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Maurice Nicoll - Simple Explanation of Work Ideas

Maurice Nicoll - Simple Explanation of Work Ideas

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Fourth way maurice nicoll work ideas
Fourth way maurice nicoll work ideas

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SIMPLE EXPLANATION

of
WORK IDEAS

Symbol of Sleeping Man from the LIBER MUTUS
XVIII

For example. What we have supposed ourselves to be is imaginary. So the Work begins with seeing what one is like. I . We will begin to behave differently. feelings. we shall always be suffering from their wish to keep away from us. not to blame other people. We cannot understand that we are two people unless we begin to understand what it means to observe ourselves. if we treat people without consideration for their feelings and do not know it. not to feel owed something. But we have an organ inside ourselves which can observe this thing called oneself. As long as we remain this 'oneself our life cannot alter. It will always attract the same misfortunes.ONE Everyone is two people . This is the beginning of becoming another person. we begin to realise we are not what we supposed ourselves to be. Our life depends on this thing called 'oneself. we first of all have to realise what kind of life we have now. But the senses are turned outwards from oneself and cannot see what one is. and so on. If we observe what we are thinking and feeling. All forms of suffering are due to this 'oneself. From then on. We see a world outside: that is what our senses give us.the person we suppose ourselves to be. We will begin to realise we are two people and always have been. what kind of person one is. we believe we are not properly treated. moods. Only Self-Observation shows us this. how we are acting. By means of it we can see our thoughts. what we are saying. If we wish to have a different life. a memory about ourselves. Other people realise what we are like: as we are. But not seeing what we are like we blame others. we do not . and what we really are.until we begin to observe ourselves. disappointments. Through not seeing what we are like. Unless we see that we are behaving like this we cannot change. after a time a new memory begins.

over a long period. but it never gets beyond a certain point. the resentment of what is said to us. But its first object is to make us more conscious of ourselves. When Observing'!' is established in us. We stop and begin to put ourselves in the right. the way we think. naturally. It is small and weak to begin with. Our psychic life. We cannot be changed unless we see the kind of person we a:-e. We must get to know these things thoroughly. Only by making ourselves more conscious to ourselves does it enable us to begin to change.can be changed.an observing part. We begin to realise that we have rested on an entirely false basis. the way we react to others. are only concerned not to be foolish or ridiculous. The practical side of this Work begins with SelfObservation. attached to ourselves and. always in the same way. for instance. the way we talk. and not with trying to change outer circumstances or other people: but it must be uncritical SelfObservation. but it is like a window to let in light. until we begin to let in a ray of light.or in mankind . and feel. talking or behaving under certain circumstances. how we think. We have naturally a small degree of Self-Observation. We have to observe. but it can be developed. and speak. For this to happen we have to divide ourselves in two . emotions. When we notice that words come out of our mouths willy-nilly we begin to 2 3 . But we have an internal sense. but what happens inside us afterwards. Help cannot reach us while we are self-satisfied. This Work says that help exists for those who begin to realise. is in darkness. and without an increase in consciousness nothing in ourselves . We practise Self-Observation in order to increase our consciousness. in every daily act. and do not notice what is going on inside us. We have to pass beyond this point. calmly. But this means noticing. objectively. without criticising. and what we really are. how we judge others. the criticisms we make. not only that we have done something wrong. and begin to show us what we are like . It is undeveloped. Unless we detach ourselves from these things. that everything else follows. In order to begin to observe oneself begin with something specific. cruelty. In ordinary life we see only what is outside us. When we begin to observe ourselves sincerely our whole fate begins to change. in everything said and felt. and an observed part. We begin to criticise ourselves.help that can really change us.When we see the contradictions between our imaginary 'ourselves'. When we observe what we are really like we make ourselves open to receive help . our inner life. of consciousness of what is going on there. to restore the ordinary feeling of ourselves. the way we are flattered. we remain mechanical. the opinions from which we argue. that they are not really what they suppose themselves to be. and have the strength to bear what we observe. This is difficult because we are identified. it is from this'!.and thereby we can be changed. we begin to change. moods. TWO The object of Self-Observation is to enable us to change ourselves. because we are being parted from the illusion of ourselves. our vanity. There can be no change in us if we are stopped by selfcriticism.

