One of the most difficult life situations to handle is, paradoxically, success. We aren’t optimized for it; rather, we are conditioned to struggle to get what we want. What happens when the aim is attained, when the struggle is over?
A lot of lottery winners and other inadvertently successful people simply lose it. They blow the whole thing on drugs or ill-advised investments. But what about when success is spiritual? We can’t un-see what we have seen; we can’t un-realize what we have realized.
We are tempted to ignore it altogether and continue striving for what is, in most scenarios, an unattainable perfection. After all, we are conditioned by school not to differ too much from others of our class, and they are still working on their āsanas, their Sanskrit or whatever. So we would be rocking the boat to declare enlightenment.
But who says we have to declare it? Despite what the managers of churches and temples tell us, enlightenment is an individual matter, not a social phenomenon. We don’t have to go public; we can become stealth Buddhas.
We can infiltrate an ordinary occupation or job and distribute our merit by acting with timeless wisdom. What’s a bored Arahant to do? The quality of students showing up for spiritual training these days is atrocious. The whole field is corrupted by commercialism and groupthink. Better to go out and discover qualified candidates in their natural habitats.