It’s obvious that each of us grows physically without any real inner struggle on our part. Our bodies mature; we learn to tie our shoes, and dance, and do gymnastics. Social skills develop naturally. We grow in our mental abilities as well: we learn a new language, expand our knowledge to grasp a scientific theory, or learn a set of mathematical axioms. This, too, is natural.

However, inwardly, emotionally for instance, while we may develop better ways of covering up the turmoil in our hearts and minds, we never quite outgrow these same old fears and angers, the same doubts and worries. And there is a reason why we don’t.

Unlike our physical self which, being under the mechanical laws of evolution, realizes its eventual maturity virtually without any effort, the development of our spiritual self is not evolutionary. It is voluntary. Make no mistake. It requires a conscious choice and effort on our part. Genuine inner growth is the pearl of great price, the journey of a thousand steps, the quest of a lifetime. Every one of us is given the opportunity to embark on this great adventure within, but first we must recognize the necessity of it for a complete and fulfilling life. We must fervently desire it. Then we must be willing to go through the necessary self-shocks that this special kind of growth requires. But you won’t be alone in this new struggle with yourself as you have been in your old ones. You will have as many strong allies as you’re willing to embrace what is true.

Our new self-knowledge enables us to win in life in a new way by revealing that the only time any event can defeat us is when we get tricked into retreating into old reactions and beliefs; when instead of facing the necessary life lessons, we run away by explaining our conflict to ourselves in terms of our old knowledge. As a result, we fail to acquire the true facts that alone lead to our self-liberation. We need no longer experience this kind of defeat at our own hands. A way out does exist, but it begins with developing a new approach to life based in higher self-knowledge.

sunset, layers of mountains


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