I've read a lot about enlightenment and thought about it quite a bit, and I find that it doesn't have much to do with enlightenment.
Now fortunately, I can see both sides of the coin since I happen to be enlightened and I've gone through that training process that culminates in the dissolution of the finite self in the white light of eternity. But at the same time, I'm an avid reader and I like to ponder things, so it's kind of fun to step in and out. And I notice that the two are not really the same. The description and the reality are very different.
Enlightenment is a timeless void. It's an emptiness that's filled with the most excellent light. That light is suffused through every part of your being. It is your being. There's no sense of separation between yourself and the light. There's no self but the light. That's enlightenment - timeless, stillness, perfection. It's not in the words, it's in my voice. It's in the voice of anyone who has crossed that frontier of self, taken a big machete and gone after the illusions and the desires, even the spiritual hopes and aspirations that can bind one to a spiritual, more refined self - hacked through the Amazon jungle of hope and fear and desperation, always in search of perpetual brightness. What I seek, what we all seek, is something we can't define - because if it's definable, it's limited. And if it's limited, we grow tired and bored with it, with ourselves.
Beyond the parameters of the self is an ocean - it goes on forever. It's not circular, it's not square, it doesn't have a definite color. All we can say is that it's large, from the point of view of one who looks at it as being separate. And it's most excellent.
We concern ourselves, in Buddhism, with not so much the movement of outer structures, but inner structures within our own mind.
The world that you see is a phantasm. It's like a motion picture. For a while we go into the movie theater, put our feet up when the attendant's not looking. We'll get a Diet Coke and some popcorn. Soon we're engrossed in a film and we've forgotten that we're sitting in a movie theater, if the film's any good, until the attendant comes along and tells us to move our feet. We grudgingly do so, hopefully not sending any bad energy to the attendant because he's just doing his job. And we put our feet back up as soon as he's gone, and go back into the film.
Enlightenment is an ocean of awareness that slides through the human part of us and dissolves it, and leaves us forever in eternity. But eternity is not cold. It's not lonely. It's warm with its own life. It's filled with the very pleasure of itself. In a lot of self-discovery, there are a lot of people against pleasure. The anti-pleasure movement in self-discovery is very strong. I have big news for them - if they ever get to enlightenment, which is unlikely the way they're approaching it, they're going to find enlightenment is very pleasurable. And if you have a problem with pleasure, you're going to be surprised.
Enlightenment is the pure pleasure of the universe enjoying its own beingness. The universe doesn't hate itself. That's human beings who do that. The universe doesn't think it's bad because it creates myriad worlds and destroys them. It doesn't have guilt. The universe doesn't have a problem with sexuality since it created it and creates itself through it. The universe doesn't have a problem with money. The universe doesn't have a problem with creating and sustaining loathsome beings who harm others. It doesn't have a problem with creating and sustaining boring beings or with most excellent enlightened beings. It creates all of it. It is all of it. It doesn't moralize, it doesn't equivocate, except through a few of its instruments, the human beings. It just is.