Growth is what we are here to do. Growth is creativity. It does not matter what you grow in, just as long as you grow. Growth is not possible without practice and training. All to often we think of victory as growth. Nature does not care about victory, she is only interested in growth. Growth is possible only to the one who is constantly expanding his or her abilities. When you think you have won, you stop growing. A team that is not challenged will not get better. If you are playing a video game and it is to easy, eventually you will get bored with it. I am not saying accept defeat. Defeat is a state of mind. The person who realizes all growth possibilities are with in themselves never accepts defeat.
All growth goes through cycles. The beginning is always the slowest. It is an incubation gestation period. It is like planting a seed and waiting to see it grow above the soil. Once the seed sprouts, the rate of growth takes off. Think about anything new you have ever done. How hard was it in the beginning? Learning new things is growing. Once you learned to a certain point, it started to become easier and easier. That is the seed sprouting through the soil. Once you know about this stage of growth and take it into account, you can achieve anything. Most people give up. If they only knew about this beginning stage of growth being the slowest, they probably would have kept going. I’m trying to teach myself guitar right now. It is so slow that it gets frustrating, but I understand this is the slowest growth period.
Most give up right before they would have taken off. Impatience, lust for results and attention spans get people every time. The first stage of growth is going to vary from person to person and it also depends on what you are trying to learn and how you are doing it. A seed doesn’t take as long as a fish, a fish doesn’t take as long as a dog, a dog is less time than a human, a human is shorter time than a horse, etc. Whatever it is you are doing, stick with it through the gestation or incubation period. Once you break the soil or come out of the womb, it will really take off.
When you stop growing, you stagnate(see Dead Marshes). Stagnation is not good. Our waistlines stay trim and our minds stay alert when we keep growing. If we stay in stagnation to long our Higher Self will send chaos our way to get us moving. We all have problems and we either face them or we don’t, but if we face them growth is assured. Opposition is the natural environment of life. Remove opposition from a persons surroundings and shortly they will wither and die. A muscle and mind grow only by exercising them. Be willing to tackle life’s chaos and conflicts. The immersion of an individual in events enables him or her to come to an understanding of those events. If you decided to step aside and watch what happens, it is extremely likely you will ever understand them at all. We get to know the things we are trying to master only by doing them. Practice, practice and more practice. We grow by meeting obstacles and overcoming them. We become more intelligent and aware. All obstacles are mental blocks in the one perceiving them. You overcome obstacles not by opposing them, but by understanding them.
Growth, without someone else showing you how to do it, is tough to do. Partially because by time we get out of school we have always had someone train us and we don’t know how to train ourselves. But it is like it’s planted in our DNA to have someone else tell us what to do(see Lemurian Magic). When was the last time that you trained yourself on anything? This is why Magic is not accepted readily. Magic forces you to grow on your own and be responsible for the decisions you make. Magic requires being a visionary and being self motivated. Most people are only motivated by external circumstance like pain, suffering or necessity. They will only do things when backed into a corner. This is why the ancients loved chaos(see What is Enlightenment). Our lives are so easy that most people only do whats comfortable. We love our comfy lives and get upset when our Higher Selves try to get us out of stagnation.
When something happens to you, you don’t know if it is good or bad. Realize how ignorant you are. When a crisis and bad things happen to you, question what you know. The first reaction in the ego mind is it is bad, but how do you know it is not good. Say you lost your job. You are like, “This is awful!” Then about a year later you open your own business or find the job of your dreams. Now is it the best thing that ever happened to you? Lets take it the other way. You get a high paying new job with a company you like and they move you to a city you always wanted to live in. You are excited and think this is the best thing ever. Within a year, you are divorced, your car gets stolen and you get mugged walking down the street. Don’t be so quick to judge what happens. Experience the ups and downs in life without being reactive and attaching your self-worth to them. A good book has ups and downs happen to the main character. If it didn’t, it would be a very boring book. Same for a great video game. When you read a book or play a video game, you are not reactive to the things that happen, your self worth is not connected to what happens to that character. It may be heavy things or light things, but you embrace it all because that is what adds the contrast. Right now you are the character you are writing about or playing in a video game here in life. Embrace it all. Moving to that perspective is growth.
But don’t make the mistake of saying “I don’t want to feel at all”. That is when you stop reading or playing the game. You stagnate.
Growth is so hard in today’s world because of all the distractions we have. There are a million things to turn you on egotistically. Television, video games, sports, shopping and social media are all there to distract you from growth. The people you know and love don’t want to be left behind, so the will try to keep you from growth. Our world is built on instant satisfaction and growth is not instant. We want to be told what we should do or not do. If I got on here and wrote about how awful this world is and how life sucks. How everyone is lost and life is scary. Life is full of pain, doubt, stress and anger. How can anyone survive in this confusion? How are you going to find the solutions? Then if I told people, “I have a system that will tell exactly how to live your life. I will tell you the rules of life. My system will tell you what you should do and what you shouldn’t do, all you have to do is follow the rules I give. These simple steps will give you the life you always wanted. Let me be your prophet”. I would be a billionaire over night! This is what religion and self-help does. “Give me money and I will tell you what to do!” People want the instant gratification of being told what to do and when things don’t work out quite the way they wanted, they can blame anyone but themselves. People don’t want Magic because Magic puts you in charge of your own life. They want the bearded man, the self help guru, the priest or anyone else to tell them what to do. There is no growth is these systems. Growth only happens when you trust yourself. Don’t get stuck into the ‘I know it all’. There is no growth in that either. It is okay to ask for help and be inspired by others. Like I show in Circular Flow, you have to find what is right for you.
Whatever it is you want to do, including Magic, takes practice and training. First have a vision of what you want. Figure out what skills you need and train yourself. Then do it. Practice, practice, practice. Remember that the slowest growth is in the beginning. When I first got into philosophy and history, I couldn’t get people to understand what I was learning. If someone asked me certain questions or wanted to debate me, I stumbled through it. I had the love of wisdom, I knew I was meant for philosophy. Once I broke through the initial gestation period, all the pieces of the puzzles started to click. No longer were events just events and dates just dates. I could connect them with other things I have learned and it made sense. Then I could start reading in between the lines. All of these scribes left hints and codes, it’s just that very few can decipher them. The few that can mostly keep it to themselves because of the close minded. Then I found Magic and wow was it tough in the beginning. Magic has taught me that once you grow past that incubation period, you don’t need to prove anything to anyone. Your growth will make you shine in whatever it is you choose to grow in.
Live your life like you are making a movie, writing a book or playing a video game. Grow in what ever direction you want, just grow. I found this in the Sanskrit a long time ago and it is perfect for this post.
Look to this day
For it is the very life of life.
In its brief course lie all
The verities and realities of your existence:
The glory of action,
The bliss of growth,
The splendor of beauty,
For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision;
But today well lived makes
Every yesterday a dream of happiness,
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day.