The Geology of Realization

   "I remember thinking it would take a man six hundred years to tunnel through the wall...Old Andy did it in less than twenty. Oh, Andy loved geology...Geology is the study of pressure and time. That's all it takes really, pressure, and time..."

   - Morgan Freeman, The Shawshank Redemption

   "God is economy and pressure," a wise person once said to me - an apt definition and metaphor for this aspect of the path. More might be said, certainly, but more than a few sages have expressed this sentiment:

   “Only under extreme crushing pressure will enlightenment happen.” - Boshan (1575-1630)

   "We are people of little faith and fail to recognize and appreciate the hand which guides and which sustains. Hazur (Baba Sawan Singh Ji) used to say that once a saint has taken a soul under his wing, he is keen to compress the progress of twenty births into a single one. And if we desire to pack the accomplishments of twenty lives into a single one, we must pay for it." - Sant Darshan Singh

   ”For myriads of ages, measureless, uncounted,
   Your body has been cut, impaled,
   Burned, flayed - for times past numbering!
   Yet none of this has brought you to buddhahood.
   The hardships suffered on the path to buddhahood
   Are different, for their span is limited,
   And likened to the pain of an incision
   Made to cure the harm of hidden ailments.”
- Santideva

   "The doctrine concerning pure love can only be taught by the action of God, and not by any effort of the mind.
   God teaches the soul not by ideas, but by pains and contradictions."
- Jean-Pierre deCaussade

   "That which hurts, but is profitable, is drunk by the wise like medicine.
   For the result, afterwards attained, becomes incomparable."
- Nagarjuna

   "He must be forewarned that, at certain stages, he will be examined by his higher self and tested by the beneficent forces or tempted by the adverse ones. From this epoch-making date, the major episodes of an aspirant's life are purposely sent into it. Both good and evil powers pay special attention, within his personal karma, to his affairs. Once he has committed himself to this quest, he will find that events so arrange themselves as to indicate his sincerity, examine his motives, display his weaknesses, and find out his virtues. His loyalty to the goal will be tested."

   "This quest holds situations in its eventual course that will stun him with their paradox and amaze him with their contradictions."

   "He challenges the gods who takes the Quest so seriously and, let him be warned, it will ferret out his weakest spot and expose it for his ultimate benefit...There are serious and tragic tests on this path, the results of which are sometimes different in the end from what they were in the beginning. We all need Grace."

   "He is sometimes taken at his word and made to undergo what Light on the Path refers to as the keenest anguish, which is brought to bear upon the disciple in order to lift him or her finally above the oscillations of experience. The path is no joke. It is as terrible as it is beautiful at other times."

   "Your karma is being speeded up; everything is being accelerated to a certain extent. This is necessary for a period to bring quicker progress through forcing different parts of mind and character into activity."

   "Beware what you pray for. Do not ask for the truth unless you know what it means and all that it implies and nevertheless are still willing to accept it. For if it is granted to you, it will not only purge the evil out of you but later purify the egoism from your mind. Will you be able to endure this loss, which is unlikely to be a painless one?"

   "Whoever invokes the Overself's Grace ought to be informed that he is also invoking a long period of self-improving toil and self-purifying affliction necessary to fit him to receive that Grace....If he offers himself to the divine, the divine will take him at his word, provided the word is sincerely meant. The response to this offer when it comes is what is called Grace...Many who ask for Grace would be shocked to hear that the troubles which may have followed their request were actually the very form in which the higher power granted the Grace to them."

   "There is.. an unpredictable element in the pattern of human life, which increases rather than decreases as the quality of that life rises above average. We see it markedly in the case of a maturing aspirant who has to undergo tests and endure ordeals which have no karmic origin but which are put across his path by his own higher self for the purpose of a swifter forward movement. They are intended to promote and not delay his growth, to accelerate and not impede his development. But they will achieve this purpose only if he recognises their true aim."
- Paul Brunton

   Have no fear, however, for

   "He who has earned the Grace of the Guru will undoubtedly be saved and never forsaken,
   just as the prey that has fallen into the tiger’s jaws will never be allowed to escape."
- Sri Ramana Maharshi