Enlightenment is full acknowledgement of one’s soul. It is like turning on a light bulb that a person already has inside them.
The path to enlightenment involves many steps. A few parts of this process include determining how one’s soul came to be, understanding the experiences that were had along with the meaning (hint: everything that ever happens has a purpose), and discovering what the world is truly about. The whole process is very eye opening. In order to master the steps, one must “walk the walk” through actual experiences (thanks to the physical / Ego for providing this) to gain real understanding. True advancement requires true knowing and while people can fool themselves or others in the physical, there is no such thing as fooling the spiritual.
One can experience full enlightenment after leaving their physical body. In order to live in the physical world, everyone needs to have at least a thread of Ego. It is the Ego that creates the body as a protective physical layer around the soul. While in the physical body, a person can have a very open mind and learn a lot about spirituality but physical life is designed to be a constant learning process. When a question is asked, the physical provides the answer. When there are no questions, there is no physical. Some people have had out-of-body experiences where they experience a glimpse of the infinite knowledge in enlightenment but that fades almost completely upon re-entry.