Consciousness & Love


A rare mood. I don't know whether to call it a rare mood or an appropriate mood for the days that we are living in and the various things that are happening now. I just came back from Klil where I met with a number of friends.
It's very interesting - I've got to remember - we ate dinner at Dany's, and at one time Carmel and Halel were trying to figure-out: 'who's that girl... how is that girl?' Finally it comes around to who they're thinking of, whose name are they looking for - it's Aviv! Very nice... they're very fond of Aviv... send 'dash' (regards)! I'm mentioning it now because that is the girl who thinks nobody wants to talk to her - those that come to the house visit others, they sit around, but they don't visit her, don't talk to her. So here from a distance comes a warm 'dash' from Carmel and Halel. That was the nicest part of the meeting, later it got a bit complex. 
I had a very intense time in Klil. It's the end of the summer. People are acting as if they're walking in a fog, playing the old tapes over and over again. It took the life out of me because in order to relate, in order to see you have to vibrate with it, somehow. Whatever was going on in the past few weeks contained a lot of intense issues, or intense identifications - I don't know what to call it. Life has been called everything under the sun. We have all the words, we don't need any more words to call something this or that - all we have to do is 'identify' it when it happens. 
Poor Na'ama - good will and sensitivity are fine things to have if you want to do anything useful in this world. But it doesn't replace effort and it doesn't eliminate the associations in each 'center' that have been twisting and building-up our whole damn life. Here we've got the same 'spirit' in action that I had in a recent talk with Imka; also with Benny. It's nothing new, but everything that happens is like the top of the pyramid, it's built on everything that went before. If something has to do with everything - you've got a whole lot to look at. 
It's a little late for people to start practicing non-critical self-observation, separation and self-remembering, only when a so called crisis arises. When something builds, builds, builds - all of a sudden you can't avoid it any more. Like Benny's situation right now. Well, he's already got somewhat of a muscle, yeah. I'm living there with him a bit: he talks to me, I think of him, I think of Ziva and the children, of their friends and how they relate - it's somehow in my system. It's in his system and it's also in my system in a different way. Oh my goodness, what doesn't go on! He's been doing his own work, to the best of his ability. He can get caught in mechanicality, but he gets to see it. Then, there's this whole dynamic with wife Ziva. And she's not so happy, I guess. I don't know, has she ever been happy other than for moments here and there? So the solution was another child. We forget about that already - it’s just a couple of years ago. 'Okay, you want another child? You've got it!' Then a few years go by and things are still not going so good. Now the problem is the house - something's wrong with the house. Benny says: 'You want to change the house? We can change the house!' So they move to a new house. The truth is, without idealizing you Benny, you are trying to accommodate her - you haven't been fighting her, have you?
Benny: Not totally.
Alan: Not on the surface, anyway. With those outer things, you've been able to accommodate her. The fact is that you don't live up to her picture of an ideal husband. God knows where those pictures come from! 
Anyway, what isn't going on! You all know Benny a bit - I hope you are not losing too much energy there. What the hell do you care what he's going through? Not that you should, or that you should leak there.
*  *  *
Now: a look at the COMMENTARY BY NICOLL that Hanna and Juliet have been reading. I was wondering how they dealt with certain words and phrases that are not in common use.
They may have passed them over - so now we'll take a closer look. 
Nicoll starts off by saying:
“In the last paper reciprocal affection was spoken of as being necessary for conjunction with the Work.”
Now, what did you do with the words 'reciprocal' and 'conjunction'? You stopped there and looked at it?
Hanna: Yes, I think, yes.
Alan: Reciprocal affection - that's very interesting. Why reciprocal? You say 'reciprocal' usually between people, or at least between living things. You can have a reciprocal relationship with a child, with an animal. Even when taking care of a garden you've got a reciprocal relationship with it. You see, you can almost meditate on that one sentence.
The Work is like an organism - the pieces inter-act. An organism is something that lives. Is the Work alive? Well, of course it is - because what is the Work? The Work is about 'how things work'! And, how do things work? Everything is 'working', it's actually God - the Everything! And what is everything? Everything is everything, and everything is interacting. So, that's why we're looking at it now: 'Reciprocal affection'.
