Seeking Contentment Or Transformation?
A long-time spiritual student, Donna, recently asked me why the inner work of spirituality is not of greater interest to most people. I asked her to further explain her question.
“It seems like a lot of people don’t want or need to explore their spirituality more deeply. And I don't get it.” She frowned and shook her head. “I don’t understand how so many people can just hang out in church or wherever, and then go back to their regular lives without thinking about it any further.”
“Oh,” I replied. “And why is that of concern to you?”
Donna looked at me with obvious annoyance. “Don't shift the focus, Ron. I know I have to look at my part in this, and why I care about what they do, and I’m going to. But I need you to explain how you see it because I don't feel like I have any choice but to go deeper and deeper in my spiritual work.”
I smiled at her. “Okay. I understand your need to understand. But before I offer some observations, it would be useful to know why this is frustrating to you.”
A long pause followed. “I guess it’s because I feel like I have to make a lot of effort. And it makes me think I’m missing something important. Maybe there is an easier, softer way, and I’m just not getting it.”
“Now that, Donna, is a fine observation. And now I understand the real question. So this is what my experience tells me.”
“First, isn’t it interesting that those who find their way to what Gurdjieff called the “Inner School of Development,” arrive at it because of some life breakdown? That we arrive with a desire for relief from current suffering?”
Donna nodded. “Okay. So maybe a difference is that some of us have had a train wreck - or ten - in our lives. That makes us more motivated.”
“Exactly. And some of us will find sufficient relief in some kind of improvement. We’ll find the comfort we seek, and that will be good enough. We’ll get on with living our lives.”
“Then there are some who see that the healing they seek is deep down inside them. They dive much more deeply into their inner selves.”
“You’re telling me that I’ve had to look deeper for no other reason than I have not been able to be satisfied?” she asked.
“Donna, this is the realm of what some describe as a calling. Sometimes we find our way into the realm of spiritual healing. With that comes a realization that the problems of our lives in fact must be addressed at the level of the Soul, that our solution cannot be found in the realm of the material world. We just can’t stop looking more and more deeply.”
“Is this my destiny?” she asked.
“Now that is a question I think you should explore.”
In the spiritual practice known as the Fourth Way, it is believed there is a “Magnetic Center” that is given before birth that is always calling to us, awaiting our awakening.
Seeing True™ in Action
The only question that seems to matter is whether or not we are content with who and where we are. If we’re satisfied, or for some reason unable or unwilling to press forward with inward development, there’s nothing to be done.
If we are discontented, we apparently must proceed.
Here is a simple tool to appraise your state: At the same time each week, take your emotional, psychological, spiritual temperature. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being extremely discontented and 10 being fully satisfied, how has the week and your life rated?
Over time, the state of your calling will be revealed to you and with it will come your Path.