Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom
Excerpts about Job
A full-time job
Learning to be real is a full-time job. It doesn’t work to just practice it at certain times. But to make that kind of commitment, you have to love and appreciate reality. You have to want to be real at any cost. You have to love being real—even if you don’t like what you’re feeling or who you think you are in any particular moment. That kind of love is the most powerful motive—the real inspiration—for our inner work. If your longing for reality is lukewarm or if it comes and goes, where will the passion and inner support come from to sustain yourself as you learn to be real? The more you are in touch with your love of being real, the more you will be inspired . . . and the more you will be fired up to do the work.
Being fake or being real
It seems to me that five years of real living is worth eighty years, a thousand years of a fake life. What’s the point of that fake life? Feeling scared and running for security or comfort, wanting somebody to pat us on the back, trying to get society to think we're wonderful—what's that all about? You might answer, “Well, I'm scared. I can't do it. I'm weak.” Would you rather live like a scared little mouse so that somebody doesn't reject you or you don't lose a job? Is it really worth living even one hour without self-respect? Is it worth letting people attack you and not speaking up because you're afraid you're going to end up alone? Is that the kind of person you want to be? Is it really better for people to love you when inside you feel fake? Or is it better that people don't love you but you are content with your own actions? Which one is more important? Which one is more valuable?
Being oneself in the world
The inner realization and development becomes expressed in life, becomes the source of one's life, the substance of this life. Everything in one's life becomes a reflection of this realization, an expression and an intimate extension of it. In this way, realization becomes an actualization. It is not only an inner experience, but an actualized life. Life becomes a continuity of Being, instead of a string of events.
It is as if the fullness of the Personal Essence pervades every corner of one's life, filling it, expanding it, transforming it and authentically actualizing it. One's Being and one's life are one thing, inseparable and unified. One is a personal living presence. Living one's life, doing one's job and relating to others, are the same as being oneself in the world.
Doing our job in a real way or a false way
You can do a certain job in a real way or in a false way, and the false is usually an attempt to do it the real way. But because there isn’t the necessary knowledge and experience, the person cannot do it the real way. I do not go along with the usual spiritual perspective that you have to renounce your life, live simply, and forget about living well or doing things in your life. It is not true, you can be successful. You can live in a comfortable way, you can live in a refined way, enjoy the good things on earth, and still be one hundred percent spiritual. The real integration is a complete integration between materialism and spirituality. Wholeness is when the completely material endeavors become completely spiritual endeavors, at the same time—when there isn’t the slightest distinction, completely, not the slightest distinction. Otherwise, you are still not a complete human being. You are half. You are one way or the other.
Fear of no job
Suppose it is true that you don’t have a job and you don’t have money. Why be scared? What does that do for you? “Well,” you say, “I don’t have a job so I might starve to death, so I’m scared.” Does getting scared make you live longer? You can go scream and have a temper tantrum, but that will not prolong your life. Ultimately, our misery and our fear is all our doing. It is an interference with our own natural process.
This insight is quite promising. If your attitude is ultimately up to you, freedom is possible. If your life were in someone else’s hands or in the hands of the devil, you wouldn’t have a chance!
Job & Unfoldment
The deeper we become involved in our unfoldment and the more we align with it, the more our external life situations become part of that unfolding. Issues such as which girlfriend or boyfriend to have, which business to be in, where and how to live, and so on, will become subsumed into the unfoldment. This is not necessarily true at the beginning of the journey, and it depends on the relevance of the particular situation to the overall unfoldment of the soul. For example, sometimes deciding which job to take is crucial for your unfoldment, but sometimes it isn't. Guidance will function to help you see which job to take if that choice is relevant for your overall unfoldment. All the practical choices we have to make in life can be within the range of inner guidance if we look at them from the perspective of what will optimize our overall development.
The Work and a job
Sometimes I think that many of you are here for the wrong reasons. Many of you persist in wanting and trying to get things from the Work that it is not the job of the Work to provide. Students bring in problems and want me to solve them. Certainly each of us needs to solve his problems, but that is not the interest of the Work, nor is it my interest in working with people. When I am working with someone it is generally not my concern to solve problems. Not only is it not my concern, but I find the situation of being expected to solve problems for people, or even with them, very boring and unrewarding. It misses the point. Resolving specific problems is not the most important thing, because problems will continue to arise. Life is full of problems. If you dedicate your life to solving problems, you will have your hands full for the rest of your life. Certainly, there is a place for problem-solving in life. However, students often believe that solving one problem after another will eventually eradicate all problems and lead to happiness. That is not what happens.