Now, the Work has affection for you, God has affection for you, the Universe has affection for you. It takes care of the birds, and the bees, and the planets, and the earth, and the lions and tigers. And you are also part of all of this. There are different levels - there's the natural level of nature, of the body and what not, and then there are other levels that are more refined. Animals, for instance, also have emotions, but nothing vibrates like the emotions of human beings. And psychically, the energy of thought is also part of the whole. 
“In the last paper reciprocal affection was spoken of as being necessary for conjunction with the Work.”
'Conjunction' is like the fit. I have a conjunction of some kind, at this very moment, with this child that is present.  
“If a person has no affection for the Work there can be no conjunction with it.”
That's a big one. The Work, as it's laid out first of all in words, talks about truthful things. People who get 'caught' by it demonstrate an affection for something voiced in words that they sense is true. Their own experience or their own yearning for something tells them so. To start with, they know that they are not fully connected with the world. They are not connected with now, they are not connected with God. They are mostly busy 'collecting' - in the interests of some kind of as if personal self-importance. That's a normal and necessary stage - the development of personality. Mankind moves in the field of personality - you have to know how to deal at that level. Personality development is necessary!
Then if you have affection for the truth, you attempt to 'work it' - you work, you try to relate yourself to it - you try to live up to what you know best. If you like the Work, have 'affection' for it, you want to interact with it affectionately - which means with consideration and patience! Like when you have affection for a child, something that you don't totally understand - you are patient with it, you watch it, and you eventually develop a 'conjunction'. 
“If there is no conjunction with it there is no understanding of it. In short, affection for it opens the way to the eventual understanding of the Work.”
What does it mean 'understanding'? The Work defines understanding as the 'meeting of knowledge and level of being'. 
Now, self-remembering requires a certain separation from what's happening, outside or inside. That requires a certain backing up, not getting identified with what is happening at any particular moment. But in order not to be identified with something, you have first of all to recognize it, you have to see what is happening - which is observation - non-critical self-observation. 
It's been pointed out that what is usually called self-observation isn't really self-observation at all. It's observation of what is not self. The Self is actually doing the observing. Observation comes from Basic Consciousness. That's where your Essential Self is. It can observe a thought, an emotion, a sensation. So, really, what we call self-observation, at first, is actually observation of functions. Is that clear to everybody? 
When one comes across these ideas and feels affection for them, it's because they reflect a flash of the truth - even when only read about.
In order to understand, you have to have the knowledge. If you're going to observe - what are you going to observe? Your attention is brought by the knowledge to the fact that your thinking process is quite different from your emotional reaction, which again is different from your bodily sensations. Different! If a person doesn't have that knowledge and someone says, you know, 'observe yourself!'... well... what are you expected to look at? The tiredness in your back? The bitter taste in the mouth? The memory of something said yesterday? What do you observe!? 
The Work points you in the direction of categories that are essential to observe. You can observe, in your negativity, the fact that you are internally considering, for instance. If you've clearly identified the difference between internal and external considering - without romanticizing the issue - you have already taken a big step!
So, 'understanding' is defined in the Work: when the knowledge meets with the equivalent level of being. You can only apply the knowledge to the extent that you're 'present'. Two legs: Knowledge and Being! If knowledge gets ahead of being, or being gets ahead of knowledge - you get stuck. That's what Na'ama is presently finding out.
I just came from Klil. Many people there are so sophisticated with a mixture of knowledge. It's eclectic. Now, they are faced with the stark realities of life. Now, this demands some kind of control and some kind of modesty or humility in face of all the rapid changes. Now the test comes: can their Being be deep enough for them to experience what's happening, without getting totally identified? Each time they walk out of the house there's the chance that they could be blown up. And the money issue has got everyone, you know, uptight. People are functioning at a very fearful level. This is not meant to be a judgment, but they are generally scared shit - they get knocked over so easily.
To extend a picture: the children pass their teens and start living their 'own life'. The adults were busy being 'good parents' but end off running the risk of becoming the biggest strangers in the world to their own children. Because, they've all been looking at each other with such, you know, notions of 'mine'. It's full of 'me and mine'. Well, it's not so different from what people do in life generally. 
