Aim and Effort
Aim:  a direction, even if it's backing away from the absurd, keeps us safe from tangents. Any action can only be judged to be good by putting it up against one's aim. Learning to walk a straight line keeps us on the wire and out of the mud. In order to begin our search, we must have an objective: to find our definition, whatever that may be. The many intermediate aims must always be in line with this goal. Self-honesty is a must to keep our aim pure.
Aim in Self-Knowledge
Obstacles and Blocks: many are the hurdles we encounter along the way. Click on the graphic above for a list of obstacles, taken from Richard Rose's 'The Albigen Papers'.

Effort: hard work over the long haul. There was a good reason G.I.Gurdjieff called the task of the seeker the 'Work'. Any dreams of having a real change of being without what might be a lifelong struggle are but sad whimsy. Directed effort is the key.
Effort in Self-Discovery

" No work is ever so properly begun or so well done, no man is ever so free and so certain in his actions, that he can afford to let his mind relax or go to sleep; but he ought with his twin powers, intellect and will, to be forever hoisting himself up and seizing, at the summit, his very best therein and guarding himself against evils of all kinds, subjective and objective; thus he never misses anything but is always making first-rate progress." - Meister Eckhart

   In time, our efforts at self-discovery can seem fruitless. We may feel stuck, unable to move. This can often be due to fousing our energy in a tight circular pattern, ignoring other aspects of ourselves and our relations to others. In other words, we could be desperately trying to maintain our individuality-sense, rather than truely observing ourselves. To check on how effective our effort may be, we can keep in mind these 3 areas of work:

 The Three Lines of Work:

1: Work on Oneself.  How do you work on yourself in day-to-day life? Have you begun looking for ways and means? Have you stated your intent and commitment to find the Truth about yourself? How do you try to see yourself, go within, meditate, etc., while going about the business of everyday life? Can you find ways to remember the reason you got started in self-discovery in the first place?
2: Working with Others: What are your thoughts about ladder work? Do you have a teacher, and are you helping someone? Can you remember and perhaps relate to the seeker you were, say five or ten years ago? How would you help that person if you met them today? What will be your legacy to them? Are you using your fellow seekers as a means to find your courage and discrimination, and to help you face facts and your faults?
3: Working for the Sake of the Work:. How do think you could be useful to the Work, in your present situation?  Does this interest you, and what do you feel about it? Do you think the Work needs to be preserved and passed on, and how could you help with this? Could this be a means to fulfill your commitment?

We all have an avenue of spiritual work which comes naturally to us, with little true effort. To move, we must put effort into the areas we feel uncomfortable with. Perhaps then we will come to see ourselves more clearly.

For more on right effort, see "An Outline of the Spiritual Path" by Richard Rose

Copyright 2003 - 2006  Robert Fergeson. All Rights Reserved