I came across this while surfing,
"... One of these is Jeffrey Rubin, author of Psychotherapy and Buddhism. Claiming Kornfield as an authority (89), Rubin moves the agenda forward by examining the claims made about Enlightenment by Theravâda Buddhism. In a chapter titled "The emperor of enlightenment may have no clothes," Rubin says: "In this chapter, I shall challenge certain foundational assumptions of the Theravadin Buddhist conception of Enlightenment" (83).
Rubin explains that enlightenment in Theravâda Buddhism is described as completely purifying the mind of the defilements of greed, hatred and delusion. This ideal assumes that the mind can be permanently and completely purified and therefore transformed (83-4 & 87).
... psychological conditioning from the past that inevitably warps personality cannot be completely eradicated and that there is no conflict-free stage of human life in which the mind is permanently purified of conflict. This is consistent with psychoanalytic insights about the essential nontransparency of the human mind; that is, the inevitability of unconsciousness and self-deception.
For an individual to be enlightened, they would have to be certain that they were completely awake without any trace of unconsciousness or delusion. Even if that existed in the present, it is not clear to me how one could know for certain that would never change in the future. From the psychoanalytic perspective, a static, conflict-free sphere - a psychological "safehouse" - beyond the vicissitudes of conflict and conditioning where mind is immune to various aspects of affective life such as self-interest, egocentricity, fear, lust, greed, and suffering is quixotic. Since conflict and suffering seem to be inevitable aspects of human life, the ideal of Enlightenment may be asymptotic, that is, an unreachable ideal (90)."
Any thoughts on this?