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Then, how do we define enlightenment when we have not yet reached it?
In Buddhism, "the book" best plays a role as a map.
The map indicates that in this direction you will find a destination. It provides a incomplete description of the destination as well as possible routes and detours.
But you will never gain enlightenment just by studying the map. You have to take the journey.
Getting lost in detail, like wondering if the Buddha used his right or left foot to step on the rock at the edge of the stream, will only slow you down.
The route you take has never been taken before, nor will ever be taken again.
How do you know when you've reached the destination? This is one instance where faith plays a role in Buddhism. You'll just have to have faith that you will know.