The question at hand is sort of silly if you ask me. If we all knew how to become enlightened, wouldn’t it make sense to go ahead and be enlightened? Of course with that said, what if some of us are enlightened already. The word itself gives this idea of upon reaching the enlightened state, we somehow become all knowing; however, what if that is not the case at all? Like i said in my midterm, I feel that the way to enlightenment is to discover the origin of humans, and the universe. So many people base their life off the idea that they know how we were created and why we are here, but not a single person in the entire world has any reasonable spec of proof to back this up. If humans could discover what actually created us, I feel we could finally reach enlightenment.
I can’t answer this question with just one answer because I can’t come to a conclusive decision in my head so I am going to do this in two parts. As far as what Descartes talks about in his meditations, I happen to think he is sort of a fool. The basis of his thought process is that the only thing we can know, which is what we experience, is not valid because our senses may be lying to us. Well if that is actually the case then I accept defeat, but for me, it is much easier to believe my senses are honest then to believe some magical creator started all of this. Descartes comes to the conclusion that god must exist, and I have come to the exact opposite conclusion. As me, I can only know what I experience on a day to day basis. So to assume that everything we experience is a lie, created by a perfect being… seems sort of hilarious. What I would conclude, starting with the basis of my senses being honest and the only way I can know anything, is that we are merely the ultimate animal, to date that is. A finished product of evolution. I am okay with the idea that when we die, the meat that makes us up will become part of the never ending energy cycle that fuels humanity, and the world alike.
La Mettrie and his idea of man as a machine is somewhat more agreeable with my idea. I don’t feel that we are 100% on the same page, mostly because I don’t think humans are just machines, out to perform a specific duty, and nothing else. I do agree however, that humans are created like ‘clockwork’ so to speak. We are all made up of such intricate organs, bones, tendons, systems, etc. But this build, despite seeming comparable to machines, creates us to be totally unique individuals, capable of thinking well beyond the scope of machines, which we as humans are capable of creating.
Now as far as what the method to achieving enlightenment is or should be, I feel it is science. Science is our best and only way of making an attempt to find out why/how we are here. I don’t think there is any way to come to a conclusion then to continue on as a race until we find whatever it is we are looking for.