The word “enlightenment” refers to an object: The enlightened mind.
Many philosophers and others refer to enlightenment in a different way. Some of them refer to enlightenment as a religious or spiritual entity. They might reference connections to things such as love, God, the eternal spirit, and the union of all things. Such references are beautiful, timely, and accurate, but there are other ways to view the enlightened mind.
A person can have an enlightened mind and pursue only modern sciences and logic. A person can have an enlightened mind by practicing compassionate daily aspects of life such as parenthood and good leadership.
A good prison guard can be as self-realized as a master who sits quietly in the Himalayas and spends a great deal of time contemplating life. A mail carrier can have a very enlightened mind practicing good and walking the earth with gratitude and celebration while completing a route.
The concept of the enlightened mind is simple. It’s a state of mind in which one recognizes the death of self on a daily basis. It's a state of mind in which one seeks to improve daily, learning new things every day and leaving previous days behind.
Living in this way requires tremendous concentration. That’s the case because it's human nature to get stuck, doing things such as dragging the past with us. When we do so, it creates depression and other negative, unpleasant emotions.
Letting go takes time and it entails taking steps as part of a process. We cannot simply wish that the difficult moments in our past will disappear. We have to actually reflect on them once again, feel the feelings, and subsequently let those feelings pass.
This is the point at which the process can be difficult. It can be very hard to cry, shout, yell, be angry, control grief, and feel fear. Feeling emotions and then letting them pass is a characteristic of the enlightened mind.
Again, there will be specific steps required in making it so that the emotions can be processed and then pass so that they can no longer hinder your day-to-day living. You may need to talk to a professional counselor to help you with this. And on the spur of the moment, you may have to do things such as call the person who cut you off in traffic a bastard and then forgive him. And you may need to not be critical of yourself when you feel a certain way about something.
A person with an enlightened mind does not live in a state of denial. A person with an enlightened mind does not repress emotions because they are too painful to deal with. A person with an enlightened mind does not avoid experiences for fear of failure. A person with an enlightened mind does not judge people harshly or value some people more highly than others because of their wealth, religious beliefs, beauty, intelligence, academic achievements, or proficiency in sports.
That’s what a person with an enlightened mind does not do. What does a person with an enlightened mind do? A person with an enlightened mind loves. He or she loves life, has gratitude for it, and lives life to the fullest. He or she loves to learn, loves to grow, and loves to help others. A person with an enlightened mind has compassion and wants to spread positivity everywhere. And they feel strongly enough about doing so that they will work hard at it each and every day of their life.