Working for the liberation of all beings everywhere. Bringing higher consciousness to the planet, one eternal moment at a time.
THE SACRIFICE OF COMFORT
Life of Austerity - Part 2
In daily service, one is obligated to perform continuous ritual observances both day and night, with short rest periods in between
We study the Sacred Scriptures whenever there is a brief period which allows for it. We practice complete celibacy at this time in order to provide a basis for high states of energy in the ordinary center.
There are continual exercises, both group and personal, for individuals to help overcome barriers to work.
The work required for household and community maintenance is performed carefully, paced rapidly or slowly as required to root the attention to the task at hand, through a change of tempo of activity.
The diet is simple and austere, although unappetizing. It is a high-quality food substance, but low in quantity and pleasurable sensations. One should feel slightly hungry after having just eaten, and must then depend upon air as a second source of food, and results of impressions as a third source.
Of course special care is taken for dietary problems. Special consideration is given to those who cannot yet come to this sacrifice. Our own solution to this is to have those who cannot make this sacrifice remain in study groups until they feel able and willing to endure it.
Ordinary efforts are useless in work, and one must make only great efforts in order to overcome the comfort of inertia. Only by making such efforts is it possible to overcome the tendency to remain calm.
One must decide once and for all to surrender oneself to the discipline of the school and the teacher without hesitation -- or future betrayal -- of this self-surrender.
One is expected to wage a continual struggle against the Dominant Habit, and to welcome any chance given by the teacher of other pupils for this effort. In the Sacrifice of Comfort, one must consciously choose the Path of Struggle, and actively seek, from the teacher, all possible tasks, efforts and interpersonal frictions which produce potential for self-struggle.
One must work with all centers of the whole being, learning always to work with attention, will and effort.
One is expected to be receptive by keeping silence -- not all the time, but when it counts. On the other hand, one must not expect anything in return for one's efforts. One must never speak of love in connection with the work until one has passed beyond the level of sentimentality.
One endures everything and everyone in silence, suffering in restraint by always attaching to this the intention of work. There is no better beginning method than this effort.
To be continued....
There are only three acts of man that can be done consciously, and all three of these have been destroyed in ordinary humanity through avoidance. What are the three conscious acts, and what is the nature of the avoidance?
The first conscious act is to give birth and to be born consciously; the Act of Birth. It is the duty of every human being to see that this is carried out properly, but today it is avoided by the use of drugs and surgical techniques which neatly put the baby and the mother into sedation -- neither the mother nor the child are even aware that birth is taking place.
Why is the Act of Birth so important to do consciously? It is a requirement of Great Nature: The energy of the Act of Birth is so tremendous when it takes place under conscious conditions, that every human being on the planet is affected by it. Don't take my word for it -- your own experience will show you.
The second conscious act is the Act of Sex. This again -- when not performed for one's own amusement -- is a conscious enactment of a conscious drama. The Act of Sex is a deliberate act, performed for the good of Great Nature. Deliberate, please note -- and this act is also ruined today by the introduction of either drugs or selfish pleasure-seeking.
The third conscious act is the Act of Dying. This can be the most important of all and everyone should know how to die -- but again, this is destroyed, spoiled as a conscious act by the introduction of drugs and artificial devices to prolong the process of dying by stimulating dead organs and thus bypassing the real moment of death. (See the American Book of the Dead by E.J. Gold, And/Or Press, January 1976.)
There are certain things that these acts have in common: They are all done consciously, as deliberate and exact acts. Intentional action is a particular feature of a conscious act. The impulse to destroy these acts and degenerate them into unconscious action derives from the desire of people to go around rather than through these experiences. And the means to avoid these experiences have been provided by so-called "medical science."
These three acts are so important to humanity that its continued existence depends on carrying them out properly -- but they have been suppressed because it is easier to remain ignorant about the significance of these three acts. The conscious performance of these three acts is how we pay our debt to nature. How can this debt be paid if the means of paying the debt is destroyed by modern civilization? They must be restored if humanity is to survive.
So, it's practice, practice, practice. But the truth is that unless I'm applying attention to what I'm practicing, it doesn't really lead anywhere. Practice isn't just sitting down to play my guitar. It's listening to what I'm doing. It's not letting the judgment of my skills get in the way of just practicing. Just listen, adjust, listen, - pay attention. It's enjoying the process without wanting to get somewhere -- to produce something. It's not trying -- it's just doing. There's a lot to practice. More than the fingers on the strings or on the keyboard. Just be. Just let it be.
Many many years ago there were school group projects that involved large painted panels, traveling exhibits and young children. It was what was happening then in that time, in those places and with those people.
The stories changed, events changed, the times changed, the people changed and the expressions of then were stored. Then things changed again and the panels resurfaced, emerging from the caves of storage units. But alas, no matter how good the times were, how important the function of those panels once was, whatever attachments some people still had to them and that time, there was no obvious use for the panels any more, nor space to keep them. So they had to be let go.
Some found a home in a school. A teacher came to pick them up just a few months before the whole covid pandemic hit. The rest just ended up all around our funky chicken coop where they are mostly replacing walls made of saved old wood boards that will now be used to make raised beds.
The impression I intended to share was: Life moves in this way and that way and it is all interconnected, everything affecting everything else in a way that we are mostly not aware of and sometimes does not make sense to us. As the mystery moves through everything I wonder about the impact I have, what kind of participant I am or function I might have in these movements of the deep mystery that is everything. That is an interesting and ongoing inquiry.
For now, all the panels from yesteryear that made their way into our magical school garden have found a useful function being walls. But also, when I look at them with innocent eyes and open being, they are like portals into different worlds. That's such fun. And there is something else: Somehow the garden down by the coops is full of children's awe and wonder and laughter.
