What is Enlightenment? A Definition of Enlightenment
For certain, there are states beyond, far beyond, what most people understand as 'enlightenment'. Indeed, there are states of consciousness of such transcendence and enlightenment, that they've never been experienced by anyone yet, and are just waiting to be experienced. States of consciousness are all relative. Even the 'highest' state of consciousness can be surpassed and transcended, because in reality, there is no absolute 'highest' state of consciousness. It's all relative. People who believe that they've reached the 'highest' state of consciousness are pleasantly deluding themselves.
Both Buddha and Jesus were limited by their states of consciousness, as are all people. It's all about states of consciousness, including 'enlightenment'. What Jesus and Buddha experienced can be inferred from their words. To the extent that such inferences are correct, what Jesus and Buddha experienced is not so very enlightening relative to what can be experienced today.
We have the means nowadays, the technology, and the knowledge of mind-brain function to go far, far beyond the transcendent states of consciousnes that Jesus and Buddha ever experienced. And this is just the beginning. The future holds the means for far greater and transcendent states of consciousness, and of enlightenment, than anyone nowadays can possibly imagine. From my perspective, based on my transcendent experiences and enlightenment, I know that I am far beyond Jesus and Buddha. This is not a proclamation of arrogance and condescension. It simply is what is, and I would wish that others could experience what I have, and go beyond me.
Let me explain a bit more about my views on 'enlightenment', and through it, provide a definition of enlightenment:
Being a relativist of sorts, I believe that 'enlightenment' is relative. That is, there is no 'absolute' state of enlightenment, but rather that enlightenment denotes a change in one's state of consciousness, and in particular, with regard to transcendent states of consciousness. So, for example, say a person experiences, for the first time in their life, a transcendent state, then we would say that the person is 'enlightened'. But 'enlightenment' is relative, which means that this person can then go on to experience an even more transcendent state than the first, and we would say the person has experienced 'enlightenment' again. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to speak of 'degrees of enlightenment', with individuals possessing different degrees of enlightenment, but I think this is misleading because 'degrees of enlightenment' suggests some 'absolute' state of enlightenment, which I deny. It's all relative.
And it's all about states of consciousness.
So, practically speaking, how can you assess anyones state of enlightenment? By their actions and words. Evaluate them, see if their words make sense, see if their actions are significant. Ultimately, everyone is their own judge, of others and, more importantly, of themselves.
How can you experience enlightenment? First, understand what great people like Jesus, Buddha, and others taught. Try to get yourself at least to their level. Learn as much as you can, about philosophical perspectives, math, science, the Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads, and just about everything you think could be important for you in going beyond what's been said and experienced before, and what you've learned about. Ultimately, self-examination/exploration is the way. Meditative techniques will only take you so far. The utility of entheogens can be great, but this depends a lot on the individual person, their background and beliefs, their mindset, their expectations, and whether they're intelligent enough not to do permanent damage to themselves thru abuse and addiction. Assuming you're intelligent and motivated enough to have found your own way (please note, there are reasons why I do not go into all the details regarding the way I have adopted, at least not for the time being), then when you're in transcendent states of consciousness, practice exerting suble control over your state. Practice this technique and learn it as well as you can. It's a very subtle type of control. Use this control to guide your transcendent experiences. You should not always be passive while in the experience. You must recognize opportunities for exerting subtle control, to guide and transform your experience. The funny thing is that you'll be ego-less, and so the 'you' being referred to isn't the 'you' that you're experiencing right now. You will experience yourself as impersonal 'It', as 'Presence' that has no real explanation in words. And you'll experience much, much more, but you must train and prepare your mind first, as has been outlined above.
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