Our mind is comparable to an operating system - quite comparable to Windows in fact, it's prone to crashes when you do things wrong (which doesn't mean that Linux or other os's are any different). While we grow up, we get installed various programs that run our lifes. These programs are installed by our parents, school, friends, relatives, media etc. Other programs we write ourselves in order to adapt better to the world.
Roughly categorised such programs are:
Many of these programs are necessary to survive in this world, but of course not all of them are beneficent to us. However since these programs enable to live is in relative comfort and security (or rather in conformity with the rest of the masses) we grow lazy. There's no need to get rid of old programs or to install new ones, we just grow used to them and keep them. Thus we all become prisoners of ourselves. To become free we should and must know the exact code of the programs that
This is a very courageous thing to do, for we must see ourselves as we truly are, without all the lies we keep telling of how great and satisfied we are. And we will have to destroy ourselves before we can be created anew, just like a seed destroys itself when it grows into a tree. Just like every seed in itself has the potential to grow into a tree, so we have the potential to become something greater in us. And just like many of them fail to grow, so many of us will fail.
In this growing, this evolution lies a great pain and a great danger. The pain comes from our power to choose this freedom. We know that we have to die as we are so we can grow, while we also know that we don't have to. It is a constant battle to overcome ourselves and our laziness as not to fall back into our old habits. The danger lies in losing ourselves completely in insanity that comes with the constant change. After all, we are leaving the comfortable security we're accustomed to and embrace the infinite possibilities that are open to us and there's nothing and no one to hold on to and rely on but us. Additionally you'll find that your relatives, friends, colleagues and acquaintances will likely hinder your
But to fully realize our potential we will have to embrace this danger and pain, for the future is always born in pain, but what is born of that pain may mature into something better and greater.
These are the goals of the Left Hand Path: to forever become more, the vastening of ourselves and of life, the deepening of our purpose, to overcome ourselves, to gain true uniqueness. Every man and every woman is a star.
Those of us who follow this path of self-creation mustn't be afraid to cross boundaries. Rules and boundaries must be overcome and shattered completely, we must go beyond the extreme. How else can we know what lies on the other
Now, how can we fulfil our potential?
Finding a teacher or guide may actually help you along, but keep in mind that someday you will have to leave simply because you have outgrown him. Many teachers are incapable of dealing with that, just look at all the gurus around with all their followers and how they deal with them when they want to leave and you know what I mean. The best would be to find an open minded teacher where you can learn from each other. Preferably one that offers guidance and doesn't insist that his way is the only way.
In the end everyone of us will have to find our own way. Just because something worked perfectly well for one person, doesn't mean that it would work for others as well. But there are a few general guidelines one can always adapt to ones personal needs.
First, start a diary and write down everything about you. Make a detailed list of your behaviour, how you do things, how you view things, your preferences, what annoys you, your addictions, desires, etc. Set measurable goals for certain time frames that you continue to check. These goals can include anything from observing certain rites to getting a specific job.
Meditate, for a change not on world peace and all the "higher" stuff but on yourself and analyse yourself. Here you've got to be completely honest and brutal.
Decide honestly what programs are beneficent to you and what hinders your growth. Then try to find ways to erase the hindering program, but keep in mind that new programs have to fill the hole at some point. Make sure that the new programs improve yourself.
Study your emotions, write down what evoked them, what made you calm down again and learn how to invoke and banish them at will. Remember, the emotions should obey you, you shouldn't be their slave.
Since we don't see things as they are but see them as we are, start experimenting with different paradigms. Don't forget that this isn't exclusive to belief systems, but also to the different views of people around you, eg. colleagues from different departments, relatives etc. For this it'd be advisable to view the world as through the eyes of a child (minus naivety preferably in certain situations, but then children aren't nearly as naive as most people think). Most people only shift paradigms on the surface while deep down they still cling to their old views. For it to be really useful however you have to go deeper. And there it gets difficult, you must embrace the paradigm fully, while not succumbing to dogma and all its wonderful side effects, e.g. total intolerance to other systems.