Enlightenment is also defined as a sense of essence. It hides behind the longing for love, comfort, peace or beauty.
As fetuses and infants we experienced this sense of essence in a pure form. Suffered damages and later socialization have blurred our sense of essence.
Therefore, it can only be found back, or remembered, by overcoming damages and unnecessary effects of socialization in our system.
To find essence we need to overcome effects of socialization and damages
Another change is that we as early children experienced essence subconsciously. As adults we have developed the capacity of consciousness, to be seen as being aware of one's surroundings and oneself.
This allows us to distinguish between subject and object, and, therefore, reflection and self-reflection.
Our sense of essence may always have been present in us, but now we can notice it consciously. As a fetus and infant we could not. In that state of being we did not reflect.
Consciousness and essence are very different
Our later distinguishing between subject and object applies to consciousness and essence. But consciousness and essence are not at all the same. It is through consciousness that we perceive essence. The telescope is not the same as the star it is aimed at.
To say that everything is consciousness means you suppose all things are able to distinguish between object and subject and can therefore reflect on themselves. That seems to be an anthropomorphic assumption in need of evidence.
Meanwhile, as adults we may become able to lift the sense of essence from the subconscious to the conscious level of experience in us. We can be aware of this sense of essence, but only to the extent we have overcome effects of damage and unnecessary effects of socialization. That is the first challenge. A second challenge is to not embrace the entire mindset of early infants. It would turn us into irresponsible citizens.
A.H. Almaas, “Essence. The Diamond Approach to Inner Realization”. Samuel Weiser, York, Maine, 1986
Margaret S. Mahler, Fred Pine, and Anni Bergman, “The Psychological Birth of the Human Infant. Symbiosis and Individuation. Basic Books, New York, 1975