Can a man change his character? Yes, provided he sees himself as he is and can feel in his paper flesh the sting of a cauterizing remorse.
The way home is hard, narrow and treacherous; there are switchbacks, loose rock and steep inclines. “Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you. You must travel it by yourself.”
If it is unexpected and unpredicted, it is real; it is true. When we are taken by surprise, when we are seized and ravished by the experience of being stood upside down, the mind stops. In that moment, what “sleeps in our paper flesh like dynamite” explodes, and we are conscious of not knowing anything.
Inner progress is not a linear movement. It is a slow circularity, like ascending a mountain by walking around it.
Slow is good.
According to the Sufis (Islam in its mystical aspect), we are at Wisdom’s summit when we know where we come from. If I say I am the issue of some brief friction between a man and a woman, and if I engross myself in the story of that, I stand at the rail of a tavern at the base of the mountain.