It is possible to come to one's awakening without the help of a master or a guru, but the reality is that it is a very rare phenomenon. It requires a very particular type of individual who is capable of investigating into existence as deeply as possible, where all of one's energies are channeled into the work without wavering for even a moment. Not only is it a rare disciple who comes awakened by oneself, but authentic masters are as rare as authentic disciples. Everybody without exception is capable of coming to one's Buddhahood, it is just that very few ever come to their realization simply because one's attention has not been channeled in the right direction. The expansion of consciousness is a scientific phenomenon, and it requires a scientific attitude to investigate into what works and what does not, what is a hindrance for one's expansion and what is a stepping stone. That it is impossible to come to one's enlightenment without a master is simply the dogmatism of all of the spiritual traditions, simply because those traditions depend upon the existence of the master-disciple relationship for their very being. Otherwise, without disciples, the tradition will simply disappear. There have been many lineages which have come and gone simply because the master was incapable of finding the right disciple to transmit the teaching. If it were not possible to come to one's enlightenment entirely on one's own, then something like yoga or meditation would not even exist. Because the first masters were entirely their own. When you are entering into any new territory, there is nobody there before you to guide, the whole work is entirely in darkness. But they had their own intelligence, their own body, their own mind, and that was all that was needed. And that is all that is needed. Your system is already well equipped, it is just a matter of knowing the mechanics of this system and how to access it to come to a direct perception of one's original nature. But, if done entirely by oneself, it may require so much work that it is only very rarely that one comes to one's awakening entirely by oneself. In the East, they have been called pratyekabuddha's. Pratyekabuddha literally means a "lone Buddha", one who has come to one's enlightenment without the help of a master or a guru. Gautama Buddha himself did not come to his awakening under the guidance of any master, on the contrary he rejected all of the traditions of his time. And it took him twelve years of thorough inquiry before he has discovered the Way. But once a man has discovered it, then traveling along the path may becomes tremendously accelerated through the help of one who has already come to the space, one does not need to rediscover it again and again. Once one has ignited one's own flame, only then does the possibility arise of transmitting the light to trigger one's own. That is why, under a man like Gautama Buddha, thousands of disciples had come to their awakening. Perhaps there has never been as many who have realized themselves under a single human being as Gautama Buddha. In modern science, they are aware of something called harmonic resonance. If an object is vibrating at a certain frequency, and you bring another object which is in sympathy with it close enough, now that object also starts vibrating at the same frequency. All that is needed is enough receptivity, and in fact if many are in the presence of it, it is possible to create a kind of chain reaction. That is why in the East, they have tried to create ashrams, sanghas, and monestaries, because once many are all channeling their energies in the same direction, the whole atmosphere becomes supportive for it, the whole environment becomes like an organism in itself. Now, what took twelve years of enormous work for Gautama, can only take perhaps six years with the help of the right master if you are receptive enough. Because the whole process is just about identifying what are the obstacles which are preventing you from coming to more awareness. It is not a question of finding out where to go. Once you have dissolved those obstacles, then the Way itself like a diamond reflecting in all directions without even your doing. No effort at all is needed for this, but enormous effort is needed to understand what are the various aspects of your own being which are preventing you. And in fact, all of them are entirely self-created. Because one has been living out of unconsciousness, because one was living without clear and open eyes, one has unknowingly created so many sources of suffering for oneself. That is why, entirely by oneself, one may simply be groping in the dark without end. A lamp is needed to guide the way, and that can either be out of your own inner resources, or through the consciousness of a master. If out of your own resources, then nothing else is needed except life itself. And life has already, and is still, supplying one with countless opportunities to heighten one's understanding and come to insight into oneself. It is just that, because one had been living with eyes closed, that one had missed it. Otherwise, the whole existence would have become the master.
In either case, what is needed is for you to invest every particle of your being into the work of coming to the discovery of your true nature.