Enlightenment does seem to occur in steps, like a stair, and we can step up and down more or less freely to be honest. Of these steps there are ultimately only about a handful, and some of them are difficult to discern. You have the realm of instinct, the realm of emotion, and the realm of contemplation.
Some would say the contemplative or reflective level of awareness or “enlightenment” is the apex of evolution on this planet. But a step beyond the reflective self would be the realization of emergent order in “intelligence.” Beyond that stage , well, the multiverse is the limit…
“Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.” Lao Tzu
Enlightenment is not a set of achievements to be reached for. In truth, the effort to reach for enlightenment would itself keep the understanding from manifesting in your experience. Enlightenment is not something that requires some sort of otherworldly supernatural… Seek More
Animals, as we call them, range over the realm of instinct and emotion freely, and we can even witness them reaching into the realm of contemplation, easiest understood for us when watching the behaviour of other simians. You will perhaps… Seek More
At the level of reflection, you have a being who can evolve beyond their physical circumstances, who can understand the world and other species in it well enough that they can more or less shape how natural reality works for… Seek More
Now “memes”, if you prefer, can either feed us or threaten us, and by assimilating key adaptive artefacts, we can deliberately engineer more complex or “enlightened” minds. At this stage just above the contemplative, we come to see people of… Seek More