I would say the purpose of pursing enlightenment is to improve our experience of existing.
For instance, very early this morning I had an unpleasant dream — it woke me up enough to become the beginning of my day. Upon waking though, I said “Aha! Caught you! Trying to captivate me by my dreams again I see! Well it won’t work! I know your tricks….” Then not long after breakfast I watched someone vomit right before my feet. I was briefly captivated once again, but it didn’t take long for me to say, “Aha! Again!? Really!? Well it didn’t work before and it’s not going to work now….”
In other words, I’m not perturbed by things that would have otherwise perturbed me. I see the fiction before me. My question though, is why does life regularly attempt to captivate me in the most unsettling ways? Why can’t it be fun stuff? Why can’t I be enticed to participate by the most fanciful adventures and wondrous delights? Instead, it’s nightmares and puke. I figure my character just isn’t stimulated enough by the cheery stuff.
But I think life is just being lazy though, going for the easy scares instead of the refined amusements. For earthly entertainment, I always select funny or fantasy and stay away from the sad or scary. Perhaps life just isn’t that funny or maybe life’s sense-of-humor is different than mine. I mean who am I to judge, I’m not exactly a ball of laughs to be around. Or maybe the stimuli I receive is simply fulfilling the expectations I harbor about this world.
And it’s true you know, I have pessimistic tendencies. I tend to focus on what’s wrong rather than what’s right. But based on counter-examples, I know my outlook is not fact-based, it’s merely a gloomy perspective. Yet whether I entered existence with a negative attitude or developed one from early circumstances doesn’t matter, it’s time to change it either way. And it’s the pursuit of enlightenment that allows me to do so.