At any given time, there are several thousand people alive on this planet who are earnestly interested in the idea of achieving a non-standard state of more personally agreeable consciousness (“waking up,” “becoming enlightened”). This state is oft referred to throughout the history of man, and many, to varying intensities, consider themselves actively involved in its pursuit.
There are numerous, long-established, religious and religious-like, publicly accepted structures, in which the members profess to the above, but which in practice prove to be their profession. The few who always constitute the actual heartbeat of this unusual interest, even should they initially align themselves with some apparently pertinent organized activity, tend to ultimately go it alone, or almost alone. (Being a good “joiner-upper” turns out not to be particularly compatible with achieving this peculiar goal.)
Once they have constructively abandoned the consistent participation-in and reliance-on normally available organized activities which claim to be dedicated to bringing about another condition-of-mind, the core few are left with three possibilities to assist them in their undertaking. Books, their own wits, or the potential acquaintance with another individual who, through personal experience, understands what This is about.
As with everything else in man’s mental reality, this can get quite tricky. For instance, books are no actual alternative, since their ideas are the same thing as the reader’s own wits. Even the overt words of another living human can be made into no more than that, if the seeker of the fresh state is not abnormally alert.
Of specific note is how susceptible are these solitarily inclined few to leechlike feelings of self-condemnation and disgust, not of the routinely accepted psychological sort. (Not, “I guess I hate the way I look because of how my mother treated me,” but rather, “What’s the purpose in these negative thoughts about me that are continually fed to my head, and since it’s my own mind, why can’t I stop them?”)