I wonder if so much of inner effort is an attempt to repeat. To repeat a past experience we have taken possession of, to repeat a feeling or to repeat the experience of another, or to repeat the described ideal. When we do something, or think or feel something for the first time there is no feeling of inner effort and so almost no feeling of having actually done the thing at all. The deed sits somewhere between doing and happening. So it is the second time, the replication, the successful repetition when we feel ourselves to truly do, or try to do. It is the second time we aspire towards, we take pride in, we announce “Look Daddy, I can do it!”. It if being able to repeat, that counts as real. But while this process goes on, and while the sense of success affixes itself to repetition and imitation, we carry this through to experience itself. And we start to believe that our whole lives are either successes or failures based on how well they show signs of repeating circumstances, possessions, thoughts, feelings and perspectives that have been endorsed by our contemporaries and forebears. Our inner effort becomes continuous. We forget what it is like to live for the first time and do things for the first time. We forget that life itself has no particular wish for us to know or obtain what others have known or obtained. Life places no particular importance on what has gone before, though in our fear, in our assumption that in this enormous, unprovoked Unboundesness our own fragile encounters must give way to a more pressing consensus. We assume that life has a preference for repetition; that repeated things are realer than one-offs, and we fight against our own nature and the nature of our experience which is precisely and inherently one off, here and then gone. In our fear then or in our forgetting, we apply the practice of repetition across all areas of our lives, and lose touch with the part of ourselves that plays amidst completeness, unconcerned with origination and credit, content to be, in some unclear manner, involved.
Nervously, he made his approach. Step followed slow, wavering step, as if crossing a narrow bridge without sides. His chest tightened and his hands curled as he drew ever closer. His breathing became shallow and his vision narrowed to a point right ahead. He seemed to float, as if carried, over the last remaining reason to go back and so, he sat down at his table by the window, to write again.