What is Enlightenment?

Wisdom 1The term ‘enlightenment’ is an often used one, but carries a great many associations. Unfortunately, it is also a term that can evoke such strong reactions that it makes it difficult for a much-needed discussion to take place. To some people, it is just a mundane term referring to the act of discovering something new, though that’s not the way we’re using it here. The term is used here in the way mystics, yogis, Zen masters, have used it. But it also applies to people who have simply stumbled onto an unusual experience in the course of their life which they may not be able to understand and for which they have no terminology. What is really meant by the term ‘enlightenment?’ Can it be defined or is it something that is supposed to remain illusive and undefined? I’ve noticed that for some people, it is an extremely intimidating word evoking feelings of inadequacy and a sense that ‘enlightenment’ is for other, more spiritual people, but not for me. Thus the question – What is enlightenment? – is a loaded term that we would do well to examine closely.


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