We miss the point if we think it is about external affairs. Through our attitude to others all kinds of frictions arise. and nothing can be changed unless we let light into this darkness. But we are reacting automatically to life at every moment. and change. begins the change in us by its own action: for this light is consciousness. we begin to get a new view of ourselves. and he reacts to life mechanically. and its aim is to change oneself. and that what others said of us is true. uncritical Self-Observation will prevent many things from taking place in us. and we do not see that we are responsible for the situation. We believe we have a permanent. The first step in changing oneself is to realise gradually that what one takes as oneself is a machine. But we can become aware that we criticise. First we must observe ourselves uncritically. We have to study ourselves as if we were another person independent of ourselves.see that we have no consciousness. and this is the starting-point of this system called the Work. We imagine we know ourselves. which we cannot check. But we cannot change unless we observe ourselves. do. We are deluded by thinking that what is outside us should be changed. Everyone is a point of possible change. Then. This Wark begins with oneself. and SelfObservation. the Work says. This would mean that we 5 4 . and that there is something not ourselves in us. whether of oneself or of the world lies here. We do not see into ourselves. Self-Observation is to make us more conscious of ourselves. The illusion that we are conscious. and that we are one. unchanging 'I'. When we begin to realise that things speak out of us and actions take place from us without our consciousness. prevent us from changing. we make room for others. Man is mechanical. Self-Observation shows us this bit by bit. by letting in light. It is being asleep to ourselves that makes us go on behaving as we I r: ~ had observed ourselves sufficiently to become more conscious of ourselves and it is this that alters a situation. But we think we know and that we remember. If we change. until Self-Observation shows us that we are not what we imagine but are machines. and show us what is not us at all. We are living in a state of internal darkness. provided that it is uncritical.

unless we wake up. merely intensify the sleep of humanity. but to change one's being. The Lord's Prayer is designed to make a man remember himself. and if he were to open his eyes to this he would see that there is a rope above his head which he can climb up : but in order to reach this rope he has to jump. and we ourselves are asleep. to show us where we are wrong.when he lifts himself up to the third state of consciousness. occupied with our daily affairs. When we are on the level where we imagine we can be helped as we are. There are Four states of consciousness actual and possible to man: Diagram 4 3 2 I State of Objective Consciousness State of Self-Awareness of Self-Consciousness or SelfRemembering (First truly waking state) So-called Waking State Sleep with dreams Unless we can attain the third state of consciousness we cannot receive help. One can no longer retain the same opinions or judge others in the same way. Prayer was originally to ask for help to lift one to a higher level of consciousness. All our theories of improving the world. The fourth state is consciousness of the truth of things as they are. There is a Work parable that illustrates the situation of man at present. First this requires the acknowledgment that we are asleep. but it only touches a man and makes its presence known when he lifts himself up to it. If we could awaken. and through Self-Remembering raise the level of consciousness in ourselves to a higher state. Then help can reach us.THREE Change means to change what one is now. and is walking towards the edge of a precipice that it does not see. It always will. But an individual man can wake up to the realisation that he is on the edge of a precipice. Man asleep cannot obtain help. We live . vanity. From this Work. In the second state of consciousness we walk about the world. and then the giving up -of the illusions and pictures of oneself. first. so that help can enter him. THE WORK IDEA OF HELP We can get help if we work on ourselves. The nature of help is. thinking we are awake. In the first state of consciousness we are acutally asleep in bed.all these and many other things prevent help from reaching us. 6 7 . by means of Self-Observation. The first increase of consciousness we can develop is through real self-knowledge. and everything does merely happen. no help can reach us.the Work says . If we really feel our situation. we will try to lift ourselves to a new level of consciousness. Help can only reach us when we realise we are asleep. self-satisfaction. When on realises one is asleep one realises one must have help. Complacency. It is not to add to what one is. ignorance . This Work teaches that there is help. Mankind is fast asleep. and is actually our right. For anything better to exist we must change ourselves. Anything can happen in this world. while we are still asleep. that is. a new world would become possible.in a world of sleeping humanity. We imagine we are fully conscious. for an entire change of his being. man is regarded as not conscious. But the third state of consciousness is the first truly waking state.

and sensation. what our movements are. The mind of moving centre works differently from the mind of intellectual centre . but many. We can work out a problem. But we cannot make ourselves have a particular emotion. We must understand that if we are exhausted in one centre it is possible to use the force in another. we have to observe what we are saying. that we are not one. in contrast to the intellectual activity of the mind when thinking and conversmg. concentrate on something. But we can then use another centre. four people with different minds. The first stage in self-change then is to realise that one is not one person. If this force is used up it cannot do its work properly. we must first observe these four men in ourselves. Each has its different interests which are not antagonistic but complementary to each other. We have to observe ourselves aright. Mechanically we act from the centre which is stored with force and is attracted by something. hot. Intellectual centre controls our thinking. thirsty. etc. showing we are not a unity. and each is necessary for human life. We must realise we are four different people. and instinctive centre looks after all the inner workings of the body. or do some muscular task. First. what we are thinking. This shows how intellectual centre cannot by itself control other centres. It looks after all the inner work of the organisation of the body of which intellectmil centre knows nothing.thinking. what sensations we are having. We are a thinking man. To a certain extent we can resist an emotion or sensation. but we cannot direct what kind of emotion or sensation we have. Two centres must be in agreement to control a third. We cannot go on using one centre for as long as we fancy. Each centre has a certain amount of force available to it at a particular time to work it. Everything we do takes force . drinking. Our lives are distributed over the centres. well or ill. or Self-A wareness. Take for instance getting up early. This is the first truly waking state. a moving man. and the difficulties involved. moving about. Now the intellectual and moving centres can be made to act by direct effort. such as the digestion of food. breathing. the circulation of the blood. from a definite starting-point. the moving activity of the hands when playing the piano. Balanced Man means a man in whom all centres work normally and have their right periods of activity. or make ourselves hungry. The force is exhausted. eating. cold. feeling. an instinctive man who feels hungry.called the state of Self-Consciousness. or Self-Remembering. moving centre controls all the movements of the body. We often think one thing and feel another because the different centres do not work in harmony. If a man observes himself only in relation to intellectual centre and emotional centre he will see that he is two people and not one. If we wish to know ourselves in the right way to be more conscious of ourselves. hot or cold. an emotional man.for instance. To become conscious we have to begin to observe ourselves. in a definite direction. All these are separately controlled by what the Work calls centres. 8 9 . The working of the body is controlled by instinctive centre.FOUR Help exists but can only reach the third level of consciousness . what we are feeling. and emotional centre controls what emotions we feel.

His life swings between hope and despair. Number I Instinctive . 11 The Majority of mankind is either Number 1 Instinctive or Number 1 Moving Man.whose primary concern is with action and muscular work. 3 2 1. is also a soldier. Such a man hardly thinks at all. and consequently the people belonging to the mechanical circle of humanity do not understand one another. and perhaps non-military subjects. An educated man. Number 1 Man has to be further classified according to whether he is: Number I Moving . like and dislike. But he studies the history wars. Humanity is divided into three types of man .2 or 3. People who have begun to reach the level of Number 4 Man begin. the other centres to a certain extent work in him. They are alike in that they both have the same centres.a Number 1 Man and a Number 3 Man. gets through exams quite easily. so that one centre does not usurp the function of another. at the same time. but they are unlike in that one has developed in Moving Centre and the other in Intellectual Centre. Which of these men we are can only be found out by Self-Observation. Number 4 Man has all the centres more or less equally developed. is not merely 1.FIVE All men have Intellectual Centre. to understand one another. If they try to meet they each wish to talk of things which arise from their predominating centres. Mechanical Humanity is lopsided because life is viewed through one centre only. Each of these three men is characterised by having one centre mainly at work. He of He not So six formulations of man can be made: 1 2 3. but in different men these centres are very differently developed. At one moment he is enthusiastic and exalted. and strategy. Number 3 is intellectual man. He is pre-occupied with himself. 2 1 3.and to approach situations with the wrong centre is useless. Number 2 Man. First example: take a man who likes activity and a man who likes to think . with a theory about everything. but a harsh disciplinarian.a soldier. The aim and object of this Work is to reach Balanced Man. is for First example: take a Number 1 (moving) 2 3 Man .2 3 1. He is concerned with his likes and dislikes. and Number 3 Man. and not good at exams. Number 4 Man. Governed by his body. His emotions make him moody or sensitive or jealous. he is a theorist. fond of sport. Number 2 is emotional man who feels everything. But proper approach to life necessitates the proper working of all centres . the next he is depressed and moody. His own thoughts and other people's recorded thoughts interest him more than anything else. love and hate.Number 1 Man. Second example: take a Number 1 (instinctive) 3 2 Man. Emotional Centre. 10 . Each centre requires its own development. and the Instinctive and Moving Centres. 1 3 2. enthusiasm and dejection. will be lazy and disinclined to make effort. but he feels little~ is upset or moody. become sulky and moody. however. and each centre does its own work as may be appropriate to the situation. 3 1 2. and who will be lazy and inactive. His centre of gravity lies in Intellectual Cente. Number 4 Man is not mechanical.whose primary concern physical comfort. To reach Number 4 Man it is necessary to work on oneself consciously. A 1 2 3 (instinctive) Man is concerned chiefly with eating. he will be easily depressed.

