If we would talk to people who have spiritual longings about the need for the inner work, many would agree that it would be beneficial and even necessary to reach self-realization. At the same time, however, many feel that they are not ready due to their circumstances in life, that they need to place their full attention on their family, job careers, or some projects that they are working on. It’s also not uncommon for those who have been doing the work for some time and have failed in it, to decide to step back and resume it when they will be stronger.
There are many reasons why people postpone working on themselves, and on the surface many of these seem as perfectly rational, but when looking more deeply into them it becomes clear that the reasoning behind postponing the inner gnostic work has not been properly analyzed, as often time there is an element of self-deception that was a prompting drive for making such a decision.
Someone who says that their circumstances require them to postpone the inner work because they just started with an important position in a company that they need to fulfill, or because they have a large family and no time for doing the Gnostic work, such person is allowing themselves to find excuses. Whether he realizes it or not, an element from his subconscious mind is deceiving him by putting over his mind an illusion of what is needed for an inner work to take place; and many are also not aware of what it means to do the inner work.
Many believe that the spiritual work entails withdrawing forever from civilization, leaving their family, relatives and friends behind in order to go to some distant place in the mountains where they will meditate all day long and follow some religious observances. Or becoming a hermit and living alone in nature. But working on oneself does not require for someone to do that. The spiritual work takes place in your everyday life, in your daily circumstances, in your home and at work, and in what you do in your free time. Some of the key points of the spiritual work consist in having your consciousness active, self-observing your psychological centers where low inner states manifest, and transforming them into consciousness. All of this is done in your life circumstances, where those low inner states have opportunity to emerge so that you can see them and eliminate them.
When life is seen as a school and as a platform for self-development, then we stop seeing our daily activities and life as separate from the spiritual work. We then understand that what happens in our life is a great opportunity for our inner work; it’s a great opportunity for nourishing our essence, eliminating egos and strengthening our inner life. Regardless if we are with our family, or at work, or playing a sport – we can always use anything that life gives us as an opportunity for self-knowledge and self-transformation. This is how we gradually grow spirituality and bring about that inner change in our daily life.
When we postpone the inner work due to ignorance or false reasoning (as it’s often the case with those who have not done it before), or when we postpone it because we failed in it, it might happen later on that we will regret for the time spent not working on ourselves. This of course depends on our level, as not everyone is ready for the work, in which case their focus is moved to other things, which in themselves could serve a preparatory purpose for later on in life (or in some other future existence) when he or she will be ready for it.
However, I think it is necessary to become aware that the work will not become easier just by us returning to it later on. There seems to be a popular view that if want something (but which goes in contrary way to spiritual development), that we should go for it; that we should indulge in the things that we crave, and that when our soul is ready the work will be easier to achieve. Even though there is some truth to it, I think that this type of rationale is misleading because there are many of those who are ready for the Gnostic work, but because of struggles that they go through are considering to postpone it.
The work will not be easy later on; transforming the animalistic nature into a higher nature is not a simple and short weekend work. It takes time, effort, patience, and tenacity, in order to develop the qualities that need to be developed, and remove that which needs to be removed from our interior. It is not an easy process, but a gradual ascension through which we lift ourselves up and slowly realize our true nature. The more we work on ourselves, the easier it will become to keep enduring, especially when we reach more concrete stages in our work, such as when we begin to incarnate parts of our Being. By postponing the spiritual work, chances are high we will lose what we gained thus far.
Having said all that, it is important for each of us to asses why we even do this work, what we want to gain with it, and if it is bringing us fulfillment that we are after. If we get quiet internally and look within ourselves, often time we just know what we have to do; we feel it. Listening to that silent source within us, and not the mind, would bring us closer to fulfilling our purpose, whether that is related to stopping the work for a while, or to keep going.
HDP, December 2019