What happens when a person reaches enlightenment? Pros vs. cons?
Context: Sometimes I answer questions on Quora. Folks there have asked many versions of this one in many different spaces. The question itself is actually yet another expression of the ego’s attempt to resist or at least manage the circumstances of its own destruction.
The short answer is that you are thereafter “in the world, but not of it.” The idea of pros and cons or comparisons does not exist for you. All is simply what Is.
Enlightenment isn’t like flipping a switch; it requires ongoing integration of one’s growing Awareness and dissolution of the habitual ego, with all its narratives, judgments, desires, control strategies, comparisons, identities, and so forth. This usually requires many years to complete.
Once one is no longer governed by ego but grounded primarily in Spirit (aka the True Self or Essence), then one becomes more of an objective observer of Life than an individual who is driven by the conditioned patterns, fears, and cravings of the mind. You move through the world as though in a lucid dream, always in the moment, with no concern for past or future.
You lose the sense of a permanent “identity” and the very idea of defining yourself in any way feels laughable. Who would want such arbitrary limitations? You understand yourself to be formless Consciousness that is momentarily aware of and perceiving this particular view of Creation through the apparatus of a human body, with which you increasingly disidentify — even while delighting in its ability to witness the pure Love that generates Life itself.
You understand the Self to include all that exists — every molecule, plant, animal, star, human, the vast emptiness of space, absolute Infinity, pure Love. There is no longer a sense of separation. To quote Adyashanti, it is “the end of your argument with God.” You simply flow as Life flows, as God flows (for you are That), from a place of peace.