Friday, December 21, 2012

the kingdom of heaven is the conscious circle of humanity...,

In the Work, which comes from Conscious Man, we wake eventually, after years of dullness, quibbling and misunderstanding, to realize that another will must be born in us by beginning to obey what the Work says, not by compulsion, but through the increasing light of the understanding of why the Work exists and what we mean and what it means to us. In looking round at a world of violence, we simply see violence breeding violence. War, which is based on violence, threatens Man always, because Man is based on violence. From this, possibly, we realize that our individual work is to observe violence in ourselves. Well, what does this strange phrase in the Gospels mean? Christ is speaking of John the Baptist, who had literal but not psychological understanding, and so was clad in animal skins. Christ says:
"Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not arisen a greater than John the Baptist: yet he that is but little in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence and men of violence take it by force." (Matt. XI, 11, 12)
In speaking of this strange thing, I will recapitulate first of all what is said about violence.
"Violence is an emotional state in all people—doing things with violence, trying to impose upon, and coerce, to insist. From the esoteric point of view this is useless —nothing can be done in this way. A violent man cannot do. Even although a man has knowledge, if he has not overcome violence in himself, his work will go wrong."
Then he added: "The meaning of 'the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence and men of violence take it by force' is this. It means violence on oneself. Not to act with violence is violence on oneself. A man, in observing himself and finally realizing where he is violent—in which centre, in what forms of behaviour, and so on—must do violence to himself to overcome his violence." Speaking as I am in terms of commentary on what the Work teaches, I would say that violence on oneself, on one's violence, requires the highest possible insight into what one is. Because if one works consciously on oneself in regard to one's violence, one then can see that one can only get to a higher level, only go up this mountain that we spoke of, through force—and all force is gained only by working against a feature in oneself. So the higher level of oneself, represented relatively by a psychological state at a better level than one's mechanical state, is only gained by violence on certain 'I's, certain habits of thought, feeling, attitudes, pictures, and so on. This gives force. "You will gain most force by working on your Chief Feature."

To work on anything in oneself that is a habit and so mechanical gives some force. Notice that the Kingdom of Heaven is taken by force and understand that force is made through not going with your mechanical self. If I do violence to _____________, I will get force. Where I put this force belongs to another conversation, but I will only say here: "Unless you have an aim, to make force by working against some mechanical or habitual side of yourself is not enough. One must work on oneself, deny oneself, so that the force goes into one's aim."