One of the problems for seekers is the fact that they are searching for something (Enlightenment) which they have not clearly defined. What is worse, there are countless teachers talking about Enlightenment who also do not define what they are talking about.
We can assume that in the seeker there is a strong sense of something missing. The strength of this longing validates the seeking. So the seeker is off on the journey seeking enlightenment. However, because that "something" remains undefined, the seeker is subject to looking everywhere and anywhere.
The goal being undefined, leaves the seeker listening to anyone and everyone who claims to know something about the subject. Not knowing what it is, anyone could have it. Anything could be it! The seeker is now subject to any and all pseudo logic and experiential pablum. What is the seeker to do?
First, the seeker must realize that if one does not want to spend forty years looking under every rock, and behind every bush, one needs to have some idea of what the goal is. Some definition of what enlightenment is, needs to be determined. Without a good definition of the destination, it is only a wilderness.
If we begin by noting that the conclusion of the Vedas is that Consciousness is all there is, and that it is non-dual, perhaps we can define these and related terms, and chart a possible path.
If you look at the definitions below, gleaned from on-line dictionaries and shortened, one might begin to be able to define what Enlightenment is. The four words that are fundamental are: knowledge, experience, consciousness, awareness.
Knowledge: The sum or range of what has been or can be perceived, discovered, experienced, or learned.
Experience: Direct personal participation in, or perception of, or observation of, a particular incident, thought or feeling, that can be remembered and its impact known. It may be considered subjective, but not easily dismissed.
Consciousness: The sum total of everything that can be experienced, thought, felt, perceived, conjured, or known.
Awareness: That which allows sense data, however subtle or gross, to be registered as consciousness. That which is aware of everything is Awareness, and everything that can be known or experienced, happens in Awareness. All that is, or can be known, is consciousness, and consciousness appears in Awareness.
Based on these definitions, we may be able to mark a path to enlightenment.
1. If everything is one, then individuality is an appearance.
2. If individuality is an appearance, and I exist, then to know who I am, I must find the source of the appearance.
3. To find the source of appearance I need to get rid of my doubts and prove to myself that consciousness is all there is, and that my body-mind is an appearance only.
4. To prove that consciousness is all there is, I need to analyze all my sensory input, all perceptions, and determine that everything that appears out there, and in here, is in fact, experience only.
5. Once I know that everything is an interpretation only, and that all interpretation is consciousness only, I still need to know where consciousness appears.
6. Consciousness appears in Awareness. Awareness is the ultimate perceiver, for it has no attributes. It is the capability, the capacity, and the potentiality of knowing anything and everything.
7. If anything and everything that has ever been conscious, can become conscious, or will become conscious, appears in Awareness, then that is what I am. As the enlightened have always said, "That thou art."