Man is not conscious. Weare changing all the time. and a real. to each of which we say 'I'. but with Essence. SIX We have seen that man is not one. Man is compared in a Work allegory to 'A House in Disorder'. they speak and pretend that they are the Master. Man has not one will but many contradictory wills. Some of these servants feel that there is a better state possible. At this point it acquires affectations. permanent 'I' that never changes. once one understands the direction in which evolution lies. from environment. Therefore no new experience is useless. We notice that different 'I's speak at different times of the day. Eventually the child takes as himself all that has been acquired. taking charge of us. and band together with the intention of putting order in the house. we begin to realise it is not the same person always speaking. This is illusion. He has not a permanent 'I' but a multitude of II'S. At every moment these II's change: now one. They see clearly what is going on. or at least know nothing of what the first 'I' said. and make all sorts of promises and orders under this pretence. Each 'II in a man has been acquired from some experience in life. and one may contradict another. now another speaks. each centre in him being a different mind. Some 'I's are waking up. but lives almost all his life asleep. Man is not born with Personality. Over a long period Self-Observation will show us this multitude. from fantasy. When the telephone rings. but four. Personality begins to form itself very early in life. The first step to understanding one another is to learn a common language. Observing oneself from the standpoint of many 'I's. etc. though we call it 'I'.To begin to approach Number 4 Man a person must be willing to develop those sides of himself which are lacking in development. etc. from something real. will. In life people do not understand one another because they have no common language. He is in fact multiple. mannerisms. We ascribe to ourselves many things which we do not possess such as full consciouness. in the hope that this will attract the return of the Master. The Master is away. and the servants are doing what they like. from profession. One 'I' makes a promise that other 'I's know 13 12 . from imitation. as soon as the child begins to imitate. some 'I's are going to sleep.

Try to observe yourself from the standpoint of different 'lIs existing in you. and if we want to develop we have to prevent them from taking charge. and that those ought to be different. These are especially the II's that twist things. To change life means to change ourselves. We must try to discover by Self-Observation what it is that keeps us in the same place in ourselves. We therefore come to a new standpoint: that of realising our lives are spoiled by suffering. This refers to suffering.they struggle to keep it. If we wish to develop we have to be able to observe ourselves. and that is one reason why Personality is formed. Try to notice the intonation with which different 'I's speak. It is usual to see all our difficulties as being due to causes outside ourselves. is useless sl. and notice how they often contradict one another. but by negative emotions .that is by certain states of the emotional centre. But if we begin to realise that it is ourselves. we have the illusion that change for the improvement of our life depends on outer circumstances. But mostly. that attracts our life. and the sense of grievance and 15 14 . but quite real.yes but think of our lives as spoiled. All this produces suffering. because this is all we do see. we cannot change.lffering. called negative emotions. Unless we give up suffering. Notice the II's you are in when you are alone: notice how they change when anyone comes into the room. that are revengeful or bitter. The first thing we have to do to change ourselves is to give up our suffering. Some 'lIs are very dangerous. The Work says that the world is governed not by sex or power. our level of being. A baby is born as Essence. It is of course small. and imagine that what happens to us is exceptional. being born amongst sleeping people. This happens because we approach life through our own ideas of what it ought to be. and understand the necessity of working on ourselves because our probkm lies in ourselves. and don't wish to know. It begins to imitate. the first illusion. and wishing to be rid of all useless self-pity. that are full of selfpity or malice. The first sign of wrong attitude to life. but will get worse. we know that everything depends on our efforts to change ourselves. it soon falls asleep. This is what makes us unhappy. But people won't . because we have not understood the nature of life. But. that lie about everything.i nothing about. If we can come to the point of realising that our problems lie in ourselves. not merely the same. We struggle with difficulties . SEVEN Unless we see what factor in ourselves stands in our way we cannot grow. and is awake in so far as it really is Essence. And unless we come to this point of consciousness everything will remain. we can begin to change. cannot undergo an inner development.