"In short, affection for it opens the way to the eventual understanding of the Work."
Understanding is something functional - it's not an idea! Knowledge is 'idea'. Being is being. When the truth of knowledge meets the equivalent level of being, then you understand something. You all must have had that experience at least occasionally.
"Indifference or dislike closes the way to understanding it. If a man values many other things far more than any value he puts on the Work in his inner self - apart from what he pretends with his outer self - it will be unable to make a conjunction with him."  
“If a man values many other things..." 
Everything gives something. We have hope in a lot of different things, semi-consciously, more or less consciously. And anything we have hope in, we 'value'! 
“If a man values many other things far more than any value he puts on the Work in his inner self  - apart from what he pretends with his outer self - it will be unable to make a conjunction with him.”  
That means 'reality' will not be his. We narrow-down to what we value. With our small wants, we 'narrow down' - your centers get closed-down, they're not picking up anything else. We 'focus' on where we put value. This suggests that we focus on the Work, to start with - focus on what is called our inner-self. That may not be all so clear, but, I mean - what else can you do?
“He will not resemble that merchant seeking goodly pearls...” 
That's from the New Testament - part of a parable with a unique meaning. The story is that of a man who finds a pearl (something of great value) in the ground  and he goes and he sells everything he has in order to buy that plot of land. Let's see how Nicoll explains it:  
“He will not resemble that merchant seeking goodly pearls "who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it" (Matt. xiii.46). Notice he had to sell first before he could buy. He sold what was valueless in comparison with the pearl.  The merchant is yourself in relation to the Work. To sell means, psychologically, to get rid of former interests you have valued by drawing energy out of them through not identifying.”
That doesn't mean that if you had a big interest in food, that you don't eat anymore. You know, people see everything in black and white terms. The so-called sexual issue has a strong pull - we place a lot of 'value' there. Some people view that issue in extreme terms. Some Christians, for example, become celibate, they become nuns or priests. The Work doesn't suggest that. It suggests non-identifying. Because if anything is pulling you and you get identified with it, you've just lost yourself in it. From a Work point of view, first of all, non-critical self-observation! Be aware of the pull. If there is a degree of self-remembering, then you have a choice relative to it. If it sucks your energy, if you have no control, then you're lacking in awareness. You can work to remember, you can work not to be identified. The Work indicates how you might intelligently touch things. Not by cutting off your genitals. Everything has its place. When you are present you have choice. If you are identified with something, stolen by something, well - you're not even there. A center may be active, but you're not there. And when you're not there, you are not in the world, and when you're not in the world, you are not in the Work. 
Benny, is that clear, somehow? Everyone goes through questions like that. We never discussed it in detail, but it's not a secret that for a long time back Benny has had a very compulsive relationship to the sexual activity. He tells me now he's no longer a victim of that to the same degree. You (Hanna) also. Who not? Nobody in this room, except Na'ama, never had any difficulty with that, ever. That's humor, right? 
"To sell means, psychologically, to get rid of former interests you have valued by drawing energy out of them through not identifying."
You see, maybe that's being put too simply, but you can't say everything in one sentence or in one paper.
"To sell psychologically means to get rid of former interests you have valued." 
It's not 'getting rid' so much, it's the issue of identification. Eating is normal, sex is normal. Rarely, by the way, but potentially normal.
“The released energies can then go to the "pearl"...”
The released energy! Because, what you want, what you value, you are spending energy on.
“The released energies can then go to the "pearl" - which for us is the Work and the attaining of consciousness.”
The Work refines our consciousness. The Work is the Work, whether we see it or not, like it or not, follow it or don't follow it. It is HOW THINGS WORK. That's how it represents itself - not as merely another philosophy. If you try to practice it, you'll see if it works, if that's really the way things work. 
