Enlightenment, simply put, means to bring light where there was darkness. In spiritual terms, this ‘light’ isn’t literal but symbolic.
Just like the cartoon characters whose bright ideas are shown by a lit bulb over their heads, spiritual enlightenment is like a light bulb turning itself on in the mind, giving us insight and understanding about the meaning of life that we didn’t have before.
Which Level of Spiritual Enlightenment Are You On?
Almost all spiritual practices have enlightenment as their ultimate goal. While some people experience sudden and permanent awareness, most of us who are on a spiritual path move through three different levels of enlightenment.
At the first level of spiritual enlightenment, your mind starts to let things just be. You allow your experiences to be whatever they are without judging, analyzing, or resisting.
Before this level, people tend to spend a lot of time planning, labeling, criticizing, and worrying. But once they reach this first level, they find that their minds quiet down and become more accepting of what is.
People who have risen to level one often describe this as being more ‘fully present’ or ‘in the now.’
When you reach level 2 of the three levels of spirituality, you’ll feel a oneness with all that is. Here you recognize that every person, animal, and even every object is connected to you and that you’re connected to all of them.
The rigid boundaries that you once thought existed between you and the rest of the world suddenly don’t seem so clear – or important – anymore. This doesn’t mean you lose yourself. Your mind still functions, and you can still take care of yourself and your life. But now you recognize those physical separations as being far less important than the value of your oneness with everything else.
People who have risen to level two often describe this as feeling like deep and complete love.
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At the third spiritual level, you move beyond the sense of feeling connected with everything else and into the realization that you are everything else – and everything else is you.
You fully know the oneness of what we call God, and experience no separation from it or anything else.
People who live on level 3 of the spiritual enlightenment describe it as bliss. They have let go of the kind of desires and wishes that are important to most people. They live in a state of inner peace and tranquility, yet still function in the world.