|Posted on September 2, 2012 at 4:55 PM|
If we truly want to change who we are, if we truly want to transform our Being, then one of the most important activities we need to enage is to 'struggle.' This is because struggle leads to 'friction' and friction is one of the most transformative elements in the universe.
The friction that comes from the struggle between the seedling and the earth above it. The friction that comes when a butterfly breaks through its cocoon. The friction that comes when we struggle between 'yes' and 'no'.
And while we can struggle with the world, our fellow man, and our environment; and while we can struggle with a set of teachings and practices; these are all really secondary struggles.
This is because the real struggle, the one that ultimately has real meaning, is the struggle within between 'you' and 'yourself' and the friction that this creates.
When I have clients who are desperate to stop smoking or stop drinking, I ask them how long they have struggled with tobacco or alcohol. I ask them to describe their battles with these substances me.
They invariably describe the cigarette pack or bottle as if it has some kind of sinister magnetic qualities that are so irresitable they are forced to give into it time and time again.
Then I point out the obvious - or not-so-obvious - that they are really projecting far too much onto these inanimate objects. And that the real struggle has never been between themselves and the cigarette or the bottle. Because this supposes that they, as individuals, possess a unity to themselves that just isn't there when we examine the real evidence; because we are really more like a mass of contradictory, competing (and sometimes even surprisingly harmonious - if only for a moment) parts.
The real war, the real struggle is not between themselves and the tobacco or the booze; but between two competing parts within themselves. One that recognizes the destructive consequences of continuing as they are, and one that doesn't want to stop.
And it in not as if the part that doesn't want to stop, is merely stupid and ignorant. It is not nearly as foolish as some make it out to be - because it has its own reasons for smoking or drinking. It has its own complex needs, beliefs and reasons for doing what it does: Whether it is to mask unpleasant feelings and emotions, or to block-out and overwhelm all of the contradictory and inconsistent parts within.