How and Why I Did It

Working to Comprehend the Text

The Value of Impassioned Determination

In the several decades of doing this awareness recovery work I have never come across anyone else with as much fierce determination to know and do this work as with Rich Irwin. Our initial meeting came about through a series of unplanned but fortuitous circumstances that were as unusual and full of unexpected turns and twists as this awareness work itself. The one thing about Rich that immediately set him apart from everyone else, except maybe myself, was this: No matter what awareness challenge confronted him, regardless the level of fear, he would bite in like a hungry badger and stay with the process regardless of what seemed to confront him. And without any question it is this repetitive and impassioned determination that has paid off and gotten Rich where he is today. It may well be that without this kind of fanatical fervor no one will last long enough to get through the initial impediments to understanding that seem to inevitably be a natural and fundamental part of the awareness growth process.

Terry Hathaway

Rich's Tale of Self-Determination

Anyone who has read a significant portion of the sections offered on this [awareness] site has probably noticed several occasions where it is mentioned that only one person, so far, has gotten to the place where they truly understand at least some portion of the information that is being shared in all these pages. Well, I’m that person.

Terry and I were recently at the residence of a friend who is showing some interest in this work. He mentioned that he has read some of the stuff on this site and that he has a difficult time comprehending what is written. I empathize completely. My first attempts at unraveling what then seemed like an exciting mystery were very frustrating for me. I would sit in a quiet, comfortable place and read out of the manual that Terry had written. Often times I would read the same damn paragraph over and over and over again. Then it became the same damn sentence. I couldn’t understand why the words wouldn’t penetrate my mind. There was nothing difficult about the individual words used. I had always been very competent at reading and writing, but with this stuff I felt like an idiot. Then I would break the sentence down, word by word, with the hope that I would catch something that would make the “light bulb” come on in my head. I remember the feelings I would have in the area of my mentality as I struggled with interpreting sentences that seemed grammatically like they should be very easy to interpret. It was as if my brain was being scrunched up and twisted about.

So, how did I get through all that, (which, by the way, I gradually worked through over more than a year of daily effort)? There are two reasons. First and foremost, I REALLY wanted to understand and I was going to do whatever it took to accomplish it. Secondly, I can never know for certain, but I suspect that I may never have gained the comprehension that I have without the constant, close interaction that I had with Terry. Somehow we had both managed to create a situation where we found ourselves as housemates in the home of a third party. We have stayed housemates ever since, by my choosing, because this work is my number one priority in life.

Why has this work become my main priority in life? The results of my efforts have paid off in ways that no one could truly understand unless they were to make the same general accomplishments, but since that doesn’t really help anyone reading this I’ll put it into words here as best as I currently know how. The simple answer is that this work is now my life. What I have gained from my determination to understand what Terry has written so much about has changed absolutely every perception that I see in every moment of my life and it has provided a way for me to change just as much. I am not at all the same person that I was before I started this. Or, perhaps it is more accurate to write that the “real me,” who was lost somewhere deep inside and buried under a pretentious façade of who I thought I should be in order to fit into society, is now being given the opportunity to emerge from the darkness of my own self-denial and touch the light of day once again… much to the dismay or even displeasure of people who knew and liked the “other me.”

One thing that may help people understand what I’ve written here is that this awareness work isn’t a hobby or something you do in your spare time. You might start out that way but I guarantee that it won’t stay that way. If you try to make it stay that way then you will get to a place where you will go no further and the mysterious, magical part of creation will leave you behind, with you likely never even knowing you had the opportunity to play in it. Anyone who really wants to understand the words on this website will have to accept that you will change, your perceptions will change and that everything in your life and how you live it will change. There is no way around it. If those changes don’t eventually occur then I promise you that you are not doing what the author intended with these words. Ultimately, I will do whatever I need to do and go wherever I need to go in order to attain the goals that we have set for ourselves with this work, whether I achieve them within this lifetime or must wait until some future lifetime.

Rich Irwin
February 20, 2008