being really on the way, fall upon hard times in the world will
not, as a consequence, turn to that friend who offers refuge and comfort
encourages the old self to survive. Rather they will seek out someone
faithfully and inexorably help them to risk themselves, so that they
the suffering and pass courageously through it, thus making of it
a "raft that
leads to the far shore."
Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and
over again to annihilation can that which is indestructible arise
In this lies the dignity of daring.
Thus, the aim of practice is not to develop an attitude which allows
us to acquire a state of harmony and peace wherein
nothing can ever trouble us.
On the contrary,
practice should teach us to let
ourselves be assaulted, perturbed, moved, insulted, broken, and
battered--that is to say, it should enable us to dare to let go our
futile hankering after
harmony, surcease from pain, and a comfortable life in order that
discover, in doing battle with the forces that oppose us, that which
beyond the world of opposites. The first necessity is that we should
courage to face life, and to encounter all that is most perilous in
When this is possible, meditation itself becomes the means by which
we accept and
welcome the demons which arise from the unconscious--a process very
from the practice of concentration on some object as a protection
forces. Only if we venture repeatedly through zones of annihilation
contact with Divine being, which is beyond annihilation, become firm
stable. The more we learn wholeheartedly to confront the world that
with isolation, the more are the depths of the Ground of Being revealed
possibilities of new life and Becoming opened."
from The Way of Transformation by Karlfried Durckheim