Thursday, March 27, 2008

In The World

There are a thousand different ways of doing The Work. There is no one way that is the best for everyone. Different approaches will work best for different people in different situations. Anyone who tells you differently is a fool and probably a dangerous fool.
There are many traditions that require complete renunciation from the world and all things of it. In these traditions, you would retire from ordinary life into a monastery or the equivalent and dedicate your life to the Work away from the daily struggles of the human world. You would then dress a certain way that signifies your new status in society (a "monk" or similar), you would live according to certain predetermined rules, you would follow a predetermined daily schedule and you would have no access to outside influences (or, at least, very little). The advantage of this approach is that it sends a very clear message to the machine. "Now you are working on something different. Now you are not like the others." And others will see that difference in your machine as well and they will treat you differently.
We don’t work this way. We do Otherwise. We live our lives as normal human beings. We have a job, we go out shopping, we dress like anyone else in our society dresses (or pretty close), we don’t use any symbols or special adornments that would signify that we are in some kind of spiritual quest, we associate with all kinds of people and conduct business as usual. Our work is deep inside ourselves and invisible to sleeping eyes. Only the people that we work with directly will know that something else is going on. To anyone else we may be artists, programmers, musicians, office assistants, cooks, retail workers, babysitters. Once in a while, by sheer accident, they may notice something unusual is happening but they will forget it as quickly as it came through and we will do nothing to remind them. Our Work must remain invisible.
Instead of stepping away from the world, we use the world as our resource. The human world, the world of daily stress, sudden excitement, seductive trinkets, powerful temptations… all of it becomes an endless fountain of raw material to work with. Every day is a new obstacle course for you to develop your abilities. You can remain unidentified in a mountain retreat surrounded by friendly smiling people but can you maintain that same unidentified state when your landlord is angrily asking for the rent, or your friend is angry at you for something you didn’t do? Each day will present a new slate for you to work with. Whatever is on that slate, that is what you have to work with. There is no point in saying: "I would self remember if only they weren’t doing construction outside my door…" or "I would practice controlling my negative emotions if that person hadn’t just crossed the line when they insulted my family…". If you are truly dedicated to your Work, you will see in each of these obstacles a golden opportunity. Only when you learn to do that, can you truly say that the world is your teacher, and mean it.
One special obstacle in this path is that your machine needs to remember what it’s doing even though this work is not visible to anyone around it or even to itself. You don’t wear special robes, people don’t treat you differently or make special assumptions about you, you only get the respect you earn on an individual basis, you are not protected from the temptations and seductions of the world (and to make things worse, these will become stronger and more pronounced as your energy and perception increases.). You have to engrave within you, in your innermost core, the sacred mantram:


We don’t fall for the seductions of the world. We don’t crave power or money, we are not willing to sacrifice our work for these limited rewards. We don’t fall for quick sex or sentimental relationships, we are not willing to settle for a faded image of Real Tantric Love. We don’t struggle for security, we will do what is necessary to maintain our bodies and our families intact but we won’t trade in our basic energies and purpose for a life of safety.
But we don’t reject the world either. We don’t look down at the people around us for not doing what we are doing. We ultimately don’t know what they’re doing or why they’re doing it. We maintain an open attitude towards the surprise of the Other that hides behind every corner. We are immersed in the infinite creation of the Sun Absolute and we relish its many colored chaos. Every sound, every touch, every frozen eternal vision of reality becomes a priceless gift from beyond the walls of our consciousness… if we are open and paying attention.
As individuals and as a work group we are in the midst of a great voyage through the Labyrinth aboard a ship of subtle tendrils of light. Look into the ship and protect it. But look out to the endless ocean as well and put out your fishing lines. In your great Voyage across the Seven Seas, you may find great treasures protected by fearsome monsters, but don’t forget to stand and smell the ocean air and feel the moist breeze in your hair. In these almost intangible moments, you may find the greatest treasure of all.

Experiment – On The Bus

Board a crowded bus or train.Once seated, invoke your presence. To aid you in this, place your attention on your entire body including the empty space three inches outside the skin. Keep your eyes open and seeing but preserve your attention to self.Feel that you are in a space all your own, the interests and psychic activity of the others on board the vessel should not intrude. You prevent them from intruding by simply keeping your attention on self rather than placing it wholly on them. It is okay to look at and perceive them, just remember yourself at the same time.If you find that you have gotten caught up in a thought of one kind or another, simply bring your attention back to your own body. Keep track of the frequency with which you completely forget yourself.Stay onboard for approximately 15 minutes before getting off. Repeat the entire experiment during the return voyage.Write down your observations for future reference.

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