It's tricky to frame a definition of enlightenment. It doesn't sit still waiting for a label to be pasted on it.
That is to say, enlightenment looks different depending on where you are when you ask the question.
All truths are relative.
S0, is there an authoritative definition of such as spiritual state? Or is enlightenment different for everyone?
And what does enlightenment mean to a Witch?
Various Definitions of Enlightenment
If you are a person who has never given a thought to the spiritual realm or considered there might be more to life than getting your paycheque and spending it, your definition of enlightenment might be . . .
Living on a cloud with nothing to do but play a harp and eat cream cheese on a bagel.
If you've had spiritual experiences or worked magick, your definition of enlightenment might be . . .
Knowing your Oneness with all that exists.
Enlighten literally means "becoming light."
When you attain a certain level of spirituality, you become able to perceive yourself -- and all things -- as streaming with brilliant white Light.
Light is the fundamental analogy for the Divine Source, and it is also as good a word there is for what you are really made of.
At the fundamental levels, matter is made up of energy organised into information. Everything in the universe really is made of Light.
When you are enlightened, Light permeates every level of your being. You become . . .
Light of Mind
You can see Light - that is, the Divine - shining through everything around you, including yourself.
Light of Heart
You become light-hearted. You don't need to take anything so seriously . . . especially yourself.
Light of Body
You lose the things that weigh on you . . . physical weight, illness, lethargy.
So when you become enlightened, you are simply aware of this level of reality - the reality of Light underlying everything.
Which is, the reality of the Divine manifest in the world.
What Is A Witch's Definition Of Enlightenment?
So how do Witches define enlightenment?
Enlightenment isn't a concept that has gotten much attention in Wicca, up to now.
The reason, I believe, is partly because it's a rare person who is interested in enlightenment, regardless of religion. (Although this is changing.)
And also partly because of how enlightenment is perceived by Westerners.
Is Enlightenment Contrary To Wicca?
Enlightenment has generally been presented in the West as going beyond Earthly existence. This sounds a little too much like denial of the Earth for most Witch's tastes.
Witches believe life itself is a spiritual experience. In Wicca, the idea of "transcending" life on Earth is suspect, at least.
Not to mention, Wicca is wary of any attempt to belittle the Sacred Dark. And enlightenment sounds a little too exclusively Light-oriented.
The Dark Side of Enlightenment?
It's easy enough to imagine enlightenment as a denigration of the Dark or Night aspect of the Goddess.
But this is a misperception.
At the level of complete spiritual enlightenment, all duality is united. The Night only exists within the realm of duality, as does the Day. So enlightenment doesn't reject the Dark, it sees it for what it truly is . . . an aspect of the Divine Source.
It's really a problem of vocabulary. We don't have another word that conveys the experience of the Divine Source, without the connotations of sun, disembodied mind, God, and such.
This is even though a necessary part of the process of "enlightenment" is embodying the Goddess Within - a process I call spiritual endarkenment.
Perhaps as more people experience this, a new vocabulary will evolve.
However, we also can't escape the fact that the Ultimate Divinity is non-physical Consciousness. Almost by definition, the Source of matter can't be matter.
The Trap Door
In its balance of the Dark and the Light, Wicca Spirituality is perfectly positioned to help you evolve both spiritual endarkenment and spiritual enlightenment.
Wiccans generally don't talk about enlightenment, because of this misperception as it being opposed to the holiness of everyday life.
The trap is that in embracing the Dark, Wiccans sometimes reject the Light . . . or keep it firmly shackled like an overeager watchdog. As if it's a good thing, but if we're not careful it could take over the joint.
This is understandable. So much evil and harm has been inflicted in the name of the Light, that we are rightfully wary of it.
But if you stop with honouring the Dark, you become attached to what is transitory - and whatever changes is less than perfectly true. Only what endures is Truth, that is, Divinity.
In terms of the universe, darkness seems more enduring, timeless. Suns are born and suns die, but the Dark lives on.
So isn't the Dark the ultimate Truth? No. The Dark is illusion as well.
Because even the universe dies. When it does, ALL duality is lost. And then terms such as Light and Dark show their fundamental meaninglessness.
So we need to fully embrace the Light, too. Otherwise we become too assimilated into earthly life, and forget that it's all an illusion. Beautiful, joyful, sacred . . . but an illusion.
This is the hook that has kept Wicca from reaching its full spiritual potential. To Witches, it feels almost a betrayal to look beyond the physical manifestation of the Goddess on Earth.
So Wicca hasn't really addressed enlightenment as such.
Yet as humans we were obviously created to do so.
And as the Spiritual Rebirth of the planet gains momentum, this is changing. As we shift from religion to spirituality, a new definition of enlightenment is naturally arising in Wiccan circles.
From a Wiccan perspective, enlightenment can be seen as a state of expanded awareness, and direct experience of the God/dess.
Stated this way, it is obvious that Wicca lends itself naturally to spiritual enlightenment . . .
Wicca is all about expanding awareness to other levels of consciousness, and direct communication with the Divine.
Definition of Full Enlightenment
But all these definitions are different. Is there one definition of enlightenment that is true for everyone?
Only when you reach the highest levels of enlightenment can a universal definition be found. Before full enlightenment, it may be experienced differently depending on the path taken and your personality.
However, a definition of full enlightenment could be . . .
Knowing Yourself - and all things - as the Divine.
At the point of complete enlightenment, you realize that you can't draw a line dividing you from the Divine. That in fact you have never been separate from God.
That's why it's called realizing God, rather than, say, finding God.
You can't lose the Divine. You can only neglect to realize that She's been with you all along.
. . . That in fact She is you.
This is why God-realization is also called Self-realization. It's exactly the same thing.
When you realize yourself as not separate in any way from the Divine, you can begin to truly know God . . .
And when you know God, you discover Who you really are.
With Bright Blessings,
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