Stated as clearly as I can explain what Enlightenment means...
Let us begin by sharing a couple facts... neither of which is well known in the West, and in America.
Fact #1: The Law of Karma is a primordial Law of God that every living Soul [regardless what body that Soul resides Within] automatically adheres to, is part of, and by completing Karma grows and matures. And this means slowly accumulates the Virtues of Life which ultimately lead to Enlightenment.
Fact #2: Reincarnation, or the fact that all Souls are slowly climbing up the "Ladder of Life" is also true. Most likely everyone knows that all living things on Earth die. But what very few realize is what happens to every Soul Within every living thing when that thing [body] dies? So, let us begin with death, since everyone [well, except for those who are really in denial], can agree that death does exist.
The vast majority of the operations of Life, or the Reality of Life -- take place at levels which are not physical, and thus not discernible by the brain, thinking, or ones physical senses... and this makes these operations invisible. If we can agree on this concept, then we are making great progress in discovering that which only some people are supposed to discover. And by "some people" I am merely explaining a factual situation unique with the Reality of Life, not suggesting I am one of "some people". Although I humbly admit that I am higher on the Ladder of Life than a worm. But then, every human being is higher on the Ladder of Life than that of a worm.
But since we cannot physically observe the Ladder of Life, the reader must take my word for what has been stated thus far... or deny it, of course. If you deny death, or that there are differences in people, or that there is a Purpose for Life, then email me: firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can discuss your denial of these aspects of Life.
Who would imagine that the Soul of a 1,000 year old tree... does not deserve to try out the other forms of life on Earth? But perhaps you believe a tree does not have a Soul? What then provides 'life 'in your view? I believe every living thing has a Soul, and that no entity can "live" without a Soul? Believe it or not, a Soul is required for any living thing to live. When the Soul is withdrawn, the thing dies. Let us see the hands of those who would deny the Soul of a tree an opportunity to work its way up the Ladder of Life to become a human being.. at least for a couple lifetimes?
What is that which we call "Life"? You know, that which, when it leaves a person's body, causes that person to die? Well, I refer to that Energy as the Soul, and Christ, in the Bible refers to it as a Soul as well, and that in addition, there is a thing called 'Spirit'. And the Spirit of God exists as part of every Soul in Creation... although for the Spirit to become active, it must be awakened by a Soul designated to awaken Souls. This is a fact, but since it cannot be proven by physical means, those early in their process of enlightenment do not possess a level of Intuition sufficient to enable such people the ability to "experience" an awakened Spirit, and thus, to be able to "see" or "hear" subtle bits of Truth... This is also stated in the Bible, if one cares to search for it?
And it is OK for readers to hold out for a "proof" that will ONLY come when ones Soul has ascended the Ladder of Life to the point where it begins to Intuit Truth. No rush, the mystics tell us the Creation is intended to continue forever. And if true, this means that we Souls [if we remain good] will remain part of Creation as well.
So, given what I have shared with the reader, a couple things can be assumed. One is that there are Souls, and they were projected into the Creation by God, and that due to the Law of Karma, all Souls are treated with ABSOLUTE equality... in their process of individuation. The second thing is that due to Reincarnation, all Souls have as many lifetimes to work toward Perfection as they may take to do so?
Now, if any part of what I have shared seems in conflict with anyone's religion, it isn't in conflict, but I can appreciate how the interpretations of some religions might seem to be in conflict. You see, the Bible accounts of the "end times," which we are currently experiencing, differs from the end times of the Eastern mystic, or the Mayan, only in the fact that each religion has its own "story" and that story only seems to be at variance with other stories. From a higher perspective on the Ladder of Life, all Souls will INDEED be judged at the time of Armageddon. Some will go into the Lake of Fire, some will be resurrected to spend a thousand years with Christ, and others will go to various Hells, or to various Heavens? God is ONE, not two or more. It is the Creation that is so vast, and so diverse, that is cannot be actually comprehended by the limited thinking of Man.
A Soul continues as long as it remains dedicated to God. When it wanders off course, there are numerous Hells whose job is to re-educate the MIND that is attached to each Soul. For those Souls that defy God, or serve Satan, they will be expunged. That is, returned to the primordial Energy of the Creation... perhaps in a few millions of years, they may be able to try again by beginning at the bottom of the Ladder of Life, and working themselves up through the various lifeforms existing at the time?