You sometimes hear in the spiritual community how some travelers want to take on their ego, and I always cringe when I hear that. The ego is a fancy latin word for "I". Why would I consciously fight with myself? Cancer and and auto-immune diseases do exactly that on a subconscious level and the outcome isn't pretty as we all know.
If you asked me whether I am enlightened, I would answer that I have my lucid moments in special situations, like right now when we talk. But I reserve the state of "enlightenment" for people and situations where folks step outside of the "I" for a while and consciously choose to come back. In "The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna" we learn about a nineteenth century Indian sage who routinely slips in and out of these samadhi experiences where he is for a while with his Holy Mother and then returns as if nothing ever happened. Jed McKenna in "Spiritual Enlightenment the damnedest Thing" explained this samadhi experience perhaps the best when he said, I saw myself drifting away, free to choose whoever I wanted to be but then I saw that Jed McKenna guy and decided I might as well be him again.
Our own psychological understanding of the "I" changes all the time, this process is just too subtle to be aware of. Essentially the "I" is nothing but a story we are telling, and that story defines who we think we are, as well as our interplay with the rest of the world. The reason why for us spiritual travelers this process of awakening appears to be a bit more discrete and messy is because we open up to a magical world that we have never quite perceived this way before, and in this adjustment of our perspective many things have to be changed as well. My big adjustment started in 2008 when I perceived the world differently, but it took years to rearrange conflicts, uncover hidden agendas, and find wholeness. The big shift I would describe to you is that I now perceive holiness that normally is only reserved to children and many women. But it took years to get to this stage and find a new balance of yin and yang energies. As I said, It has been a journey and a process that lasted a few years but these days I again feel as if I am back to my old stable self where I feel comfortable in my skin again.
I view each of us resting in a continuum of personalities in a multi-dimensional space where everyone somehow makes peace with what is. It might be a continued journey for a few years, it might be a multi-year rest period only to see another big shift again. Whatever it is, know that you are "enlightened" here and now as you become aware of the energy field that you used to call "I". And if you were to drift outside of yourself just as Jed McKenna did in a special satori movement, rest assured that you would pick your own avatar again to express the rest of your life story. We are all beautiful in our unique life expression, be proud of who you are!