Enlightenment: Only Attained by the Diligent Few – Part 1/2

Written by Wes Annac, The Culture of Awareness

Enlightenment is a beautiful, sacred and revolutionary process of spiritual growth, and it isn’t widely available to everyone.
Only those who are willing to take a serious, discerning look at themselves and determine what needs shifted and transformed before they can open the doorway to enlightenment will do so, and as we’ll learn here, most people don’t ultimately attain it.

Most people don’t even know about it yet, but I think more will become aware as the planetary vibration continues to rise. Beyond its beauty and sacredness, enlightenment seems to be a difficult and sometimes uncomfortable process of total ego death, and most people aren’t yet ready to embark on such a journey.

Those who are will find that they’ve embarked on one of, if not the most difficult paths they could ever hope to traverse, but the result will eventually be the attainment of unhindered spiritual bliss. The difficulty that comes with attaining enlightenment is well worth it in the end, but this doesn’t make the journey any less difficult.

Anyone who embraces the enlightenment path with the expectation that it’ll be easy might be in for some disappointment, because it requires the ability to express undistorted mastery in the face of all odds; in the face of the greatest temptation-based adversity we’ll ever experience.

There are a lot of things about this world as it currently stands that don’t match the enlightened, masterful state of mind so many seekers are ready to embrace, and in order to attain enlightenment, we’ll have to be willing to shed and transcend everything about ourselves that isn’t in alignment with the higher realms we seek to grow back into.

We aren’t meant to be perfect here on earth – we’re going to make mistakes, and it’s to be expected. However, when the time comes for us to willingly and continually embrace the higher realms and the path that’ll lead us back into them, we’ll want to embrace the idea of mastery; of flawlessness.

We’ll want to embrace the idea of becoming gods in our own right, and anything less will cause us to fall short of our ultimate goal of enlightenment. Here, I’d like to look at what some of our spiritual teachers have said about the difficulty of this journey and the fact that few will successfully embark on it.

As we’ll learn, few seekers receive the call to embrace enlightenment and hardly any are able to act on its requirements. I know I’ve had my fair share of difficulty. It can be a rough journey, and we can’t expect to perfect it overnight, but some seekers won’t answer the call at all because of the inherent difficulty involved.

Personally, I can’t say I blame them!

According to the Upanishads, “To many it is not given to hear of the Self. Many, though they hear of it, do not understand it. Wonderful is he who speaks of it. Intelligent is he who learns of it. Blessed is he who, taught by a good teacher, is able to understand it.” (1)

Lao Tzu tells us that few can remain mentally still enough to achieve enlightenment.

“In all the world but few can know Accomplishment apart from work, Instruction when no words are used.” (2)

Sri Krishna poses the question of how many seekers will act on his teachings.

“Then tell me how many Of those who seek freedom Shall know the total Truth of my being? Perhaps one only.” (3)

He also tells us that “Fools pass blindly by the place of my dwelling Here in the human form, and of my majesty They know nothing at all, Who am the Lord, their soul.” (4)

We have a constant opportunity to attain enlightenment, and even though it’s a gradual process that requires a lot of inner training, we’re never left without the ability to embrace it. We’re given plenty of advice and guidance from various spiritual teachers who encourage us to seek Source within, but ultimately, we’re the only ones who can embrace this path.

Everyone’s given an opportunity, but only some will take the opportunity and transform it into awareness and enlightenment. Awareness seems to be a catalyst that eventually allows us to experience full-on enlightenment, but awareness by itself isn’t enough.

We have to be willing to embrace this path in the face of any and every temptation to feed former ways of being that no longer serve us, and even though it can be difficult, the reward will be far worth our diligent efforts.

In the book of Matthew, Jesus tells us that “Many are called, but few are chosen.” (5)

He also tells us “Strait is the gate and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (6)

By ‘life’, he refers to eternal life, which we’ll find in the spiritual realms, and you’ll notice that he seems to reference the difficulty of the path with the phrase ‘narrow is the way’. Learning about enlightenment is very easy, but attaining it requires us to embrace this narrow path instead of embracing the wide-open pasture of misaligned, lower-vibrational life.

He also tells us that roughly one in a thousand people will actually become enlightened.

“I shall choose you, one from a thousand, and two from ten thousand.” (7)

This number could very well increase since consciousness and awareness are growing in this day and age, and even though awakening was more difficult in the past, it seems a little easier in our current society, where people are awakening and embracing various spiritual paths every day.

No matter what path we embrace – enlightenment; ascension; some other religious or spiritual path; they’ll all lead us back home as long as they’re genuine. Any genuine belief system that isn’t founded on distortion and suppression will help us find our way back home, but the enlightenment path seems to be one of the most potent ways to get there.


  1. Swami Prabhavananda and Frederick Manchester, trans., The Upanishads. Breath of the Eternal. New York and Scarborough: New American Library, 1957; c1948, 17.
  2. Lao Tzu, The Way of Life. The Tao Te Ching. trans. R.B. Blakney. New York, etc.: Avon, 1975, 96.
  3. Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood, trans., Bhagavad-Gita. The Song of God. New York and Scarborough: New American Library, 1972; c1944, 70.
  4. Ibid., 81.
  5. Jesus in Matthew 22:14.
  6. Matthew 7:14.
  7. Marvin W. Meyer, The Secret Teachings of Jesus. New York; Random House, 1986, 24.

Concluded in Part 2 tomorrow. To read the full article, head here.


7 thoughts on “Enlightenment: Only Attained by the Diligent Few – Part 1/2”

  1. Aw, please don’t go down Steve Beckow’s ignorantly “intellectual” path. Almost everyone who is enlightened will honestly tell you, they DO NOT KNOW why awakening happened to them. People who meditated 30 years say they do not believe they made it happen – especially in light of the fact that people like Byron Katie and Wayne Liquorman and countless others throughout history have simply popped into enlightenment without having had the slightest interest in spirituality, much less any diligent practice. One can argue well, they must have practiced hard in a former life but we don’t know that, do we? NOT AT ALL. There is no way the illusion (what we think of as “us,” the ones working so hard to get enlightened) can create the Reality. And don’t forget that one man who became enlightened in the Buddha’s presence and who was a highly-feared mass murderer.


    1. Very interesting point, Timetospeak. I didn’t think about that!

      Enlightenment can certainly be a spontaneous occurrence that ‘chooses’ us, as opposed to us working hard to attain it. I do think doing the necessary inner work is still important, but I appreciate what you said here. Not everything needs to seem too far out of our reach to be done – we’re capable of it all.

      Much love 🙂


  2. Wes, I really enjoy your articles, however I didn’t resonate with this one. The belief system that attaining enlightenment is a very difficult path is an old world concept, inline with the concept that we also need to suffer to attain spiritual wisdom. Perhaps the reason enlightenment is made so difficult is that we live on a world in darkness, manipulated by parasites who do not wish to see us subvert their hold over us. If the Earth were raised to a higher vibration, attaining enlightenment might become considerably easier, especially if the culture at large supported and encouraged such efforts. Perhaps that is why we are seeing greater numbers pursuing the path of enlightenment today, out in the open, not in some remote cave.


    1. Great point, Deus. The material examined here does date pretty far back – perhaps the mindset that enlightenment can only be attained by a few is indeed outdated. With the rising consciousness levels now permeating the earth, anything’s possible.

      Much love 🙂


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