What is the relationship between enlightenment and the spring of life? Is enlightenment the spring of life?
One basic thing has always to be remembered: not to get involved in questions of intellect. They are pseudo questions, they don’t belong to your experience. Mind is tremendously capable of creating questions out of words.
But any question that is created by the mind, out of words, not out of experience, is an exercise in utter futility. You don’t know what enlightenment is as an experience, you don’t know what the spring of life is as an experience. The question is purely intellectual. It can lead to a great philosophical discussion, but it will not lead to any understanding or any transformation.
Intellect is one of the barriers to reach to the sources of existence. It does not allow you to ask the authentic question. It goes on giving you questions which only appear as questions, but they are not your quest. Of course in a dictionary, enlightenment will mean one thing and spring of life will mean something else.
But here we are not discussing linguistics. And the people who have been writing dictionaries, analyzing language and grammar, are not the people of the path. So the first thing: always remember whether the question is arising from some experiential source or not. If it is not arising from experience, then it is not worth discussing.
Carol, a newlywed, brags that her Romeo is a model husband. We looked up the word model in the dictionary, and found it means “a small imitation of the real thing.”
It has been heard that the pope died but was allowed to return to earth to speak to the cardinals. They gathered around him eagerly.
“What is he like?” they clamored. “Is he very old, with a long, white beard, like in all the paintings? Tell us, describe him.”
“Well,” said the pope, “to start with, she is black.”
Knowing is one thing; knowing directly and knowing through books are so different. Sometimes they may appear to be similar, but they are not similar.
I cannot answer your question in terms of intellect, but I can answer it in terms of existential experience.
The spring of life and enlightenment are not the same, although they are deeply related. The spring of life, when it becomes aware of itself, brings you to the experience of enlightenment. In other words, spring of life plus awareness is equal to enlightenment.