Those who, being really on the way, fall upon hard times in the world will not, as a consequence, turn to that friend who offers refuge and comfort and encourages the old self to survive. Rather they will seek out someone who will faithfully and inexorably help them to risk themselves, so that they may endure the suffering and pass courageously through it, thus making of it a raft that leads to the far shore. Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over again to annihilation can that which is indestructible arise within us. In this lies the dignity of daring. Thus, the aim of practice is not to develop an attitude which allows us to acquire a state of harmony and peace wherein nothing can ever trouble us. On the contrary, practice should teach us to let ourselves be assaulted, perturbed, moved, insulted, broken, and battered that is to say, it should enable us to dare to let go our futile hankering after harmony, surcease from pain, and a comfortable life in order that we may discover, in doing battle with the forces that oppose us, that which awaits us beyond the world of opposites. The first necessity is that we should have the courage to face life, and to encounter all that is most perilous in the world. When this is possible, meditation itself becomes the means by which we accept and welcome the demons which arise from the unconscious a process very different from the practice of concentration on some object as a protection against such forces. Only if we venture repeatedly through zones of annihilation can our contact with Divine being, which is beyond annihilation, become firm and stable. The more we learn wholeheartedly to confront the world that threatens us with isolation, the more are the depths of the Ground of Being revealed and possibilities of new life and Becoming opened.