A few thoughts about Enlightenment are coming into better focus for me this fall. Maybe it’s not a mental state after all. I mean maybe it really starts as a physical condition. And that’s why so many religious disciplines cultivate a wide variety of physical regimens to help open the Path to novitiates and other seekers.
By understanding Enlightenment as more of a physical than mental state I don’t intend to denigrate it. Far from it. Only to suggest that it may be easier to attain in literal fashion -- as a physical lightening of the load we carry through life. You can simulate this feeling by first carrying around a 20 pound weight in your backpack and then suddenly you remove it and right away you feel a surge of energy throughout your entire body frame. It's like a jolt of oxygen enriched air in every breath you take. (Achieving this same sensation without the benefit of 20 pound weights or oxygen mask, that's the challenge we all face.) This too entails mastering detachment of a certain sort, a loosening of the normal physical bounds.