Knowing one’s Self is only being one’s Self, as there is no second existence. This is Self-realization.

Enlightenment doesn’t care how you get there. ~Thaddeus Golas

I was on the phone last night with an old and dear friend, Geoff, who recently returned to his home in Wellington after living for a couple of years with his family in London. We hadn’t spoken together since his return. He told me a lovely story I’d like to relate to you here. Geoff has been a coach for a long time. About ten years ago he had the privilege of hosting and being the guide for an Indian man (we’ll call him Michael) who’d come to share some of his knowledge with coaches in New Zealand.

Wellington Harbour

Here’s the story in Geoff’s words:

Michael wouldn’t call himself a guru. He is a little man who is very calm and has much wisdom to share. When he walks across a room it is as if the space around him is lit up. Part way through his visit we were sitting together in a busy café in downtown Wellington. I was drinking a coffee, he a green tea. In the course of our conversation he could hear that I was a keen seeker of truth.

Michael asked, “Would you like to know the secret to enlightenment?”

This got me excited. After all my searching I was finally going to find that which I was seeking. “Yes,” I replied with genuine enthusiasm.

“First of all the word ‘enlightenment’ is wrong. It’s ‘lighten-up-enment’”

I was on the edge of my chair, hanging on his every word.

“You see all the people walking past us. Do you think that because they believe something, it is truth?”

“Of course not. Just because we believe it, doesn’t make it truth.”

“Then what makes you think you have exclusive access to truth, Geoff.”

At this point I was feeling a little deflated; much flatter than I had been earlier.

Michael continued, “OK, here’s the first step to enlightenment…”

I was really eager, ready to absorb the coming pearls of wisdom.

“The first step to enlightenment is that you’ve got to realise you are full of shit.”

I looked at Michael, slightly shocked. This definitely wasn’t what I was expecting.

“The second step to enlightenment is that the moment you think you’re right and start using that ‘rightness’ to teach or dominate a conversation go back to step one.”

I was stunned. I sensed there was deep truth in what he said, even if it cut sharply across all my expectations.

“The third step is that the moment you think you’ve got it you haven’t. Go back to step one.

“Keep practicing these three steps and eventually you’ll transcend your ego.”

Have a great day and a great year and may your every step illuminate those around you.


Click Below to:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See

In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit:

In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

 Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews