All the Buddhas of all the ages have been telling you a very simple fact: Be -- don't try to become. Within these two words, be and becoming, your whole life is contained. Being is enlightenment, becoming is ignorance.
In the midst of everyday struggle we hope for enlightenment and some kind of release. In our prayer and meditation we hope for fulfilling ordinary life. Jung always taught that these two, anima and animus, are capable of a mystical wedding, the heiros gamos, a divine union. But it is not an easy marriage to effect. Spirit tends to to shoot off in it's own ambition, fanaticism, fundamentalism, and perfectionism. Soul gets stuck in its soupy moods, impossible relationships, and obsessive preoccupations. For the marriage to take place, each has to learn to appreciate the other and to be affected by the other - spirits lofty aims tempered by the souls lowly limitations, soul's unconsciousness stirred by ideas and imagination.
Thomas Moore (1940 -)
Source: Care of the Soul : A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life, Pages: 258
A virtuous man or woman who is determined to develop the Supreme Enlightened Mind, should thus develop it: I have to lead all living beings to put a stop to (reincarnation) and escape (suffering), and when they have been so led, not one of them in fact stops (reincarnating) or escapes suffering. Why? Because, if a Bodhisattva believes in the notion of an ego, a personality, or a living being, he is not a true Bodhisattva.
All of us cherish our beliefs. They are, to a degree, self-defining. When someone comes along who challenges our belief system as insufficiently well-based - or who, like Socrates, merely asks embarrassing questions that we haven't thought of, or demonstrates that we've swept key underlying assumptions under the rug - it becomes much more than a search for knowledge. It feels like a personal assault.
I like happiness as much as the next guy, but it's not happiness that sends one in search of truth. It's rabid, feverish, clawing madness to stop being a lie, regardless of price, come heaven or hell. This isn't about higher consciousness or self-discovery or heaven on earth. This is about blood-caked swords and Buddha's rotting head and self-immolation, and anyone who says otherwise is selling something they don't have.
Source: Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing, Pages: 265
Many people have chosen psychotherapy over enlightenment. Someone asked Anagarike Munindra, a great Buddhist meditation master in India, why it was easier for Asians to attain enlightenment. His reply was that, "Westerners are doing psychotherapy."
"But what about when people explore their inner selves? Make journeys of self-discovery? Aren't they going within to find the truth?" "They're just exploring the ego, making a study of the false self, which is a lifequest as valid as any other. But you don't wake up by perfecting your dream character, you wake up by breaking free of it. There's no truth to the ego, so no degree of mastery over it results in anything true. Putting attention on the false self merely reinforces it."
Source: Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing, Pages: 246