Sunday, May 8, 2011

a living quality of investment

The Gurdjieff work is called “a work in life." Yet for all the talk about this, it seems as though most inner work often seems to be a work in books, a work in groups, or a work in meditation. We human beings, on the whole, spend a great deal of time trying to pack all of our life into practice, instead of trying to unpack all of our practice into our life.

There is no surprise in this. Why should we, a species who habitually gets everything ass-backwards, expect our approach to inner work to be any different?

Work--practice-- has to be firmly planted in every moment of life. The chief principle behind this work is not, in my experience, the theory of self remembering; it is the practice of being in relationship.

This practice is organic; it isn't born of thinking or the mind. We say to ourselves that thinking can get us there, but actually, it can't. In some way we actually have to step around our thinking in order to find relationship.

We need to discover the correspondence within us to the outer world. This relationship of the inner and the outer is essential: if the inner is not receptive, the outer will not be received. Receiving the outer–allowing impressions to fall into us without obstruction–is where the food for work arrives.

We may not “be” our organisms–that is to say, perhaps our spiritual nature emanates from a different source than the physical meat of the body–but we certainly inhabit them. That is to say, the organism is the vehicle for expression. To be fully invested within that expression is necessary. There has to be a living quality of investment.

What is that? A living quality of investment?

We contain within us the possibility for an expression of wholeness: a relationship that binds together our thought, feeling, and sensation into an un-separated–individual–consciousness.

Any attempt to define this in some specific way minimizes it relative to the importance of what it is and what the experience of it is. Even using these words–"a relationship that binds together thought, feeling, and sensation"–already reduces it to a much smaller thing that what it is.

This is a real dilemma. You and I–all of us–are forever trying to stuff the immensity of life into tiny little packages of words, aren't we?

I often run into this question in my relationships with others. They ask me some specific question about a matter regarding science or what have you–and in order to explain it, it is necessary to say literally thousands of things, because they are all connected, and to leave any one of them out would fail to take one of the aspects of the matter into account. Consequently, I talk too much. This is the danger of expounding.

It's distressing, because as I engage in it, if I see it, I also see I would rather talk a bit less.

May our prayers be heard.

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