You will never find enlightenment, awakening, nirvana, or whatever you call it, via your mind, because the mind is the problem. The false self, with all the negative thoughts and feelings, is an invention of the mind. If you attempt to get out of this false self via the mind, all you will do is spin mind gears and remain stuck where you are.
The way to escape from the false self is to transcend mind altogether. Don’t think. Don’t try to “figure it out”. Let go.
Enlightenment cannot be “attained”. It is not a thing outside of you that you must acquire. You can’t go to Walmart and say, “I’d like to buy some enlightenment.”
Enlightenment is the opposite of acquiring – it is giving up. Giving up what? All those erroneous notions of being your externals, judging yourself and others, trying to maintain an image, worrying about the future, regretting the past, and striving to get things. It is a simple dropping of the mental baggage – the false self – you have been carrying around.
We do not have to do anything to be enlightened. We do not have to meditate, chant, find a guru, believe a dogma, give away all our possessions, or attend worship services. We have only to drop the false self. Is the stone you carry too heavy? Then drop it. Is the false self and all the worry, strife, fear, guilt and anger it causes too much to bear? Then drop it.
You might cling to your false self because you feel the need to think and do certain things in order to maintain worldly things such as your financial and social status. If so, you’ve made your choice: wealth, possessions, and public approval are more important than peace of mind. There is no cosmic right or wrong in this. But the next time you’re worrying or struggling in order to get something, or feeling anger or frustration because you didn’t get it, you might want to consider whether your occasional triumphs outweigh the frequent emotional pain.