‘Strictly speaking, there are no enlightened people, there is only enlightened activity.’ - Shunryu Suzuki
Brilliant, he was such a wonderful man.
Let's start by establishing the fact that enlightenment isn’t a special state we attain, what’s special is the ego-mind and its concepts. An enlightened being, is simply a being that has discovered his or her essence or natural state, and the nature of this essence is silence and peace. There is nothing special in being who you truly are.
There can be no enlightened people because within the space of enlightenment, the person, or the ego-mind, ceases to exist (relatively speaking). Enlightenment is not something we gain, it's something we lose. So the ego, and its desires and fears, aren't behind every thought and action anymore. The sense of lack isn’t there anymore.
Imagine being empty of desire and fear, what’s left ? Nothing. Enlightenment is that nothingness, emptiness, peace or presence.
So the ego-mind or the sense of me being this woman or that man retreats to the background, and what remains is a peaceful state of presence. And within that presence, there is no I, or me, there is only awareness, an awareness that is impersonal, yet filled with love, and in this state of being, there is only spontaneous and selfless activity. An activity that's rooted in wholeness as there is nothing left to gain.