The Way of Transformation

Monday 15 January, 2001

Got up relatively early (06:35) and went through a gentle exercise routine. My back was stiff and it will take a week or two to make a full return to my regular routine, but it’s good to be back.

Karaj talked to me about the forthcoming year. It is a time and an opportunity for me to stretch myself. As described in ‘The Way of Transformation’ by Karlfried Graf von Dürckheim:

‘…Only to the extent that man exposes himself over and over again to annihilation, can that which is indestructible arise within him… practice should teach him to be assaulted, perturbed, moved, insulted, broken and battered… Only if we venture repeatedly through zones of annihilation can our contact with divine being, which is beyond annihilation, become firm and stable…

For the first time since Karaj told me over a year ago that this journey will be very hard and painful, am I beginning to realise that he was is right. When he first told me, I disputed it because I was committed to the process and, besides, it could not be more painful than the life I was living at the time. Now, however, after all the progress I have made in the last twelve months, the time has come discover just how committed I really am. It is easy to smile when things are going well. Over the last few days I have thought about this – just how easy will it be for me to smile when I am up against it. It would seem that I am soon to find out. I will refer to this entry many times in the coming months so:

Keep going, you’re doing so well. Don’t forget, this is exactly what you’ve been looking for all these years. It’s everything you’ve wanted. Smile. Although you may not believe it, you are making progress and you will get there. Don’t give up.

Had a great day today working with Karaj in the loft. Today we made another table. At first I was keen to do as good a job as possible and with the materials we had I thought we could put together a great piece of work. Halfway through I was no longer sure. Our construction looked haphazard and unprofessional. Karaj maintained his usual enthusiasm, although later he confessed that he had also been unsure about it. We carried on with the work and by the time we had finished we had produced yet another fine table – our third in total. Not only does it function just as we had intended, it also looks excellent.

Towards the end Karaj told me what to do and left me to it. For myself, I just wanted to finish it, and my work was more that of a doer than a be perfect. I enjoyed this way of working – it was much more carefree and flowed much better than my normal, meticulous working methods. It also proved to be effective – the lack of perfectionism detracted in no way whatsoever from the end result, which is a very pleasing point to note.

It took us about six hours to complete the project which, given the restricted space we had to work in was wonderful. I didn’t really notice the time and apart from the transitory disillusionment in the middle, I enjoyed myself immensely. Before lunch I had put a couple of shelves together while Karaj erected a simple table. We completed our individual tasks without fuss and to our usual high standards, proving that we work well together and on our own.

There was, however, one perfect example of the importance of right thought and right speech. I had copied a simple device which Karaj had used a week or two before to measure the slant of the roof. When Karaj saw it he remarked on my ingenuity. In the past Karaj has credited me with ideas and suggestions that I am not sure I even had. I have argued the point every time but have always given way. This time I knew that I could take no credit. I challenged Karaj and in the process I called him a fool because it had definitely been his idea. My comment was only a light-hearted remark about his eccentricity but it was nevertheless unnecessary and negative. Be careful what I think and what I say because this is not who I want to be.

Related post: Supporting Each Other

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