Repost: Slip Slidin' Away

"You know the nearer your destination, the more you're slip sliding' away."

So go the lyrics to one of Paul Simon's very popular songs. Wordsmith extraordinaire, Simon is onto a common conundrum here, one related to a topic I'm always hot on - "Resistance." On that subject, I often refer to Steven Pressfield's, "The War of Art," a sock-em-in-the-gut little book on the subject.


"The danger is greatest when the finish line is in sight. At this point, Resistance knows we're about to beat it. It hits the panic button. It marshals one last assault and slams us with everything its got."

I've see this one over and over again. A person has really done their self-work, put in their time uncovering old, subconscious beliefs, reconnecting to their emotions, facing the wounds and insults of their childhoods, owned up to their personal foibles - they are finally ready to reap the rewards for their years of personal excavation and courage... and they stall. Right there at the finish line. They have the winning lottery ticket, but they don't cash it in. The pain of not going forward is excruciating; the possibility of realizing the fulfillment of their desires is so close, yet they freeze in place.


Well, I've written about the battle within us over what aspects of ourselves will rule our day-to-day decisions - the ego & self-will or the heart and soul. If you've gotten to the finish line mentioned above, where happiness is a real possibility, then it means you have become ready to turn over control of your life to your heart and soul. But as Pressfield indicates, at that point, in its death throws, Resistance (the main tool of the desperate ego) will hurl the kitchen sink at you. (No reference to Hillary here intended.)

Here's something from the Pathwork Guide lecture called, "The Meaning Of Ego And Its Transcendence," channeled by Eva Broch:

"The ego must be healthy in order to transcend itself; in order to venture beyond its present confines and make as yet unknown spiritual land, knowledge, experience, and creative potentialities known and your own. In order to do this, the ego must adopt attitudes that are compatible with its original nature. All the tricks of the ego, all the negativity that are imbedded strictly in the ego, have to be recognized for what they are, with a very incisive, sharp self-honesty. The indulgence of denial, of glossing over, of rationalization, and projection must be given up. The searchlight must be ruthlessly turned on the little self. Only when you can put the strong light of truth, with your ego consciousness, on other aspects of your ego consciousness, can these other aspects adopt healthy and truthful attitudes. Then the ego gradually becomes healthy, and only the healthy ego can transcend itself and unify with the, of course, always healthy divine consciousness.
"It always seems at first frightening to go beyond the present ego confines. New land is unaccustomed, foreign, unknown. Man wants to avoid the unknown and rather cower in fear of it than have the courage of making it known, making it his own. To make the unknown known, outside as well as inside, that is the beauty of the spiritual path."

Yes. Fear of the unknown. Big one. Huge. See, our pain and suffering, our compulsions and repetitions may suck, but they are the "known," the familiar, and yes, we human beings do so cling to the familiar.

The Guide:

"The ego is under the illusion that to stay in the stagnant, narrow confines of the already known territory (regardless of how much wider it may be compared to the territory of others, it is still narrower as compared to one's potentials and the waiting task) is easy, relaxing, restful, effortless. To get yourself up by your bootstraps and moving beyond seems terribly tiresome."

Beautiful! That's a common erroneous fear I hear a lot from people at this stage, the fear that if they cross the bridge into a successful, fulfilling life of active creating and love and sex, etc., "too much" will be "demanded" of them. "I'm afraid that I won't be able to keep up," is the cry I hear. (Or "keep it up.")

More from the Guide:

"This feeling is an illusion because the stagnant state is really a manifestation of contraction, and contraction is by no means relaxing and restful, although it may seem so to the confused mind because of its immobility. But true restfulness is always alive and moving -- effortless moving. And this is impossible in a state of contraction. You can verify this by looking around you: the people who do the least are always the most tired. And the people who do the most are always most energized, restful, and relaxed (provided that their activity does not serve as an escape from the self).
"Harmonious movement is not tiring or exhausting, although the first manifestations may indeed give such symptoms to you, because to go from an unmoving state to a moving state -- on whatever level -- requires at first the acceptance of temporary effort, with self-discipline, faith, courage, and humility, until the effort becomes effortless."

We've all had glimpses of this, haven't we? When you're passionate about what you are doing, you jump out of bed early in the morning to do it, and you can put in a twelve-hour day if need be, but when you're uninspired, it seems like you can never get enough sleep, and the work day lasts forever. (On weekends, for example, when they could sleep late, our two kids are always up at seven-something ready for their day. On school days? We'll have to go through hell to drag them out of bed at the same time.)

Folks, you can do this. Step over the line, cash in the ticket, embrace the unknown, because every day is a trip into the unknown anyway, whether you admit it or not. You don't really know what's going to happen each day when you start out. Think about it. And the things you have to suffer just to try and keep some semblance of predictability in your life are mostly the things you hate doing! Right? Give it up. Take the leap. You've come this far.

Have a great day!

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