Simple Work Ideas, Maurice Nicoll

Man is compared to a "House In Disorder": The Master is away, and the servants are doing what they like. When the telephone rings, they speak and pretend that they are the Master, and make all sorts of promises and orders under his pretense. Some of these servants feel that there is a better state possible. They see clearly what is going on, and band together with the intention of putting order in the house, in the hope that this will attract the return of the Master.

Everyone is two people - the person we suppose ourselves to be, and what we really are.

Our life depends on this thing called 'oneself'. If we wish to have a different life, we first of all have to realize what kind of life we have now. As long as we remain this 'oneself' our life cannot alter. It will always ATTRACT the same misfortunes, disappointments and so on.

A new memory about ourselves.

Help cannot reach us while we are self-satisfied.

Observing I vs observed I: like a window to let in light.

Uncritical self-observation.

There can be no change in us if we are stopped by self-criticism.

We have to study ourselves as if we were another person.

We miss the point if we think it is about external affairs.

It's not to add to, but to change what one is.

Four states of consciousness:

4. Objective Consciousness

3. Self-Awareness of Self-Consciousness or Self-Remembering

2. Waking state

1. Sleep with dreams

We are not one, but many.

Four centres of man: intellectual centre, emotional centre, moving centre, instinctive centre.

Each centre has a certain amount of force available, when one force is exhausted we can then use another centre.

In "Balanced Man" all centres work normally and have their right periods of activity.

Four types of man:

1 Moving Man / 1 Instinctive Man

2 Emotional Man

3 Intellectual Man

4 Balanced Man

Develop those sides which are lacking in development. Therefore no new experience is useless once one understands the direction in which evolution lies.

Man has not one will but many contradictory wills.

Man is compared to a "House In Disorder": The Master is away, and the servants are doing what they like. When the telephone rings, they speak and pretend that they are the Master, and make all sorts of promises and orders under his pretense. Some of these servants feel that there is a better state possible. They see clearly what is going on, and band together with the intention of putting order in the house, in the hope that this will attract the return of the Master.

Each 'I' in a man has been acquired from some experience in life, from imitation, from environment, from something real, form fantasy, from profession, etc.

Observe from the standpoint of different 'I's existing in you, and notice how they often contradict one another. Try to notice the intonations with which different 'I's speak.

Our level of being attracts our life.

We have the illusion that change for the improvement of our life depends on outer circumstances.

To change we need to give up our suffering, but people will not - they struggle to keep it.

We have to FEEL (not just intellectually knowing) that life owes us nothing, and other people owe us nothing.

We are attached to everything in ourselves: vanity, stupidity, merit, beauty, elegance, accomplishments, self-evaluation, and particularly suffering.

While we are governed by negative emotions, the influences coming form the Higher Centres cannot reach us.

Our relation to our knowledge is governed by our being.

Understanding is defined as the resultant of knowledge and being.

When we begin to understand what we did not understand before, there is the chance of change precisely through the understanding.

Man is a self-developing organism which means that he cannot develop under compulsion but only through internal freedom, which is one's understanding (knowledge + being) that a man can evolve.

Cosmically speaking man is a small thing, a new experiment which might be wiped out in favor of another experiment.

As long as man remains asleep and mechanical, he is used.

Central point: man is a self-developing organism, capable of evolving through his understanding, and changing his level of being - by which means he can come under new influences and reach help.

Man consists of two parts, Essence and Personality.

We have to understand that Essence (born with) is very soon surrounded by Personality. What we are born with is surrounded by what we acquire (Personality) - beliefs, opinions, customs,etc. What Essence is, what we really are, remains undeveloped. But a man only grows through a new growth of Essence.

Essence is what we really are. Personality is what is not us.

Personality must be formed; because if we wish at a later stage of life to grow individually, we cannot do so without this food of Personality.

We believe in all that we have imitated - this side we have acquired, and take as ourselves.

Gradually we become an invented person.

False Personality is our self-liking, self-love, self-admiration, self-pity and negative emotions.

We have to discover through self-observation what is real and what is false in us.

Observe lying. We are always lying - by boasting, justifying and pretending.

If the Essence of one person is attracted by another's Essence something real is possible.

Only a man with real individuality has a Real Will and can Do.

When we really see the different 'I's speaking, an illusion about ourselves begins to be destroyed, and we pass a little nearer to the state in which Real 'I' can come nearer.

Efforts must be intelligent, and must be based on the direction The Work teaches, and on what we have observed in ourselves in relation to the Teaching.

All efforts made must be useful in one of three respects:

1. to The Work itself

2. to others in The Work

3. to oneself

The first effort we can make is the effort of Self-Observation - learning to observe ourselves uncritically.

ESTABLISH THE OBSERVING I.

Our natural right is the third state of consciousness, the state of Self-Remembering. Unless we can begin to Self-Remember, we are identified with everything.

Self-Mastery begins with struggling with identifying.

To remember ourselves we must not identify. To learn how not to identify we must first not be identified with ourselves. For this reason we must learn and practice Self-Observation. When we realize we need not go with a mood etc., but can draw the feeling of 'I' out of it, we begin to see what not identifying with ourselves means.

"Serious things can be understood through laughable things."