Β17. The mind quits his demands.
A few days later…
The inner process of the abandonment of the expectations yielded an additional very important benefit, as the mind discovered: he gave up his importunate demands which he had learned to place towards himself as well as towards his brothers. In other words, he is no longer importunately demanding; he ceased to behave like a spoilt child. His demanding attitude gave its place to forbearance.
Now it comes to deep forbearance, not mere patience. Even the notion of patience is now history, because, when the expectations have been abandoned, the mind no longer looks forward to anything, and so he does not need to be patient about anything. During the last days, every time that a new expectation popped up from the old registrations and surfaced, the mind would nicely explain to it that the new internal regulation instructs him to abandon it, and consequently he would place it gently outside his lebensraum, by putting it into the notional so-called “basket of futility”.
Having no more expectations filling his time and space with needless noise, the mind, in order to fill the void which was thereby caused, cultivated inside himself the feeling of forbearance, to wit the conviction that someday – perhaps not in this life – he will be enlightened by the bliss of total freedom and that until then he only needs to work uncomplainingly and in an atmosphere of spiritual peace on the project of the conscious abandonment of all his expectations, regardless how often they reappear, devoid of anxiety for the ultimate liberation.
In this stage the mind reminds me of the alpine herdsman, who for many years takes his cattle to graze all day long, without expecting any change to occur in his life, and satisfied with the quietness of the mountain. My expectations are like the absentminded sheep, which occasionally go faster than the rest of the cattle by mistake, thus obliging the herdsman make a signal to call them back to the cattle and stop them from acting arbitrarily. The cattle here is a symbol for the notional basket of futility, into which I put back every expectation which momentarily occupies my mind by moving forward and coming to the fore with the intention to lead the mind wherever it wants.
When even patience has become needless thanks to forbearance, let alone demanding, which stands at a significantly earlier stage on the path of spiritual evolution. The verb “to demand” derives from the prefix “de-” and the Latin verb “mandare”. In other words, demanding is a condition which derives from the fact of “mandare”, i.e. sending or submitting a request. That is to say, the one who demands is the one who requests, enquires and expects. Whoever makes a request, if he also happens to be a little bit spoilt, is likely to demand the fulfillment of his request here and now, if possible. Hence, the mind, by having given up his expectations, has also quit his demands automatically.
My mind has always been very demanding both from himself and from the others. His demanding ways, whenever it was on the rise, always charged the atmosphere with an unpleasant tension, and the joy vanished from inside me as well as from my brothers who were as unlucky as to be near me in such occasions. Most of the times, many hours of tribulation, argumentation and other harmful activities were necessary for my stubbornness to blow off stream and for the hotheaded mind to wonder once again how he fell anew into the naïve trap which had been set for him by his demanding attitude.
The annoying feeling of tension which is revived in the mind by these remembrances is widely divergent from the serenity he has been experiencing during the last few days thanks to the new internal regulation of the abandonment of the expectations and their placement into the notional basket of futility. He is very happy about this change, because his uncontrollable stubbornness had often pestered him a lot during his life, as well as his close persons.
 This is a beautiful and very helpful concept of my wise sister eldress Gabriella Papagianni (1897-1992), which my mind espoused when I read the book which has been written referring to her life, social work and teachings.