People do not have to live for others; nor do they have to live for something. Yet, their minds need a direction for imaginary progress which in turn is created by immediate or long-term life values. It is easy to spend time chillaxing on the couch—but it is very difficult to be heading somewhere aimlessly. The capacity to move forward implies there is a goal in place; understanding precisely why you want to accomplish this or that particular goal is what makes your actions meaningful.
The human mind perceives life as a motion, therefore creates and assigns goals and values for itself. Even a decision to do nothing today is a goal with a certain rationale behind it.
An ordinary mind always creates goals and meanings—for it is a doer, therefore needs a plan to act upon. A transformed mind needs no plan; rather, planning may give way to precognition, that special trick of perception, which grants knowledge of future events, hence a purported chance to gird up one’s loins. Those who seek preparedness are not ready yet. The depth of your enlightenment is defined by whether you are able to live without a plan, rationale, foreseeing, and preparations— while at the same time staying with people and not withdrawing in isolation for good.
There are three types of readiness:
1. Readiness is a state of ultimate self-composure—when the mind is focused on performing a necessary action and the body is able to support it (i.e., has energy and is in a good condition). Readiness of this kind is directly associated with the action and is achieved by developing a strong intention.
2. Motivation-based readiness—when a person believes that what he is doing is necessary or commits to something; and his motivation helps him to endure things that make others run for the hills. Such readiness is grounded on the belief in a certain idea, or recognition of a need, or, sometimes, arises from understanding the inevitability of the events to come, regardless of whether you like it or not.
3. Readiness which comes with training and experience. Those who have been through challenging situations repeatedly and learned to deal with them and emerge on the other side successfully—have it. Professionals develop this type of readiness.
All three types of readiness are germane to the Path, but the second and third ones may cause some problems. For example, a seeker thinks of himself as being ready—for the surrender of his own will, opening the Heart, or disappearance in God—or everything else. His mind has convinced itself. However, this is an illusion of readiness brewed on overconfidence and lack of practical experience in coping with significant life transitions. Yet, even true necessity- or idea-based readiness is impacted by a desire for achievement which in turn triggers anxiety or fear or sadness—depending precisely on what is happening or, on the contrary, is not happening with the person at all. The more the worry rises, the less actual readiness, the stronger the desire, and the more faraway the goal accomplishment.
Readiness acquired through experience works well right until a person gets exposed to a situation completely new to him, which is not that unusual on the Path, provided that a person makes progress. The sooner a person realizes that his previous experience has become obsolete, the sooner he acquires new experience and knowledge.
A person who has no goal of achieving anything or performing at a high level needs no readiness. Readiness loses its value or even may have never been of any real value to him. Those who have no need in the Path, do not look for readiness to traverse it.
If a person has become enlightened, he came to know all the types of readiness, transcended the boundaries thereof, and ceased to be dependent upon them. Uncertainty is one of the integral qualities of an enlightened person—to the point, that you may struggle to understand whether he is ready now or not, give up in frustration, and leave realizing that you are not up for this just yet.