Tuesday, February 19, 2013
These are very serious outward issues, and one should in no way take away from the outward effort that is required to address them. At the same time, with all of these outward issues — which also include environmental destruction, gun control, war, and so on — I see how easy it is to become identified with them. That is, they become the impulse. We are warned over and over again by every spiritual master of this danger, yet we don't really seem to believe in it. There is a part of me that compels me to see these outward battles as ascendant over the inner effort.
Swedenborg brought this up many times, and Ibn Arabi continually warns us— as Christ did — not to put our treasures up in this world.
There are times when I think that to be involved with the world or to believe in the world has something to do with materialism, and a wish for worldly goods. Certainly, Ibn Arabi presents the question in this context many times in the Divine Governance of the Human Kingdom. Yet the wish for worldly goods may also be attached to an urge for political or social action.
This is a real question. Do I understand non-attachment, non-identification, in regard to these questions? I'm not sure at all that I do; but I do see how powerful the emotional impulse is to don my armor and ride off, lance firmly tilted towards the outward problem.
There is a lack of vision and restraint within me when this happens. I'm perpetually in reaction; and this has a specific sensation and inner attitude that can be seen. It stands in opposition to the inner energy that grounds me. The tension between the two is necessary; and I need to see both. How am I? That's always the question.
In response to these issues, I am moved to quote something I received from one of my principle mentors, a woman of truly extraordinary experience and sensitivity, after writing my essay on the Sandy Hook massacre.
"Darling," she said, " I understand your impulse, but somehow this essay doesn't help.
What does help is a reminder I got today of the task Mme. de S. gave us for the rest of our life:
Mr. Gurdjieff has given your life a meaning. Here is your task. Now, in your everyday life, in what you do for a living, try to manifest what you have received from the work so that it can be felt by others. It doesn't matter what you do in your life, whether you are a teacher or a taxi driver or a doctor or anything, but do what you do with such quality that your inner work will be sensed by the people you deal with. Do not talk about it to them, but only be it. Do you understand?"
Ask yourself, she continued, is this essay a manifestation of inner work or reaction that will only provoke counter reactions, etc., etc. ... forever? Same old story. "Righteous indignation."
The advice brings forth a point that I will be writing about in the number of future essays, and it is what the point of the work is about.
This is the exact point of the work, Mme. understood it quite precisely. The whole aim of inner work is to serve as a conduit so that this force, this energy, can be manifested. Man's responsibility, the responsibility of his lower self, is to come into contact with a higher power and assist it in its efforts to manifest on this level. That has to be done in a certain way, and it cannot involve the horizontal action that we discuss when we discuss the papacy, gun control, and so on. Or, rather, one might say that horizontal action must be involved... but it must be involved as a servant.
I'll explore this at greater length in some future essays, but they are scattered throughout the warp and weft, and some will not be published for some time. (Readers who have a specific interest in this question will just have to be patient and allow things to unfold.)
The question, however, is absolutely essential and needs to be examined very carefully by everyone in regard to the way that we work in life.
May your soul be filled with light.