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Our Work Requires That We Should Be Present

posted May 3, 2014, 2:02 PM by Jim Turner
May 3, 2014

The work, our work, requires that we should be present. To be present we have to be free from such obstacles as identification, losing ourselves in what we are engaged in. To be present, we have to be relaxed and this brings us to the world of tensions.

Tensions are not something inert, passive, just slowing up our development. We have to observe how they arise. We have to observe that they arise in us from that which is hostile to the work. They represent in us a great force, our denying force. It is the center of egoism in us which defends itself by means of tensions.

It is essential that there should develop in us an active side which sees and experiences the need to relax. Once again, we need to observe, observe our inner gestures of refusal, our clutching at whatever we are lost in. By relaxation we can become free.

The way is clear. We need to learn to make a gesture of relaxation and to learn to renew it.

Mr. Bennett had a word for this – unhooking. We need to learn the art of unhooking, to make a movement of disengagement, or inwardly letting go. To do this we begin with work on physical tensions, letting go literally a hundred times a day. Later we see that to look for and relax only the superficial tensions does not do very much because under the influence of the underlying tensions they quickly return.

This week, wherever you are in this work, resolve to make some progress in the field of tensions. Superficial tensions can be affected by a superficial effort of attention, the deeper ones require work of a more subtle kind. This week set yourself to go deeper, for tensions are the opposition to our work.

Pierre Elliot
Claymont Society, 1976