Some of you are paying much too much attention to your life, to the physicalness of it.
You're all winning and losing battles all the time when there's really no such thing. These are just ideas in your mind, "I won today. I lost today. I had a good week. I had a bad week." You're just consciousness moving through eternity. You're consciousness wearing yourself out, in a sense, because you're putting yourself through all these strivings and little battles and everybody's so achievement oriented, you see.
The battle of the self, which is not exactly a battle in my opinion, but if we were to phrase it that way, is not exactly won or lost in a week or a month or a year. It's a continuous journey that we make. People who enjoy it and are committed to it grow into it as time goes on. Everybody's on the journey, whether they're studying formally or not. I mean, everybody out there is alive and growing and part of life. This is just a different phase of that; it's no more special than anything else.
That's why, when people go through this big deal about, "I'm leaving Lakshmi. Oh, it's such a traumatic event!" Not really. It's just another part of life. This is like going to school. It's not a traumatic event when you leave school. You go to school, then you go someplace else. It's not a big deal unless you supercharge it yourself because that lends to your own self-importance. Then you can feel that everything in your life is a major event because you're so important. But when you don't feel you're so important all the time, then you can have a little more even attitude towards things.
We invent life as we go along. We decide life is one thing and not another. We create order and form.
Certain things demand willpower and you can't be exactly mellow about everything, you have to be exacting and precise. But there are times when you just have to accept something. If you accept, once you decide - and you may renegotiate your contract from time to time - but if you decide that you're engaged in this process of self-discovery, it's for the rest of your life. Whether you have a teacher, whether you're on your own, it's just what you'll always be doing. As long as you're alive you'll be looking into the self, into the mirror of the self, and seeing its many forms, because you're a seeker. Everybody's doing that in one form or another as they live their lives. But that's just what you do. Then you watch your life change, you watch it reorder.
Now, most people's lives don't reorder exactly the way yours do. In other words, for most people the reordering of a life is a marriage, moving, graduating from school, the death of a loved one, what one author called "passages." Gail Sheehy wrote a book called Passages. The passages are transits that people go through in human life. And it's interesting because everybody thinks they're so unique and everybody is, I suppose, in a way. But yet these passages that we go through are - it's an interesting book, I read it years ago - very similar. At the age of 15 you're forming the identity and going through the identity crises. At the age of 30, at the age of 40 - there'll be some variance, of course, but it's amazing, particularly after you've had a little bit of age to go through so you can compare notes, how standard the experiences that people have are.
Well, here we're in a different perspective, naturally. Here you've all elected to pursue the study of meditation and self-discovery in a variety of different ways, working with a teacher. It's like being in any school. It's like studying computers or language or whatever. We deal with two things. We deal with the world of your life, what don Juan would call the "tonal;" and we deal with the unknown, what he would call the "nagual," what we'd call the "supraconscious," if we were speaking more in spiritual terminology of a different type.