Practical application of tasks or inner work.
To begin let’s start with the premise of what it means to begin on a journey for self-development and transformation, with respect to inner work. On the outset, one begins with a need, a thirst or hunger that swells as a definite sense or feeling of loss or lack. In themselves, a sort of helplessness emerges, whereby something in themselves, that they do not truly understand, is yearning for some type of direction. Often this comes early in life, only to be supplanted by a kind of learning, that turns this need around, with all its sincerity, into a feeling of aversion. One becomes adversarial towards it, seeking to escape that lack, which now, has become a reminder of what one isn’t, a lack of control and cohesion in one’s life. With the outgrowth and strengthening of the false sense of one’s “self-importance” in their identification with words and ideas, is felt as a kind of pain to be found wanting. Where before it was a search, now a weakness. A weakness the psychological life senses as a pain to the organism which has been educated in us and all pain is sensed as a discomfort which should be done away with or covered. Thus, walls and processes to handle this covering gradually forms, again by education, and one of these processes are self-insincerity.
Even in saying the above, something of that need still exists inside, but often buried deeply. But a Law of development states, that in order to attract more of something you first have to have a little bit of that something already deposited in you. And although that need was covered, life events, can produce the right intensity to shock you to feel some type of loss and thus search.
A search is to be a search always, a question that never closes, but remains a quest; living, alive, and vibrant. This cannot be had if the question dies for the lowest most mechanical part of the mind to be satisfied in a functional role that was never it’s natural purpose. When one begins, they begin with that lower part of the mind, which like a collector, has gathered data concerning the world we live in (all data perceived through senses, here mostly taking about information through reading) together, but subsequently takes it as its own, using it to affirm its sense of control, possession. Connections are only made on a surface level and the general features are the regurgitation of ideas, slogans, and sayings that have no function beyond repetition to sound good and likewise convince oneself and others of this possession. Thus, the first task of inner work is to make further connection with this inner need, to experience the depth of this lack. The continual feeling of this lack is the beginning of actual work, for it shows one’s work has begun to move out of the lower mind, and come into the feelings, and only by the function of the feelings and body can “DOING” AND “CHANGE” be even a possibility.
One may think, isn’t this what has brought me here? After all I’m here learning and trying right? Well as it is true with everything, nothing AND I MEAN NOTHING, at these levels of progression, unless it isn’t, is just a onetime deal. What I mean by that is all because I had a little sense of being in need of acquaintance, doesn’t mean that this sense remains continually the same forever – often when a person finds themselves engaged with a certain intention in the beginning when starting something, it turns upon itself. There are points upon the line of progression, where one will have to, among other things, reaffirm their attitude about work, so that it and one’s work can grow. But this is not done by preaching to oneself, but a certain effort that can be made, that allows one to value their good fortune of being able to try again and this all relates to feeling.
The feeling of work does not come overnight, it is not a quick process, not the same duration for everyone, but takes time regardless. Feeling in general is often a blind spot, we think we understand what that is, but where this understanding originates in us, by nature, is not meant to see feeling by ordinarily means. When you attempt to feel you may find yourself thinking about feeling and thinking about feelings is not feeling, nor is sensation feeling, and neither is emotion feeling. Our ordinary filter for feeling is based in the mechanical part of the mind which speaks and understands an entirely different language than feeling. A connection between the mind and feeling has to be built. This connection begins with the work of seeing, but the work of seeing has to begin with the work with intention (aim) and sensation. With sensation, the act of seeing cannot truly exist without a sense that I exist, which sensation can give as normally a person lives their whole day without any sense of their being in it. I must begin to inhabit myself in order to influence it. Self-sensing is asking yourself who am I now, for this sensation is happening always and, in every situation, and it is the initial connection to the life in us. Working with sensation, sensing different parts of the body while actively in life can create a connecting point, by anchoring the attention to something that is always present, this creates a space for seeing to be attracted, or by seeing “a special kind of consciousness.”
