I’ve talked some of how enlightenment is not a goal in itself but rather a platform for living. Here this is put another way.
The unitive state is not an end in itself; rather its purpose is authentic human existence, for it is only by living a mature existence that we can make our way to a far greater end or destiny. We do not know this great end ahead of time (though we may have glimpses of it), nor can we come upon it until the unitive condition has been exhaustively exercised and tested in the marketplace… Having finally arrived at the mature human state the immediate goal is not to die – as if there where no further to go – but to live the human experience as fully as possible.
— Bernadette Roberts, What is Self?