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Encyclopedia > Enlightenment (concept)

Enlightenment broadly means the acquisition of new wisdom or understanding enabling clarity of perception. However, the English word covers two concepts which can be quite distinct: religious or spiritual enlightenment (German: Erleuchtung) and secular or intellectual enlightenment (German: Aufklärung). This can cause confusion, since those who claim intellectual enlightenment often reject spiritual concepts altogether. For the apocryphal book of the Bible, see Book of Wisdom. ... Look up understanding in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In psychology and the cognitive sciences, perception is the process of acquiring, interpreting, selecting, and organizing sensory information. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Various Religious symbols, including (first row) Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Bahai, (second row) Islamic, tribal, Taoist, Shinto (third row) Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu, Jain, (fourth row) Ayyavazhi, Triple Goddess, Maltese cross, pre-Christian Slavonic Religion is the adherence to codified beliefs and rituals that generally involve a faith in a spiritual... This article is about a religious term. ... This article concerns secularity, that is, being secular, in various senses. ... “Literati” redirects here. ...

In religious use, enlightenment is most closely associated with South and East Asian religious experience, being used to translate words such as (in Buddhism) bodhi or satori, or (in Hinduism) moksha. The concept does also have parallels in the Abrahamic religions (in the Kabbalah tradition in Judaism, in Christian mysticism, and in the Sufi tradition of Islam). A statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha in Tawang Gompa, India. ... Bodhi (बोधि) is the Pāli and Sanskrit word for the awakened or knowing consciousness of a fully liberated yogi, generally translated into English as enlightenment. It is an abstract noun formed from the verbal root budh (to awake, become aware, notice, know or understand), corresponding to the verbs bujjhati (P... Satori (æ‚Ÿ Japanese satori; Chinese: wù - from the verb Satoru) is a Japanese Buddhist term for enlightenment. ... Hinduism (known as in modern Indian languages)[1] is a religious tradition[2] that originated in the Indian subcontinent. ... For other uses, see Moksha (disambiguation). ... Abrahamic religions symbols designating the three prevalent monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam Abrahamic religion is a term commonly used to designate the three prevalent monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam[1][2] – which claim Abraham (Hebrew: Avraham אַבְרָהָם ; Arabic: Ibrahim ابراهيم ) as a part of their sacred history. ... This article is about traditional Jewish Kabbalah. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Christian mysticism... Sufism is a mystic tradition within Islam that encompasses a diverse range of beliefs and practices dedicated to divine love and the cultivation of the heart. ... For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ...

In secular use, the concept refers mainly to the European intellectual movement known as the Age of Enlightenment, also called the Age of Reason referring to philosophical developments related to scientific rationality in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Enlightenment (French: ; German: ; Italian: ; Portuguese: ) was an eighteenth century movement in European and American philosophy — some classifications also include 17th century philosophy (usually called the Age of Reason). ... The Age of Reason is either Thomas Paines book The Age of Reason. ...


Enlightenment in Eastern traditions


Nelumbo nucifera, commonly known as the Lotus.
Nelumbo nucifera, commonly known as the Lotus.

The lotus flower is sometimes used as a symbol of enlightenment. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (3264 × 2448 pixel, file size: 2. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (3264 × 2448 pixel, file size: 2. ... Binomial name Gaertn. ... The term lotus has a variety of uses. ...

The lotus has its roots in the mud,
Grows up through the deep water,
And rises to the surface.
It blooms into perfect purity and beauty in the sunlight.
It is like the mind unfolding to perfect joy and wisdom.