As for the work with intention or aim is the amassing of a definite kind of active energy, which when we begin anything new, we are quickened behind a “desire” to make an effort. This initial part to effort, also attracts seeing, for it creates a fore-movement when a task is given, initiated by thought to try and therefore sets a plan which creates an undetermined point in one’s day where the effort can be made. There, in that moment, seeing can become active in time.
Let’s say I try to sense a part of myself while interacting in life, only to remember that I forgot due to the conditions of outer life and the divisible nature of the mind, which I must see, what naturally follows are mechanical thoughts from personalities in me, such as “I should be able to do this,” or “why can’t I do this,” or “It’s too hard,” or “Why am I even doing this,” or “I suck,” “I can’t do anything,” “I’m better than this’’ and so on. What is said doesn’t matter as much as the place the thought comes from, which will be that mechanical part of the mind, for it does not know how to receive nor appreciate this “remembering that I did not remember”, it just brings one back to the reality of their situation, which it desperately seeks to prevent. This remembering is a Return, and this returning is to a point of connection, a coming back to “awareness of existence.” To use a saying from the gospel, “Many are called few chosen,” the Return, is a call to action, action in this case referring to attention and is from above, not simply some trifle to be thrown away.
It is at this point of Calling, where one can feel their lack, their inability, their unableness – and it is in feeling this lack, that a feel for one’s work begins. Of course, at this point one, after feeling this lack, should try in that very moment, regardless of the conditions you find yourself in, for to put off that call would be failure to act on the gift of the Call to an awareness of my point in existence now. It is from this point of my existence now, where I can take in myself as an impression of nourishment, for what stands before my essence self and life, is a thick crust, a ground and in order to take in outer life, I have to absorb it with the elements of the ground. My automatic functions reacting with life are the food for my essence, the energy behind its reactivity.
Gradually something begins to soften, the softening of walls that prevent the experience of this lack. Initially it is perceived as a bad thing, a negative, a suffering hence the thoughts that follow to lessen or cover the lack. In the beginning you receive a task with the expectation of being successful, of being able, for this is how we are educated to be the best or to succeed. This is not bad, but this becomes a covering for how we perceive a void that may exists in us. To not be successful feels uncomfortable, but a task is not given to be successful, it is not given to be the best, it is given to sense the reality of one’s situation and to gradually form an observational point of “interest” in one’s automatic function. This “interest” is not merely an intellectual fancy, but a FEELING of interest, a “being-interest”.
From the above, to establish this process with seeing; first there is a lack of seeing, that becomes the blindness of seeing, which then becomes the negation of seeing, which then becomes the suffering of seeing, which then becomes the acceptance of seeing, and there by the interest in being SEEN. The softening process begins to melt away the instant defensive reaction to being unable (but they come back in some form, for the friction between the two must exists). The suffering turns over into a real want to be related to what and who I am, beyond the falseness I imagine myself to be. The need to be related to one’s automatic function is born, where before I hate what I see now it becomes a joy, the pain of all my qualities unbecoming, becomes a love for being. To be conscious is not a blissful thing that the new age imagines – it is to see things in the raw, to see EVERYTHING more vividly and that includes the sweet, the bitter, the good, the bad, and the ugly in you. In a parable, consciousness is to be as two birds sitting on one branch, one bird eating the bitter fruit, the other watching.
What is the place of thought in inner work?
Thought plays a most important role, but in order to begin to recognize its multilayered place we must first pull back some of the perceived notions of its place in a practice. In some practices that are more new age oriented the place of thought is absent, as it is perceived as a limitation. As is true with most things, there is an element of truth here, so let’s explore this idea. Often you hear the catch phrase, “get above the mind”, or “get out of the head”, and from these sayings one would be left with the conclusion that there is something wrong with thinking or the mental process of deduction. But I offer a different look, there is nothing wrong with genuine reason, with the actual process of deducing, the problem here, as with everything in us, what is it in us that is thinking, what is it in us that is deducing, and is it actually a process of either? In the above we see the term, “mechanical part of the mind,” a lot, and it is in this part of the mind, that takes ownership of ideas and thoughts, and reduce them to the mundane, i.e. one’s vanity as the information merged together, that allows for, a specific kind of mindset, reducing all information to this organic limitation.
