Enlightenment is difficult to explain because it is an unusual and personal experience. It is outside of time and space, and beyond doubt or certainty. The best way to explain it is to experience it. So, all we can do here is perhaps come close to communicating this amazing experience.
One of the best definitions comes from the originator of the Enlightenment Intensive, Charles Berner. Enlightenment is consciousness of a state of direct knowledge of yourself as you truly are.
This can only be experienced by conscious, direct knowledge of the self. The self is a nonphysical entity with the power of choice or free will. It is timeless and uncaused existing (and not existing!) without location in time or space.
Enlightenment is being conscious of a nonphysical you that just exists without experiencing time, space, the material world or a material you.
The experience itself is called a direct experience because it happens by no means. You can’t think, believe, feel, smell, taste, hear or see yourself to enlightenment. It is instantaneous, one moment you experience yourself one way, the next you are in another absolute state of being.
This instant is timeless. You have to step outside of your mind and the senses just to create the possibility of enlightenment. It is a direct acceptance of yourself in that moment of no past or future.
And then, you are back. The mind comes back, time moves forward, you think and experience the world through your senses. But, that conscious, direct knowledge of the self remains. It is permanent and stays with you outside of time. It is always there in the moment. All you need to do is ‘be’ to be in the state direct knowledge of yourself.
How strongly it stays and how available it is to you after the initial experience depends on several factors. Primarily, it depends on how well you are able to communicate your experience to another. This has to do with your acceptance of yourself and others as you and they truly are.
Direct knowledge can also be understood as direct acceptance of yourself and others. Direct acceptance of yourself gives you the consciousness of the absolute truth of yourself which can only be done by conscious, direct knowledge of the self.
The deeper your self-enlightenment, the easier it is to accept others, and conversely,
the more others you accept, the deeper is your enlightenment. This is so because
the more you know that others are like you, the more your own direct knowledge
of yourself is validated and strengthened.
There are levels of enlightenment. It is usually possible to have more experiences. ‘Usually,’ because it is possible to have a major breakthrough that clears all levels, but that only happens once every few thousand years or so with Buddha being one example.
The more experiences the deeper the level of direct acceptance of self and other. And, the experience becomes more and more accessible. Many wonderful things happen to those that pursue the depths of truth that is within themselves.
As your level of enlightenment increases, the more the veil of illusion becomes thinner and thinner. Life is illusion. In reality there is no ‘life’, there is just Us.
I am going to just stop here. There is a lot more that can be said, but I think I have confused the matter enough for now. I will offer more as I find the inspiration which can come from you. Please ask questions, your desire for and openness to Truth is inspirational.