Enlightenment is your natural state of being. Your bodies and your nervous system were designed for the enlightened state, and yet it is generally regarded as a rare occurrence that mysteriously happens only to a few select individuals. By understanding some of what enlightenment is and isn’t you will see that it does not need to be an impossible dream.

Enlightenment is about becoming free of the opinions, judgments, concepts, and ideas of the mind that act as filters between you and your experiences of life. The mind rarely allows a person to experience life the way it is. Input is constantly being interpreted, evaluated, colored, and filtered by our conditioning, past pain, past ideas, judgments, and choices.

With enlightenment, the senses can experience reality without the interference of the mind, and you can use the mind, rather than being used by it. You do not lose the mind, but rather you transcend it. You become free of the mind’s need for drama, for being right, for judging and valuing, and for being in control. The uninvited thoughts stop and you become free of the emotions and decisions based on past realities and experience life in the moment automatically.

Enlightenment is an ongoing process not a destination, and others have echoed this observation. For instance, Ken Wilber in his integral approach to human development describes levels of consciousness that he divides into three major tiers along a rising spectrum. In “Power vs Force,” David Hawkins describes consciousness as progressing along a scale from zero to one thousand with enlightenment starting at six hundred.

At each unfolding level of consciousness, the experience of life changes. For example, a person can feel love in many ways and to various depths. Each experience may be said to be love, but the way in which it is experienced can be significantly different for each person.

As a person awakens spiritually there is a feeling of being connected with everything, and a realization that there is a singular source of everything and everything is within that Source. There is a realization of being one with the Source in a similar way that a wave is an aspect of the ocean, but the realization is far beyond this.

There is a connection with all intelligence and love, and an awareness of being one with and part of the entire vastness of being, yet retaining awareness of individuality—individuality but no separation.

A realization that also comes is that this is so simple. It feels so simple you think a kindergarten child could experience this. Then you feel like you are a kindergarten child yourself seeing the reality of life for the first time. You feel that now you will experience life in a whole new way—with new eyes, feelings and awareness. It’s like starting life over.

There is a sense of freedom, lightness, and openness. There may be euphoria and bliss. There is definitely deep peace. What troubled you in the past seems distant and unreal. You may think you have transcended the physical, and in some ways have, yet the needs of the physical must be dealt with and cannot be ignored.