What is enlightenment?
In my definition, it is a revelation or recognition. What is recognized is that the True Nature of reality is Pure Consciousness and that I am not separate from It.
That recognition can have many consequences in the life of the person to whom it happened. Most notably, it heralds the beginning of the last stretch of the spiritual path for some, and it is the actual end of the path for some.
The word Enlightenment is symbolic. Before Enlightenment it was dark so Reality could not be seen, revealed or recognized. With Enlightenment light is present and reality becomes visible.
The word awakening is likewise symbolic of the same event. In sleep reality cannot be discerned. In wakefulness it can.
The revelation or recognition is impersonal. Nobody awakens, is awake or is enlightened.
I find that hard to understand.
It is not hard to understand, it is impossible. The intellect cannot grasp its own source. The intellect is the brush, the Source is the painter. Once the seeking bug bites the only resolution is Enlightenment itself. And after Enlightenment, if doubt and seeking persist, paying attention and eliminating the useless can help bring about Realization.
The ego has a counterpart in each center: physical/instinctive, emotional and intellectual. The intellect can function both in favor or against Enlightenment and Realization. The uneducated ego functions against. The educated ego is neutral. Some spiritual ideas that help strengthen personality early on the path function against Enlightenment and Realization later.
All that I share with you, is to help the intellect operate in a favorable way to both Enlightenment and Realization; by aligning it with How Things Are, and by eliminating unclear, malformed, inapplicable, or false ideas, and by eliminating false beliefs. From there attention can flow in unexpected and surprising ways.