Working in the garden
Camp Caravan, Royalston, Massachusetts, USA
Work principles vary from ordinary psychology, spirituality or self-help solutions. When we speak of Sacrifice, it is a very active process where we have made distinctive choices based on our personal Observations of our own emotional states. We are not in the Work to fix anyone but ourselves, and furthermore the Work teaches that we are unlikely to fix ourselves either...we can, however, make the Right Choices at the right time, through struggle...and if we Work hard enough; we have the possibility of eventually making Right Decision all the time. In this case, we will have reached a state of Pure, consistent Consciousness.
We have considered the application of these Principles to our Marriages and other Significant "Love" Relationships. As Jose` reminded us, a couple falls in love and it's "roses, roses, roses..." until all of a sudden they begin getting pinched by the thorns! He suggested we review the ways in which the Work Principles can be applied whether our Partners are in the Work or not. In our discussions we found that even when both Partners are in the Work, they still suffer the consequences of the Organ Kundabuffer...the deadly Sleep of Negativity.
Working for oneself and for one's Partner happens when the one--or one of those in the Work takes responsibility for their manifestations; no matter what! Although the human condition warrants that negative states will arise; indeed, are constantly present...we do have choice to sacrifice our fears and attachments to being rrr-Right...the way the "Fonze" never could! Jose` reminded us that we are Nothing...so, how important can our opinion be, anyway?? Again, when we speak from the Work, we mean it from a Cosmic sense...we are food for the Moon when we are in our negative states...and the Earth raises us, as the Shepherd tends his sheep, to be food for Her, and the Organic Sheath that surrounds her!
In our relationships it's wise to sacrifice the attachment to expressing the Work and explaining things in terms of the Work. This is Work of Choice, and the average person doesn't want to hear about it. Being in the Work means our Egos must be set aside, our Personalities must eventually die. Without the Work we will have nothing to replace it with, and without a fervent Desire stemming from the horror of realizing the uselessness of a Life of Sleep...the idea sounds too
far-fetched...and even with a desire for the Work, it is the toughest job anyone will ever do...thereby making it easy to try to slip away from. It's difficult enough to impose the Work Ideas on ourselves, and impossible to demand of anyone else.
We are so good at imagining! We think we are conscious, always nice...right, and someone else wrong, rude or selfish. Self-observation shows one that one has the same unpleasant manifestations that bother us in others. This gives one appreciation for others; even the ones that we like the least. One might see in her husband traits that he brought into the marriage from his upbringing. This mechanicalness and predictability bothers her, yet by seeing how she is in many ways like her Mother, she can have compassion and understanding for those hand-me-downs in her husband.
One needs an Aim, and for the Work, Self-Remembering accomplishes the Aim to become food for the Sun instead of for the Moon or the Earth. Seeing and changing one's emotional state separates one from the automatic responses that rule the lives of sleeping humans. Blame never resolved anything--it is a negative emotion...let go of it.
Self-Observation allows us to accept responsibility for the outcome of the decisions we make...with a Higher Purpose that sustains and promotes refined energy in us that vibrates with Higher Being Natures. In this way we can be Present at least more than not...with a good chance of Often, in our Marriages. We then create more peace, and create a happy home.
Honor your partner, their process and their growth, and fill in for them if they refuse change and growth. This is the meaning of Working for both of you. It is possible, Jose` noted, to raise the vibrations of your partner by your Work.
Problems are the material for Work and Learning. Putting oneself in the shoes of the other, one becomes aware that selfishness is making one blind. What is inherited from parents and society doesn't help or further us, but simply continues an on-going cycle of devolution. The Work teaches the importance of giving and serving. "When I am in a conflict with my spouse I try to evoke the feeling of giving," remarked one participant. "It is as if I had a chocolate inside me. I try to give it to my Partner." If we give up false expectations of our partner and try to see him/her as s/he really is, we are able to relinquish the unattainable ideal to which people hold their wives and husbands. We need to see the labels we apply to other people in order to feel superior. Remember that there is no difference between people at the level of Essence. Our partner is a human being, equally deserving of our respect, just as we wish it to come to us.
Do not express negative emotion, but don't attempt to repress it either. Feel it, acknowledge it internally, consciously suffer by its presence. Do not, however, give expression to it in your relationships. Walk a mile in your partner's shoes. Try to imagine yourself in your partner's position. Can you feel his/her experience in your own emotions? Your partner acts out of personality just like you. We're all in the same boat. Realizing this, it becomes possible to change our external reaction. Take a decision to behave in a different way in the face of a manifestation that makes you negative. Break the habitual reaction. Fake it till you make it! Make an Internal Stop. Cut off negative thinking by occupying your attention with a Work Exercise. Follow your breath, sense your hand. Withdraw energy from the habitual process.
Trust the other. Allow your partner to impose upon you. Take a decision to concede an argument, to submit to your partner's way of doing things. A concession can create possibilities that did not exist when you reacted in your habitual way. Choose a situation that you know you will face and take a decision to bring some inner work to this situation. Mr. Gurdjieff calls this "Prepared Suffering."
Use discrimination. A solution that works today may not work tomorrow. Respond to each situation as it arises. Don't pause to establish sensation in your hand when the house is burning down. To be Conscious, to be Present, is to be in the Moment...the ever-changing NOW.