Main article: Bodhi

A buddha, or fully enlightened one, is regarded as a sentient being who has developed all positive qualities, and has eradicated all negative qualities. According to the Theravada tradition, full enlightenment of a Buddha is not achievable for most; instead one strives to become an arhat and achieve liberation from the cycle of uncontrolled rebirth and to achieve nirvana. This achievement is also called "enlightenment". In contrast, according to the Mahayana traditions, every sentient being is regarded as having the potential for achieving full enlightenment and Buddhahood. Bodhi (बोधि) is the Pāli and Sanskrit word for the awakened or knowing consciousness of a fully liberated yogi, generally translated into English as enlightenment. It is an abstract noun formed from the verbal root budh (to awake, become aware, notice, know or understand), corresponding to the verbs bujjhati (P... Media:Example. ... Not to be confused with sapience. ... Theravada (Pāli: theravāda; Sanskrit: स्थविरवाद sthaviravāda; literally, the Way of the Elders) is the oldest surviving Buddhist school, and for many centuries has been the predominant religion of Sri Lanka (about 70% of the population[1]) and most of continental Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand). ... A Chinese Luohan statue from the Liao Dynasty in Hebei Province, China In the sramanic traditions of ancient India (most notably those of Mahavira and Gautama Buddha) arhat (Sanskrit) or arahant (Pali) signified a spiritual practitioner who had—to use an expression common in the tipitaka—laid down the burden... This article is about the Buddhist concept. ... Relief image of the bodhisattva Kuan Yin from Mt. ...


Main article: Zen

In Zen, Enlightenment is the state of being with no mind. It is the disappearance of the ego. It is the loss of all identification with the body and the mind. It is freedom from beliefs, opinions, ideals and concepts. For other uses, see Zen (disambiguation). ... Satori (悟 Japanese satori; Chinese: wù - from the verb Satoru) is a Japanese Buddhist term for enlightenment. ...

Enlightenment in Zen (called Satori) is always sudden, because it is not an achievement; it is already the case. It is a remembering. In Zen it is called the pathless path, that is, it is not something to be achieved, but it is to be Realized and lived. Meditation, with no thought, simply watching, watching the breath, is the initial method to create the space for its occurrence. There have been thousands of people who have been considered Enlightened Masters, such as Buddha, Bodhidharma, Lao Tzu, Osho, and it is seen as everyone's birthright. For other uses, see Zen (disambiguation). ... For other senses of this word, see Meditation (disambiguation). ... Media:Example. ... Bodhidharma (or Tat Moh)(fl. ... Lao Zi (also spelled Laozi, Lao Tzu, or Lao Tse) was a famous Chinese philosopher who is believed to have lived in approximately the 4th century BC, during the Hundred Schools of Thought and Warring States Periods. ... This article is about the spiritual teacher formerly known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. ...


Main article: Moksha

For other uses, see Moksha (disambiguation). ...


Main article: Moksha

For other uses, see Moksha (disambiguation). ...

Enlightenment in Western religious tradition


Main article: Beatitudes

The Beatitudes (from Latin, beatitudo, happiness) is the beginning portion of the Sermon on the Mount of the Gospel of Matthew. ...

Enlightenment in Western secular tradition

In the Western philosophical tradition, enlightenment is seen as a phase in cultural history marked by a faith in reason, generally accompanied by rejection of faith in revealed or institutional religion.

Kant's definition of "enlightenment"

In his famous 1784 essay What Is Enlightenment?, Immanuel Kant described it as follows: 1784 was a leap year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... The first page of the 1799 version Answering the Question: What is Enlightenment? (German: Beantwortung der Frage: Was ist Aufklärung?) is the title of a 1784 essay by the philosopher Immanuel Kant. ... Kant redirects here. ...

Enlightenment is man's release from his self-incurred tutelage. Tutelage is the incapacity to use one's own understanding without the guidance of another. Such tutelage is self-imposed if its cause is not lack of intelligence, but rather a lack of determination and courage to use one's intelligence without being guided by another.

Kant reasoned that although a man must obey in his civil duties, he must make public his use of reason. His motto for enlightenment is Sapere aude! or "Dare to know." Intelligence is the mental capacity to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend ideas and language, and learn. ... For other uses, see Reason (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Motto (disambiguation). ... Sapere aude is a Latin phrase meaning Dare to know or Dare to be wise. Most famously, it is found in Immanuel Kants essay What Is Enlightenment?. The original use seems to be in Epistle II of Horaces Epistularum liber primus [1], line 40: Dimidium facti qui coepit...

