Saturday, December 22, 2012

these "I's"...,



The Work teaches that we are born with Essence alone and in small children we have manifestations of undeveloped Essence. Essence comes down to this level of the earth in order to grow, but it cannot grow by itself beyond a very small point. Notice, by the way, that small children do not have negative emotions, which are defined by their persistence. A child grows up among sleeping people and begins to form Personality which gradually surrounds Essence. A small child never says 'I'. When it begins to say 'I', Imaginary 'I' begins. Many 'I's are laid down by imitation, etc. and the growing child begins to say 'I' to all of them. I suppose it could be said it begins to say 'I' by a kind of imitation, by a kind of imagining itself 'I', and it hears adults always saying 'I'.

However, many other interesting things enter. Now we speak of ourselves as adults. We have inevitably, and even by design, acquired a wrong feeling of 'I', that is, Imaginary 'I'. If Essence is going to grow in us further everything connected with Imaginary 'I' must become passive.

Are all 'I's acquired? Yes, they are all acquired and they are acquired in all sorts of ways. It is usually said that they are chiefly acquired through imitation and education but they are all acquired because they belong to the Personality which is acquired. The Work says that it may be true that there is a trace of Real 'I' in us, but that is all that it says. But Real 'I' is not acquired: it is already there as a possibility from our birth. We do not make Real 'I': we seek to approach it. Then we know who we are.

Are there 'I's in Essence? No, it cannot be said that there are 'I's in Essence although some 'I's that we acquire are very close to Essence —i.e. we have more essential 'I's. On the other hand, we have 'I's that are very far away from Essence and that belong chiefly to False Personality. If our Personality were the expression of our Essence and fitted in with it, so to speak, we might say that our 'I's were all connected with Essence, but this is not the case as we are at present. Through the pressure of education and environment our Personality may be very unlike our Essence and when this is the case it is not unnatural to expect that we may have an unusual degree of inner disharmony.

Is Essence the seed from which Real 'I' can grow? Yes, in a way. It is better to say that behind Essence lies Real 'I' and through the development of Essence we contact Real 'I'. The object of this Work is for us to become more real, to get rid of false, unreal 'I's. This can only be done through inner sincerity and long observation and through the influence of the Work acting on one over a long time, and the latter depends on struggling to keep the Work alive in one over a long period. All this leads on to the development of Essence, which puts us in contact with Steward and Real 'I'. You must conceive Steward and Real 'I' as being above us on a higher level and as it were awaiting us, being, as it were, more internal, deeper, beneath the surface on which most of our psychic life takes place. Whether you call it a movement upwards or a movement inwards, it amounts to the same thing. All this Work has to be done by ourselves. We are in the position of having lost our way and having to find the way back again. Everyone is created perfect —that is, with Real 'I'—but we descend into this world both literally and psychologically and lose our way. There is some reason for this, and one of the explanations of it is that we are created as self-developing