Perhaps the greatest obstacle to any development is accomplishment. We spend our lives grasping after end goals, only to find that when we achieve them we only have some kind of momentary inadequacy. We can call ourselves sorcerers, astrologers, psychics, accountants, physicians, construction workers. It doesn’t matter if we call ourselves those things, if we become content to be those things then the discussion is over. For much of my life I have sought certifications and endorsements, first as a means to power, and then as a means to identity. We all do this, striving for degrees and qualifications to allow us to do this or that, or working hard to become this or that. But how can we ever truly be that thing?
Being is boring. Once you are something, the story has ended. The narrative stops. It’s completely uninteresting that somebody is a doctor. Nobody reads a story about someone who is a hero. We read stories about people becoming heroes. We read stories about things happening. Even great dramas are boring when taken as finished.
Don’t be a magician. Don’t be a sorcerer. Become these things. Never stop becoming, never settle in as done. The work of the magician is the work of transformation, you cannot finish transformation in this samsaric existence. Everything is impermanent: you cannot just be something. We are, all of us, just becoming cadavers. But by living presently, minute by minute, mindfully aware, we can become something else.
Don’t strive to be. Just keep becoming.