Chapter Twenty-Five - "Help Me --- I'm Tired Of Feeling Bad"
Worldliness versus Inwardness
The attitude which opens the mind stands in direct opposition to our normal, worldly orientation. We have been taught that we can grasp the world and wrench what we need from it. We have been taught that we can grasp our deepest self and wrench it into whatever shape will serve the manipulative purposes of the false and terrified self. This approach to the mind is the essence of control madness. It is the ground of humankind's misunderstanding about itself and the natural world.
This is the clenched attitude which is so solidly rooted in us, because our main hope has always been to avoid pain and to gain safety.
This clenched attitude closes, rather than opens, the doors of the mind; only a very few things can change it. Some of them are:
First, when we are absolutely successful in a life-pursuit which comes naturally to us, and then discover emptiness instead of fulfillment, this can cause us to embark upon a new level of search. Second, when we face absolute failure in our lives and find every single thing crashing down around us, we may finally admit that we have never really been in control of anything, and thus come to approach our growth work with the appropriate set of keys.
Third, a near-death experience can shatter our arrogance and endow us with deep wisdom.
Fourth, in their lifetime some people will have the good fortune to receive from nature a gradual awakening to wisdom without having to do a great deal of specific growth work.
Fifth, some people will have the good fortune to be granted a major SATORI experience (Sudden Illumination) without any conscious preparation at all.
Sixth, for most of us the long, slow work of growth will be necessary before we can achieve real wisdom.
Awakening to the fact that we have never been in control, and that every aspect of our life is a gift, does not mean a descent into meekness and impotence. Knowing that we receive life, rather than create it from zero, allows us the kind of letting-go which leads to graceful, forward motion even in times of confusion and turbulence.
We do not have to tear life open with bleeding fingernails. When there is struggle, it feels on some level natural and good, because we feel natural and good. We are not so afraid of worldly failure and not being afraid enhances our effectiveness.
This is the letting-go which frees up more and more of the responsive and creative processes of the deeper self. The remainder unfolds as we go along. The inner processes of life are self-generative. They will carry us without our struggling to make them work.
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