The more I try or don't try, read or don't read, the more time goes by and I realize that whatever I thought I understood at one time about it (and therefore Buddhism in general) is less and less sensible.
Basically, here's where I am in my thoughts about this at this point:
By not doing anything other than maintaining awareness of instantly present awareness itself which is not particularly identified with self or other and by not following along with arising thoughts and losing awareness of this instantly present awareness, we can somehow become free of all limitation.
But, if by chance something does happen which appears extraordinary such as spectacular visions or some siddhis, then we should remember that this is all mental phenomena and not become attached to it or fascinated by it or give too much importance to it.
If we want, we can say mantras and perform rituals which will somehow aid us in this process of ultimate liberation relatively through this convoluted experience of misunderstood mental phenomena which we call samsara. And this "samsara," while not a Buddha Pure Land, is still the magical display of the Buddhas which exists perfectly for our benefit.
There is nothing really to do and nowhere to go as an escape from this world of suffering we wish to escape. When we achieve our goal of ultimate liberation, we then spontaneously manifest for the benefit of other beings. We then have perfect control of our incarnations and may manifest as multiple beings... although, for some reason, despite this ultimate liberation and perfection of wisdom, these human incarnations we have "perfect control of" seem to display amnesia and must re-learn all the wisdom which their previous incarnations have already learned and which was known perfectly when the spontaneous manifestation occurred.
Somewhere beyond time, outside of time, this perfected Buddhahood someone has recognized which is not different from any other buddha, exists for the benefit of beings in perfect wisdom while its many manifestations incarnate with amnesia to help others to become buddhas and, by the way, to become buddhas themselves. So, the manifestations of the buddhas apparently need to become buddhas, too.
It all seems like all the ideas are self-annihilating in the sense any single idea related to this whole pursuit cancels itself out no matter how brilliant or pure it is.
Corrections welcome. Please quote the paragraph you are correcting.
"Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings." Pema Chodron