Enlightenment is nothing. Neither is reality really, so it’s a mutual exclusion, but the point is that nothing ever said, written, or done has helped mankind to achieve enlightenment. And there’s a good reason why. All you have to do is take into account what every other “enlightenment” thinker has ever said to come to the inevitable conclusion that not only is the world you live in an unreality but the words of other people are not even a part of an external source at all. Kant said, “Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed nonage.” It’s not, because that is impossible. Descartes said, “I think therefor I am.” But he isn’t, and neither are we, because we think and still nothing exists (not even ourselves). La Mettrie tries to come to terms with both of these concepts, saying that, “In this territory, experience and observation should be our only guides.” But how can they be? Perception is intimately bound up in how the mind chooses to processes it. So then how can any experience understood through the veil of the senses be trusted as an accurate representation of reality? The answer is it can’t, and won’t ever be able to. The rest of these guys are more interested in the intricacies of this fabricated dreamworld we think exists, so what they have to say is totally irrelevant.
Because of the failure of perception to possibly ever give an accurate representation of reality so that the mind (or at least what we understand as the mind) can become an integrated part of the world it inhabits, we must then assume that the external world that we perceive through our senses is nothing more than a projection of the energy we understand as the mind processing inner stimuli in ways in which a consciousness can easily digest. The idea that this supposedly singular consciousness defines being (“I think therefore I am.”) is ludicrous because the only concept of being that we understand is that of a self fully constructed within an exterior world, one that is now understood to be a complete fabrication, a construction of logic to familiarize the mind with the concept of being real.
We see hints of this process throughout our constructed world (whatever our mind is, is not without a sense of humor (or whatever you call something like that that doesn’t derive from the human experience). We experience most of the world through constructed windows. We refer to it now as media, but all it really amounts to is books, movies, poems, songs. Anything that equates to an understood experience through the veil of a separate medium is basically a mirror into how our perception of our own constructed medium is consumed (we see the veil of perception through a window much like the glass of a TV screen).
And since we cannot understand the nature of being within the confines of this constructed world we call reality, then we cannot know if the presence behind our augmented perception is a singular entity or the amalgamation of many entities all working together to construct the exterior world. This would make sense though, because without the multiplicity of consciousness behind the construction of reality it would be rather difficult to represent the innumerable different ideas that derive from the synthesis of experience of the external world.
So, in conclusion, enlightenment is unacheivable because reality doesn’t exist. It is simply a projection of whatever force lies behind consciousness attempting to make a possibly singular entity come to terms with understand the universe through perception, hopefully so it can then begin to understand objective existence through a more intimate connection to exterior stimuli.