there is nothing so profoundly humiliating and painful and simultaneously sublime as confronting your flaws. the tao te ching says “progress seems like retreat.” during training, when things are going well that’s when you’re not learning, but are just enjoying things recently learned. when things are difficult and training is no fun, that’s when you are actually making progress. both are important as one needs balance in order to enjoy life and to persevere in training.
it’s inability to accept flaws and work through them to resolution that prevents one from growing. smugness and arrogance are a prison and ensure one’s continuing marriage with the karmic wheel.
there are 5 levels of development or growth:1-ignorant, that is, just completely unaware of or ignoring metaphysical reality and Truth and that one is spiritual or able to relate to one’s creator and realize the divine within, 2-aware of metaphysical reality and spirituality and dabbling in it, 3-metaphysical reality becomes foremost in one’s life and one sublimates the external world and the myriad realities therein to the growth process of realizing metaphysical reality, 4-enlightenment, or ego transcendence, and 5-immortality.
#1 and #2 are where most of us are. most of us either don’t know anyone working in stage #3 or maybe know 1 person, and #4 there’s not much to say about, and #5 is a whole new level of actual, specific energetic work or process. #4 and #5 begin in stage #3 and are engaged concurrently.
the entire process depends on flaws though. actively watching for them and rooting them out and neutralizing them. and this depends in part on willingness to feel humiliated and uneasy. this is definitely not fun. and you have to follow it through till you’ve fully realized the lesson embedded in the flaw and neutralized the negativity associated with it. intimate relationships with the opposite sex can be particularly good fodder for this process of growth, but so can work or anything that provides feedback to your efforts. life is one big stage for growth and continually provides feedback on your growth if you’re at stage #3 and looking for it. this is in fact the whole point of karma. to force you to grow. the ideal isn’t to create only “good” karma, although that is a stage in the process, the point is to reach enlightenment and no longer create any karma.
so when work isn’t going well, or a relationship is difficult or you are unable to perform at some activity the way you want, or life in general is unsatisfying, look within for your flaws. these are opportunities for growth. as you move along the process there are rewards. be open to humiliation because behind it or beyond it is salvation.