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Why is the term enlightenment used so loosely?

There are so many meanings to this word and yet I would like to know why we so often forget that it was the Age of European Enlightenment that brought about our own Revolution. That is the enlightenment that Society today needs.
We still use those idea and yet we have been enlightened enough to update the constitution to include all types of privacy issues and other rights that need it.
That is the term enlightentment to me… What about you?


  1. enlightenment to me is finding out something new that you did not know before. i dont think it should be restricted to a “certain degree” of enlightenment.
    Why shouldnt it be used loosely?

  2. it mean you on the way of understanding, is the same way of word in the eastern, hey learn something new everyday, and dots being connected

  3. Enlightenment is a word used to describe the end result of epiphanies that come from meditation. You can not share enlightenment because it is achieved through the thought processes of the individual mind. You can’t give the tin man a heart, or the lion its courage, or the brain to the scarecrow. But it is a term used to describe the act of receiving an epiphany of some sort. Those that have not received the epiphany and would like to, will abuse the phrase. Those that have received the epiphany speaking with someone that has received the same epiphany can communicate all that is necessary by a nod and knowing smile and seldom proclaim to be enlightened.
    One is more impressed with your understanding if they come to that conclusion on their own without you having to tell them.

  4. One day the abbot Rennyo asked the master, Ikkyu, “I have heard that you are an enlightened being. Is it true?”
    Ikkyu’s answer: “I never did such mischief.”
    -Zen mondo

  5. Enlightenment can occur in oh, so many ways, consequently the ‘loose’ use of the term.
    Self-knowledge – each individuals revolution (or evolution) is like a series of little light bulbs flashing in your mind illuminating your journey.


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