I was tempted, out of loyalty to Karaj, not to publish this post because it accuses him of manipulation and deceit. From where I stand now, 11 years later, I know that to be unfounded, but I still had my doubts about posting it. The final decision to publish was made because the piece belongs in my story, and because I want to make clear how the power of the mind can be sufficient to undermine everything we do.
In addition, my goal with this entire blog has been to make a difference to the world by outlining the self-development process in as much detail as possible. Rebellion and challenges to authority are part of that process, which is what makes this post such a potent one. It’s potency was highlighted by Karaj when I raised it with him. His comment was that this entry is the key to whole process, it is the most important entry and I should definitely publish it.
It shows how much effort we waste, looking for ways to maintain and support our patterns, perpetuating our script with every thought, and threatening to undo all the good work we have done. It also highlights how, after everything Karaj had done for me, I could persuade myself that he did not have my best interests at heart. Only years later, have I been able to see the full extent of his commitment to me.
This post should also be read in conjunction with the current post: ‘What We’re Up Against’.
Awake. Shit, I’m still here
I read my notes on the Analysis Workshop from September. My writing is childish and emotional and it annoyed me reading it. All the time, since waking up this morning, I am arguing with myself about staying or leaving. Right now leaving is winning. I read my to-do list from 14-16 September 2003. It is telling me I am in the right place; but I am tired of reading about my pain, my emotions and my struggle. Also my mind is saying, ‘It says I’m in the right place, but I didn’t know then what I realise now.’
I went upstairs, put on some music, looked out of the loft window onto a beautiful Autumn day and wondered what I will do. I still don’t want to be here. I thought the relief I had felt yesterday meant I would stay and we could sort it out, but there is another angle to it. The relief was because I’m not going mad. I am no good, and now I’ve had it confirmed, I can leave.
A Torrent Of Thoughts
Karaj phoned to say he was ‘stuck in traffic’. I was due to leave for yoga in five minutes but now I have to stay and wait for Aaliyah to arrive for her 13.00 appointment. This triggered a chain of thoughts which seemed to have been queuing up, waiting for the dam to break. My mind went to work:
- ‘Stuck in traffic.’ He may well be, but from what I know about him he isn’t. It’s just another one of his lines, and I have heard enough of them to suspect that this one is bollocks too. Which leads me to the obvious conclusion that I can no longer believe everything he says. That’s why people who work closely with him leave. Now the others are working more closely with him, they will eventually leave. Karaj says that everyone who has ever worked closely with him has either run away or died. In addition, all through his life people have seen him as a liar and a thief. So what is he doing to change that perception? Nothing, because he is adamant he is neither.
- I have seen him lie to people (of course, using the philosophical justification: ‘What’s the truth?’) and whilst he has never stolen anything from me, I do sometimes have a feeling of being used. So, I miss yoga – not a tragedy in itself – because Karaj is late coming back from discussing my fate with my own mother, Harriet (in her capacity as the chair of of the Self Healing Group). Do I really want to be in an environment in which my mother chairs the meeting to decide what to do with me?
- He will not discuss me leaving but he will discuss kicking me out. But even there he is covering himself by saying the Self Healing Group has to decide. He is proud of his record of never kicking anyone out (apart from asking Kuldip to ‘take time out’). He has added that if they do allow me to leave, then the whole thing will close down. A brilliant final twist to the plot. That way if I leave, he will still be able to maintain that he did everything to make me stay whilst having none of the final responsibility for my departure. All this is an exercise in how the mind works to explain away behaviour, incidents and consequences. Karaj does it all the time.
- He wants me out just as he wanted Robert out. The reason Simran and I wrote such pathetic letters about Robert was that we were here the whole time Karaj was saying what he wanted to happen. We wrote ours in the knowledge that he was already out.
- My back. Karaj always said that the buckets we dug in the garden sorted my back out. Well they didn’t. I ended up in hospital. Maybe that is why Karaj ‘did everything to get to the bottom of things’. I have seen time and again how he has covered himself, so what is to stop my mind deciding that this is precisely what he did with me? What’s to stop my mind thinking these things? Me, I suppose.
- Karaj intimated to Harriet that I indulged in Simran-bashing (challenging too much and inappropriately) and then I said that I would like to spend Christmas with him. (Karaj to Harriet: ‘I am not having that.’) The thing is, Karaj himself told me he wanted me to be the manager from hell and he would tell me if I overstepped the mark, but he hasn’t. Furthermore, Karaj has no idea of the supportive comments I have made to Simran in quieter moments: for him to keep going, that he is doing okay and that he needs to practice asking for help all the time.
- My thinking now is that these are all evidence of what my mind is capable. The core of me is not callous but this is what people are up against if they want to support me. I can take these thoughts into the meeting and ask them to respond, without Karaj’s intervention but with Karaj in the room. That way Karaj can see what they are made of, and I can judge whether they are strong enough to speak their truths or whether they want to please Karaj (or rather, not displease him).
I took a slow walk through the park. Beautiful colours in the setting sun. Crisp, fresh air. I felt sad about my life. I have very little motivation to do anything with it. No drive. My thoughts turned to Germany. Why not?
The Matter Is Over
Back at the house, I finished my work upstairs so I could work with Michelle, supporting her with her handover document. Karaj joined us and challenged Michelle. He challenged her for bringing the work at the last minute, for not coming on time, and for being disorganised, as well as for not recognising that the methods we use here – keeping all information in one place – is applicable to her job, and for not asking for help to implement it in her own job.
The three of us sat together after the work. Karaj continued his challenge to Michelle saying that he fines people so that they learn quicker and he doesn’t have to shout. Shouting helps nobody because they receive negative strokes rather than love. He said he has no problem with people fucking up and requires only that they help to clear it up with high energy, love and learning. He want on to say that the meeting to discuss my future has been convened because Karaj cannot fine me. (I work with him.)
He added that the issue between me and him has been sorted as far as he is concerned and was over yesterday when I said that I am relieved because now everyone can see that I am a cunt. He told me my words had come from the heart and that the issue was resolved. I will still be receiving his letter to me, but he reiterated that the matter is over. He also talked about the issue of not informing the English men about my absence last weekend. That is the real reason all this has blown up.
A little later, Karaj and I continued our conversation. I told him I was also relieved to hear yesterday what I need to do: serve others. He said that he could not have said anything before now. I had to be able to continue until I ran out of steam. Had he said anything to me before now I would have accused him of trying to hold me back. Also I would not have learned what I needed to learn. I have been striving for something impressive to show the world and missing what Karaj has been saying all along: that there is nothing more empowering, humbling, generous, loving and powerful than serving.
I updated my to-do list while Karaj put the cosmetic touches to Michelle’s database. The two of them then worked until midnight, recording the details of her handover. Karaj kept getting annoyed with Michelle for not taking things seriously enough and for not concentrating.
I talked with Michelle about where I am. She asked me, so I told her that the conversations with Dev, Simran, and Karaj over the last three days have helped me, but hearing what Karaj had to say about me last night made the biggest difference. Michelle said that it is good to see the old me back because the unfriendly me which has been present has made her not want to come here over the last few weeks.
The night ended on a brief chat with Karaj about the utility block work for the weekend.