Often a question asked comes from here, the question is coated with the mindsets need to be affirmed of what it believes it possesses, likewise what it wants to collect or record strengthening a false sense of acquaintance (imagination) in the place of actual working, and the production of a kind of calming which purpose is to push away the real friction that does exists with that deeper sense of lack. But to reason, to deduce is to (in awareness) have a long thought, holding a concept in mind, and allowing for it to germinate. In the process of this, you would either hold the concept as a mental image or as the concept in word, and hold it in front of you, as an unknown. This is bringing a question to the thought without words, but of course you can bring a literal question to the thought you are engaging, allowing it a space to be freely there; not drawing upon subsequent information you’ve acquired and if you do, do so with a sensation of your body – a sense of yourself doing this. This creates a movement in the mind, allowing for connectivity outside of the mechanical part.
All processes of thought, if conscious, should be paired with either a sensation or feeling of yourself thinking it, and if possible, sensation/feeling in the abdomen (the mind is in the atmosphere around the body, so on one level, how can a thought be without a sense of my existence? The body-mind connection ought to be there, especially when you speak). One process of the mechanical part of mind, always useful, is making comparison. For instance, one can make comparisons between ideas and efforts, and deduce their usefulness, how they relate, and how they can be used later. The mind itself cannot do, but it can and should observe, serve, constate, and prepare for or through doing. For example, to constate, i.e. to verify or prove, ones thought of something ought to be in question, for there is nothing to prove if it does not remain so, for it becomes just mechanical junk the lower mind holds, nothing more than a trash bin. But the thought that serves doing, subjects’ information to direct experience, showing that Self Knowledge is imbedded directly into the process.
With thought it is always, as it is with everything, useful and important to see where the thought, where one’s questions are coming from. If, for instance, one is given a task to do, and one immediately wants to know what it is about, before trying it, almost always this thought has nothing of them in it that relates to their individuality, for how a question can relate to ones individuality comes through by way of individual experience, which is their own. Where such a question does come from, has behind it a need, which often falls into the category of mechanical in the above paragraph. For if I explain why you try something before you try, what is this answer serving in you? Do you really need to know now, can we work together, and discover what we find? Sure, I can explain, but as it is with everything, then the mind of the experimenter, may affect the experiment and the results may not be results at all, at least not from more of you, for the mental influence of what you will experience and what it is for will be there.
The chief problem in this is that most of one’s activity in life, what they call work and care, is only being done through one part of the 3-fold nature of the physical body and if one works only through one part, it can be almost a certainty, that this tendency can occur in every area of their life. But it has been educated in us the reliance on a specific kind of function at the expense of all others, the function of the mechanical part of the mind. The dysfunction must become functional, which is a big change, but for this to begin, the dysfunctional must be known, and known deeply.
The genesis of tasks are Self-Sensing, Attention, Divided Attention, Self-Observation, contemplation, Long thinking which encompasses the work with Intention/aim, the cultivation of Wish, the Attraction of Seeing, constate, separation of states and parts, the Eating of personality or syphoning of energy wasted in reactivity, posture, gesture, movement, tone of voice, and facial expression –and of course much more. The idea is that this is way of opening; opening to the lower 3-fold nature firstly, working to cultivate the energy in the lower centers, moving past barriers in the body, to become as an opening antenna to the Indwelling Natures, the higher levels of mind and being. These practices can HELP IN ALL AREAS OF ONES EXISTENCE, of course their help is only a byproduct, but their aim is opening.