Is it possible to lose enlightenment? First and foremost, there is no "you" to "have" enlightenment. "You" are merely a consciousness object that has been misidentified as a subject. Because that "you" isn't real, it can't ever become enlightened. Only objects (such as bodies) can become enlightened.
Secondly, enlightenment is not a state that can be lost. It is always present, but most people don't recognize it because they believe that who they are is their body. Their body may change over time or under different conditions, but what is always the same is their mind. Even when the mind is covered by many layers of delusion, ignorance, and anxiety, it remains present like the sun behind clouds.
When someone says that they have "lost their enlightenment," what they really mean is that they no longer feel connected to their mind. They can still see how it works under different circumstances, but they can't find it anymore. It's like looking for something in the dark: You know it's there, but you can't find it.
In other words, enlightenment is never lost; it's only obscured by ignorance. Once that veil is removed, the light of wisdom shines straight through, and nothing can hide from it.
Enlightenment is difficult to attain because it is impossible. There's basically nothing you can do about it. There is no practice, way, or road that will result in it. You become enlightened when you are ready, but the "you" who gets ready is not the "you" you are familiar with. It's an altered state of being.
The problem is that everyone thinks they can become enlightened. And the more educated they are, the more likely it is that they'll spend a lot of time thinking and talking about enlightenment (and other esoteric topics such as past lives and psychic abilities) which only adds to their delusion.
Even though enlightenment is impossible, people still want to know if it's possible. The question is why? Why would anyone want to be unable to solve its own problems?
The answer is power. Power over others, or power over your own mind, either way it's all the same. If you can become enlightened then others will trust you and listen to you. They'll also trust you when you say what needs to be done to fix their issues. This gives you power over them, and it makes you feel important.
The problem is that once you have this power over others then it's easy to use it to exploit them. You don't need to keep them in pain for long before they start doing things for you because they hope you'll help them out later.
Although attaining enlightenment is not an easy feat, you may get a bit closer to it every day. Being in the present moment, developing your understanding of life and the world around you, and meditation to extend your consciousness are all ways to become enlightened.
As you grow more conscious, you will begin to see how limited your perception of reality is. You will realize that many of our beliefs about the world are simply myths. For example, did you know that most people believe that heaven exists up above us in the sky? Or that there is something magical about flowers? Or that tigers are fierce? All this information and more is fed to us through media, so it's no surprise that many people think that gods and demons live in the sky or in the depths of the earth.
As you learn more about spirituality, you will come to understand that everything is connected. What happens to one thing affects everything else, including you. So if you harm plants, for example, they will feel the pain and try not to do it again. If animals attack humans, they will be banished from some holy places. Avoiding violence against others is part of becoming enlightened.
At the end of your life, you will face several choices: continue living as you currently exist, go through rebirth, or achieve nirvana.
However, enlightenment is a journey, not a destination. And self-realization is the starting point or entrance to this journey. The final worth of enlightenment is determined by the person. Obtaining enlightenment and then doing nothing with it will not go you very far.
The only way to find out if this path is for you is to walk on it. As you learn more about yourself, your journey will lead you toward greater understanding and awareness. This is the aim of every step you take along the path.
When you reach the end of the path, you will have realized enlightenment/Buddha nature/God consciousness. Only you can decide what to do with this information. Some people choose to remain enlightened, while others return to the material world to help others follow their own paths as teachers or leaders.
Either way, personal realization is important because it indicates that you are able to see yourself and your life from an unbiased perspective, which is essential for evolving as a human being.
Enlightenment occurs abruptly and completely. Yes, because it is an experience or a state of being, it is lasting. It cannot be erased from the mind.
Yes. Your mind is utterly shattered if you attain the last degree of enlightenment. No, there are three more phases once you attain the stage of enlightenment. These are called "bodhisattvas", which means "one who practices benevolence". You must practice compassion in order to help others reach enlightenment.
The first bodhisattva phase is called "aryadeva". In this phase, you begin to teach others how to achieve liberation from suffering and death. You do this by acting as an example yourself. After some time, you will be able to communicate with others through dreams, words, and actions that show them the way forward. You can then guide them toward enlightenment.
The second bodhisattva phase is called "mahasattva". In this phase, you continue to help others reach enlightenment, but also give attention to yourself too. You must learn how to work with your ego because it tends to suffer when you try to help others. Also, your own mind needs to be cared for; therefore, in the mahasattva phase, you spend some time alone in retreat learning how to control your emotions and thoughts.
When you are ready, you can return to the world and start teaching again.