Hello, welcome to our site. Perhaps you have an interest in Life’s Ultimate Quest. Maybe you were searching for information on Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, Work on oneself, Sufism, Advaita Vedanta, Stephen Wolinsky, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Stephen Jourdain, Zen, Vipassana, Osho, Awakening or any dozen or so other related topics.
Those of us who seek something more in life are usually driven by some gnawing sense of discomfort. A feeling that something is missing, or feeling lost in life. Or you might even have the impression that you don’t belong here in the first place. In seeking, you may have found something interesting in the popular teachings of the New Age, or the many Neo-Advaita gurus who have popped up in the past 15 years. The teaching you will find here is not New Age or Neo-Advaita. Seekers of the latest spiritual fad won’t find anything satisfying here.
What you will find here is only for those who are seriously interested in becoming the living expression of their true nature, their essence. If this is what you are looking for, then know that this will require skill, perseverance, the guidance of a teacher, and grace. All this and more is necessary in order for you to rid yourself of all of the crap that has accumulated during your life.
This path is not about changing beliefs or gaining knowledge. It is about getting rid of your existing beliefs and dropping the knowledge that you think you already have. It is about uncovering and dismantling your personal psychology. We do this not to find something new, but to find something in us that is timeless. There are no requirements to change one’s profession, family situation, relationships, or leisure activities.
However, what following this teaching does require, is an absolute sincerity towards oneself as well as a high degree of personal integrity. Along with the sincerity and integrity you will need an honest willingness to admit that one has “uncooked seeds.”
Typically, if the discomfort of an uncooked seed is triggered, it provokes a defensive response. If pushed, there will likely be an attempt to prove that the other is wrong, or a collapse into self-pity. Uncovering an uncooked seed requires that one develops the capacity to welcome (the related) necessary suffering that has been habitually replaced with the re-action of self-defense or capitulation. When done correctly, this leads to humility and greater sincerity towards oneself. This practice will also increase an inner stability that is less and less affected by outer circumstances.
One of the basic tenets of this teaching is the ability to recognize the difference between necessary and unnecessary suffering. The basic level of transformation is realized by discarding all the unnecessary suffering each time it manifests and welcoming necessary suffering. Normally as human beings we do not differentiate between these two kinds of suffering. We may react in the same manner to being affronted by someone as we do when confronted by the death of a loved one. But in reality, the suffering that arises is very different between the two. And for the purposes of work on oneself, one is to be discarded and the other welcomed.
So what exactly is unnecessary suffering? It springs forth from personal perceived needs, requirements, beliefs, and/or expectations that go unmet (either by ourselves, by others, or by life in general). They surface when we are engaged in inner considering, when we are overcome by negative emotions, and when we have engaged in worry, judgment, insecurity and fear. Through this teaching we learn how to perceive, identify, and ultimately throw unnecessary suffering into the trash.
What about necessary suffering? It is often hidden beneath layers of our personality and we expend a lot of energy in only semi-successful attempts to avoid it. Necessary suffering is that suffering which we need to welcome, accept, and digest in order to evolve beyond the confines of our false personality.
Most (but not all) of the time, fear has to be treated as a resistance to feelling necessary suffering. Wherever there is fear, it might hide a possibility of welcoming necessary suffering. The exception is when there is an instinctive fear of imminent danger.
Here is a specific example: early in the Work, I was asked to imagine that I was facing death and to verbalize what would arise in me from facing this inevitability. My response was that I would feel that I was being shortchanged, that my life had ended before completion… that there was a sense of being unfinished.
I was then asked to feel the necessary suffering of being unfinished and to welcome the associated pain that brought up, while at the same time allowing myself to feel the motivation to do everything possible to become finished.
If you have the heart, courage, sincerity, humility and the patience, then open yourself to make space for grace to enter, and then read further.