It was twenty years ago that I first discovered ‘the Work’ of George Gurdjieff and two of his principle students, Peter Ouspensky and Maurice Nicoll. The teaching comes from the work Gurdjieff began in the late eighteen hundreds. It was called esoteric Christianity. Esoteric refers to the knowledge or knowing from within, inner being. It’s a practical methodology leading to an awakened way of being and doing.
The Work begins with internal attention. Self-observation is internal attention. You must begin to see for yourself what you are like and what goes on inside of you. You become aware, through inner attention, of your negative emotions rather than only seeing other people’s negative emotions with your external attention. You begin to see what it means to identify with your negative emotions and not to identify with them.
Seeing your own negative emotions and asking what you should do is like having a garden full of weeds and eagerly asking what you should plant and grow in it. The garden must first be cleared of weeds. Before you can do, you must stop doing, awaken to the negative programs you indulge in, and clean out the weeds or to mix a metaphor, daily clean the machine of your old mind sets. We have to let go to let come.
The Work says ‘you have the right not to be negative.’ It does not say you have no right to be negative. To feel you have the right not to be negative is a significant step. It says you are actually engaged in Self-remembering, of feeling a trace of the real IAM that lifts you above the level of your negative I’s which are always telling you, without pause, that you have every right to be negative. The awakening has begun . . .
What surprises me is the power and pervasiveness of the old mind set and its ongoing conditioning to promote negativity and limitations. Turn on most any media machine. Watch the movies that play out in front of you all day long. Listen to your own inner and outer conversations. With self-observing awareness notice the impact of all this input. See yourself with a new mind that observes what really is rather than what seems to be.
Do you believe that everyone has the right NOT to be negative? Isn’t this the message of Christ consciousness, Buddha mind, Enlightened presence? Is not this who we really are? Are you willing to give up what you think you are in order to become who and what you already are? You can begin an ongoing practice of self-observation right here. What are you observing in your thoughts now? Stop…. No judgement. Simply be aware.
This simple observation engages the silent Witness and alone begins to diminish the negativity. All you have to do is OBSERVE. Don’t beat yourself up, gently witness with lovingkindness. Appreciate the observation. Bless the awareness. Create a new you. It’s the end and beginning of a new Mind-set, a magnificent abundance that’s been waiting for your presence a very long time. Give it up and give thanks for it All. Hmm…