Everyone has their own idea of enlightenment. I, for example, might feel enlightened after eating a really good double extra chocolate brownie with chocolate chips and cocoa powder (my mouth is watering). After all, I have just eaten the god of all brownies. You however, might feel enlightened after listening to two critics debate whether Emily Dickinson's poem "Wild Nights" is about a longing for freedom or sex. In Buddhism, the idea of enlightenment is knowing yourself. You meditate constantly until you simply have clear thought. You no longer know any limitations and you can think faster than the speed of light. However, in western thought, enlightenment simply means that you know everything. I believe, and so does Immanuel Kant, that enlightenment is actually a conglomeration of the Buddhist and Western thoughts. We believe that enlightenment means a process of clear thought in a field of education/knowledge specific to the individual. Therefore, enlightenment can occur more than once in each person. The major point of my view of enlightenment is the fact that I believe that it enables us to know our own abilities instead of being told what our abilities are.
"This free thought gradually acts upon the mind of the people and they gradually become more capable of acting in freedom." (Kant, 110) Kant is one of the most revolutionary thinkers of all time. He, in my opinion, single-handedly began a revolution of thought and philosophy. He discusses the education of all in all subjects. He desires to rid the world of its stereotypes and self-imposed limitations. His greatest gripe is the fact that free thought isn't available to everyone because of society's limitations on the individual and our own "limits". He discusses enlightenment as a way to understand that our self-imposed limits count for nothing because they don't exist. For example, over the past few months I have learned that I am actually able to play music by ear.