Adorno's and Horkheimer's definition of "enlightenment"

In their controversial analysis of the contemporary western society, Dialectic of Enlightenment (1944, revised 1947), Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer developed a wider, and more pessimistic concept of enlightenment. In their analysis, enlightenment had its dark side: while trying to abolish superstition and myths by 'foundationalist' philosophy, it ignored its own 'mythical' basis. Its strivings towards totality and certainty led to an increasing instrumentalization of reason. In their view, the enlightenment itself should be enlightened and not posed as a 'myth-free' view of the world. Dialectic of Enlightenment, written by Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno made its first appearance in 1944 under the title Dialektik der Aufklärung by Social Studies Association, Inc. ... Max Horkheimer (front left), Theodor Adorno (front right), and Jürgen Habermas in the background, right, in 1965 at Heidelberg. ... Max Horkheimer (front left), Theodor Adorno (front right), and Jürgen Habermas in the background, right, in 1965 at Heidelberg Max Horkheimer (February 14, 1895 – July 7, 1973) was a Jewish-German philosopher and sociologist, known especially as the founder and guiding thinker of the Frankfurt School of critical theory. ... For other uses, see Reason (disambiguation). ...

Enlightenment and the understanding of good and evil

In Human, All Too Human, philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche had this to say about enlightenment and the understanding of good and evil: Human, All Too Human (Menschliches, Allzumenschliches) is a book by Friedrich Nietzsche, originally published in 1878. ...

The man who wants to gain wisdom profits greatly from having thought for a time that man is basically evil and degenerate: this idea is wrong, like its opposite, but for whole periods of time it was predominant and its roots have sunk deep into us and into our world. To understand ourselves we must understand it; but to climb higher, we must then climb over and beyond it. We recognize that there are no sins in the metaphysical sense; but, in the same sense, neither are there any virtues; we recognize that this entire realm of moral ideas is in a continual state of fluctuation, that there are higher and deeper concepts of good and evil, moral and immoral. A man who desires no more from things than to understand them easily makes peace with his soul and will err (or "sin," as the world calls it) at the most out of ignorance, but hardly out of desire. He will no longer want to condemn and root out his desires; but his single goal, governing him completely, to understand as well as he can at all times, will cool him down and soften all the wildness in his disposition. In addition, he has rid himself of a number of tormenting ideas; he no longer feels anything at the words "pains of hell," "sinfulness," "incapacity for the good": for him they are only the evanescent silhouettes of erroneous thoughts about life and the world.

People who have been said to be enlightened

Many individuals have claimed to reach a state of enlightenment, including many famous yogis and meditation masters from well-known spiritual traditions. Mahatma Gandhi was said[Wayne Dyer] to be an enlightened seeker of truth. Mahavira is believed by Jains to have attained Kevala Jnana or Omniscience that is the highest state of enlightenment. Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, is believed by Buddhists to have reached the "ultimate state of enlightenment" or "pari-nirvana." Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... A sculpture of a Hindu yogi in the Birla Mandir, Delhi A yogi (Sanskrit feminine: yogini) is a term for a male who practices various forms of the path of Yoga, maintaining a steadfast mind, the process of transcending the lower self. ... A guru (गुरू Sanskrit) is a Hindu religious teacher. ... “Gandhi” redirects here. ... Idol of Lord Mahavira at Shri Mahaveerji (the holy town in Rajasthan named after Mahavira. ... Standing Buddha, ancient region of Gandhara, northern Pakistan, 1st century CE. Gautama Buddha was a South Asian spiritual leader who lived between approximately 563 BCE and 483 BCE. Born Siddhartha Gautama in Sanskrit, a name meaning descendant of Gotama whose aims are achieved/who is efficacious in achieving aims, he... Media:Example. ...

Some individuals who are said to be enlightened did so without any visible tradition or lineage like Dave Oshana, John de Ruiter and Barry Long (dec'd). Barry Long (August, 1926 - December 6, 2003[1]) was an Australian spiritual teacher and writer. ...

