The change business is a multi-billion dollar industry. Leave aside the cosmetic business, weight reduction programmes and so on for a moment. Consider only the ones that promise to take away suffering and give us peace, remove our neuroses and replace it with self-actualization, or move people from a painful inner state to a desired another. Psychotherapy, spirituality, religions and numerous other systems and practices make various offers and claims. Among them the most popular ones are the quick fixes, the ones that offer magical cures. If a method can be found that could in a few steps offer us salvation, enlightenment, satori, nirvana, we would all be happy. Most of us are on the look out for the holy grail of instant, painless, magical change.
There is an undying fascination for the miraculous and magical. Even in a field like psychology, tricks and techniques serve a purpose. They are not only expected to hasten the desired state, they offer you something you can actually do to bring it about. So you have a handle on the method. And you get there without having any need to take a look at yourself. You do not have to face the truth about yourself.
Most of these approaches age quickly and make way for new ones. Or they appear dressed as new when the allure of novelty and popularity subsides. They have to fulfil two important conditions: they should address a contemporary need, and they could be easy to sell in bulk. That is The Secret of success. They give you what you are looking for; you only have to desire the state or object that you are looking for. You take what you want, you do not have to give anything back. A major part of the Secret of success is that it does not require a personal investment and responsibility, a wholesome examination of one’s life and actions.
“The trouble with Awareness,” a workshop participant said, “is that there are no concrete steps by which I can get it.” That was reflected in the clamour of the many when Moses came down from the mountaintop: “We need a golden calf!”
At the end of a retreat for CEOs, one of them lamented, “It’s slow burn!” He’s right, it can be slow, like opening one’s eyes and seeing. And he’s wrong. Awareness is the quickest, easiest and surest way to change. It is as quick as opening one’s eyes and seeing.