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Nicoll Maurice Simple Explanation of Work Ideas

Nicoll Maurice Simple Explanation of Work Ideas

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great summary of the Gurdjieff way
great summary of the Gurdjieff way

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Symbol of Sleeping Man from the LIBER MUTUS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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