SPIRITUAL ENLIGHTENMENT is NOT the same as intellectual understanding or THE AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT (the age of reason) which was given by historians to the intellectual movement that was predominant in the Western world during the 18th century, Strongly influenced by the rise of modern science and by the aftermath of the long religious conflict that followed the Reformation, the thinkers of the Enlightenment (called philosopher in France and Aufklarer in Germany) were committed to secular views based on reason or human understanding only, which they hoped would provide a basis for beneficial changes affecting every area of life and thought. The more extreme and radicle of them - Denis Diderot, Claude Adrian Helvetius, Baron d'Holbach, the Marquis de Condorcet, and Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709-51) - advocated a philosophical RATIONALISM deriving its methods from science and natural philosophy that would replace religion as the means of knowing the nature and destiny of humanity; these men were materialists, pantheist, or atheists. Other enlightened thinkers, such as Pierre Bayle, Voltaire, David Hume, and Immanuel Kent, were more moderate. They set limits to human knowledge and, while anti-clerical, were either agnostic or left room for some kind of religious faith.
All of the philosophers saw themselves as continuing the work of the great 17th-century pioneers - Francis Bacon, Galileo, Descartes, Leibniz, Isaac Newton, and John Locke - who had developed fruitful methods of rational and empirical inquiry and had demonstrated the possibility of a world remade by the application of knowledge for human benefit. The philosophers believed that science could reveal nature as it truly is and show how it could be CONTROLLED and MANIPULATED. This belief provided an incentive to extend scientific methods into every field of inquiry, thus laying the groundwork for the development of the modern social sciences.
Spiritual Enlightenment or God-Self-Realization, was/is known as: