Dealing with Diminishing Returns

Finding the Turning Point

Using the Phenomena of Learning Decline

In any particular topical area in awareness work there is a condition whereby apparent progress gradually recedes to the point of little additional advancement, i.e., a point of diminishing returns is reached whereby it becomes obvious that that specific area of study is near or at completion. It is at this point, a turning point, that the student is ready to begin working with and building upon a new and/or more advanced subject matter. This does not mean abandoning previous knowledge and achievements, but rather building upon all previous foundations, continually clarifying and refining what has come before while forging ahead into the yet unknown. The value of the student recognizing when diminishing returns reach a value at or near zero is that the student will know when it is appropriate to turn their attention to new and more formidable seeming inner and outer reality issues, issues once too difficult or fearsome to tackle before reaching a completion point for a previously challenging awareness topic.

As an example of this, I recently had an interaction with an old acquaintance that allowed me to realize how much I had achieved by dealing with my own mental aspect over the course of doing this awareness work. Trying to help this fellow with words, so as to guide his mentality into some self-realizations that could benefit and make it possible for him to achieve his immediate goals was frustrating. What was so absurdly easy and simple for me was next to impossible for him to get and usefully comprehend. This situation was understandable because this awareness work was relatively new to this fellow, while I had spent my entire life working to get myself to my current state of awareness. Nonetheless, working with this fellow was a valuable experience for me. It was exceptionally easy for me to see and observe how little awareness progress I was making on my own mental front. Yes, there was some minute progress, but it was confined to clarifying and refining what I already had come to understand, and there was also some additional benefit realized through the reinforcement of choices I had made along the way about what I wanted for myself. But all of this paled into near insignificance compared to the early days when I was making what I perceived as astoundingly major discoveries about the mentality and how it interacted with itself and the Will aspect. That exciting newness, however, had long ago faded away as that which I had discovered was integrated and had become a normal part of me.

But happily some fresh newness was subtly dancing on my horizon once again. For the past several weeks (starting before the above mentioned encounter) I had been getting mental and feeling impulses that a new awareness frontier was soon to open up its doors to me. Because of this I was naturally very sensitive to any subtle or overt clues that might present themselves and give me some sense as to what might be in my future. As it turned out, my above awareness encounter was the event that brought the earlier impulses into perspective, whereupon I could then see more clearly what I would be dealing with next, and that I was indeed ready to do so and go on confidently into another area of the yet unknown. What was this new unknown? I realized that I now had enough mastery of the mentality and non-physically manifest Will energies to take on what would probably be the most difficult subject of all, dealing with and mastering the manifest physical aspect, i.e., outer reality in all of its vastness and majesty. This included foremost the personal physical body, my body, but in extension it also would more and more include the vast physical outer reality that made up what I perceived as the celestial universe that surrounded me.

 But what does this mean? It means reconnecting to, or perhaps better stated, truly connecting for the first time to all of that so-called physical realm that has become distant and perceived as separate, and to instantly manifest at Will that which is desired. This requires mastery of the self and eventually of all that now seems to be disconnected and separate. To be sure, a goal of this magnitude is a big mouthful, far beyond what I can even imagine chewing up or digesting at present. Thinking about this I feel a little like a meek and fearful little lamb quivering alone in a huge universe that I do not yet understand or truly trust in a useful way. But this sense of initial unease coupled with awe and the joy of discovery is nothing new to me. I have had similar feelings when I first began my awareness journey and had to learn about the mental aspect, and then the Will aspect. Both were a great mystery to me and I feared might be a potentially hazardous endeavor when I started out, but I dipped my toes gingerly into the mysterious water for the first time regardless of any ill-founded fears. So, here I was again at another starting point, and soon the race for more knowledge would become ferocious. Nothing had changed but the scale and scope, and although I do not yet know how best to proceed, that knowing, as always before, will come flowing in when it is time, and I will press forward with excitement into the next phase of my awareness journey. How long it will take I know not, nor do I care. Maybe it will just take a few years, or perhaps even lifetimes of study, who knows. But one thing is certain: This journey is for me far more exciting and rewarding than any earthly pursuit yet devised by humankind. Bon Voyage!

Terry Hathaway
December 19, 2008