That’s the whole effort of meditation: to bring something more to your life which is not a habit, something which is spontaneous, something which is nonmechanical, something which transforms you from a robot into a conscious being.
George Gurdjieff used to say that man is not born with a soul. On the surface it appears not believable, because for centuries you have been told by the priests that everybody is born with a soul and you believe in it. It is comfortable to believe that you have a soul. It feels very good, cozy, warm, that deep inside you, you have a soul, eternal, immortal. And Gurdjieff says you don’t have a soul at all. You are just hollow within; there is nothing inside you except habits and habits, a cluster of habits and at the very center there is nobody. The house is empty. The master has not yet come or is fast asleep.
Gurdjieff is right: you are only potentially a human being. A possibility is there, but the possibility can be easily missed. And millions of people miss it because to become conscious, to become a soul, arduous effort is needed. It is an uphill task. To remain in your habits is cheap, easy, downhill. Gravitation is enough; it goes on pulling you.
It is like when you go downhill in a car, you can turn the engine off. You don’t need any gas to go downhill; the pull of gravitation is enough. But that cannot be done when you are moving uphill; then gas is needed. You will need some integrity, some power. And only consciousness releases power.
Consciousness is the key, the ignition key, that releases power in you, and you become capable of soaring high.
Otherwise this old saying is right: old habits die hard – because there is nobody who can kill those old habits.
At breakfast, Feinberg’s wife said to him, “We are having Sonia’s boyfriend to dinner for the first time. We are gonna have a big meal with our best dishes. So please behave. Don’t eat with your knife, or you will kill her chance of marriage.”
That night at supper all went well. Feinberg hardly touched a thing for fear of using the wrong tool. Then coffee arrived. Feinberg took the cup and started to pour his java into the saucer. The family was looking daggers at him. Feinberg kept right on pouring. Finally the saucer was full.
Feinberg raised it to his mouth, looked around the table, and said, “One word out of any of you and I will make bubbles!”
It is difficult, it is very hard. You have to be conscious, alert, on guard. You have to go on remembering. And remembrance is the most difficult thing in existence.