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“ Enlightenment ” is not a New Age concept. It is age-old wisdom and age-old experience. All of us are always seeking “Enlightenment” .. knowingly or unknowingly. However, “Enlightenment ” cannot be understood “ as a single event or state ”. It is quite a drawn out process .. which can be understood in terms of, roughly, three stages :

“ Disciple-hood stage ” .. Enlightenment before Enlightenment
“ Realization and Master-hood stage ” .. Enlightenment Proper
“ Researcher-hood / Teacher stage ” .. Enlightenment after Enlightenment
When we do decide that we do WANT enlightenment .. at any cost .. and go from pillar to post .. that is the starting phase or the beginning phase of Enlightenment for us.

This Search for the Truth .. taking us .. from book-to-book and from master-to-master .. is the Enlightenment stage of “Disciple-hood”.  A burning hunger for the Knowledge/Experience of Truth is the pre-dominant emotion in this stage; this zest overrides all other worldly emotions and needs.

Gautama Buddha left his palace, his family and all the riches to seek the Truth.  When worldly issues are set aside and spiritual questions begin, and we are thoroughly testing our already gathered exoteric knowledge, and trying for new esoteric knowledge about .. “ meditation ” etc., .. all in the course of Search of Truth .. our Enlightenment has begun in a great fashion !

What eventually follows .. as we begin to MEDITATE more and more .. is the “ Enlightenment Proper ” stage. This is the stage of “Self-Realization” and
“ Master-hood ” .. when we understand that we are not just our physical body alone .. that we do have many more subtle dimensions. And, we begin to have varied third eye visions and we truly experience separation of our astral body.

When Gautama Buddha reached this stage, he saw three things .. all the past births .. the free-will-choice-based Karmas in each birth ..  and all the consequences of those actions in the subsequent life-times. Finally, he received the Eight-fold Path .. the WAY to put an end to the seemingly endless cycle of self-caused miseries.

And, the MEDITATION continues more intensely and more intensely. And, MEDITATION is also carried out in different bodies.

When we meditate in the Astral Body, we go into the Causal Body. When we meditate in the Causal Body, we go into the Supra Causal Body. As we travel through different dimensions, hitherto unknown, we meet other Enlightened Masters from across the creation and turn to ever-expanding exciting soul-level research. That is the stage of “ Researcher-hood ”.

Thus, Enlightenment is a drawn-out and extended process .. a grand journey from “ Disciple-hood ” to “ Master-hood ” and “Researcher-hood” .. ending in being a “ Perfect Teacher ” .. to spread the universal soul-level knowledge to one and all.