If our heart longs to see a shooting star, that day will come when we’ll see one blaze across the heavens. If we keep looking for physical gold, by panning a stream or breaking through rock, chances are our search will be rewarded, but when we seek the more valuable gold of real self-knowledge, we are guaranteed to find it. It is there in abundance just waiting to be uncovered.
Opportunities for self-study — and the changes these discoveries yield — present themselves endlessly, with new ones arriving with each new moment. The key point here is that if we don’t undergo the changes within ourselves that we say we desire, it’s because we are not awake to these unfolding opportunities. In other words, our attention is on something else. It’s easy to have our attention sidetracked in this way. The truth is that even though we may feel a strong pull in the direction of self-study, and long for the special freedom it alone can grant us, there also exists quite often an even stronger pull away from it.
Constantly shaking ourselves into new self-awareness — and then struggling to snap out of the gravitational field of negative influences we find ourselves in — can be an exhausting experience. As long as we remain unaware of just how vulnerable we are to these influences while asleep to ourselves, it seems easier to just remain in psychic slumber. This is a state to which we have all grown accustomed, and the inertia that tends to keep us locked in it is very powerful. As a result, we’re easily convinced that a little self-pampering is just what the doctor ordered!
“I don’t feel up to working on myself today,” we might hear ourselves say, or, “I’m too tired. Besides, there’s no point in trying to quiet my mind when it’s in such a whirl. I’ll just wait for a better time when I’m more alert.”
We must not fall under the power of these deceptive voices coming to us from within our own minds. We must refuse to accept that the weakness claims as being ours is the same as our own. If we wait to do our self-study until we “feel like it,” we’ll never do it at all. We must engage in the process of self-study as a volitional act, deliberately embarked upon regardless of whether we wish to or not. We cannot wait until we feel the time is right for self-work. We must do our self-study consistently, making efforts every day to observe ourselves in action. Now is always the only time there is.