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Are We Already Enlightened?
Please forgive my simplification in this post, it's been a long day and i've been doing a lot if thinking.
My understanding is that at the time of The Buddha there were many people seeking answers to life, including himself, trying many different methods including self suffering. A lot seemed to think that various religious practices and ways of suffering seemed to be the answer (and a lot of people still do).
Siddhārtha Gautama sat down and thought about it and came away thinking that most of it was a waste of time and that with some simple lifestyle changes and some changes to the way we think we will realise that most of life's suffering but can free ourselves from some of the self imposed suffering.
It does seem that in the 'developed' world the majority of people have stepped away from seeking religious answers and dogma but we seem to have also moved away from healthy ways of thinking. People still like to make themslves suffer and try to find answers from inbibing in substances that they think hold the answers but are the majority of people now near enlightenment but just don't realise it?