Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice

 

Inner Work


For the week of November 2, 2020


Responsibility

(The Ladder of Being: 2)

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Responsibility primarily comes from our will, but both depends upon and has profound effects on our being. Responsibility includes doing right by our body, mind, and heart, our family, friends, colleagues, profession, community, nation, and our planet, with quality, kindness, acceptance, and love. Beyond our ordinary and expected responsibilities, we also face the challenge of responding appropriately and wisely to the unexpected situations we find ourselves in, and to opportunities that arise or that we create. We need more than good intentions to be responsible, we need to be able to persevere in acting responsibly always. This is where the state of our energies, our being, comes in: to enable us to be responsible.

There is a rightness that we feel when we satisfy our responsibilities and a remorse when we fail to do so. This is why starting the day with a simple responsible act, like making our bed with the quality it needs, sets us up for a productive day. Being responsible and productive aligns us with the working of the world, as we play a part, our part, in the great process of this planet. That productivity can extend beyond our external duties and actions, to what we produce inwardly: such as emanations of peace and friendship or energies of finer and finer quality. It extends to selfless acts of kindness and service with no intention of personal profit. Those engaged in a spiritual path take on these additional responsibilities to the sacred.

Regarding ourselves, beyond taking care of our body and all that entails, we are also responsible for our own development as human beings, as spiritual beings. And there are great and wonderful developments possible, if we pursue them consistently, intelligently, and with heart. When we embark on a path or set a goal, we are accepting a new responsibility, to that path or to that goal.

As we go about fulfilling our various obligations, unexpected obstacles often arise: distractions, sudden demands, conflicting commitments, resentment, boredom, opposition, laziness, procrastination, and so on. This is one area in which being has an impact. Being gives us reserves of patience and persistence, that can carry us past obstacles. Conversely, the sheer grit of persisting in the face of difficulties helps organize and bind our energies and thereby strengthens our being. Responsibility and being thus form a virtuous, self-reinforcing circle.

The power of responsibilities derives from the fact that they are objective. Our responsibilities do not change with our thoughts or feelings or the state of our body. The demands on us remain, and by rising to meet them, despite any inner reluctance or other obstacles, we create ourselves. We take on responsibilities that correspond to our own possibilities and develop our being though them. This does not come merely by staying busy, but from steady work and a readiness to learn and improve whatever we do.

Fulfilling our responsibilities despite temporary inner states that pull us in other directions helps purify us. It trains our energies to flow along objective pathways rather than into subjective overindulgences or destructive habits. We become able to rely on ourselves, while others can rely on us to keep our word. In that way, responsibility aligns us with our conscience, while our being serves the essential enabling role.

There is honor in fulfilling our responsibilities. It makes us more fully human. Regardless of our station in life, regardless of our status in society, responsible actions, within our own domain, build our being. Our personal domain, whatever its external reach, grows in its inner, spiritual reach as our being grows. The greater our being, the more we can give.

And clearly, our world needs people with more being, needs us to grow our being. Greater depth of being means greater depth of contact with spiritual energies, greater ability to generate, transform, concentrate, accumulate, and contribute those energies where they are needed. This brings us to our inner, spiritual responsibilities. Those who feel called into the spiritual path and accept to enter it, have a responsibility to pursue it, to become able to give more substantively in the way of finer energies. Our inner work is not merely a personal matter; it has implications far beyond us. We engage in spiritual practices because our world needs us to.

For this week, please notice how you are regarding your own responsibilities.


     

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