The problem with Enlightenment is that it's entirely self-contained - you have to be Enlightened to understand Enlightenment, and you have to understand Enlightenment to be Enlightened.
Reality operates as a system/subsystem at least one level higher than our own consciousness(es?). It is currently perceived to be impossible to move into a higher system than that which one exists in. Human intellect has so far failed to create a machine or process which can move outside of its own confines; however, I am not so sure that we haven't been able to create machines/processes which have been able to look outside of their own confines, though only by instruction, and not by any "intuition". Certainly, forays into the field of Artificial Intelligence may, one day, prove that it is possible for an entity to propel itself into a system higher than that in which it was placed. While it is impossible that we could physically or mentally shift into absolute coexistence with the cosmos, it may, somehow, be possible for us to observe "Ultimate Reality", if we are designed ("programmed") to be able to do so.
There have been times in my life when the actuality of reality has become apparent. These times have always been entirely transient, to the extent that I can no longer even remember the revelations contained within, merely the fact of there having been revelations. I am, however, simultaneously certain that my manner of acting/thinking/being has altered significantly after each one, quite possibly reflecting the epiphany.
As for your second point, "intelligence" is, as far as I'm aware, incredibly taxing to define, as almost everyone will have a problem with almost every definition. As for my own beliefs with regard to the universe "being intelligent", it is not possible, to my mind at least, for so structured and consistent (within my definitions) a Reality to have been created without a certain amount of guiding force. To my understanding, it is far more a leap of faith to assume that everything that exists has come into being purely through chance, than it is to assume that some kind of purposeful motion or ambient will has lead to the propagation of chaos to the extent that absolute order has arisen from, potentially, "nothing".