Now, when you see how things work, it means that you've become conscious of how things work. Consciousness is the issue - your own consciousness, relative to whatever falls on that consciousness. The impressions that fall on a center reflect on your consciousness - if you're conscious! They say that when a person dies, drowns for instance, their whole life passes in front of their eyes. No matter what you have experienced it all gets 'registered', but generally not consciously - because you were not there. Everything you ever saw, said, heard, tasted - it's all there. The Work aims at 'bringing consciousness up to the level of incoming impressions'. The whole universe is potential impressions, it is living! The temperature, the stars and their influences, the moisture of the earth, the smells, the noise, the psychic activity: everything that's happening, from your own aching back to whatever else. It's all alive, now. How to bring consciousness up to the level of incoming impressions!? Also Higher Centers are always 'talking', but you don't hear them - they can only reach you when you are in a state of self-remembering. When you're not in self-remembering you are covered with the fog of the past - the past continues to make impressions on you, though you are hardly aware of it. The Work opens us up to other considerations. 
The most 'professional' person who externally considers is a headwaiter in a fancy restaurant. When a regular customer comes in, he knows whether he is with his wife, or with his girlfriend and should be seated out of sight. He will have the man's favorite wine waiting on the table. Because, when the customer leaves, he gives the headwaiter a tip! If the headwaiter could he would also know the names of the man's children and other of his habits. But, other than when you are 'looking for a tip', what is your interest in another person? Well, you can't make people interested in other people. You can't make people! Actually it's a pretty natural thing - there's nothing more amazing at this level of existence than a human being. But we're so busy wanting them to like us and treat us right. We're like a headwaiter in a falafel shop - we don't do very well there. (laugh)
“The released energies can then go to the "pearl" - which for us is the Work and the attaining of consciousness.”
The most important consciousness is the consciousness of Self. That's called self-remembering. It can fade in and out. Sometimes a person has a taste of it. Actually, you only get a taste of it when you are to some degree 'present'. Maybe you have a taste of it now: Consciousness of your own Being, which is Consciousness Itself. That's already serious talk. 
“All this will take very many years.”
Ho! 'Very many years!' Someone came to Gurdjief and asked: How long will it take? He answered: Are you ready to spend twenty years? And the person said: Twenty years?! Well, what else are you gonna do? Have you a taste for what Being might be - being true, being present, being something that is not based on fear, vanity or pride?  
See how Eliya responds to being - this little child just discovered Benny. I'd like to count up how many women he had in his life! Did anyone love him like that? It's just peace relating to peace, affection relating to affection. 
“All this will take very many years.”
But if someone is working, to whatever small degree, they can feel a movement, even if it is just a 'hair' in the right direction. Sure, twenty years to get a head of hair. If you don't get a hair going in the right direction, you've just lost one to the wrong direction. When a person begins to realize that, they don't get greedy, and they don't get impatient. 
“It is a mysterious process like a seed that grows no man knows how, and it leads to a gradual transvaluation of one's previous valuations”.
You see, the selling and buying is a process, which works gradually. 
“ leads to a gradual transvaluation of one's previous valuation. To buy means to appropriate a thing, to make a thing one's very own psychologically.”
That means off the printed page - into understanding. Then it's yours. That's what so wonderful about understanding, even with something small. Once you've got it, you've got it. But then you must always make an effort to remember yourself - in order to remember what you know best. The best that you've got is deep within you. Many things are alive in you only when you are present in self-remembering. Only there you have the energy which lights up that part of your psyche that knows best, at the deepest level. When you lose yourself, what you know best is simply not there. You do not exist within a level which is not 'lit-up'.
“Psychic energy is like money. With little free psychic energy one can buy little new understanding. Now to want a thing is to value it, realizing one has not got it.”
You don't 'want' what you imagine you've already got. 
“Not to want it is not to value it. This is either because you imagine you have got it already, or because you do not care. To want a thing with all one's mind, soul, heart and strength is to value it supremely and want it with all centres”. 
Now, if that doesn't sound serious enough I don't know what does. That doesn't take place over night. There are stages, but they require you to, at least, remember what you already know. You already have something. Sometimes you have to 'want' what you don't have at the moment, but you know is there. To want it is to realize you haven't got it now. The truth is, that you have everything essential. It is pointed out in the Work that you have everything you need. You've got everything! You don't know it, or sometimes you know it, and then you forget it. You forget it when you get sucked into the world. So Nicoll says: 
“To want a thing with all one's mind, soul, heart and strength is to value it supremely and want it with all centres. It is to love it, to feel the most powerful affection and emotion for it, before all other things.”
