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KARMA-YOGA

Karma-Toga is the science of action with non-identifying. This phrase must be remembered by everyone. It must not be changed into "the science of action without identifying". The essence of the idea of Karma-Yoga is to meet with unpleasant things equally with pleasant things. That is, in practising Karma-Yoga, one does not seek always to avoid unpleasant things, as people ordinarily do. Life is to be met with non-identifying. When this is possible, life becomes one's teacher; in no other sense can life become a teacher, for life taken as itself is meaningless, but taken as an exercise it becomes a teacher. It is not life that is a teacher, but one's relation through non-identifying makes it become a teacher. Nothing can change being so much as this practice - namely, to take the unpleasant things in life as an exercise. And anything that acts on being at once increases our force. To take life with non-identifying does not mean empty acting; it means to act from a real basis, from aim and from understanding the ideas and meaning of the Work. It is impossible to understand life in terms of itself. Taken by itself it is a gigantic muddle. Something must be fitted over life, a system of ideas, such as the Work, to make it have any meaning. Karma-Yoga gave life a meaning. But by itself it was not enough. All the ideas of the Work are necessary to transform life into meaning for oneself: HOW CAN A PERSON FIND HIS OWN MEANING? Everyone is born into the world with one lesson to learn from the Work standpoint, one task to perform in regard to himself, and unless he begins to see it, his life is really meaningless. We have to remember something we have all forgotten. Life is very short; we lose ourselves too early in life. Do not drift. Take hold of yourself and ask: "What am I doing? Where am I going? " Think what you must do before it is too late; think what it is important for you to work on. Everyone has to distinguish in himself what has to be worked on, his reason for living this life. Man is born into this planet with an inner task and life is so arranged that he cannot find himself and his meaning through life alone, but only through seeing what this inner task is. The Work says that everyone is born into, and is in, exactly the best circumstances in regard to this task, and that if a man meets this Work his conditions are just what is best for the purpose of work. But of course everyone thinks that if only he were in different circumstances everything would be easy. This is not the case. Birth is from fate, not accident, and all fate has to do with oneself and one's possible evolution. One has to work against the circumstances one finds oneself in. To be born poor entails difficulties and to be born rich entails difficulties. As life is, it always goes differently from what we expect, and everything goes, as it were, criss-cross. If life itself were the object, this would not be the case. But when we think of our lives from the standpoint that we and all other people have a chief thing to understand and transform, the whole meaning of existence changes. Life is very brief-a moment or so of confusion and muddle -but even so it is possible by the action of the Work to catch a glimpse of what it is one has to work upon and what one's existence here really means. This Work, if rightly felt and applied, gradually brings into view what a person has to do, what lesson he must learn, what chief thing in him he has to understand and transform. This is called Chief Feature. But a man cannot come into

then you can have an aim which will inevitably lead you to Chief Feature. then it is right to go north and wrong to go south. you cannot find yourself. The third factor is aim. But people like to be told that it is always right to do this or that-e. Perhaps you will see it in a flash for a moment. or rather. Ask yourselves: "What is it in this person that would make him different if it were changed?" Sometimes it is possible to see this irt someone else. It is the axle on which your personality turns. if done sincerely. especially people who are vain enough to think they are right. etc. You will find that it is something that you have always known about and suspected. RIGHT AND WRONG It is difficult for people. Sometimes you can see Chief Feature in other people. But it is useless striving to find one's Chief Feature directly. you may catch glimpses. Many inflexible ideas of this kind dominate people's minds and render their development sterile. but you have never quite recognized it as that very thing. As they are themselves. All his separate observations and aims in regard to his own work on himself. the meaning of one's existence. so. will gradually cC''llbine and show him what it is that he has to work against and will give him the reason why he is down here on earth. And you will see then that if you can change exactly that thing you will be able to change other things. if you can suddenly catch a glimpse of this. And if you can only see how you have been wrong in your own life. After the first glimpse you may not see it again for some time. but never think of starting sincerely from something they notice in themselves and working on it. SELF-REMEMBERING People keep on thinking of self-remembering. But if you can get a trace of real 'I' to bear upon Chief Feature. and it is the wrong axle. it has been that all the time. You must quite honestly begin always to work on one or another thing that you have observed and try to change it sincerely. But if your aim is to go to Brighton it is right to go south and wrong to go north. all thoughts. especially people who are crystallized in their sense of right and wrong. but they do not do it. And if you feel that the discovery of this is the real meaning of life for you.the inner perception of his Chief Feature until he is ready for it. they are merely opposites.g. how you have always reacted in the same way in certain circumstances. and really want to know about it. People are offended when told this. Right and wrong depend on a third factor. which cancel each other. The general formulation of right and wrong in the Work is that everything that awakens you is right. It is necessary to stop the chain of automatic associations every day. unless you build up something behind your personality. and you will think: "So it's that after all. This can be done by inner stop-that is. stopping everything." You have always known it but not guessed that that was the thing to be changed. you will see what makes your life wrong. People feel the Work sincerely often. This is the beginning of self- . Then you will see it again. but that right and wrong are relative. to understand that there is no absolute right and wrong. and without paying. But if you feel emotional about getting to know your Chief Feature. to go north-and always wrong to go south. This is finding one's meaning. But this formulation requires a great deal of understanding in order to understand it. then life can never become meaningless. They want everything together. If your aim is to go to Edinburgh.

cannot reach the Second State of Consciousness ." You must actually remember yourselves. there is more force available in the world than at other times for those who seek it. Help. it can only reach as far as the Third State of Consciousness. It cannot reach him in the flood of his personal thoughts and troubles and emotions. especially to-day. when the external hypnotism of life is so strong that people even think such thoughts as that the war will make everything better. not realizing that if he wishes to reach a higher level he must really jump. and never do. so they are bound and glued to the ceaseless and useless flow of mechanical thoughts. To remember oneself one must stop everything and lift oneself into total silence and total loss of all ordinary sense of oneself. Help can reach a man only as the result of this shock. keep on thinking of remembering themselves. personal accounts. . But it cannot be touched by associated thinking which only keeps a man on the same level as if he were saying again and again: "I must jump". But most people cannot spare even one minute to do it because they are slaves to their machines. when so many people are hypnotized by war. if they can only touch it. which comes from the direction of higher centres. negative emotions. But people. that people do not give themselves the 1st conscious shock. This takes a little time. as I say.remembering. It is a great pity. It is no use saying: "I must remember myself. etc. To-day.