PRACTICES IN INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT
Vitvan stressed that the study of the teachings is hard work. Here he gives some practices for students focusing on self-development.
Intrinsically the power with which we are conscious is the one Power which motivates all of the configurational processes in the Mother. It makes no difference whether that substance is Light, energy, or living matter or one of the degrees and grades between light and energy, or between energy and living matter. There is a motivating force, a motivating power, a sustaining, quickening, creating, developing power. We call it the Power-to-be-conscious. The Power-to-be-conscious is that which constitutes the essential self of each and everyone of us. That same power is the one Power of the whole universe. If we have some understanding of what we are talking about we can label it God.
As persons we are in the process of awakening and quickening that God-consciousness. What we need is a method or procedure, for how to go about it. We need to know how to intelligently cooperate with it. In prior lesson courses I have been working on the idea that our individual development can proceed finer and better and freer from interferences if we have a clear understanding of the structure, function and order of the whole cosmic process. So in those lessons I went to great lengths to describe the background, the structure, function, order of the whole cosmic process in which we are integrated. My earlier idea was to facilitate understanding of the structure-function-order of the whole and then explain where we are in the process. Then, I thought, we could more intelligently cooperate with it. So I put a great deal of effort on describing the structure-function-order of the whole.
But while living the contemplative life at our retreat at Eschatalogia, I came to a complete reversal of the idea. I came to the conclusion that we should begin with the exercises, the discipline that constitutes cooperation with the process. In the School of the Natural Order no one is going to discipline anyone else. We dont believe in that. We believe in presenting the way to do it, then leaving everyone free to do it or not, just as they choose. But my opinion as I begin this lesson course is that we should begin with the individual development process, emphasize that and exercise ones self in order to do it. Then the results of self discipline, the practice, the work and the results of it, will open the understanding of the structure-function-order of the whole, the overall cosmic process in which we are integrated.
I am of the opinion that we can mentalize too much and neglect real self-development and cooperation with the process. We must continually remind ourselves that the finest and clearest and best mental construct is not the journey. It is only a road map. You can have the finest, clearest road map in your hand but you havent yet taken any journey; whereas the self-discipline program is definitely the journey and not just dwelling mentally, intellectually, in our mental constructs.