When we talk about enlightenment, it is important you do not get attached to the words but go beyond the words to realize what is being talked about. In this sense, words are pointers. The signpost that says “Ajegunle” is not Ajegunle but it points you to Ajegunle. Words can point you to enlightenment but if you are attached to words, you may fail to realize it. You are the primary subject for spiritual enlightenment which is your true nature.
Your mind will find it difficult to grasp enlightenment. Comprehension comes from the mind and the mind best grasps what can be categorized or objectified. Our minds like to think in terms of object and this is not restricted to physical objects. The mind objectifies speed, distance, condition, time, even though those are not objects. Whatever we perceive, physically or mentally, is the object of perception. When we think of something that is not an actual object, we still use objectification as a mental reference which can be an image or a representation. The mind is framed upon object relations. Time is not an object but when we consider the past for instance, we think of it as a “place” where things happened. So we use an objectified framework for thinking and this is the foundation of our entire perceived world. Spiritual enlightenment or direct consciousness is outside this framework. It therefore cannot be understood but it can be realized. This is why many communications about spiritual enlightenment seem vague, enigmatic, confusing, or mysterious although it may be because the speaker does not really know what he is talking about. One teacher who really knows what he talks about is Eckhart Tolle and this is what he says about enlightenment:
The word enlightenment conjures up the idea of some superhuman accomplishment, and the ego likes to keep it that way, but it is simply your natural state of felt oneness with Being. It is a state of connectedness with something immeasurable and indestructible, something that, almost paradoxically, is essentially you and yet is much greater than you. It is finding your true nature beyond name and form. The inability to feel this connectedness gives rise to the illusion of separation, from yourself and from the world around you. You then perceive yourself, consciously or unconsciously, as an isolated fragment. Fear arises, and conflict within and without becomes the norm.1
Following enlightenment is the awareness that you are no-thing. It may seem that what you previously sensed as “you” has been destroyed but that “you” is your ego. Enlightenment does not destroy you; it frees you from the limitation of what you are not. You are not your ego.
Be silent. Be still. I want you to be conscious that you are reading these words. Now, I want you to be conscious of that consciousness. You are that consciousness. That consciousness is prior to any idea, image, thought, or belief. It is actually the space in which thoughts show up and then leave. If you really consider the last sentence, you have the opportunity to be free from your identification with your thought, hence, dissolving much of the pain you currently carry. If you desire to transform your life, becoming conscious of who you are is invaluable.
- Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, 2004, New World Library, Novato, and Namaste Publishing, Canada, p. 12.