by Carlos Castaneda
As I was getting ready to leave, I decided to ask him once more about the enemies of a man of knowledge. I argued that I could not return for some time, and it would be a good idea to write down what he had to say and then think about it while I was away. He hesitated for a while, but then began to talk.
"When a man starts to learn, he is never clear about his objectives. His purpose is faulty; his intent is vague. He hopes for rewards that will never materialize, for he knows nothing of the hardships of learning. "He slowly begins to learn... bit by bit at first, then in big chunks. And his thoughts soon clash. What he learns is never what he pictured, or imagined, and so he begins to be afraid. Learning is never what one expects. Every step of learning is a new task, and the fear the man is experiencing begins to mount mercilessly, unyieldingly. His purpose becomes a battlefield.
I am living proof that what Carlos Castaneda says here is true. I fought a lifetime of these battles, and continue to fight that new battle - old age. Even now, as I struggle with this last enemy - how well I know these words:
"This enemy is the cruelest of all, the one he won’t be able to defeat completely, but only fight away. "This is the time when a man has no more fears, no more impatient clarity of mind... a time when all his power is in check, but also the time when he has an unyielding desire to rest. If he gives in totally to his desire to lie down and forget, if he soothes himself in tiredness, he will have lost his last round, and his enemy will cut him down into a feeble old creature. His desire to retreat will overrule all his clarity, his power, and his knowledge."[Thank you for the post Kenny. - Source - It's good to know that you don't always walk alone.]