I see a lot of young people in my country, the US, thinking that becoming spiritually enlightened is all about “peace, love, and harmony.” OK, maybe those things flow out of a person who is truly enlightened, but you can’t pursue those things in hopes of becoming enlightened. Enlightenment is letting go. It is leaving your desires behind. It is accepting that the world is empty and will never be a “good world” or a “bad world.” If you frame your enlightenment experience around the desire to have peace, love, and harmony, when those things begin to be challenged, you will lash out with anger at the “enemies” who are disrupting your personal enlightenment. Enlightenment means that whatever happens happens. If the world becomes overrun by zombies, then cool. If you can’t be calm thinking about never becoming enlightened, then you won’t be enlightened.
There is a reason that we think of people becoming enlightened after going through terrible ordeals. When you go through a very painful ordeal, and you survive, you realize that happiness and peace of mind are not attached to your perceived rightness or wrongness of a situation.
Also, in my experience, enlightenment is not typically just a realization. Someone could tell you that enlightenment is knowing that everything is empty, but you really have to be that truth to become enlightened. It is a journey, not a slogan. You must break apart your karmic body using this truth. You must test yourself according to the notion of emptiness. You have thousands of echoes of karma resonating throughout your being, and those must be stripped away. There is a lot of momentum in your pain and conditioned responses to the stimuli of life. I suppose that your physical, spiritual, and intellectual bodies have to come into alignment. The intellectual body might be an easy change, but the other two will probably take time.
And who knows if you’re fully enlightened? It’s best to not even acknowledge that you may or not be enlightened. Enlightenment is transparency. Enlightenment is silence. Then again it’s not. It’s beyond words. And if you’re truly enlightened, you won’t need to prove it to anyone lol.
Lastly, I have a hint that enlightenment is like a seed growing into a mighty tree. The seed doesn’t know how it grows into the tree, but when it does, it knows it is bigger than the seed. The tree looks at the world of the seeds and would probably laugh at the worries of the seeds. The material world is the world of the seeds. How can a seed know what the view of the tree is like? Until the seed becomes a tree, it has no frame of reference and therefore cannot understand fully. So any map trying to show what happened when the seed was growing into the tree would probably be mostly useless. The tree can just speak in metaphors from its memory of being a seed, and this would be incomplete at best.
And the tree might experience “peace, love, and harmony” because it is bigger and more established. But it had to die to being a seed first. It had to let go of its seedness and journey blindly into the unknown.