I’m observing myself as I do my writing and I notice that I have this concept of “good work.”‘
“Good work” is work I feel love, bliss, or joy in doing. Or peace or tranquillity. Good work elevates.
“Undesirable work” is work I feel irritation, anger, or resistance in doing. This kind of work depresses. I should probably let this kind of work slip off the table.
The exact point at which I saw that I had this notion of “good work” was when I was doing my monthly budget.
I love doing my monthly budget. I love being organized. Here I was, updating my budget, merrily working away.
Hit the pause button.
If you knew me, you’d know I have this story that I hate math. (1)
But my story doesn’t fit the reality.
In reality I very much enjoy adding up the columns of figures and checking it with my bank records. I feel elevated doing it, happily working my way through things and reconciling it all. I just won’t admit it to myself.
So doing my budget falls unexpectedly into this category that I’ve called “good work.” Acknowledging it as such now removes the blinders that I’ve had on: The truth has set me free.
Anything I think of that can benefit others I think of as “good work” as well. Large or small. I feel love in the doing of it.
Being on the awareness path is for me a great blessing because the act of awareness causes a condition to lift. So I both get to study a field that supremely interests me and heal myself of all the trauma we accumulate in the process. What’s not to like?
The ultimate act of self-awareness – and its goal – is to be aware of the Self/All Self.
This lifetime I don’t get to be monkish or philosophical. This is a hands-on, karma-yoga lifetime of service. To the monk in me, “service” translates as “work.”
I mean the phrase, “good work,” in the same way the Buddha meant “right action.” There are universal laws and behavior that aligns with them is right action; in the same vein, work that aligns with universal law and the divine qualities is good work.
Added to the evidence of awareness is the knowledge of the masters. Jesus’s observation that the truth shall set you free is a cornerstone of awareness practice. (2)
The truth does set us free. The follower of the awareness path endeavors to remain in the present moment, which it turns out is also the place of experienced truth. They aim for personal transparency, consistent with duty or dharma, and revel in receiving mirroring and feedback.
Self-awareness is the most fascinating of fields of study for me and the most rewarding. (2) Any time I spend in it I regard as “good work.”
(1) Michael says that I was a mathematical philosopher in another lifetime and, after it, I begged him never to ask me to be a mathematician again.
(2) Tell the truth and it’ll set us free from the condition.
We can use that knowledge in the following way.
We can measure our progress in freeing ourselves from an upset. Are we feeling freer, lighter, happier? Then we know the truth is being expressed.
Are we feeling denser, darker, and more irritable? Then we know we’re moving farther and farther away from the truth. Time to turn around and go another way.
(1) I spent three months in a growth-movement program that featured encounter groups and different therapeutic workshops, at Cold Mountain Institute in … 1975-6? After that, est, rebirthing, Zen, enlightenment intensives, etc. The thing that united all of them was awareness.