Enlightenment can be viewed as an ordinary way of being that once established means that an individual is authentic, compassionate, and at peace, has a sense of inner wholeness, and tends to live in the present. Long familiar in the East, the concept of enlightenment has become more familiar in westernized countries in the past century, particularly since the 1960s. Nevertheless, it is still often perceived as mysterious and unattainable. The aim of two studies was to produce and test a number of items intended to measure the simple experience of enlightenment (e.g., “In the ‘core’ of me I’m content no matter what”) in order to develop a robust scale containing a reduced number of items. First, participants responded to enlightenment items according to how much they considered that they usually experienced what each item represented. Analyses of responses from several data sets showed that the items fell into two 15-item groups, giving a two-factor Enlightenment Scale. The two factors were named At Peace and Open-Hearted. Validity analyses supported the two-factor scale. Next, possible limitations of the studies were discussed, ways in which the Enlightenment Scale could be used were outlined, and further research was suggested.
Boyd-Wilson, B.M. & Walkey, F.H. (2015). The Enlightenment Scale: A measure of being at peace and open-hearted. Pastoral Psychology, 64(3), 311-325.