There is an aspect of enlightenment that may get missed in a focus on milestones. As I touched on in What is Consciousness?, the stages of development are stages like puberty. They are markers of transition, not the fully lived state.
Some people, after an initial awakening, begin teaching. This may be due to the desire to share the experience, some false concept that equates awakening to teacher, or simply to support others. One has to be careful not to be premature about it. Or to fall into the trap of “my” being the teacher and thus knowing the “truth.” A fully embodied awakening is well past Self Realization.
Many of the awake quietly go on about their lives, sharing only with those close to them. But they radiate the peace and happiness they embody, too subtly for most to notice.
As the development becomes more advanced, we may be increasingly circumspect about sharing. But there comes a time when openness becomes key, where sharing is what unites. Where we’re willing to be seen, heard and felt. Where it is in speaking of it that Unity is lived and Brahman becomes embodied, here.
This points back to the old idea that the teacher gains more than the student. But this does not necessarily take the form of “teacher” or guru. Perhaps just open sharing and support, showing up where needed. Perhaps just going where invited, much as Eckhart Tolle began.
Those reading this blog know that circumstances have been drawing me out. This is a better marker than any personal goal or agenda. Such steps may appear for ostensibly other reasons but as usual, That is coordinating the show. A teacher friend pointed out the subtle but key significance in being called to live it in community. The benefits of it continue to surprise. 😉