Would it surprise you to learn that this chapter was one of the last in this book to be written? I suppose that no book which attempts to describe the indescribable could be without some sense of irony.

So what do we mean by avoidance? Put simply, avoidance is knowing that we need to deal with something and not doing it. It arises, for example, when the car starts to make strange noises but instead of taking it to the garage we hope that the noises go away and do nothing about it. It arises when we have a chronic toothache but do not go to the dentist to get it checked out.

Avoidance manifests in a number of different ways, but always as a symbol of one thing: fear. We avoid facing up to what needs to be dealt with out of fear of what will happen or what we will find out if we do. We avoid taking the car to the garage in case we are told that the repairs will be expensive or that the car will need to be scrapped. We avoid going to the dentist in case he/she tells us that we need to have surgery which may be painful or expensive.

Avoidance tends to lead to more avoidance which eventually leads to the ultimate avoidance of suppression which is where we have avoided our responsibilities so skilfully that we don’t even know they exist anymore. We may avoid taking the car to the garage because we believe that the mechanic will lie to us and convince us to replace parts that don’t need replacing. This highlights the fact that we have issues surrounding trust and discernment which have not been addressed – most likely because they too were avoided.

There is no great secret to overcoming avoidance and therefore no need to discuss it at any length or attempt to present any new formulas. The way to overcome avoidance is simply to get on and do what needs to be done – if emotions or confusion arise we need to practise cultivation and weeding so we can continue to deal with whatever we have been avoiding.

Next Chapter: Thinking >>

*** This chapter is taken from my book The Light Within ***