I realize serious subjects, at times, require a bit of humor. But I'm asking to keep it to a minimum.
If you wish to "define" enlightenment, please sit this conversation out because if you don't understand it such that you need to define it, I personally don't think you know it at all. I've seen too many "debates" from people who try to "define" the terms only to find they were completely ignorant of the subject matter. Lest anyone takes offense, I have been one of those people.
Make no word play. We are talking Modern Aikido's structure in its myriad forms as a way to reach enlightenment. As a way towards reaching that goal. People espouse the spiritual side of it all the time, yet what really is there? Will it get one to the intended goal?
My PC died. I'm on an iPhone. I'll post more once I get a PC back.
I look at this question as a rhetorical question. Many of us recognize that O'Sensei perceived his Aikido as a manifestation of his deep, spiritual nature. I do not know if we can even quality his place in his life as one of being enlightened. Post-hoc reasoning is always 20:20, so it really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.
It seems that much of modern Aikido hides behind words and beliefs that do not pan out when reality needs to speak louder than words. Heck, most religions talk about enlightenment and deliver far less..... Who in their right mind would believe that that their Aikido practice leads to enlightenment?
I like it that Aikido can allow us to explore resolving real conflicts in the moment, as opposed to being preached about doing this through spiritual beliefs. I like how our practice can help us to face the gaps between our believes and what we do. Those benefits of our practice is a far cry from reaching the heights of enlightenment.
Maybe I'm such a simple person. It is hard enough for me to try and become as good as my teacher, to pass on that legacy. It is hard enough to show appreciation to my teacher for how Aikido under his guidance and teaching, has changed me for the better. If somebody has the "luxury" to be able to consider enlightenment in the same sentence as his/her Aikido, then I simply consider the bar for enlightenment and Aikido for that person to be so low that I would not even recommend that my dog train with that person.
Mark, are you trying to flesh out posers, or is there some deeper reason behind this question?