Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the week of December 15, 2014

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The Wish To Be Whole

(The Way of Wholeness: Part 2)

We might wonder what will enable us to come to a deeper level in our spiritual inner work. The primary answer to that is simple: dogged, intelligent persistence. We need to keep at our inner work practices, drop by drop, day after day, year after year. And we need to notice how things are going with us and adjust accordingly. Staying with our inner work in this way, the drops slowly accumulate to the point where we realize that something fundamental has changed in us. Then we continue our inner work, and further drops accumulate and further fundamental changes come.

That process is not linear. We go up and we come down. When we go up and new inner perceptions appear, it can be thrilling. But at first in each stage we only get a glimpse of the higher level, then we come back down to where we were, and then, by dogged, intelligent persistence, we build toward a more permanent station in that higher level. And then from that new level, the process continues in the same way, glimpsing the next higher, coming back down and then gradually building back up. It requires long persistence, but it does not disappoint, paying dividends all along the way, dividends for ourselves and for those around us.

This raises a basic question: what can be the sources of that necessary persistence? What can motivate us to stay with the Way of Wholeness, through thick and thin, through the ups and the downs, through the days, years, and decades? And how can our motivation increase to the point of urgency?

The first source is where we are coming from: seeing our state of fragmentation. This leads naturally to recognizing our lack of and need for wholeness. Seeing how fragmented we are with our inchoate thoughts and emotions, how scattered our attention is, how the decisions a part of us makes so often fail to influence the whole of us all that makes us want to change, makes us seek wholeness.

But the motivations for wholeness stem not just from what we do not want to be: they also come from what want to be. The more our inner work increases the depth of our presence, the wholeness and completeness of our presence, the more we love being present. We value each moment of presence. We see that living in presence is the right way to live. In presence we feel fully human, fully ourselves. As these occasional moments of presence connect with each other, they connect our life on a new level. We come to love presence and that love drives us along the Way of Wholeness. The more presence we experience, the more we love it, and the more we practice it.

As presence grows stronger and deeper, our intuition of its sacredness grows. We feel that in pure presence we are at least on the outskirts of the Divine. We understand the great privilege it is to be able to be and further begin to develop the taste of Who is being when we are, that somehow in simply being we participate in the Divine. Thus awakens our love of the sacred, our understanding of how close the sacred is to us, understanding that we could live in the sacred. And through that love, through our intuition of Whose wholeness we seek, we grow impassioned about our inner work on the Way of Wholeness.

Ultimately, these various sources of our motivation for wholeness combine into a true expression of wholeness, namely wholeheartedness. We become the bearers of a wholehearted wish for completion. But whatever the degree of our wish, we cannot necessarily say it arises from one source or another. We cannot necessarily say why we wish for wholeness. Rather that wish comes out of the depths of who we are, beyond the reach of our awareness. We just know that we need to engage in inner work, that we must, that we do, that we will.

For this week, please cultivate the sources of your wish for wholeness.


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