The first step was the abandonment of our video projects. We’d had big plans: 37 videos for the Instruction Manual, another 20 for Season One of the Tile 9 videos. Unfortunately, I was getting increasingly uncomfortable with the T9 stuff. With respect to my work, I could never be as sure of the Tile 9 material as I am with the first eight, and yet that had become the main focus of our business approach. It was also the greater strain on our time and energy. Significantly, my disillusionment with the direction we were taking extended to all aspects of my work.
In our original thoughts about the Instruction Manual, Tile 9 was to be left unturned, only accessible once one has worked thoroughly with the first eight. It was far from the core of my work, yet there we were pushing relentlessly forward, using Tile 9 as the leading edge. I was convinced I couldn’t honour it because I was not proficient enough to pass it on in any way.
I’m excellent at what I do, but I felt we were putting the cart before the horse and going in a direction which did not feel right to me. Already lacking any entrepreneurial instinct, skill, or motivation, our emphasis on Tile 9 only compounded my problems, strengthening my view that I will not succeed if this is what I have to do. I wanted to stop doing the T9 videos. Furthermore, I wanted to walk away from the work I do. My business partner decided, understandably, that it wasn’t worth his continued involvement if he was having to supply the drive, and inject so much energy into the projects. So we ended our collaboration.
Despite my unease, when the end came I felt sad. And incompetent because I was not able to match my friend’s enthusiasm and conviction. I was lifted temporarily because the closing of that particular door seemed to create space for others to open. Two opportunities opened up within a week, but the sadness of the abrupt ending persisted, bringing with it an uncertainty about the future. I fell into a familiar cycle of self-doubt. Like a rabbit in the headlights, I felt paralysed, rooted to the spot without a clue how to move in any direction, let alone forward.
I used the time and energy to focus on the very aspects of Tile 9 which had made such an impression on me over the past three years. Silence, Emptiness and the True Self. I meditated more than I have ever done and made good progress. The self-doubt lingered, and would rear its head again soon, but for the time being I felt as though I was really getting somewhere. All I needed to do was keep practising and bring the peace I experienced more and more into my daily life.
As it turned out the meditation would only last six weeks. The routine was disrupted by a holiday and I haven’t found my way back to it. But that has everything to do with what followed. What’s relevant for this piece is that from where I stand now, I was right to call time on the Tile 9 stuff. More right than I could possibly have realised at the time. It’s another reminder that, regardless of how we might feel, and how long life may take to reveal itself, at the deepest level we always know what we need to do.
What’s also important is to follow that knowing through to its conclusion. Fully. Completely. Courageously. Karaj was always one for taking our reflections and insights all the way. He encouraged us to go as far and as deep as we possibly could, given what we felt we knew. I didn’t do that here, but subsequent events made sure I got there eventually. The whole experience echoes with the familiarity of Karaj’s words: ‘Go further. You haven’t gone far enough.’