smjc wrote:Enlightenment is not a paradigm, attitude, or concept. It is an experience.
I think it's a realization, and that 'realization' is different to 'experience'. I previously quoted Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche on the difference between realization and experience. Experience pertains to existence, realization pertains to reality, the difference being that experience implies the division of experience and experiencer, subject and object, whereas reality is inclusive of both. Other than that I generally agree with the points you are making.
That is why even though it is true that:
Astus wrote:Nevertheless, experience is something that happens in one of the six sensory gates. Even if we talk about the subtlest mental phenomena, they are impermanent. There is no seventh sensory gate beyond the six. And if any of them were permanent we would experience it constantly.
Buddhism is not about any particular experience, but the nature of all experience, about the causes that give rise to, and make experience possible; what is behind all experiences. And that is why the teaching is on a completely different level to that of 'experience'. It consists of realizing the true nature of experience, specifically that it is always subject to 'conditioned origination' and so on.
That is not something that takes place on an intellectual level - which is why even if we have a lot of knowledge of sutras and teachings, it doesn't necessarily translate into actual realization.
smjc wrote:No, Buddha Nature is the essence of mind, before subject and object. It can never be taken as an object of consciousness anymore than the retina of your eye can see itself.
I agree with that. And 'uncovered' is the right way to put it - that is another way of distinguishing 'realization' and 'experience'. 'Realization' is 'of that which is always already the case'.