In order to awaken, first of all one must realize that one is in a state of sleep. And in order to realize that one is indeed in a state of sleep, one must recognize and fully understand the nature of the forces which operate to keep one in the state of sleep, or hypnosis. It is absurd to think that this can be done by seeking information from the very source which induces the hypnosis.
— George Ivanovich Gurdjieff
“Everyone has inner areas of denial and avoidance that obscure important elements of meaning and purpose that are right nearby. One way to imagine this potential inner lifting of the veil is through the psychological dynamic of fate and destiny. Fate refers to everything that limits our lives in our sense of self and destiny is a star word that refers to the arc of meaning and purpose in our lives. Although many modern people carry the idea that fate simply means things that are pre-determined, ancient notions of fate include the image of an invisible thread woven throughout the cosmos, and through all the events of time.
— James Hillman
“We may be closest to hearing the call when we feel most alone or in trouble, for genius hides behind the wound and one of the greatest wounds in life is to not know who we are intended to be or what we are supposed to serve in life.”
— Michael Meade
There are moments when it seems the heavens open and you are given just what you want and other times when the gods don’t know you exist and if they did, they still wouldn’t care. We experience a mix of these states all our lives. There are people who purport to teach us how to control the process so the bad stuff disappears and we get to keep the good things. Bad stuff is painful. We don’t want it.
The quotes above raise the question of how do we change, how can we see ourselves clearly. I think it often comes in moments of travail and suffering, when we lose our way and don’t know what to do — the very experience we do our best to avoid. It’s not a placid process either, it’s unregulated, full of surprises and unlikely events.
Keeping things under control and predictable may be less unpleasant but can we grow into our reason for living that way?
I believe that life should be full of pleasure and fun, that love and deep interest in something gives beauty and meaning to life but, strangely enough, we grow most in times of trouble.
Who you are inside brings you the life you live. How you think and feel sets your stage. What you don’t see about yourself brings surprises you are challenged to understand and deal with. Most of us would rather not be challenged this way.
Fate is formed by character, by the energies of our inner universe. If we are separated from our basic purpose, we will invite “learning experiences” through our blindness. We don’t want to have those experiences because they’re painful, but without them we would remain stuck in unconsciousness.
I don’t go looking for bad times any more than you do, but when they come we might consider that they often bear gifts we don’t expect