Adima, it raises a few fundamental questions.
First, if you cannot understand enlightenment, how can you understand that which is beyond it? You are misunderstanding. Your misunderstanding is that perhaps beyond enlightenment means below enlightenment. And you are feeling happy, but I cannot feel happy with your happiness. I feel sorry for it. You are feeling happy that I have come close to you. You should feel happy when you come close to me.
Just think: if I say that I have dropped even "beyond enlightenment," that it was all fiction - enlightenment, beyond enlightenment - that I am just one of you who had a few imaginative, fictitious ideas, you will feel even happier. Now there is nothing for you to worry about, nowhere to go, nothing to achieve, you are perfectly okay.
Your question makes me understand why Gautam Buddha remained with enlightenment - although he was seeing it, the stars beyond were calling him. He was the first man to see beyond enlightenment, but he didn′t go beyond; he remained at the stage of enlightenment. Perhaps it was for people like you. Because you will not be able to understand the person who goes beyond enlightenment; in a way he will become almost ordinary - and there is the danger. Your ordinariness and his ordinariness are poles apart - but both are ordinariness, and the danger is that you will misunderstand. He has come back home. You have not even started the journey.
It is almost like meeting someone on a staircase - you are both standing on the same step; one is going, one is coming. Both are on the same step - in a way equal - but one is going up, one is going down. Hence, they are not equal, their equality is illusory.
I thought perhaps that in the twenty-five centuries after Gautam Buddha man might have become a little more intelligent - and someone some day has to try going beyond and see what happens, how people take it.
The way you have understood it is absolutely wrong. I have not come closer to you, I have gone farther away.
And you cannot avoid enlightenment; if you avoid it, you cannot reach beyond it. It is simple arithmetic. That′s what is making you happy, that perhaps enlightenment can be avoided - when one has to go beyond it, what is the need to first go to enlightenment and then go beyond it? We are already beyond it!
You are not beyond it. You are behind it.
And in any case enlightenment cannot be avoided. One has to pass through that fire, through that great experience. So drop that idea that I have come closer to you. My being closer to you is not significant. What is significant is your being closer to me.
You say, "Now you are a friend to us." I have always been a friend to you. The question is from your side: are you a friend to me? And my friendship will enhance and enrich my life, not your life. It is your friendship that is going to enhance and enrich your life. And if you can be a friend to one who is enlightened you have taken a long jump, you have extended your hands for a faraway star, you have stretched your being to its fullest. This will give you an evolution.
And only after you have reached the point of enlightenment can you see that there are skies beyond skies, that enlightenment is not the end. Existence is not exhausted yet; there is still much more ahead, the journey continues.