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Are we there yet?

After all these years, I find I have much room to grow. The need to be aware of my thoughts and actions, reminding myself to be patient and keep the awareness that what I am searching for is there waiting. PB reminds us that we all must do our part in awakening:

“The transformation of the whole inner being may happen slowly and imperceptibly or through a series of experiences brought on by crises. With it comes the purification of character, the maturation of intelligence, and the self-discipline of the ego.

— Notebooks Category 2: Overview of Practices Involved > Chapter 1: Ant’s Long Path > # 26

It is helpful to know that we do take part in our own development:

“Character can be changed. Those who habitually contemplate such exalted themes find in time that their whole outlook is altered and expanded, as if by magic. The new outlook will gradually strongly establish itself within them. Says the Christian Bible: “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he,” which may be matched with what was written in Sanskrit long before this was uttered: “As is one’s thought, so one becomes; this is the eternal secret.”–Maitri Upanishad.

— Notebooks Category 6: Emotions and Ethics > Chapter 1: Uplift Character > # 48

We already know that there are struggles and setbacks on the path, but with those struggles we are also becoming aware that we are gaining understanding and sharing in the peace of the Overself:

“It is true that thought precedes action, that actions express thoughts, and that to rule mind is to rule the entire life. But it is also true that our battles with ourselves proceed by progressive stages, that we exert will more easily than we change feeling. Therefore, the discipline of inward thinking should follow after–and not before–it.

“To counsel one to take care of the inner life and that then the outer life will take care of itself, as so many mystics do, is to be plausible but also to show a lack of practicality. Our heart will feel no peace as our mind will know no poise until we abandon the lower instincts and give ourselves up to this unearthly call. First, we must abandon them outwardly in deeds; later we must do it inwardly even in thoughts. This will inevitably bring us into inner struggle, into oscillation between victories and defeats, elations and despairs.

“The way up is long, hard, rugged, and slow to tread. It is always a stage for complaints and outcries, battles and falls. Only time–the master power–can bring us to its lofty end. Only when the lessons of birth after birth etch themselves deeply and unmistakably into our conscious mind through dreadful repetition can we accept them co-operatively, resignedly, and thus put a stop to the needless sufferings of desire, passion, and attachment.”

— Notebooks Category 6: Emotions and Ethics > Chapter 4: Purify Passions > # 30

— Perspectives > Chapter 6: Emotions and Ethics > # 25

Prepared by Mary F., PBPF Board Member