Do not think that enlightenment is going to make you special, it's not. If you feel special in any way, then enlightenment has not occurred. I meet a lot of people who think they are enlightened and awake simply because they have had a very moving spiritual experience. They wear their enlightenment on their sleeve like a badge of honor. They sit among friends and talk about how awake they are while sipping coffee at a cafe. The funny thing about enlightenment is that when it is authentic, there is no one to claim it. Enlightenment is very ordinary; it is nothing special. Rather than making you more special, it is going to make you less special. It plants you right in the center of a wonderful humility and innocence. Everyone else may or may not call you enlightened, but when you are enlightened the whole notion of enlightenment and someone who is enlightened is a big joke. I use the word enlightenment all the time; not to point you toward it but to point you beyond it. Do not get stuck in enlightenment.
Inherent in the impulse to be free, is insecurity. The impulse to be free comes from outside of the mind, and because of this, it makes the mind feel very insecure. Most spiritual seekers move away from this insecurity by seeking and striving for a distant spiritual goal. That’s how they avoid feeling insecure.
Spiritual people can be some of the most violent people you will ever meet. Mostly, they are violent to themselves. They violently try to control their minds, their emotions, and their bodies. They become upset with themselves and beat themselves up for not rising up to the conditioned mind's idea of what it believes enlightenment to be. No one ever became free through such violence. Why is it that so few people are truly free? Because they try to conform to ideas, concepts, and beliefs in their heads. They try to concentrate their way to heaven. But freedom is about the natural state, the spontaneous and un-self-conscious expression of beingness. If you want to find it, see that the very idea of "a someone who is in control" is a concept created by the mind. Take one step backward into the unknown.
"Rebbe," a woman asked during an ecumenical panel discussion, "Aren't all religions equally true?" "No," said Reb Yerachmiel, "all religions are equally false."
The relationship of religion to Truth is like that of a menu to a meal. The menu describes the meal as best it can. It points to something beyond itself. As long we use the menu as a guide we do it honor. When we mistake the menu for the meal, we do it and ourselves a grave injustice.
Source: Read from Rabbi Rami Shapiro - http://www.hasidicstories.com/Articles/Learning_From_Stories/virtual.html#religion
If people need to grow at their own rates, then you might ask, "In what way is it your opportunity to help others grow spiritually?" And I can offer two answers: first, it is appropriate to share your views when someone asks, and second, allow that you may know more of the situation, have greater insight into both the nature of the problem and the solution, than you might share with that person. A true spiritual teacher knows more than he or she necessarily verbalizes, using temperance and love to be guided to say what is appropraite without showing off his or her knowledge or saying what would not arise from the greatest care, kindness, and compassion.
The Earth with its layers of land and water and air provides the space within which all living things are nurtured and the context within which humans attain their identity. If in the excitement of a secular technology reverence for the Earth has diminished in the past, especially in the western world, humans now experience a sudden shock at the devastation they have wrought on their own habitation. The ancient human-Earth relationship must be recovered in a new context, in its mystical as well as in its physical functioning. There is need for awareness that the mountains and rivers and all living things, the sky and its sun and moon and clouds all constitute a healing, sustaining sacred presence for humans which they need as much for their psychic integrity as for their physical nourishment. This presence whether experienced as Allah, as Atman, as Sunyata, or as the Buddha-nature or as Bodhisattva; whether as Tao or as the One or as the Divine Feminine, is the atmosphere in which humans breathe deepest and without which they eventually suffocate.
Source: Evening Thoughts: Reflecting on Earth as Sacred Community
Both education and religion need to ground themselves within the story of the universe as we now understand this story through empirical knowledge. Within this functional cosmology, we can overcome our alienation and begin the renewal of life on a sustainable basis. This story is a numinous revelatory story that could evoke the vision and the energy required to bring not only ourselves but the entire planet into a new order of magnificence.