is needed to further our development and to give and receive energy from others.

Have you ever had difflculty deciding something if you don‘t have a feeling about it? Emotions guide you to find out what you want and whether to say “yes“ or "no“ to people, things, circumstances, places.

Would you have ever had the courage to tell somebody: “no this is enough! I am not doing this!“, if you had not felt frustrated or angry, because somehody had violated your boundaries?  Emotions are your fuel. Without them, the engine is not running. Your emotions and bodily sensations are far better guides than your mind. Emotions are part of a healthy, happy and spiritual life in this body. Emotions  connect us to our souls and can serve us as a source of revelations.

To go further on your spiritual path, wholeness is absolutely necessary in preparing you for higher understanding and creating ease in handling all spiritual experiences. If you were to receive glimpses of truth or Kundalini, for instance, and still had repressed parts in yourself, it could be overwhelming and even unbearable. The Kundalini energy could rush through you like a serpent of fire, pushing through resistance, creating pain and fear.


Many people in mental institutions are maladjusted potential mystics who have come in contact with truth before they were able to integrate that into their reality.

However, wholeness will certainly bring you gifts like Kundalini rising in a healthful and enjoyable way. Intense free flowing Kundalini energy for an extensive period of time, enables you to directly experience truth beyond concepts or as shaped by belief systems.

To allow this to happen, you have to give up control and surrender, because it is much more intense than an above-average orgasm. More than just your ego is gone in these moments. If you ever had any doubts about whether there is something beyond ourselves, Kundalini sets you straight. You are left with the certainty of a Divine Presence and extraterrestrial intelligence.

After mastering Kundalini and Truth you can look back and realize how necessary it was for you to become whole.

lt is actually safer and far more ecstatic to be in extraordinary states of consciousness when you have cleared your present personal problems and biographical traumas. Otherwise you could project and accelerate your unresolved issues into altered states, and your perception may be confused by your “stuff“ or you might find yourself fighting with your demons on a nightmarish enlarged cosmic screen.

The lighter path is to do your homework on a personality level in order to explore higher states of consciousness and travel freely and blissfully in the transpersonal, unlimited, universal space of existence.

In addition to personal development wholeness also means to see and understand the perfection of the universe and play your part in the game. When you are not whole and authentic in the way that you have been purposefully created, you disturb the balance of the universe.

Even when you choose to play “saint“ you are still participating in the imbalance on the planet because you suppress what you are supposed to contribute in making the perfection visible and helping to manifest the magic synchronicity in the world.

Our grand human ego makes us think that we know what perfection is and how we and others have to change in order to be perfect.

The truth is that we are all perfect in our imperfection in this moment.

But we still have a need to develop further. Our growth towards wholeness is actually in perfect timing. By accepting this journey as it is, we can feel perfect here and now by embracing all our and others imperfections. This statement appears contradictory, but the conflict dissolves at a deeper level of understanding.


To be enlightened means, as the word suggests, to bring light, insight and understanding into something which is dark, hidden, unseen, not understood. When we gain new insights into confusing issues of ourselves or of life in general, we sometimes say “this experience was very enlightening.“ 

We want to light up the hidden secrets about who we are, what we are, and the realization of the origin, the purpose and the reason of our being here.

All of the energies we are born with help us to attain wholeness, self realization and finally Enlightenment. They can give us so much joy and happiness while enhancing the evolution and balance of the Earth.

The body and sex, the heart and emotions, the mind and thoughts all were created within us to advance towards perfection. Nothing needs to be rejected, detached from, or stopped in our body, our heart or our mind!

Through being whole and authentic, and through acceptance and surrender to what is, we can experience truth and enlightenment and find freedom, peace and happiness for ourselves and eventually for everyone on this planet.

Dr. Heide-Maria Koubenec (Ranjita)
has been a resident of the Harbin Community since 1987 till 1999. As a counselor and minister she is supporting people in their search for transformation and self-realization. She has been teaching classes in Rebalancing, Body-Enlightenment and Meditation at Harbin.