Do you feel overwhelmed by the relentless pace of your life and responsibilities? And does it only feel like it is getting more and more intense?
Most of the people I speak to these days feel this way. It is like the volume of life has been turned up a couple of notches. The demands are increasing, the time, energy and resources limited… The story is the same, only the details change.
So what can we do about it?
The unusual mystic, G.I. Gurdjieff, used to say that it had to be this way. That conditions must be bad enough to create a strong internal desire for change. This desire for change would become the spark that ignites the transformation of the soul. If we are too comfortable, we become complaisant. We succumb to the life of least resistance.
But when conditions no longer afford the ignoring of annoyance and grievances, the individual is spurred into action to alleviate their discomfort. This has the potential to be the birth of awareness. The problem is that we tend to fall back asleep once the immediate irritant has been relieved, and thus lose the opportunity to awaken into a higher realm of awareness.
This is what accounts for much of the appalling dystopian conditions in the world, and in our own lives. It is our Inner Being’s desperate plea for connection. The degree and intensity of pain, chaos and anger required to get our attention is proof of how weak our focus has become. This is why, despite our fine technologies, movements and politics, the world stubbornly refuses to become a Utopia: WE are not ready to be citizens.
But wait! I hear you cry. How can we inflict such suffering on ourselves? If we truly are the One, why would we make our own lives so miserable? Surely, self-preservation would kick in and prevent it.
But the Universe is more like a Story than it is a linear progression of Cause-and-Effect. The Protagonist of the Story must undergo challenges and obstacles to come to the final realization that “There’s No Place Like Home.” Joseph Campbell and Vladimir Propp both delineate the Hero’s Journey, from humble beginnings at home, through adventures and trials, to the final triumph.
Without his Tasks, Hercules has nothing to do and nowhere to go.
In other words, the trials and tribulations, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortunes that we all endure are necessary to the completion of our unique story arc. Without the insanity of our personal ego lives, our Inner Being would have nothing to work with, nothing to build. The momentum of life provides us with both the resources and the inspiration to accomplish our own Hero’s Journey.
The circumstances of our lives provide the raw material that fuels our emotions and motivations, and from these roll out our intentions and actions. If everything were already comfortable and cozy, we would have no motivation for action and intention, beyond maintaining the status quo. Invention and innovation would be unnecessary, so therefore, so would the effort to improve oneself. If it ain’t broke…
So, assuming that the Evolution of Consciousness is a fundamental value of Being, even if we somehow achieved a Utopia, we wouldn’t be able to hang onto it, for that would be contrary to the furthering of the Storyline arc.
The goal of Subjective Reality is to transcend the Storyline, and see beyond to the undulating plotlines and complications. We do this through concentrating our attention and focus, through meditation, through any and every practice and exercise that yields to us the desired final results.
As we are each unique individuals, we must seek and find for ourselves what best feeds our highest sentiments and intentions. But our age offers us the widest array of information ever available to any generation. It is up to us to develop sufficient interest and focus to search out and utilize the perennial wisdom passed down through the ages.
The insanity of post-modern life is our inheritance and our treasure. Therefore, let us spend it in a blaze of glorious consciousness.
Province Of The Mind
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