When we were at graduate school, my wife used to have a t-shirt that showed two professors in front of a huge blackboard with convoluted formulas on it and a text somewhere in the middle that stated 'and then a miracle happens'; the reviewing professor said to the other 'I guess you have to be a bit more explicit in this step'.
I feel our spiritual community is in a similar position when it comes to the stage of samadhi or the process of enlightenment. Take Mr. Tolle who described falling in a state of deep depression when he suddenly saw a vortex that sucked him in and the next day the sun was shining, the birds were singing and a huge load had been lifted off his chest. While the vortex experience will probably always stay mystic to us, I think we can zoom in on the depression state a bit closer.
Being enlightened seems to mean that you have successfully dismantled your personality and left behind like an old skin. You die without physically dying. I have a hunch that this demolition course can be experienced in front of your open eyes, even though I have no idea how long it will take. A couple of books suggested it may take years between the time when you realize that you are on a demolition course and the time when the job is complete. Well, let's start chipping away.