What is Enlightenment?

Kant defines enlightenment as “man’s release from self-incurred tutelage” with tutelage being “man’s inability to make use of his understanding without direction from another.” More than anything, enlightenment is a state of mind. It requires the privilege to think freely and the mental acuity to take advantage of this acuity. Enlightenment comes solely from within and cannot be attained through the assistance of periphery sources.¬†While it necessitates the ability to think critically and analytically for oneself, enlightenment only occurs when one makes full and total use of this ability. Once enlightenment is achieved, the enlightened individual experiences an objective awareness of his surroundings. He experiences a greater understanding of the natural or artificial constraints that had once restricted him, which can be a powerful asset.