I studied the Work with Vernon Howard. This is not the Work of Bryon Katie but of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. It has never failed the serious student. It is said that one finds “a point in the Work.” It is hard to say exactly what that is, but it is the true north for the essential Self. It has kept me getting back up on the balance beam after every fall from grace. And there have been many.
Essence, is said, comes from the stars. It is that part of us that belongs to everything and nothing. It is in need of no lessons. But the ego is top-heavy with self-love or bottom-heavy with self-hatred and it is also blind as a bat. This is what we are linked with, like it or not.
The truth of our being needs no help. It stands alone in unity with every particle and wave. But that ego….let’s just say it is a tad childish. It takes everything and gives nothing. We all have it. It’s where all of the besetting sins occupy space. Mine is quite fond of making me feel ashamed whenever I am seen. And this can be in a good light or a bad light. It knows how to make me squirm with guilt and make impulsive choices that serve no one.
It is said that “The Work will find a way.” Indeed. The Work stood by me when I lost child and spouse. It supports me when I do something wrong for the ten thousandth time. Let us just hint at the idea that perhaps there is a circle of conscious humanity and Christ is the gatekeeper for this planet. Even that hint will cause a great uproar among the sleeping masses. They prefer the darkness of controversy and argument to the light within.
Vernon Howard said so many wise and startling things. He taught me how to gather and conserve vital energy, how to show myself mercy and to stop being so “accommodating.” He gave me that tidbit of advice in a dream after he had died. So I knew it was important. To accommodate the wrong thing is to sacrifice the Self, as he knew so well. I came from a family of codependents and I knew nothing else. I was a people-pleaser. And only God-consciousness has the strength to stop this bad habit.
The Work is endless in its applications. Simple and powerful, it focuses one to see the bad in order to see the good and vice versa. Both insights are necessary. As Dogen said, “To study the self is to study the way.” And so the Work lives on in those who are simply watching themselves live life. As Mr. G. said, “The light will heal us.”