This morning I finished reading the third journal, only a couple of prompts came up:

  1. When you perceive a "sign", pursue it instead of dismissing it. Write an account of what happened.

  2. Write from a place of intense curiosity

  3. Write something you will know you will do in the near future as if it were the present moment

  4. Recall one of your first memories in at least 500 words. If you don't find enough words, fill it out with fiction.

What was most striking about this journal was this: I was seeking for relief from depression, and meditation plus exercise proved to be quite effective. But as soon as I felt better I strived for more: more focus, more exercise, more flexibility, more friends, and through striving I drove myself miserable. I read myself and smiled: it's through non-action that everything gets done to its own accord.

Very few people in this world understand what is achieving without attachment. The deal is this: wether you foul out or blast home runs, you are indifferent to the outcome. Activity in itself enough reward. So, in my journal, I was striving certain outcomes: independence, financial security, happiness, new friends, new romances. But I was trying and obtaining nothing, and then blaming myself either out of laziness or incompetence.

I was reading everything I was striving for and I thought I have accomplished everything that I wanted, and yet I only got it when I stopped trying, how is that?. There is no good answer to this conundrum. The mind thinks it know the solution. You are shy and the mind says "get out there" but you go out there and you feel miserable. And you try time and time again and you fail, finally you give up and accept your shyness. Then something special happens: by eliminating this conflict (I'm shy yet I feel lonely and I want to meet more people) you actually make room for new people in your life.

This phenomena plays out in numerous scenarios: the person ascending in a healthy institution is not the one who is most focused on climbing the corporate ladder, the boxer who wins the match is the one who doesn't need the win, the sure way to never reach enlightenment is to strive for it.

I identify this phenomena with a physical counterpart: when you are climbing a mountain or a hill, the best way to ascend is not in a straight line to the top, but by moving sideways, oftentimes in a zig-zag fashion. The will will always call you the top, but attempting to ascend though a straight line is foolhardy.