In the words of the Lord's Prayer. 17 . as in order to think there must be a comparison . Life ideas encourage useless suffering. If. moody. By contact with adults a child learns to pity 'itself. because they are involved in our whole attitude to life! Every situation needs a new standpoint by which to think of it. As we eliminate from ourselves the idea that we are owed something by others.that are fully developed and working.. elegance. our lower centres would be rendered a thousand times worse. The feeling of being owed is useless suffering. We can live in a better world. and Higher Emotional . to speak crossly. But if we made contact with Higher Centres in our ordinary state. and this is work on oneself. to feel grievances. This dreadful infection of a child is something against which nothing can be done because it is not clearly recognized. The Centres Intellectual Centre is born with a negative part and a postiive part. jealous. and other people owe us nothing. and people then want to hurt and murder one another. This effort needs Work ideas. To change oneself one must be free from petty attachments and forms of imagination about oneself that hold us in the position we are in in life. We have to feel that life owes us nothing. we shall see that our whole attitude to life needs changing. to dwell on its misfortunes. etc.it should not be there. but we are not in contact with them. to hurt others. beauty. in this world. This infection forms the negative part in Emotional Centre.to the idea of not being ambitious. it is due to the fact that we cannot hear Higher Centres. not 'forgive'. Or it may be that we are attached to the other side of the same coin . to be melancholy. 16 ••••• Negative emotions may take very subtle forms but eventually they all lead down to violence. we should ask for our debts to be cancelled. a sense of futility and of being lost in a world we do not understand. We are attached to everything in ourselves: vanity. It is impossible to overcome negative emotions alone. suspicious. On the contrary we have to feel that we owe to others and owe to life more than we can repay. When we struggle with this we are suffering usefully. There is a particular reason why negative emotions are even worse than this.an ability to say 'yes' and 'no'. Once negative emotion passes beyond a certain point it rouses deep-seated factors in the Instinctive Centre. When we feel a lack in ourselves. our whole idea of ourselves has to be changed. These must be weakened for a change to take place. happiness and new interests. The Emotional Centre is not born with a negative part . more intense. an emptiness. And this infection is handed on from generation to generation. The Work is designed to put us in touch with Higher Centres.despondency . but while we are governed by negative emotions. irritable. of not bothering about life. the influences coming from Higher Centres cannot reach us. self-evaluation. after having observed our negative emotions. 'as we cancel the debts owed to us'. so do we become free. and in the end deprive us of pleasure. etc. we struggle with our emotional life. if negative emotions are reduced to a minimum. We have two Higher Centres in us Higher Intellectual. accomplishments. stupidity. and particularly to suffering. but it is acquired by the influence of people who are negative. properly translated. merit.

When we begin to understand what we did not understand before. For instance . The Work teaches that our knowledge and being should have equal development. A man is his understanding. and the being of a grasshopper from that of a pig. Different kinds of animals have different being. But a criminal cannot be taught because his level of being will always use his knowledge in a criminal way. not merely his knowledge. and a pig has different being from the being of a tiger.EIGHT From the standpoint of this Teaching. but who does all kinds of mean and petty acts. These two sides form him . but is not malicious. the result is that we understand our knowledge. nothing will change. cheats. We can see that knowledge and being are relative in different people. First example: A man of superior knowledge in his field. First. to make heroes of criminals. It is said that our level of being attracts our life. The Work also speaks of man in terms of knowledge and being. That means that as long as our being stays the same the same kind of things will happen to us. there is the chance of change precisely through the understanding. and that our relation to our knowledge is governed by our being.two people with harmful knowledge of a third person: it is their level of being which determines their behaviour. If we try to work on being without studying the knowledge. 18 This judgement will define us. Although this is obvious to us he does not realise it and is astonished that people do not like him. results in its misuse. Second example: A man has no particular knowledge. Understanding is defined as the resultant of knowledge and being. There will be no increase of understanding. an emotional man. is not mean and petty. Without understanding that this man has two sides . but relativity of being is more difficult to understand.we shall be baffled by him. We dislike his being. From this we can see that knowledge and being are different.he is not a unity. and an instinctivemovmg man. being by itself . and yet be stupid or ignorant. and despise the second because he is ignorant. and that if we wish our life to be different a change in our level of being is necessary. Knowledge by itself. Although in knowledge he is undeveloped. If the two are approximately equal. whatever he does. because we shall then have poor being. we shall admire the first man.he is both. because of his knowledge. If some stock of wood has not matured rightly he will say something to the effect that its 'nature' has gone out of it. If we only study the system intellectually. and we must try to realise what being is. A carpenter selects his wood according to its suitability for a job. no matter the place or the circumstances. 19 •• . The conception of being is emphasized in the Work. is full of envy. This is the tendency today. steals information without acknowledging it. Relativity of knowledge can be understood. but it is not easy to realise that they have different kinds of being. We can develop on the side of being to a point. In order to change. It is not difficult to realise that people have different kinds of knowledge. and he cannot develop save through his understanding. we must develop on the side of knowledge and on the side of being. He is talking about being. From the point of view of centres he is three: an intellectual man. We make use of our knowledge according to our level of being. keeps his word. man is not one . does not cheat. his level of being is higher than the first man's. We can know a lot and understand nothing. consider Being. The being of a snake is different from that of a grasshopper. we will come to a stop. To give knowledge to a person of being lower than his knowledge. If we value only knowledge. nor merely his being. and we can describe his level of being as such and such.knowledge and being . and why the concept is so stressed.neither alone gives understanding.

