But there is a third factor, naturally intertwined with these two that is a great impediment. It is Sexuality, which is a natural impulse that has also been distorted and has become a great problem in the path of liberation.
Buddha in speaking of this to Ananda declared:
”The most important of the seductions are thoughts, desires and the sexual impulses, with the subsequent disipation, slavery and suffering…"It is not important how sharp one's mind is, nor how well one is able to pratice meditation, nor how advanced one's apparent level of apparent Samadhi may be, unless one is able to annihilate the vehement sexual desires one will fall into the most base levels of existence.”
Sexuality, Identity and Duality then are major obstacles to liberation. Now comes the bad news. When there appears to be a true liberation the only thing that has occurred is that there has been a sublimation of these three, so that the elimination of their symptoms in consciousness and in behavior is all that has been accomplished. This is the state known as Arahatship.
For a true liberation one has to proceed further until one experiences directly the Awakening, which is a full and complete awareness of the truth of NO MIND.
You can see therefore that the Path of Buddha Dharma has various mileage indicators upon it, although clearly there is just one path.
There is a mileage post “Zero”, a mileage post at the apparent end of the path “Final Awakening”, and a mileage indicator "Intermediate Identity Relief" somewhere in between, in which the actual distance from zero in time and distance travelled is determined by apparent individual factors.
Further sad news for many is the fact that you have not finished when you reach that final milepost, which is the moment of Awakening, for one must then travel within Samsara with the difficult task of adjusting to ever-changing circumstances. There is no great moment of awakening when all things become ILLUMINATED.
I will draw your attention once more to the words of the Diamond Sutra:
Then Subhuti asked Buddha: "World-honored One, in the attainment of the Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment did Buddha make no acquisition whatsoever?"
Buddha replied: "Just so, Subhuti. Through the Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment I acquired not even the least thing; therefore it is called 'Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment'."
Nothing is really therefore attainable in the sense that most people believe. There is no great promise of a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
The only promise that Buddha Dharma can make is that if one works with diligence, developing tranquility, patience, determination, perseverance and true introspection then one can discover what the human creature really is and conduct one's apparent self with Natural Dharma.
That means that you cannot develop Compassion, nor in fact anything else, with the mind, or with mantras nor rites or ceremonies without unmasking the false Identity which we have created for ourselves as false exterrnal control, and the complex of unconscious false Identities which are in the West called Id, Ego and Super Ego, along with a fourth in fact, which is the fixation upon the long distant personal future state.