He must remember that he has set his feet upon a path, and he has begun to move on that path. He must continue to do so. He must not desert the Quest under any circumstances. He must go on until the goal is reached. It is impossible in life to avoid at some period or other difficulties, trials, handicaps, obstacles, temptations, and so on. They must come, but that is no reason why anyone should give up the Quest. One should stick to the Quest in spite of all that is happening to one. If he gets a sense of failure--and he may get it--or a sense of intense depression, he may think that the Quest is too difficult and its rewards remote, and he may be tempted to give it up. He must understand what is happening. He should understand that he is expressing a mood, a mood of depression and a sense of failure. But he should remember that it is just a mood; it will pass away. And so he can say to himself: "Very well, I will not occupy myself with thoughts of the Quest for the present. I can feel no enthusiasm for it." Very well, but he must not give up the Quest. He should realize that he is doing it just for the present, that tomorrow or next week or next month or even next year he will take it up and continue, that he is not giving it up, that he is just "lying low," so to speak, for a while, but keeping in the back of his mind that he is sticking to the Quest, even though for a while he has to give up conscious effort. If he feels that he has failed, if he feels that he has sinned, even these are no reasons why he should give up the Quest. He may fall a thousand times. That does not justify his giving up the Quest. He must pick himself up and try for the thousand-and-first time. There is no steady, smooth progression to the goal. It is not an easy path. He walks, and there is no possibility of moving towards the goal without meeting with hindrances and rebuffs. And he has to learn to be patient and to be tolerant with himself, not to withdraw because he meets with those rebuffs or because he becomes dissatisfied with himself. He must not give up. He can wait, and then he can continue, and even if he falls, still he can say he will try again. Although he may really fail a thousand times, it may be that he is destined to succeed the thousand-and-first time. So he must try, because he never knows which of his efforts is going to be a successful one; and if he persists, there will come a time when this effort will and must succeed. It is as though the gods like to play with him for a while to try his patience and endurance, just to see how keenly he wants this attainment. If he gives up at the first few hindrances or rebuffs, it means that he is not so very keen after all; but if he can endure and keep on, and keep on, and still keep on, no matter what happens, well then, the gods say, here is someone who really wants truth, so we must give it to him. That is the attitude which he must develop. It doesn't matter how troubled he is personally or how dark circumstances are: they will change because they must change. The wheel of destiny is turning all the time. So he must not let circumstances or his own inner moods deter him from continuing on the path. As a matter of fact, once he has begun on the right-hand path, there is no turning back. He has accepted the responsibility, and he will have to go on with it--and if he tries to turn back, what happens is that he meets with nothing but suffering and disappointment in order to force him to return to the path. So, it is really a serious undertaking to enter upon this path, because he has to continue, and the gods will give him no rest if he runs away from it once he has really set his foot on it.
-- Notebooks Category 1: Overview of the Quest > Chapter 2: Its Choice > # 503