and in this state mankind can do nothing. He can only develop through understanding. When we see we are wrong and realise what we are like and how we behave. but man cannot develop in this way at all. perfecting himself. We begin to change when we begin to understand ourselves. the solar-system a small point in the Milky Way or Galaxy.NINE Man is regarded as unfinished. or other people. his position would be without hope .. Man is free to change himself through his own understanding. recurrently. If man were only a machine he would not suffer his inner painful doubts and uncertainties. but each person can change himself. rituals. man is a small thing in the universe. It is said that unless a man dies to what he is now. as distinct from the animals which cannot undergo an individual evolution. Cosmically speaking. a new experiment which might be wiped out in favour of another experiment. even if their aim is to develop man. mankind attracts the same kind of life. A definite transformation is being spoken about by which the experiment can be completed. No rules. Man is in a bad position under many laws which do not necessarily contribute to his well-being. what does it mean? It means that a man can only develop internally if he begins to understand the necessity of it. Rearrangement of outer things still leaves us under the same laws that use man. imperfect. Today mankind is being used more and more by 21 20 •••• . This system begins with a man. The idea that man is a selfdeveloping organism means that he cannot develop under compulsion. The earth is a small point in the solar-system. The next idea is that man is in a bad situation on this earth. that a man can evolve. No external compulsion can bring this about. and begin to see ourselves. with you . and see the need. and the Galaxy is only one of many Galaxies. simply because he would then be a machine: but everyone knows in a dim way that this is not the case . It would be his sole life. If man is a special experiment on this earth. The only starting-point of change is in us . and all that is necessary for this lies in him. No-one can change life. war etc. It is only through new knowledge and work on our being that new understanding can be born. can change him unless he begins to understand. he is incomplete and undeveloped. In the New Testament man is compared to a seed.he would be subject to all that happens around him.in our spirit. As long as being remains the same. Weare asleep. but is capable of a further inner development. disease. Prayers. For this reason it is said that man is a self-developing organism. He is an experiment in self-evolution. It is only through internal freedom. he cannot evolve into what is possible for him. floods. Man becomes of consequence only when he realises his meaning and destiny and begins to live more consciously.and that they should be different. are useless because they are taken externally. But if man is created a selfdeveloping organism life cannot fulfil him and is not supposed to fulfil him: his full meaning is not in life. then from this basis self-evolution becomes possible. The third idea about man is that as long as he remains asleep and mechanical he is used. If man were incapable of doing anything about himself. pilgrimages etc. To see God in the flesh would mean man being compelled to believe by the evidence of the senses.and its object is to change you yourself. incomplete. This is the only sense in which he is free and this freedom no-one can take from him. As he is mechanically. All mankind is asleep from the point of view of this system. He has the possibility of completing himself. But life uses us owing to our position on this planet. The Work therefore begins by teaching that we must try to enter into ourselves. with oneself. and seeks for the means himself. ceremonies or regulations. which is one's understanding.

Impressions are deposited on rolls in the different centres. remains undeveloped. opinions. and form rolls. What Essence is. and it lives in its own world.are stored in these rolls. which fall on the different centres. This system turns round the central point that man is a self-developing organism. At birth a person is Essence. Only at the Third Level of Consciousness. Life is at a great distance from it.cosmic forces outside him because he has discarded the power to awaken.beliefs. and a small part of Moving Centre.and this will be at the expense of Essence. If we do something solely to be first. If in life we wish to be the foremost authority on some subject. customs. we increase Personality. All our habits . In the first two states of consciousness we are mechanical and cannot change. The baby has to grow. What we are taught forms Personality. and each centre has to develop its mind and intelligence. and study to do so. and those with dissimilar ones may feel at a loss with one another. TEN ('The more our outward man dies away.by which means he can come under new influences and reach help.mental. A baby lives in Instinctive Centre: little by little it begins to develop in Moving Centre . what we really are. may feel drawn to one another : in such cases it is some similarity in Essence. and changing his level of being . It understands scarcely anything. Everything we have learnt is stored in these Centres. life comes nearer. Essence is the part that can grow. What we are born with is surroun<. At birth the centres are blank. We have to understand that Essence is very soon surrounded by Personality. the more living is the inward' : St Paul). But people who have different rolls. emotional and physical . who differ in Personality. but it is undeveloped.iedby what we acquire . or Self-Remembering. etc. Essence and Personality. But a man only grows through a new growth of Essence. can man alter his situation on this earth. capable of evolving through his understanding.to walk. save the Instinctive Centre. People with similar rolls may feel connected. all our efforts lead solely to a growth of Personality . By means of these rolls Personality is built. Personality begins to be formed. When it begins to speak and understand something of what people are saying. 23 22 ••• . Man consists of two parts. Life comes in as impressions.

