AdmiralJim wrote:Upon becoming enlightened what stops ignorance from re-asserting itself?
If that is not possible then does that make enlightenment permanent?
When you truly know or experience something, you don't stop knowing it or return to a time when that experience did not occur.
Ignorance is not the result, it is the cause (of suffering). It is a kind of not knowing. It's like a hole in the ground. Once you fill it up, it doesn't become a hole again.
How does that sit with the second turning of the wheel of dharma upon which the fundamental teaching that everything is voidness?
"everything is voidness" is not an accurate phrase. Accurately put, all apparent phenomena arise conditionally and have no intrinsic reality
I don't see where enlightenment has any bearing on this.
If you are asking whether or not enlightenment is beyond conditionality, then let's define the term enlightenment, for the purpose of this discussion.
Let's say that Enlightenment, in the Buddhist context, refers to complete extinction of the causes of suffering and mental anguish. "Freedom from suffering and the causes of suffering".
You can throw in various powers and omnipotence and whatever you like, but I am trying to keep the definition uncluttered.
So, on the one hand, if we compare being enlightened to not being enlightened, then enlightenment is conditional. It only happens in relation to not being enlightened. That's why one person is seen as a Buddha and the next person isn't.
However, the next person also possesses the same potential for enlightenment as the Buddha. And although realizing that potential is conditional, because it depends on many factors such as motivation, right view, effort, and so on, The actual point of realization, of enlightenment, that is not conditional because by nature it's very essence, what makes enlightenment enlightenment, is its nonconditionality. Realization does not depend on shifting circumstances.
So, referring back to the first part of your question, about returning ignorance, Realization, or Enlightenment does not hinge on ignorance somehow creeping back in, because at this point the contradictions and dualities which appear to arise due to ignorance are totally resolved.