Enlightenment has generally been portrayed as a mysterious and legendary state of mind that may be impossible to find, or at least, very difficult. What it is, is a practical and useful understanding of the mind, and this may begin with understanding one’s own personal instance of the mind. By understanding the nature of the mind, many elements of reality become apparent.
Impersonal scientific experimentation is slow, and practices like correlating neurons may give us clues to how the brain physically functions, but it offers little understanding into the nature of the mind. The mind is a composite living being, composed out of a collection of living beings/networks/memories, and certainly could manifest in a variety of media, not just our present brain.
Finding pristine care in the observation and understanding of one’s own mind is quite attainable, and the mind can be seen for what it truly is, rather than a black-box that the modern person typically fights with and deludes with trickery, in order to gain small and incremental rewards. (This pattern of self-antagonism is the antithesis of enlightenment.)
Enlightenment is intuitively known by all life, through the perception of cognitive and affective coherence. The seeker of enlightenment has probably come up with a general definition of enlightenment, gathering from the rumors and legends of spiritual attainment. These traditional definitions, which generally speak of “infinite bliss,” and “eternal happiness,” are ambiguous, and have become partially tainted by the illumination of desperation.
In reality, enlightenment is very simple and does not lead to a path of eternal excitement, as many may claim. In fact, chasing excitement cannot result in a long-lived state, as excitement is only part of what composes one’s internal language and behavior. With much of enlightenment, what goes on internally, between internal networks, is a reflection of phenomena that occur externally, between people, as well. Therefore, understanding the self leads to understanding society, as well.
One of the most difficult things about enlightenment results from a pattern of chasing a light (or objective) of some sort. I am not here to say that that light, which often implies things like great awareness and profound bliss, that one witnesses, doesn’t rightfully belong to the person, but flipping the possession of the light to being possessed by the light can make enlightenment more difficult to realize.
The essence of enlightenment relies on what one already possesses, and with the realization of enlightenment, one finds understanding concerning where the light (of objective) comes from and what its purpose is.
You generate the light out of love for your self and your self’s desires — the light is a reminder of who you are, and if the love of the self is forgotten, the light becomes unattainable, while also indicating nothing truly relevant — it instead creates feelings of failure and hopelessness, stemming from neglecting portions of the self, which is where the light originally came from.
While lessons of enlightenment often use words of the past, due to similar concepts being missing in English, I have found that using foreign words can make enlightenment confusing and difficult to communicate. Unless these words are redefined in modern context, their age may lead to some implied generalizations, and they may have accumulated skewing of definition, which may make enlightenment too mysterious for people to see and understand.
When one chooses to follow the path of enlightenment, the person is faced with a series of existential questions, all leading to understanding the self and self-harmonization (which directly leads to understanding people and social-harmonization, and the nature of reality, in general).
Of the essence and core of enlightenment, lies a question, essentially asking, “what is reality?” While that isn’t the only facet that is thought about enlightenment, it is quite possibly its primary facet. People often think that enlightenment means the end to suffering. In a way, it does. There are different kinds of suffering, but there’s a deep turmoil in the unenlightened that enlightenment resolves. With enlightenment, one finds mental consistency and regularity, and can always perceive one’s internal mind, with love, gratitude, preservation, and care.
I call the state of non-enlightenment the turmoil of being in disrepair. What you’re looking for is a consistent and reliable answer to the question of the nature and truth of reality. This truth of reality dissipates the headache and internal conflict caused by what many refer to as, “cognitive dissonance.”
Finding this answer, which is often called, “ultimate truth,” allows the mind to resolve its difficulty. It creates singularity in the individual. The numerous questions, which are, so often, there in the search for enlightenment, go away. What results is a type of profound feeling of care, consideration, and love, with possibly the serenity of a gentle fall day (if it is a reflection of who one is).
Finding enlightenment answers the deepest question, which gives your soul rest and true bliss, although it may not be the same as the “bliss” found in riding an exciting roller coaster. It is the concrete and unambiguous realization of reality for the loving and wonderful being that it truly is.
(Without enlightenment, there is a perpetual suffering of confusion, a restlessness which stems from not knowing the eternal truth (and thus an unchanging bias), and a suffering of dim-sight stemming from a lack of awareness.)