The School of Enlightenment at Life Foundation is intended to show us what it means to be enlightened.
Its purpose is to kindle the spark of Enlightenment within us, to show us what needs to be done to become enlightened, and to break the myths and misconceptions around Enlightenment.
Its function is to teach us about masters who have walked the path before us and shown us the way, so that we can then pursue our own unique path towards Enlightenment, and then become beacons of light for those who are on the same path.
Spiritual enlightenment is the complete dissolution of one’s identity as a separate self with no trace of the egoistic mind remaining. This sets the bar very high and means that very few people qualify as being enlightened.
The other approach is to say that everyone is enlightened, that there is only awake consciousness in every one. In this view, it’s only a question of whether this natural state of awareness has been recognized or not.
Perhaps there’s a definition that includes both of these perspectives, which recognizes that consciousness is always awake and enlightened, but the amount of aware consciousness, that is present in any given moment can vary still suggesting that the potential for full awareness or becoming enlightened is the same for everybody.
If every apparent individual consciousness is infinite in its potential, then each can also be infinite both in its capacity to expand or awaken and in its capacity to contract or identify with a narrow or limited experience.
If all consciousness is made of the same essential awareness and light, and if everyone has an equal potential for enlightenment then everyone truly is a Buddha or enlightened being, at least in potential. One may use the word enlightenment to point to the state of self-realization beyond the ego or to point to the innate potential for this realization in all of us which differs from person to person only for the simple reason that each one of us has chosen a different blueprint in life with a definite life purpose and are placed at different stages of soul evolution depending upon our karmic vote bank. Some may through their freewill and discreet choices have chosen to prepare themselves to tread through challenges to accelerate on this path whereas others may choose to achieve it through lifetimes of preparation but the end goal is the same for everyone.
Enlightenment or awakening is a profound mystery, and the best definition may be found in the actual experience of your own shifts in consciousness. Maybe the best definition of enlightenment is no definition. Then there is only what is found in your own direct experience of awareness.