Friday, December 5, 2014
Works within Being, part II
Inner work is inner; it doesn't show itself outside and it doesn't belong to the outer world. Insofar as we can see a work, to that extent it is outer; and although the path to the inner always has to begin there, it progresses.
An inner work is born, not made; and it is only born out of pain and effort and a constant seeing of one's own inadequacy.
Without the birth of a work within Being, that is, a hidden work of inner and intentional suffering which a man or woman must take entirely on their own shoulders without any of the external trappings, one is left with the external works. As Meister Eckhart might say, they are good; and yet a work within Being is infinitely better, insofar as is transforms.
In a sense, I have to decide whether I am interested in transforming the inner or the outer. That's far from clear; even if an inner work is born it finds itself in conflict with the outer, because the outer is a very insistent animal that demands constant feeding.
We are attracted to the outer; every object and device has attractive and, to us, even magical qualities, because it seems (unlike our own sense of our Being) quite definite. This is the dilemma; it is the inner that needs to begin to seem quite definite, and the path to that is a long road, because even though our entire existence actually emanates from our Being, our sense of it is rather vague and undefined. You can hold a gold coin in your hand; you can't hold Being there. So the gold coin looks better than Being. Gold is better than God to many men and women.
In the same way, religions are things to us: we become attached to the icons, the images, the words and song. Every practice is in immanent danger, one might say, of becoming a thing; whereas inner work, work within Being, can never have any of those qualities, simply because it begins and ends within the inflow of an energy that is not attached to such things. It is a hidden entity; and it feeds life itself, rather than the results of life.
I need, every day, to decide to live within life or to live within the results.