When I was interviewed for acceptance into a graduate program in social work, I was asked why I wanted to do this kind of work. I was surprised when, after replying "I want to help", I began to cry. The simplicity and clarity of the truth was overwhelming.
Being of service continues to be a driving force in my life. Coming to the school affords countless ways to be of service, however the service I was accustomed to performing seemed hollow - a mechanical robot doing good deeds. I knew that to be of real service meant awakening. To awaken my machine and to be of real service was, and still remains, my goal.
The adoration of the machine is a profound exercise for awakening. To paraphrase what E.J. has written in the chapter, "Bringing the Womanto Life" in the book, The Human Biological Machine As A Transformational Apparatus . . . in our beginning work, the relationship between the essential self and the machine is somewhat remote and strained. The only will we can exert over the machine is the will of attention. But this will is weak. The additional force that gives us the will necessary to fixate our attention on the machine is adoration, an emotional ingredient, not of the machine, but a higher emotion which can be aroused by the essential self. This is the same intense mood we would naturally feel toward a lover. (My note - this is important to remember - the same mood we would naturally feel toward a lover.)
By diligently following the machine's actions, thoughts, moods with our attention, we begin to develop a relationship with this creature within whom we live and journey. "We must learn to lovingly observe not only the obvious motor-centrum activities of the machine, but also its moods, thoughts, preferences and attitudes, its qualities and weaknesses, what we pride ourselves on and what we prefer to disregard."
By developing this lover/beloved relationship with our machine, it can become a real work partner. "If we consciously adore the machine, it will respond by reflex to our adoration with a profound higher emotion. This higher emotion with which the machine answers our adoration brings about our own transformation".
With gratitude to E.J. Gold.
While talking to a friend, I heard the words flow so naturally from me, "When you clean up the lower levels, you get more sensitive. Go with your intuition." A few hours later, my ashram avatar/guide, vettizon, probed my musings with the question, "Do you really know what that means? It's worth examining your statement from a practical point of view."
Well, first it's common knowledge that one needs to clean up one's diet, listen to the body and Drink Water. (And some have discovered that drinking enough water can make the difference in getting rid of a headache.) However, in this school the ideal work diet eliminates sugar, caffeine and alcohol because they impair one's ability to make the machine (HBM -- Human Biological Machine) passive and make the inner active. Yet, as with anything one encounters on the path, E.J. has always advised us to run unbiased experiments and ascertain for oneself what will work.
Secondly, there are the emotions. Knowing thyself is invaluable in this arena. As you walk through your day, assess your state and know from that determination the predictable scenarios likely to provoke emotional reactions and drain precious work energy.
In the ashram, vettizon is an effective mirror to reflect habitual patterns, like being impatient, rejecting new ideas or input in general, falling into overwhelm, injecting non-pertinent self-criticism into learning situations, striving to dominate situations, or perhaps a more fundamental underlying need to simply "be in control", to name a few.
A whisper of wisdom -- refrain from judging one's attachment to those repetitive patterns. The crucial strategy is to be present as they operate, be open to feeling it play out. And I"ˆhear in my memory banks the music with the chorus, "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do." Oh, I may have had a momentary awakening in my preteen years to call that up.
Don't let the word "attachment" scare you. One needs to get a clear picture of where one is at and acknowledge it, before any real gains can be made.
Thirdly, look at mental postures. Do they distract you from being present? Or do you walk through life with intention, and to what degree? Moving through the labyrinth of life with intention -- that tool can take you a long way.
Habits of self-observation and levels of attention become apparent with this focus. And it is possible, without self-judgment, to work with lapses in remembering your intention so often attributed to aging. Put in place a checking mechanism before leaving a space, so you do complete your intention no matter the distractions encountered. Taking baby steps is acceptable. Don't cave in when looking at the larger picture.
The next level relates to sensing. How able are you to be relaxed and open to whatever is happening? How empty is your mind of chatter? How neutral are your emotions? How energetic is your body? Can you stay alert, use your attention and do nothing? All these factors go into the equation.
My examination could go further, but no need. I have plenty of issues to focus my efforts on daily. One of the strongest tools available is sitting with the SuperBeacon. E.J. has often recommended to sit quietly holding the crystal grips for 3 minutes sporadically during the day. Wearing my amulets and Godd Particle add to the strength of my intention to quiet the machine and maintain continuity of my wish to make the inner active, and invoke presence.
And vettizon reminds me to target becoming a living artifact of this work. Holding true to that aim, you won't go wrong.
"Choice must be clearly understood. We can choose either the life of the being, the essential self, or the life of the machine. We must make that choice before we can even do a simple attention exercise.
"The exercises will do no good otherwise. Why must that be so? There are real laws involved here, things that we can move like blocks...It is also very straight forward....
"We can experiment with poking our finger in a light socket, but we have to make a choice about really wanting to experience what will come from that, if we know ahead of time what that will be. Otherwise, our efforts will be misguided purposely. If we choose the life of the machine, the life of the machine will not include something like an attention exercise. Once we have decided upon the path, then events will take place accordingly.
"We cannot avoid the choice. And no one can make the choice for us. No one can encourage us one way or the other. We may choose either path. If we know of another path, we may choose that. Or we may decide not to choose, in which case, we will just drift back to where we were before we became excited as a being.
"We start out small, gently, one step at a time. But we can't start off until we make the decision. How are we going to make that decision? It needs to be a formal decision, it can't just be a casual drifting. We can't go back on it, we have to follow it through one way or the other. "
Talk of the month #41
To Be or Not To Be