One of the reasons that I know that enlightenment is a real thing is because I can observe the things that are the opposite of it. Because grief, obsession, mental illness, and mental suffering exist, it stands to reason that there is a state of mind that's free from all of that.
I frequently have moments in which I feel enlightened. During such times I'm free of enlightenment’s opposites. In those moments I feel awake. I feel an increased level of understanding. I feel clear. I feel love, enjoyment, and happiness. I don't take such moments for granted because they can easily slip away. I have to maintain thoughts and actions that are conducive to enlightenment.
I lost my state of enlightenment today for about 90 minutes. I got it back, thank goodness, with a few deep breaths and some changes to the way I went about things.
The fastest path to enlightenment is EASY: Simply prolong compassionate thinking and make concerted efforts to not harm others. Think compassion, compassion, compassion.
When you think compassionately, you will achieve the highest state of human consciousness. You will experience oneness, connection, peace, humor, love, creativity, generosity, relaxation, and gratitude.
But don't take your improved state of consciousness for granted. Be aware that things and circumstances are continually subject to change.