inner work

June 2021 (Vol. XXXIV, No. 6)

Dear Friends ~ I have been involved in Fourth Way inner work for many years. Nan Merrill and I exchanged many books during the years of our monthly phone calls with each other. The first book she sent me was Meditations on the Tarot and the first book I sent her was Volume 2 of Maurice Nicoll's Psychological Commentaries.

This body is made from energy created from choice

People have always wondered at the saints, that they are able to walk around serene, whatever happens. But that is because they can choose where they'll be. They don't have to be angry. You see the difference between having scattered emotions and having a fully vibrating, controlled emotional body. This body is made from energy created from choice, from the effort involved in making choices. But it is necessary to practice; then something is possible.

~ Beryl Pogson in THE WORK LIFE

Please Come Home

Please come home.
Please come home into your own body.
Your own vessel, your own earth.
Please come home into each and every cell,
And fully into the space that surrounds you.
~ Jane Hooper from "Please Come Home"

To live deeply in the spirit

Deeply spiritual persons experience the suffering in the world as their own suffering. Their skin is like a dividing membrane through which events flow into each other. But they do not let it overtake them and destroy their spirit, their ability to choose life. To live deeply in the spirit is to be able to see beyond the immediate evidence of brokenness. It is to seek the not yet, but possible future. To live deeply in the spirit is to find the courage to create in the midst of darkness.

~ Patricia Mischo in WHOLE EARTH PAPERS

Life is simple

Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don't have to like it – it's just easier if you do. If you have a problem, it can only be because of your unquestioned thinking. How do you react when you believe that the past should have been different? You scare yourself stuck because what you resist persists. You get to keep your stressful world, a world that doesn't exist except in your imagination; you get to stay in the nightmare. It hurts to oppose reality because in opposing reality, you are opposing your very self.


What makes one wise

"What makes one wise?" asked the disciple.
"Wisdom," replied the Master.
"What is wisdom?" was retorted.
"It is simply the ability to recognize," said the Master.
"To recognize what?" the disciple asked.

"Spiritual wisdom," the Master answered, "is the power to recognize the butterfly in a caterpillar, the eagle in an egg, the saint in the sinner."

"Only a silent mind is capable of this recognizing power."


We always think that

We always think our negative emotions are produced by the fault of other people or by the fault of circumstances. We always think that. Our negative emotions are in ourselves and are produced by ourselves. There is absolutely not a single unavoidable reason why somebody else's action or some circumstance should produce a negative emotion in me. It is only my weakness. No negative emotion can be produced by external causes if we do not want it. We have negative emotions because we permit them, justify them, explain them by external causes, and in this way we do not struggle with them.

~ P. D. Ouspensky in THE FOURTH WAY

I slept and dreamt

I slept and dreamt
that life was joy.
I awoke and saw
that life was duty.
I worked – and behold,
duty was joy.
~ Rabindranath Tagore, as quoted by Victor Frankl in YES TO LIFE

Psalm 13

How long must I bear this pain in my soul,
and live with sorrow all the day?
How long will fear rule my life?

Notice my heart and answer me, O my Beloved;
enlighten me, lest I walk as one dead to life;
Lest my fears say, "We have won the day";
Lest they rejoice in their strength.

As I trust in your steadfast Love;
my heart will rejoice, for in You is freedom.
I shall sing to the Beloved,
who has answered my prayers a thousandfold!
Come, O Beloved, make your home in my heart.
~ Nan Merrill from "Psalm 13" in PSALMS FOR PRAYING

Conscious labor

Conscious labor and intentional suffering are not so much separate practices as twin pillars of what amounts to essentially a single spiritual obligation.

Conscious labor is basically any intentional effort that moves against the grain of entropy, i.e., against that pervasive tendency of human consciousness to slip into autopilot. It means summoning the power of conscious attention (in our era perhaps more widely known as 'mindfulness') to swim upstream against that pervasive lunar undertow drawing us toward stale, repetitive, mechanical patterns, the siren call of World 96.

~ Cynthia Bourgeault in EYE OF THE HEART
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