• March 31, 2017

    I would like to come back to the difficulty of remembering to work on self. I get into my day and that’s it. I fall into my habitual identifications and I sleep through the day.

    Yes. Work on self, voluntary attention and presence…none of it is needed to bounce through the day on automatic pilot.

    How can I make my work important to the rest of my life? Would that be a solution?

    I think this would be dangerous to your work efforts. Could I adopt a work identity? Sure. I could say that I have reached a certain level of capacity, say man number four. I could call myself a teacher or guide, a guru or murshid. I could go to a weekend seminar on shamanism. If these roles support my self-esteem, if I enjoy the status and enhanced self-importance, I will find it much easier to remember the ideas of the work and the postures and gestures of someone who is “in the work”.

    All I need to do is make the work valuable to me personally. But the trick is, then I am no longer doing the work. I am not engaging in impartial observation of self. I am not present. I am just another insufferable idiot who is pretending to know something. This is what Mr. G called wrong crystallization. It’s a short cut that proves to be a dead end. The work protects itself.

    We do not have ceremonies other than zikr. We do not have regulation prayers and rituals. Why? Of course it would be comforting. These activities would give us something to do that would allow us to think that we are doing the work. We would have more structure, more apparent continuity of effort. But the insincerity involved in making formalized efforts would eat away any real motive to do real work.

    What is the real motive to work? Wishing to wake up and see things as they are. Recognizing sleep in myself and feeling that it cannot be accepted. This is a path of constant failure. It is our nature on this planet to forget, to become lost in ourselves. But I do not wish to fool myself, pretending that I am what I am not. In this path I commit myself again and again to see the truth and to deal with that. This makes my life a constant battle with myself. Everything is workable but the work is never done. There is no end point, no final arrival. But there is also much beauty on the way.

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