12 Jan The Way Of The Way 86
Buddha was not a Buddhist. Christ was not a Christian.
The path to awakening starts with questioning the nature of reality. The answers can be found via personal introspection and empiricism or religious institutions and related scripture and exegesis. The personal path is unclear, frustrating and often seems futile until we open our eyes and see the light. The religious path is well-trodden, seems safe and comfortable as we are supported by many others.
Ultimately, with perseverance we are likely to awaken when taking the personal path. The religious path is self-reinforcing, keeping us on the path forever.
Essentially, hard at the beginning, easy at the end and easy at the beginning, hard at the end.