Osho is said to have achieved enlightenment at the age of 21 after many years of spiritual, religious and academic indulgence. This article is about the spiritual teacher formerly known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. ...

Nārāyana Guru (1856–1928), the prolific poet, philosopher, and social reformer is believed to have attained enlightenment (i.e., an absolute state of wisdom) after his several years of education in languages, the scriptures of the different religions, yoga, and experiences with ascetic life, culminating in his long and meditative recluse in Maruthwamala hills in South India. Nārāyana Guru’s philosophical masterpiece “Atmopadeśa Śatakam” (100 verses of self-instruction) is primarily the Guru’s poetic expression of his philosophy of universal love, emanating from his experienced state of primordial knowledge of the Universe, and his consequent ability to view the human race as one of a species, in unqualified equality and without any racial, religious, caste, or other discriminations whatsoever. Narayana Guru It has been suggested that the section Sri Narayana Guru from the article Ezhava be merged into this article or section. ... Many religions and spiritual movements hold certain written texts (or series of spoken legends not traditionally written down) to be sacred. ... For other uses, see Yoga (disambiguation). ... The word ascetic derives from the ancient Greek term askesis (practice, training or exercise). ... Allegorical personification of Charity as a mother with three infants by Anthony van Dyck Charity is a term that refers to giving. ... For other uses, see Universe (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Species (disambiguation). ... Caste systems are traditional, hereditary systems of social classification, that evolved due to the enormous diversity in India (where all three primary races met, not by forced slavery but by immigration). ...

Dr. Richard Bucke, in his 1901 book Cosmic Consciousness[1], names a few dozens of people who, in his studied opinion, had experienced some degree of enlightenment, including Walt Whitman and Blaise Pascal. Bucke also attempted to analyze what commonalities these personalities shared. His study has become part of the foundation of transpersonal psychology. There are some thinkers such as U. G. Krishnamurti, who refute any existence of the very concept of enlightenment (despite being considered enlightened by his followers). Maurice Bucke Richard Maurice Bucke (1837–1902) was an important Canadian progressive psychiatrist in the late nineteenth century. ... Year 1901 (MCMI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday [1] of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Walter Whitman (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) was an American poet, essayist, journalist, and humanist. ... Blaise Pascal (pronounced ), (June 20 [[1624 // ]] – August 19, 1662) was a French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher. ... Transpersonal psychology is a school of psychology that studies the transpersonal, the transcendent or spiritual aspects of the human mind. ... U.G. Krishnamurti Uppaluri Gopala Krishnamurti (born July 9, 1918 – March 22, 2007), better known as U.G. Krishnamurti, or just U.G., was a famed speaker and philosopher, though he repeatedly claimed that he was not a guru, teacher, or a philosopher of any kind. ...

Spiritual writer Eckhart Tolle is said to have attained enlightenment at age 29 after suffering long periods of depression. Eckhart Tolle (born Germany, 1948 as Ulrich Tolle) is a contemporary spiritual teacher and writer on spirituality. ...

Aikido founder Morihei Ueshiba is said to have become enlightened after defending himself from the attacks of an exceptional swordsmen with only his bare hands. Aikido ), is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. ... Morihei Ueshiba (植芝 盛平 Ueshiba Morihei, December 14, 1883–April 26, 1969) was a famous martial artist and founder of the Japanese martial art of aikido. ...

