These next four posts tie up a few loose ends from last year, and set the tone for this one. They examine Karaj’s last two challenges to me, the effect they had on me, and the insightful and potentially script-changing consequences which arose from them. They were forceful, uncompromising challenges, as usual; but somehow different, with greater definition and urgency, as if there were no time to waste.
The first challenge came in November when I talked about writing a second book. Our talks over the Summer and Autumn had led to a number of posts which lend themselves perfectly to the conclusion of a story; and I recognised in them something of the final volume of Book One. Back then I had spent a year editing the early material whilst still writing as the story continued to unfold, and was amazed at how those last 12 months kept providing twist after twist, right up until the very end. (The book to have four different endings.)
It was, therefore, with some enthusiasm that I decided to make a start on book two, knowing it would probably take at least a year and that I would undoubtedly write a new conclusion I am yet to experience. Two weeks in I shared my ideas with Karaj. His response was instant and pointed. He insisted that we need to work on it together, just as we had planned to do back in 2000, and that we must first establish the context before we craft the content (which, coming as it will from this blog, has already been written).
Initially, his challenge took the wind out of me. I felt like I’d been punched in the stomach. His familiar intensity caused me to shrink in familiar ways, and I felt myself wanting to hold on tighter to my plans for the book. I had been looking forward to working on it in the same way I’d created the first one. By repeatedly reading, editing and reducing the text, I had internalised almost every detail of what I’d written over the 15-year span of that material. As exhaustive as the process was, I knew what I would get out of it, and had already made a solid start when Karaj’s challenge came.
During the rather one-sided conversation, I began to relax. I have been here before and the course of such confrontations have always been the same: the challenge; the internal reaction and resistance; the listening; the opening up; the relaxation; the trust; the insight; and the learning.
We talked further, and over the course of two phone calls, three words appeared. They form the working subtitle of the book (with the main title yet to be decided): A Story of Love, Relationship & Healing.
Love is obvious. It’s the answer to so many of our questions about humanity, and is the foundation for everything else.
Relationship, I am beginning to realise, is key, too. After all, how can there be love without relationship. We only really exist in relationship to something: our world, our pets, our loved ones. Without relationship we are isolated, cut off from the kind of contact which is so necessary to our well-being.
Healing was emphasised throughout my training, and seems to be something we need more than ever. It’s not that we are necessarily suffering any more than our ancestors did, it’s just that the trauma continues to accumulate and it feels as though time might be running out for us. We need to heal ourselves, each other, and the planet upon which we rely so absolutely for our existence.
That is the context within which the content of book two will be shaped and formed. It came easily, but only because I was challenged to re-assess what I was doing. I was left with a feeling that if Karaj and I collaborate on this, it could be a stunning piece of work, with mind-blowing consequences us both, and maybe for others too. As we shall see, however, that depends on a working partnership which may or may not have run its course.