Tom Stine has posted an excellent article on the question of what constitutes enlightenment. I believe he is using the word Enlightenment the way I describe full enlightenment. As he observes, the experience of it is not the same as becoming it. He also notes that many teachers do not meet this higher standard of full enlightenment. Indeed, I have seen some traditions that don’t even recognize there is a higher value of enlightenment than first awakening. He goes on to share a personal ‘Encounter with the Absolute’.
As I observed in comments, the key question is – was it an experience or did you become That? Did he switch from being Tom experiencing the silence to the Silence experiencing through Tom? That is the change of Self-Realization, the beginning of the process of enlightenment. It can take a little time before this is clear.
Enlightenment, as I have said before, is not a goal. It is a process. A process I have recently outlined in The Journey series. Even in full enlightenment, the process does not end. The silence is infinite. Where is the end in infinity? There is always more happiness, love, peace, expansion, refinement, and so forth possible.
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