Hardships are a common theme throughout life, and are not uncommon in our inner work. In the later case they can take on a different note, and that’s because of the nature of the spiritual work. By this I do not mean that life becomes harder when the inner work is applied, but rather that we become more conscious of life’s hardships. In a normal case (that of a person who is not doing the inner work), they would go through hardships in a mechanical way, half-conscious of the suffering that they go through. Many then look for some sort of relief by indulging into different pleasures of life in order to forget the pain, not wanting to know that this pendulum of pleasure and pain will not resolve the issue that they are dealing with.
But in the case of someone who is doing the inner work, the matter becomes different. Hardships are no longer something that you wish to escape from as quickly as possible, but rather you seek an understanding that is hiding inside such difficulties of life.
When on the path to liberation, hardships become a part of one’s life, because through it we are tested as our defects emerge from the depths of the subconscious. It is inevitable that such egos (defects) will come at those times, often in a strong way. Depending on the hardship, we could be dealing with strong manifestations of anger, fear, worry, sadness, lust etc., and if we are serious in our aim of fulfilling the inner work, the main goal that we have at that time is to stay detached from it through being centered in consciousness, and from that state applying the technique of self-observation and elimination/purification. By so doing, the difficulty will start to vanish and we will end up with a new understanding that we did not have before.
However, even though things are very clear and objective when we look at it from the point of view of consciousness, they do not appear so when we are lost in the hardship and all the inner defects that such would bring out to surface. That’s why it is necessary to pull ourselves out of those states so to see things more clearly. Essentially, the more of the consciousness that we have, the more of the Being we have, and so the more clearly we start to perceive things.
To reach out of the mud of the egos that hardship brought about, it’s best to be active in the goal of the inner work. For example, a good (and sometimes quick) way to be pulled up again into the state of detachment and consciousness, is to chant mantras. These can be vowel based mantras that Samael Aun Weor taught, and that are elongated when vocalized, or something more ancient like Buddhist Heart Sutra mantra or Om Mani Padme Hum, or Vedic mantras like Om Asatoma, Gayatri etc. that can have more singing tone to them, all depending on what resonates with you more.
Furthermore, developing a discipline and a daily routine with practices is essential for the spiritual work to succeed, and therefore applying that when hardships kick in would keep the mind steady and occupied, not allowing it to wonder off into worries and taking you with it into that mud.
By following your routine despite the problems of life, you allow your consciousness to be active and present, thus enabling it to receive a solution to a problem. This solution comes as an understanding that previously was lacking, and by gaining it, it will be stored in the depository of your Being, affecting your life from that moment onwards as the manifestation of strength and continuity of your deeper purpose. Once you gain it, it will always be there, even if you can’t recall it. This understanding becomes part of yourself, your consciousness, helping you go through the path with more determination.
But it has to be gained first, and this is not an easy task. It requires being centered in the inner work, fully understanding what is it that we want to achieve with it and why. And having strong determination towards our goal, which is the spiritual awakening.
When hardships of life struck, we may feel excused to react to them with our lower emotions, or we may feel entitled to indulge in our desires, feeling in ourselves that such a strong difficulty justifies our actions. If we fall into this way of reasoning, the work that we have done thus far could be undone (the amount of it depends on the situation and our actions), and we might stay stuck in the level that we are at, or even go down.
Hardships in the spiritual work are to be dealt with wisely if we want to ascend. They are obstacles of the level that is just above us, and are opportunities through which we grow and learn. Through it we can assimilate wonderful virtues that will push us through to the next level in our work, and in this way victoriously passing through each of the obstacles on the way; each time becoming stronger and stronger. By being so determined and singleminded, our Being eventually starts giving us spiritual gifts, helping us even more on our path to Liberation.
HDP, January 2020.