Let’s first define our terms. Personal enlightenment is knowing who you really are, personally, and spiritual enlightenment is knowing who you really are, spiritually.
Personally, you are just an actor playing a role, and spiritually, you are just the pure awareness above and distinct from your actor playing his roles.
Another way to look at this relationship is to see that your personality is the actor and your awareness is the director – just like in the production of a movie.
The actor needs a director because the actor of himself is just an empty suit, an empty costume. He’s not clear how to act in a given situation. Not clear what his motivation is. This is the meaning of the biblical saying: “Of yourself you can do nothing.”
The director gives the actor the needed clarity by virtue of the director’s objectivity. The unenlightened actor is personally biased and self-centered so can’t see the scene or situation wholly and completely.
Now in order for this actor/director relationship to work, the awareness of the director must be kept above and distinct from the actor’s thinking, feeling, sensing and physical activities (“mind over matter”).
They must be kept separate. Otherwise, the awareness becomes impure and corrupted by the activities of those personal faculties. It’s become dragged down to level of the lower personal faculties.
When this is the case, the actor, in effect, is operating without a director (higher power) so is operating blindly and must fall short or fail as a result.
This brings The Mirror-Mind Method to the rescue. The method is to see your role and situation impersonally and objectively – just like a mirror. It’s to see with some distance and detachment – just like a mirror. You now see the situation as it really is and not as you “think” or “feel” it is.
By virtue of your mirror-like detachment, “personal” considerations have been effectively removed from the perceiving and decision-making process. You now become an Academy Award level actor instead of the average, lower level one.
Notice that the key characteristic that makes a movie actor great is the degree to which he is unself-centered in his performance. The great actor performs his role totally oblivious to the dozens of film crew members intently watching him.
The secret to his unaffectedness is his ability to remain detached from anyone or anything — including any thought or feeling, as he perfectly performs his role.