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The hardest part of the journey along the upward path is the gradual realization that one’s work to awaken is, at best, imperfect. Along the ascending path each footfall serves to echo an unwanted reminder of one’s imperfect actions, imperfect thoughts, imperfect emotions, imperfect devotion, imperfect attention, so forth on and so on. However, seeing the truth of oneself in this light is but half the trial, and in some ways the lesser of the challenges to be faced along the Way.
The greater part of this difficulty — and perhaps the most “slippery” part of the path — is the temptation to judge oneself, to loathe oneself for whatever “weakness” has been exposed. The act of judging oneself in times like these seems natural, and even necessary if one hopes to ever “outgrow” one’s own limitations as revealed. But unseen in this kind of self-laceration is this spiritual fact: all forms of self-judgment are a Trojan horse; within its recesses hides the unthinkable: The pain of resisting this present level of your self is, itself, an unseen part of that same level of self now being resisted.
Now, to this last fact add the following important idea: when one’s attention is drawn to how much one doesn’t want to be what one is in that moment, one can’t see oneself as one actually is! This means that all forms of resistance-born reactions are blinding agents; they mask the fact of the moment with powerful unwanted sensations that steal one’s attention; so that instead of being self aware — conscious of the whole of oneself — one is aware only of the painful reaction and what it points to as being the cause of one’s suffering… (to be continued)