Incorporating Spiritual Work into Daily Life, Or the Other Way Around?
There are many approaches to the spiritual work; some folks take it up full-on, some others with reserve, others yet try to do their best, some approach it as a hobby, etc. The way we take it up depends on several factors, such as where we are in the inner work, what virtues and faculties we possess, what our Being wants etc., and therefore we cannot criticize others because of that; we can, however, criticize ourselves if we find that we are willing to do the inner work correctly, but we cannot keep ourselves above the waters. It can also happen that sometimes we are self-deceiving ourselves that we are working well, when in fact we still haven’t passed the Guardian of the Threshold. However, even though criticizing others is rarely a good idea, it is always good to help those who are sincere and who are struggling, because sometimes people like to sit on the fence without knowing that that’s where they are, or without knowing that a lot of work is needed to reach the inner transformation. That is, if knowledge, peace, clarity, freedom and happiness is what we are truly after.
I noticed that many people have inaccurate perception when it comes to what it means to do the inner work optimally. To be more precise, a lot of folks look at the inner work as one of the many things that we do in life. This in itself is not wrong, on the contrary, it is true that the act of doing the inner work is a particular experience that is added to other experiences of life. However, for someone who wants to reach concrete heights in their spiritual life, they will have to change the way they look at it. The reason for this is that the inner work is a mean to reach a profound goal, a radical inner transformation, and this requires a lot of time and effort. This is true for reaching heights in all major spheres of life, such as being a successful in business or sports, but the type of effort needed to succeed with the inner work is greater because it doesn’t stop when the training is over, or when the working hour (in case of a job) is finished. Rather, it continues throughout the whole day; it goes like that for as long as it is needed for the inner transformation to start occurring so that the center of gravity passes from the horizontal to vertical line of life, from the personality to the consciousness.
This takes time and steadfast effort, so that the milestones of the transformation begin to be realized. Once we are at that stage of our work, the inner work is no longer a work, rather it becomes a way we live our life; we still apply effort, but it is very different to how it was in the early stages, because during that time we had to muster up strength from our bodily and vital energies, whereas later on, when more and more consciousness is liberated, the strength, in large amount, comes from higher sources of ourselves – it comes directly from the free essence, its virtues and faculties, and its connections with higher parts of the Being. The ability for the inner work then flows from deep within, resembling a fountain that provides and maintains at the same time, and it only gets exhausted if we break our hermetic silence, i.e. if due to negligence we lose our psychic, emotional and mental energies.
And so the effort to perform the inner work remains an effort (and even a super-effort), however our inner state (which we keep high) and the higher components of our inner nature make it so that our effort is effortless. The only way for this to make sense is when we look at it from the point of view that the spiritual work is not an activity of life, but it becomes life itself; that we do not incorporate it into our daily life, but rather that we incorporate the daily life into our inner work. This does not mean negligence towards every other activity of life. It means that everything we do, we do it with a suitable consciousness, by being in the state of self-remembrance and self-observation, with our faculties and virtues active and present so that we can sense and feel the reality clearly, and give to the world what we ought to give to the world, to take in what we ought to take in, and to shield ourselves from things that bring us down. Like this the inner work becomes as natural to our living as bodily functions are, it becomes a way of life, the way we have chosen to live so to achieve what the soul longs for.
HDP, June 2021.