"The human species possesses – has within its physical being – the capacity for a mode of conscious awareness that is qualitatively different from our ordinary form of consciousness.”
Richard P. Boyle. “Realizing Awakened Consciousness. Interviews with Buddhist Teachers and a New Perspective on the Mind.” Columbia University Press, 2015.
But if you mention something of real depth, meaning or significance in life, even close friends suddenly become very uncomfortable, lost, confused or zoned out. Many of my generation don't even have the vocabulary to discuss, or have any way of approaching what may be of deep meaning or substance. They display a level of embarrassment akin to discussing sex with my parents' generation. Such avoidance is a common sign of maturation arrest. See: http://healthyhealers.blogspot.ca/2018/03/confusion-sleepiness-to-avoid-our-own.html This is equally prevalent among the "conventionally religious" - see: http://www.johnlovas.com/2013/11/fowlers-six-stages-of-faith.html
“It takes courage to endure the sharp pains of self discovery, rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.” Marianne Williamson
"There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction." John F. Kennedy
“In traditional cultures, special terms surround this quality of self-knowledge, connecting it to the direct human participation in a higher, all-encompassing reality. The existence of these special terms, such as satori (Zen Buddhism), fana (Islam), pneuma (Christianity), and many others, may serve for us as a sign that this effort of total awareness was always set apart from the normal, everyday goods of organized social life. And while the traditional teachings tell us that any human being may engage in the search for this quality of presence, it is ultimately recognized that only very few will actually wish to do so, for it is a struggle that in the last analysis is undertaken solely for its own sake, without recognizable psychological motivation. And so, embedded within every traditional culture there is said to be an ‘esoteric’ or inner path discoverable only by those who yearn for something inexplicably beyond the duties and satisfactions of religious, intellectual, moral, and social life.”
John Welwood ed. “Awakening the Heart. East / West Approaches to Psychotherapy and the Healing Relationship.” Shambhala, 1983.