I don’t know, consciously, what it takes to achieve greatness. I’ve done it (to levels that seem high, relative to the story of Me), in a manner of speaking, and more than a few times, but I don’t really know the formula. And overthinking it tends to screw things up to, getting caught up in how instead of trying it. ‘Course, I’ve been over that before so I’m not going to dwell on the limits of anal probing.
It takes more than you’d think though. It takes having gravity as an individuated being, pulling circumstances, situations, and events towards oneself that make life difficult; it takes passing through the ordeal alive (which is sometimes refered to as ‘unscathed’, but every such experience is liable to leave a scar) and using what you’ve learned. It takes doing it over again, and again, and again, ’till you dried up, dead, and buried.
I got a few private messages from someone berating my apparent lack of ‘groundedness’ a while ago. Amusing, to say the least… after all, my record of familiarity with the mundane and practical aspects of spirituality is pretty well known.
What I think is sad about this though is that things used to be about more, about attempting to stretch and break the boundaries of mortality, it used to be about something grand, something wicked. And in contrast, those that walked a lighter path did so in pursuit of something heroic, something good, something grand.
That the two are so close, and so concerned with being practical and grounded (to a fault, to the point of loosing any semblance of worth or value), means equilibrium between two extremes. Extremes are needed to grow, contrast is needed. Just like the coupling of techniques and a certain outlook/approach to life, the practical and the fantastical both need to be there. And its fallen away.
So what does it take? It takes embracing wickedness, it takes going to extremes, it takes grandiose, unrealistic dreams and ambitions, it takes the practical know-how to be effective, and it takes the ruthless Will to achieve at least a few of them (them: dreams and ambitions).