our feeling of'!'. So if we desire to change.a confusion of things. The real development is the development of what is really him. We can only grow by making Personality passive. But it is only a step towards development. five or six. Strictly speaking Essence is what we are. Through education and external circumstances in general. we cannot do so without this food of Personality. Essence can grow by itself up to four. what he was born with. In order to grow beyond a certain point. The Work says that Essence is capable of only a very small development by itself. 24 25 . This food is the Personaltiy. With us. and particularly on the quality of the food that is stored in Personality. say. and of certain results of its formation in us. When it has developed as a plant. This means that we believe in all we have imitated . The part of man that can grow.against what we take to be ourselves. we have to begin to go against ourselves in a certain way . is Essence. despite this. gradually shifts from what we really are to what we acquire from life. man is regarded as a seed capable of individual development. and take as ourselves. that Personality must be formed. It can be to the extent that all that is real in us practically dies. their Essence has not developed beyond a certain point. We can only grow at the expense of Personality. What is the inner situation of man. Nevertheless. since it depends on Personality for its fulfilment. But during our upbringing. the growth of Essence.a development that is impossible unless Personality has been formed first of all. But though it is true that simple people are more essential. people sometimes try to avoid life. Personality becomes active and Essence passive. Personality is what is not us. Development begins when all this food is made disposable to Essence for its further growth. Personality must form itself in a man to relate him to life. Personality takes charge of us.this side we have acquired. what is useful. This enables the Essence little by little to become active and grow. the point is to form food in us that later can feed Essence. It then stops. It is taught what to believe in. All the psychological teaching of this system is connected with the central idea of a development of Essence at the expense of Personality . and the richer the Personality. and so on . our sense of ourselves. Through a vague feeling of this.In Esoteric teaching. it must have food. the development of Essence can only take place at the expense of Personality. and through imagination. A child then leaves its Essence and becomes more and more immersed in the slowly forming Personality. as a seed. Essence cannot grow further than a certain point. Unless Personality forms itself round Essence by the action of life. But this Work says. the better. Their understanding remains that of a child. In other words. because if we wish at a later stage of life to grow individually. An acorn feeds first on the substance that surrounds the germ of life contained in it. as regards his possible individual development? Man is created a selfdeveloping organism. it draws nourishment from the sun and the earth.

For the essential feeling of oneself is substituted a misleading feeling of'!'. We are many people each with a desire . and to believe in it. Essence cannot develop because it is surrounded by Personality. Only a man with real individuality has a Real Will and can do. but of allowing it to develop. instead of being ourselves. This is why we cannot Ido'. As False Personality is composed of imagination we must try to observe some of its forms.by boasting. Unless we realise we are not like this we cannot change.if Personality does not ruin the situation. by asking for praise and encouragement. But we have to see that we imagined ourselves first in some grand walk of life. Try to observe lying for instance telling a story in such a way as to put oneself in 26 a favourable position.we believe ourselves to be what imagination tells us. Everything the child imitates and invents concerning itself forms many different 'I's. Imagination is one of the most powerful forces acting on our inner life. justifying and pretending. a false feeling of'!'. for at all costs we feel bound to keep it alive and defend it both from others and ourselves. But Imaginery 'I' or False Personality acts in such a way as to make us believe that we are one and the same person at all times. reading a book and imagining oneself the hero . It is this invented side. and are actually ordinary. It begins to be something not itself. we feel depressed and hurt. or hate people. Take an example of. The development of Essence after Personality has been formed depends on rendering False Personality and Imaginary'!' passive. A particular side of Personaltiy is False Personality. in the inner world of reality in which we live. for it is pretence of the imagination. selfadmiration. It is not a matter of making Essence develop as it were by force. When imagination has been consented to. We are sure that we have a single. from the necessity of having to meet outer life. The feeling of'!' passes outwards into the growing Personality. forced to imitate other people. to make oneself appear more clever or more in the right than one is. unchanging and permanent'!'. and owing to this formation of Personality there is nothing real in the sense of this feeling of 'I'. A child. this Imaginary'!' or False Personality that prevents Essence from growing later on in life. we cease to be ourselves and gradually become an invented person. As we grow up and Personality is formed. That means that we have to discover by Self-Observation what is real and what is false in us. When we begin to observe ourselves with the aim of seeing different personalities. False Personality is our self-liking. is then. the power of Imaginary'!' begins to be weakened. The centre-of-gravity of the feeling of ourselves passes into the artificial feeling of'!' which is composed of imagination. We see we are different from what 27 . Consequently we are always lying . For in Personaltiy there is both much that is useful and much that is useless. The False Personality in people injures relationships: they cannot be real. We don't like admitting we are wrong. So when grown-up we are a conglomeration of 'I's which may act in different ways at different times. For we also believe that we have Real Will and can 'do'. If we fail in this. from being real in its early years. And we seek the satisfaction of being taken seriously by other people.ELEVEN The question of the development of Essence does not lie in trying to find what in Essence itself should develop.not one person with one will. self-love. and the source of self-pity and negative emotions. But we are a 'house in disorder'. We are the slave of our Imaginary II'. It is said that False Personality is constructed out of imagination. a false feeling of oneself is created. If the Essence of one person is attracted by another's Essence something real is possible . in early years. This is the basis of False Personality.

