Back To The Beginning

Sunday 19 October, 2003

Supervision. (Karaj, Simran, Dev, Priya, Michelle, Shona and me). Karaj and the others prepared for their trip to Priya’s to sort out her house and garden. I reflected on yesterday: the togetherness of the men and the quality of Ishwar’s work. Karaj told me that the quality of everyone’s work has always been there but I go blind to it all because of my intellect and arrogance; I don’t want to see it. Same goes for my own brilliance. I go blind to it. Karaj told me to reflect today and look at what needs doing rather than relying on him to sort things out. I need to look at what we need to sort out in the office so that we can hand it over and go out into the world.

I washed up at Shona’s after her dinner party yesterday. Stood at the sink, I gave thought to why, with all my intellect, desire to sort myself out, curiosity and commitment, I still choose negativity. I put this to Karaj and got as far as the word ‘intellect’ when he said: ‘That’s your problem: intellect. We call it arrogance.’ I told him that everything I have experienced over the last  few days is telling me to go back to the start; how I was when I came here: naive, attentive, eager to learn and accept what I’m told. These days I think I have cracked it when the truth is far from it. Karaj said that I need to go right back to the beginning: why did I come here in the first place?

When I talked to Dev about it, he said it’s like sitting an exam: you have to read the question every five minutes to make sure you’re answering it. I told Dev I need him because he can pinpoint things when we discuss where we are. He has the knowledge to encapsulate what I am saying and feeling; just like when he said that Karaj, in challenging us, is trying to break our ego. He also said that the cardinal rule here is that everything Karaj does is done to help me.

I washed up again later in the day, and at one point I picked up the microwave plate; a reminder of another big learning process, instigated by Dev when he broke the original one.

At the end of the day, when I took my bedding out, Simran asked me if I was sleeping downstairs. He asked in a way which made me feel uncomfortable, as if I had to ask permission first. Karaj explained the next day that he was probably surprised because I’ve been avoiding him for months.

Summary: A relaxing and productive day. Very glad to be away from where I was at the beginning of this week. The contrast could not be greater. Having gone through what has happened, I appreciate things about my life and my work which I have not seen for many months, if at all: the qualities of the people around me, the virtues of the work I do, the power of serving and the value of patience. It feels like I am back where I started in February 2000 but with nearly four years of priceless, extensive experience and learning behind me. It feels good.


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