Wednesday, December 19, 2012

do androids dream of electric sheep?

The Work does not speak about life as an illusion but it says a great deal about our taking life in the wrong illusory way.

In this connection it is constantly speaking about Identifying both with ourselves and with the events of life.

This Identifying, whose direction is inwards and outwards, keeps us asleep and makes it impossible for us to remember ourselves and in consequence makes it impossible for certain influences to reach us that can help us, consisting in certain emotions, certain thoughts, certain feelings, not derived from our business affairs, our daily existence, or life as seen, as it appears to be.

The illusion of life lies, the Work says, in Man's thinking he can do, in Man's thinking he is conscious, in Man's thinking that he is a unity.

The Work says that in life everything happens in the only possible way it can happen. When you apparently act in life, when you apparently do something in life, you are doing the only thing that you could do.

It is not you who are doing it.

When you begin to see this, when you begin to realize your mechanicalness in this way, you are already beginning to remember yourself, you are already beginning to be separated from the machine of yourself and to approach something that lies behind the machine of yourself in the direction of Real 'I'.

This is why the Work says that realization of one's own mechanicalness is a form of Self-Remembering.

In this kind of Self-Remembering you are aware that what you are doing and saying and thinking is not really you. You become a spectator of yourself and you see that all that you have called you and your life is an illusion in the sense that it is all happening, and in that sense it is not real—it is not Reality.

When I see that an event is entangling me and that I am reacting to this event quite mechanically, the whole business becomes unreal to me because where I thought before that I was doing, I was acting, I was seeing, I see it now as IT that is acting. 

We cannot change life. A man must begin with himself-—a woman with herself. We can begin to change ourselves.

But this is impossible unless we begin to see that we ourselves are asleep, that we are Identified with the tragic or comic parts given us in life, and that we have forgotten ourselves and that we do not even try to remember ourselves.

Life becomes our teacher only when we understand that it offers us different circumstances, different experiences, different events at different moments, with which not to identify.

Life is a series of outer events and inner states and they are always shifting and turning. If we stick at every point, then we are Identified all the way round. We take everything personally, as being ourselves, like the actor who takes every role he has to play as himself. Then we are indeed asleep and being turned round like little wheels by the big wheel of life. When all traces of individuality fail, collectivity grows. We have to struggle hard not to become only small wheels driven by life, by the circle of events.

The secret lies in not Identifying, and in Self-Remembering. But if you take every little upset, every domestic incident, seriously and with full Identifying, how then can you work or expect to work? You do not even realize you are playing a typical role that millions of others have played or are playing, and that you will not get free from it unless you wake up and see that you are not remembering yourself.

Sometimes when you watch a person you may wonder what would happen if he or she saw their forms of Identifying in a flash—their mannerisms, their dress, their intonations, their expressions, the seriousness with which they take themselves and their position. Yes, and the same applies to ourselves.

Now we each have a circle of different 'I's that revolve. Each plays its role—pathetic, silly, fine, serio-comic, tragic, and various other stock parts. The trouble is that we do not play these roles but they play us.

Really to play a role in the Work-sense a man must be conscious. To play a role consciously is an example of what the Work calls doing. Only a conscious man can do. As we are, roles play us. So it is a good thing to observe them and not Identify with them so much—to see them acting in oneself and yet not feel that one is them—to say silently "I am not this!" This is to begin to remember oneself as different from these 'I's. But every day we must practise Self-Remembering at first simply by stopping everything, by being not in anything, not connected with anything in life or in ourselves as life has made us.

Since identifying is the enemy of Self-Remembering and since Self-Remembering is our supreme task, it is clear that we have to study our forms of Identifying.

With what have you been Identified most to-day?

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