There are so many ways to explain what enlightenment is. There are so many ways to look at it.
Gautama Buddha says that it’s the end of suffering. And he’s right—after enlightenment there’s no more suffering. This explanation of enlightenment is probably the best in terms of understanding and being able to relate to it. Because you know when you’re suffering, and enlightenment is when you no longer have that anymore.
Another way to look at enlightenment is—there’s no more ego. In other words, there’s no more, “I am something.” There’s no more, “I am something special,” and there’s no more, “I am something not special.” There’s no more, “I am intelligent… I’m worthy of respect… I am a royal… I am athletic.”
So when the ego is gone, or the “I am something” is gone, what do you feel? Well, based on that logic, if you’re not something, then you feel like you are nothing. It’s very simple! If you’re not something, you are nothing. So when there’s no ego, when the person is egoless, they will feel, “I am nothing.”
Now, in the English language, when you say, “I am nothing,” that creates an implied meaning of inferiority. But nothing cannot be inferior. Only something can be superior or inferior. But nothing can’t be inferior.