Michael said in 2015:
“I beg of you, do not assume that when you write of what you are calling ‘the inner work,’ that this does not have profound effect because the focus of the leadership movement, right now is on the inner work.” (1)
I was so glad to get that feedback because I worried that what I was sharing was not meeting anyone’s needs.
But what is “the inner work” he and I are referring to? From the mid-Sixties to the early Eighties, the growth movement “flourished” in the western world and it was all about “the inner work.”
At its basis was the belief that we could unfold, blossom, or grow through the process of looking at ourselves, at our thoughts, feelings, and behavior, owning it all, and sharing what we find.
I say “flourished” because I certainly thought that society as a whole benefited from the growth movement, but in later years people expressed to me the belief that only a small segment of the population went through growth workshops. So its influence may have been less than I thought. I can only say that its impact on me was immense, from encounter to est to enlightenment intensives.
The process of looking at oneself went ahead either through our own self-awareness or else through “being called” (“encountered”) by others on behavior that was painful or counterproductive for them.
If someone called us on something, we both did something with the feedback. The person calling the other looked for projections below their action. The person being called tried it on and tested it out and saw whether it fit or not. If it fit, the person “owned” it.
After a while this process became fluid and automatic. “Is that a projection, dear?” “Yes, I hate waiting.” No big deal.
Owning it meant taking responsible for it and declaring the resonance of the feedback without waiting for the other person to call us further.
We also called that “calling yourself on your own number.”
Communication, except for feedback, was in “I” statements. We were encouraged to stay in the here and now, except when processing a core issue or vasana, which usually had its roots in our early childhood and so needed us to go into the past to “source” or complete it.
We knew about the intellectual, experiential and realizational levels of reality perhaps better than this generation may.
Most of us simply communicate ideas, which are fairly dry and lifeless. Ideas don’t often “touch” us. Sometimes they do. (2)
It isn’t that the intellectual is bad and wrong; it’s just that it’s only a part of the picture and a far less important part than I think we realize.
We aimed for the experiential level. Life lived at there is more alive, more exhilarating, more endearing.
We emphasized sharing our feelings.
Knowing and communicating how we feel opens the floodgates of experience, to an immediacy and range which cannot be had if we remain solely with the intellectual.
Knowing how we feel is also what will move people to take an action on our behalf or not.
It also allows them to know how to orient to us generally. They’ll orient differently if we’re happy or in pain, frustrated or at peace..
Few people communicate from the realizational level – I know I don’t. So about as “high” or expanded as we usually get is the experiential.
For me the “inner work” is (1) pleasurable unto itself, (2) constructive to share with a personal or business partner, and (3) wise preparation for the challenging work that lies ahead.
(1) Archangel Michael in a personal reading with Steve Beckow through Linda Dillon, June 7, 2015.
(2) Sometimes ideas do touch us, such as Werner’s idea of “a world that works for everyone” or a “me-and-you world.”