From conversations with various people (some real), from the things I've read, and from my own thoughts, I've constructed a ramshackle, unstable, incomplete and misleading picture of what some aspects of "enlightenment"/"realisation" mean, to some people. I've constructed a picture based on what some people have said and written about some aspects of those things.
But I still don't know what those things truly are. I don't know what they truly mean. And I don't know why I should want them. I don't understand why I should set as a goal for myself, to achieve enlightenment.
There are a lot of words uttered and written about "samsara", about the misery and suffering of cyclic existence. It's a central tenet of Buddhist thought that "everyday life" is full of pain and torment and is to be avoided at all costs, by means of "liberating the self", "achieving enlightenment" and thereby escaping the wheel of cyclic existence and its multiple (presumably serial) reincarnations.
But right now, at this moment, given my limited understanding of "enlightenment" and "cyclic existence", I can see no reasons why I would/should prefer enlightenment over cyclic existence.
I'm childish and ignorant. I have much to learn. I'm hostage to the mind and the self. But right now, the ignorant child foolishly believes he does not want to be subsumed into the All. The ignorant child is flush with the joy of new discoveries, new insights, such as those to do with the possibilities offered by death. I want to keep learning and growing. I don't want an end to cyclic existence. I want more cyclic existence. What am I not getting? What am I not perceiving correctly? What is it that I do not yet understand?
I want to live this life hard and well, try to do whatever it is I've chosen for my mission. And if I fail miserably and despairingly, I want to pick myself up and start all over again. And again. And again.
Bliss is great, but doesn't it get boring after a while?
(part of) the response
"Enlightenment" is not an object or something that can be achieved. It is NOT anything that can be thought up or experienced. Enlightenment is not a place one gets to. It is a place to come from. Who said you should set it it as a goal? The one who seeks it has nothing to do with enlightenment and yet enlightenment is the space in which that one arises.
Setting enlightenment as a goal is like trying to see your own eyes with your eyes, or to try to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. It is impossible to achieve enlightenment just like a fish cannot try to swim or even set a goal for achieving the ocean.