In the pursuit of peace, what a lot of people don’t realise is that it takes consistent long-term practice as well as willpower
to make a difference in your life. In a perfect world we would not need to constantly try to maintain this state of mind, but given the way society is today it is a necessity as the vast majority of the world and its population are based around the ego. We cannot help but be subconsciously influenced by the things that surround us.
It is sometimes thought that the more you practice meditation and awareness, the easier it becomes. While this is true to a degree, there is something else that must be understood about the ego. The ego is a part of you and your thinking, and the closer you get to eliminating it, the more fiercely it fights back. Without 100% of your attention and commitment, this can lead to periods of brief freedom, and then a time of lowness. In times of elevation you say to yourself that you have achieved what you have always been aiming for, but then in times of hopelessness you question whether it was ever possible to be free of the ego at all. The point is not to be hung up on either result. Getting attached to either will lead you right back to the start, such is the infinitely subtle nature of the human mind. As Osho puts it, the mind is a ‘beautiful servant and a dangerous master’. You can either choose to live your life in a way that is ‘comfortably numb’ (in the words of Pink Floyd), or you can choose to begin the hardest journey of your life. Osho talks about the many, many pitfalls that await you in the quest for freedom, and having experienced so many of them first-hand I can see that he is not wrong. The key is to just keep practicing, keep letting go, stay aware of any of the mistakes you make and be prepared to admit to your own mistakes too. If you are stubborn then you remain static, unable to move forward, doomed to repeat the same mistakes. Whenever you feel down and hopeless, just remember the times when you felt free and remember that happiness is indeed achievable.