Progress Report

Thursday 14 September, 2000

Having exercised well this week I am feeling physically pretty good. I am still tired. It has been four months now since I first noticed the lethargy; ever since the weekend in May when everything seemed to shift. Although, at times, it may not seem that I am working hard enough to be this tired, I am. Changing the habits of a lifetime is not easy. In addition to this I am also doing the physical work necessary to sort out the problems I have had with my back. I am exercising regularly – as I become stronger I am exercising more and more – and I am walking around 40 miles per week. I am discovering new ways to live my life and adapting myself accordingly. At the same time I am learning more and more about who I am. It’s great work and it’s hard work and I’m knackered.

There are times when I feel in stasis; things just don’t seem to be moving along. If that were the case it would be an opportunity for me to replenish my energy levels and rid myself, temporarily, of my tiredness. That hasn’t happened in four months so I can conclude that I have been growing at a constant rate since my work began with Karaj, which goes back to February of this year. Obviously, there are times when perceptible breakthroughs occur, like the weekend in May, which I can point to as being landmarks in my progress, but on the whole my development is constant. It is difficult for me to notice how much I have grown because I am in the middle of it. However, I have received enough feedback from people around me to know that I have changed in ways which are very favourable. Comments from friends in London, from members of the men’s group and from my family indicate clearly that there is a positive difference in me compared to six months ago.

The differences I noted on my birthday are real and permanent. I am calmer, less emotional, more independent and I understand much more of what I have to do to make further improvements. There will never be a time when I wake up and feel a new person. The development is ongoing and the changes are subtle. One thing I am only now starting to fully realise is how important it is for me at the moment to stay away from women and how beneficial it is to stay away from everyone. I need the space in order to fully appreciate the effect the world has had on me. Before I can transcend society’s conditioning I need to identify what it is. I need the space, I need to be alone to do the work I wish to do. To work on myself is the most important undertaking of my life. The more solitude I have the easier it will be for me to reflect on who I am. Once that work is complete I can rejoin the world fully. Until then I need only interact where necessary whilst all the time ensuring that everything is in place for me to fulfil my potential.

Conversation with Karaj. We talked about my old need to see the world change – to have the people wake up in order that we can all grow together. Karaj is at pains to point out that only 1 in 1000 realise that there is more to life than what society has to offer and that only 1 in 100,000 actually do something about it. He urges people not to start on the path of awareness because it is so painful and difficult and because once you have started there is no turning back. In my angry days I used to proclaim that it should all have been sorted out long before I was born, and that if the sort of learning that I am experiencing were available in schools then surely everything would be much better. Karaj countered my argument with evidence from India where precisely this kind of spiritual learning is freely available, yet the citizens of that country are proportionally no more enlightened than my own countrymen or indeed any race or religion in the world. This is because it has to be this way. Society has to be conditioned in order to provide for its people the opportunity to transcend that conditioning. The fact that so few take the opportunity is simply an indication of the hard work necessary to follow the path of awareness. So much so that the ‘progress’ of mankind over the centuries is due to nothing more than its commitment to the alternative to awareness. It is much easier to go along with the conditioning than to try and understand it and free ourselves of it.

I am lucky because I have questioned the world I live in to such an extent that I have created for myself the very opportunity which is present in my life now. Because I am ready and willing to learn, my teacher has appeared. And he has appeared in my world in the very form which I need in order to learn and develop as effectively as possible. I am the creator of my own world and everything in it is my creation. The rest of the world has no relevance to me – all that is important is what appears in my world. It matters not whether the other six billion sleep on or wake up. It has always been this way. Had things been different I could still be in the bank earning a nice wage, living in a nice flat with a nice girlfriend. That is not to say it would have satisfied me, but there are a multitude of tactics available to every one of us to paper over the cracks of our unhappiness. Many of us lead dissatisfied lives and continue to do so without fully acknowledging our dissatisfaction – to do that would be to admit to the necessity of change and that scares us. Instead we strengthen our resolve and continue with our diversionary tactics until we either die, or we change.

Regardless of the choice we make there is pain in our lives. Put simply, we can either deal with it now or deal with it later. There is no avoiding it. It is a natural consequence of life on planet Earth. Many of us choose to put it off. As with any choice in life, we do not want to face pain – whether our own or other people’s. We put off telling people painful truths in the hope of finding an easier way. But more often than not an easier, less painful way does not exist. So it is with life. At some time or other we have to deal with the conditioning which has affected us from day one. If we make the choice of awareness we tackle our pain on a more conscious, controlled level. If we distract ourselves with society’s game we do nothing but postpone the inevitable. Moreover, we grant the pain the right to show up whenever and however it likes. The predictability and the magnitude of the impact are out of our control and, as such, we deliver ourselves fully to a destiny which lurks somewhere in our future and which could arrive at any time.


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