It seems to me that there are two possible reasons that stand out as most likely candidates for the stocktaking exercise. The first one is to gaze admiringly on one's progress, and show off to the world what a fine 'spiritual' person one has become. Such a reason clearly shows up the fact that one has not acquired the desired 'spiritual' status at all, having fallen foul of the demon called hubris. (Tut! tut!) The second reason is the one which causes me some concern because I have no desire to continually reinvent the spiritual wheel. (Beg pardon for the split infinitive!) All too often one sees difficulty where none such exists, one of the problems inherent, for example, in studying a subject to an academic level well beyond that at which one will be examined.
It is to be hoped that over the coming weeks, or even months, by a careful examination of past work in my chosen field of study, I will be able to gain a clear view of where I am, which in turn may provide me with a map of where I go next. One thing is for certain, I have no desire to relive certain past stages of my journey just for the hell of it. Pain can lead to gain if the facing of that pain is appropriate, but masochism was never a well-developed trait in my personality. And I do not intend to indulge in that trait now.
When I look over what I have written these many weeks I begin to see that the stocktake has already begun. On a number of occasions I have referred to that single event in my inner life that has had such a profound effect on me. That event has been the Divine Nativity, or spiritual awakening, that has been my joy (and on occasion my fear) to experience in my inner life. Being influenced by the "Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius" naturally means that my psycho-spiritual experiences are going to have, in all probability, a decidedly Christian flavour. Now, no matter how ambivalent or even antipathetic I may feel about organised religion, I cannot allow that feeling to get in the way of gaining new insights by ignoring what possible truths I may acquire from Holy Writ. Everything is grist for the spiritual mill.
In both the physical and the spiritual lives birth, or the awakening into a new dimension of existence, is the first initiation through which we must pass. That event may only be seen in all its meaning after it has taken place. Only through experience can we truly understand. Indeed, it may only be seen after the event that initiation was a necessary requirement for further development. Without that initiation and by inference further initiatory experiences, we could do no more than, like the unharvested grape, wither on the vine.