Week of

The Discovery of Confusion Is Enlightenment

On the whole, it could be said that the discovery of confusion is enlightenment. When we discover confusion, the enlightened state becomes redundant. Discovering the confusion is the most important thing of all. It is facing reality and getting beyond the many kinds of self-deception. Whereas if we are purely searching for something glorious and pleasurable, if we view enlightenment as a Promised Land or Treasure Island, then it is just a myth. It just adds further pain. We cannot get to such a treasure island; we cannot get to such a promised land; we cannot actually attain enlightenment. The more we think about enlightenment, the more pain we feel because of the frustration of not getting there, which just creates further confusion. So the Buddhist tradition tells us, and here all the sects and schools concur, that if we are going to begin on the path, we have to begin at the beginning. We cannot begin halfway through and we cannot begin on the dream level. We have to face the reality of our actual living situation.

From “The Tibetan Buddhist Teachings and Their Application,” in The Collected Works of Chögyam Trungpa, Volume Three, pages 520 to 521.Published by Shambhala Publications

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The CTR Quote of the Week is coming to you from the Chogyam Trungpa Institute at Naropa University. The compiler of the quotes and the moderator of the list is Carolyn Gimian.

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