Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the week of: May 31, 2004

Beyond the Ordinary

In the ordinary way of living, we believe we are our thoughts, emotions, and body. We take for granted that the thoughts and emotions passing through us are what “I think and feel.” But there is no substantive “I” in this, just conditioned, habitual patterns of thinking and feeling that form our personality. We are not this programmed, automated set of inner and outer responses to the world. However, as long as we believe unquestioningly and wholeheartedly in our personality, we relegate ourselves to be less than we could.

How then can we move beyond the personality? First we need to see the current state of our inner life as it is. We look at our thoughts arising on their own, bubbling up out of prior experience, memory, and conditioning, bubbling up without any intention on our part. Noticing this repeatedly leads us toward recognizing that nearly all our thoughts and emotions belong to this conditioned part of us. That realization loosens our attachment to our make-believe self.

At the same time, we look beyond thoughts and emotions, beyond personality toward our inner depth of spirit. In prayer, meditation, stillness, and presence, we can discover our own Truth, we can become who we really are.

For this week, notice how enthralled you are with your own thoughts and emotions, with your personality.


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