See also

Look up awakening in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In biological psychology, awareness describes a human or animals perception and cognitive reaction to a condition or event. ... Consciousness is a quality of the mind generally regarded to comprise qualities such as subjectivity, self-awareness, sentience, sapience, and the ability to perceive the relationship between oneself and ones environment. ... Fleurs-de-lys on the flag of Quebec The fleur-de-lis (also spelled fleur-de-lys; plural fleurs-de-lis or -lys) is used in heraldry, where it is particularly associated with the France monarchy (see King of France). ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Illuminism is a belief system whereby a believer makes a claim that he has been illuminated or experienced enlightenment of a spiritual nature. ... Look up Intuition in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Logic (from Classical Greek λόγος logos; meaning word, thought, idea, argument, account, reason, or principle) is the study of the principles and criteria of valid inference and demonstration. ... Not to be confused with the Ultimate Question or Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... New Age describes a broad movement characterized by alternative approaches to traditional Western culture. ... This article is about the Buddhist concept. ... Oneness is a spiritual term referring to the experience of the absence of egoic identity boundaries, and, according to some traditions, the realization of the awareness of the absolute interconnectedness of all matter and thought in space-time, or ones ultimate identity with God (see Tat Tvam Asi). ... An antefix in the form of a palmette As an illustration of the way in which the palmette motif was seen by 19th century architects and decorators, who in Europe, America and elsewhere in colonial cities created their own unending variations on the motif as a kind of hallmark of... The Pearly gates, in Christianity, is an informal name for the gateway to Heaven, inspired by the description of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:21— The image of the gates in popular culture is a set of large, white, wrought-iron gates in the clouds, guarded by Saint Peter. ... For other uses, see Reason (disambiguation). ... The four Techniques of Knowledge, also known as kriyas may have originated from the Surat Shabda Yoga, Sant Mat and other ancient traditions in the Far East. ... Categories: Substubs ... Spirituality, in a narrow sense, concerns itself with matters of the spirit. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... For the apocryphal book of the Bible, see Book of Wisdom. ... Enlightenment by means of yoga is said by some of its adherents to include the following elements: 1. ... Enlightenment Intensives are modern group retreats designed to enable individuals to experience that which is traditionally known as self-realization, satori or enlightenment in a relatively short period of time. ... American Beauty is a 1999 drama film that explores themes of romantic and paternal love, freedom, sexuality, beauty, self-liberation, existentialism, the search for happiness, and family against the backdrop of modern American suburbia. ... Dark City is a 1998 science fiction film written by Alex Proyas, Lem Dobbs and David S. Goyer, and directed by Proyas. ... I ♥ Huckabees is a film released in 2004. ... This article is about the 1999 film. ... Meetings with Remarkable Men is the second volume of the All and Everything trilogy written by Greek-Armenian mystic G. I. Gurdjieff, as well as its G. I. Gurdjieffs personal autobiography. ... The Truman Show is a 1998 film directed by Peter Weir, written by Andrew Niccol, and starring Jim Carrey and Ed Harris. ... Vanilla Sky is a 2001 film which has been variously characterized by published film critics as an odd mixture of science fiction, romance, and reality warp [2], part Beautiful People fantasy, part New Age investigation of the Great Beyond[3] a love story, a struggle for the soul, or an... What the Bleep Do We Know!? (also written What tнe⃗ #$*! D⃗ө ωΣ (k)πow!? and What the #$*! Do We Know!?) is a controversial 2004 film that combines documentary interviews and a fictional narrative to posit a connection between science and spirituality based upon the Ramthas School of Enlightenment of... The Secret may refer to: The Secret, an episode the of NBC sitcom The Office. ... The Celestine Prophecy is a 1993 novel by James Redfield. ... Conversations with God (sometimes abbreviated as CwG) is a sequence of nine books written by Neale Donald Walsch. ... The Legend of Bagger Vance is a 1995 book by Steven Pressfield (ISBN 0-380-81744-6), transporting the story of the Bhagavad Gita to the world of Georgia in 1931. ...

Notes and references

  Results from FactBites:
Enlightenment (concept) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1411 words)
Enlightenment or illumination is a fundamental philosophical concept which grew beyond religion and spirituality and essentially means being illuminated by acquiring new wisdom or understanding.
The "Age of Enlightenment" is a proverbial time of maturing in people, -- roughly around the age of 18 years -- when the illusions of childhood lift, and one is left with greater self-awareness and understanding of their own roles and responsibilities in the world.
This is analogous to the Christian-adopted concept of being "born-again" and is a direct tie between the spiritual teachings of The Christ, Jesus and Buddha.
  More results at FactBites »



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