thoughts. As long as False Personality is in power Essence will be incapable of growth. emotions. The Second Line of Work is in connection with one's neighbours . so does Essence develop and become active.we imagined ourselves to be. and on what we have observed in ourselves in relation to the Teaching. or to others in the Work. Noone can work only for himself. and realise that if we behave badly or talk badly we harm the Work itself and other people in it . The First Line of Work is to change the kind of person one is. For instance. The·first useful effort we can make is the effort of SelfObservation . movements. sensations. by seeing. If one has observed one is irritable. Try to observe for a short. for we have not the force to observe longer. for instance. As an example of useless effort. All efforts made must be useful in three respects . and we pass a little nearer to the state in which Real'!. one is in a position to work on oneself usefully. Our inner situation begins to alter. When we really see the different 'I's speaking. gives up smoking. given period. a man must work on himself. 29 28 . But there are both useful and useless efforts.and ourselves. Unless we have observed ourselves and seen what we have to work on. Effort must be intelligent. nothing useful can result from any efforts we may make. The Third Line of Work concerns the Work itself.learning to observe ourselves uncritically. can come nearer. we must think of what might harm it and what might help it. TWEL VE PERSONAL EFFORTS A MAN MUST MAKE In order to change himself. It is necessary to find the right state internally. and as Personality becomes passive. The result is that he becomes even more irritable. who are nearest in understanding. because it must be done consciously. The Teaching lays down these three lines of Work. that we think one thing and feel something quite different. and it must be based on the direction the Work teaches.to the Work itself. so that without seeing the reason we can no longer work on ourselves. or to oneself. an illusion about ourselves begins to tbe destroyed. where we really want to observe and realise that we can. This requires great and continual effort. hearing of this system and not understanding it.those with whom one is working. But once we begin to realise our situation Essence is no longer held in check. take the instance of an irritable man who.

and cannot remember ourselves.the first step in making a new system in us. a feeling.every thought. the state --of Self-Remembering. by forgetting that one's small aim is not everything. He is no longer so identified with himself. to identify with working on oneself. Aim must not be done publicly. Instinctive Man becomes the steak he eats. To learn how not to identify we must first not be identified with ourselves. we begin to see what not identifying with ourselves means. We thus live in a state of inner disorder. a person. It is particularly difficult to free ourselves from identifying because we feel our best work is done by being identified. sensation. He has drawn out of it some of the feeling of 'I'. too. and for this reason nothing can change in us. We become whatever we identify with money. that causes identifying and gives no result.Ordinarily we are identified with everything that takes place within us . We are mastered by it. he is to a certain extent separated from it. This has been brought about by the establishment of Observing-I . We are so accustomed to identification that we only feel the taste of being identified. That is why we are said to be asleep. which is the first practical aim of the Teaching. but can draw the feeling of'!' out of it. and the greater the power of his SelfObservation. By being identified we see only one side of a question. woes. If we are instinctive man. mood. He is separated because he can observe it as something which is not himself.then his situation has changed. When we realise we need not go with a mood etc. We put the feeling of'!' into it. we are identified with everything. Self-mastery begins with struggling with identifying. hatred. a situation. the less power will the irritation have over him. we put ourselves under its power. The greatest hindrance to self-evolution is that we are constantly identified with what attracts our attention at a given moment. for instance. It is possible. For this reason we must learn and practise SelfObservation. because instead of being identified and being his irritation. And for this reason we forget ourselves. This means that we take it as ourselves. To remember ourselves we must not identify. etc. But our natural right is the third state of consciousness. we identify with the food we are especially fond of. identifying with our surroundings. He can see it as an object. Let us return to the irritable man. 30 31 . emotion.. When we identify with a problem.. Unless we can begin to SelfRemember. Suppose he fully observes his irritation .

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