He says, later: the truth is that you can't do that, you can't 'love' yet. But, he says, this is ultimately the major hope. 
“It is to love it, to feel the most powerful affection and emotion for it, before all other things. But the Work says that we cannot love like this.”
In our present state we cannot love like this. We are not one, but many. 
'God is a God of order, not of disorder'. It is pure science! You might know certain things, sense them when you’re in a true place, but it doesn't mean that you've obtained unity. Who hasn't had the experience of being ten different people in one day? And that's on a calm day! Who laughed?
Merav: I did.
Alan: Merav is around the corner?
Merav: Yes.
Yes, she's quite a 'mamzeret' (sly little girl), I tell you, nobody realizes. Simple little girl, yeah, like hell. (Laugh) 
“We are not one but many.” 
That's not theoretical anymore for anybody here. You should value what you've already seen. You've seen a very big truth - even if you get stolen ten times a day. When you notice that you get stolen by one thing, and then by another, you've already seen the difference between the 'I' that was, and the 'I' that follows. That's already an awareness of the truth of the multiplicity of I's. You can see them, see the changes. That strengthens 'Real I', the YOU, the One that is seeing all that. So you are not totally identified. As long as you are observing, the real in you is being strengthened! Every moment of self-remembering is like putting a drop in a certain place. When the 'drops' build up to a certain density, then the balance shifts - your sense of identity changes from what you are 'doing', to what you really are. To be stolen is to become what you're 'doing'.
“Our being is characterized by multiplicity.” 
Most of the time you're at the level of sleeping mankind, of the multiplicity of 'I's. There are degrees of awareness even in that. You can be more or less asleep. I'll tell you something - the less you are asleep, the more painful that sleep becomes. So: 'Happy the people who are totally asleep and don't know it. Happy the people that are awake. Painful for those who are in the process of awakening!' 
You see (Benny), you can't be so bad if you can be in a place where this child loves you so. But you have had practice with your own daughter as well, eh? 
“We have many different 'I's, pointing in all directions. One 'I' wants something, another 'I' does not.”
That's interesting. Have you had that experience? When one 'I' wants something and another one wants the opposite?!
“We are not one but many.  Our being is characterized by multiplicity. We have many different 'I's, pointing in all directions. One 'I' wants something, another 'I' does not. One 'I' likes, another 'I' dislikes.”
Now, don't you experience that in people? Can't you recognize it? 
Do you have to decide if someone is good or bad? First of all you can see: 'I like this, I don't like that'. Even to take the 'I' out of it. What does an 'I' really care? I mean, does Real 'I' really care? Real 'I' wishes to be! Real 'I' wishes to be conscious. Real 'I' wishes not to be lost, stolen, identified. The small 'I's which like and don't like are not the Real 'I'. They come from one or another center. 'God' is very neutral, loves everyone. Consciousness, Real I, is higher than you think. The next level up within you is God to the level below: the All-Compassionate, the All-Knowing, the All-Loving. Those are 'Names of God' that come up in various traditions. God doesn't interfere with people's lives, because the All-Purpose of the creation is Self-evolution. Human beings evolve through their own intelligent effort, not through the 'judgment' of God. It doesn't work that way. God doesn't work through guilt. Sounds like a bit of a presumption, eh, talking in the name of God?
“One 'I' has affection, another is indifferent.” 
To the same situation or person, whatever. Also to the Work?!  
“One 'I' has affection, another is indifferent. When a person is in the Work all this confused strife of 'I's goes on year by year under the fitful light of self-observation, and within hearing of the Work.”
What is the 'hearing of the Work'? You hear it - which allows you 'fitfully' to observe. There's a process there. So, the aim of the Work isn't to make you a 'goody good good'. There is no such thing, that's all subjective. It's important to see this level of being, in you and in others. Already, if you're observing, if you're working, you are more awake. The more you work, the more you're awake. But you've got to watch that you don't become proud or feel superior just because you've got a new vocabulary. You might see things that others don't and yet, basically, still be functioning at that same level.
Then he goes on to say: 
“This is the period when the Deputy Steward is being formed.”
In another place he explains what 'Deputy Steward' is. I think he goes into it here as well. It's when a number of Work 'I's get together. A number of 'I's that understand the Work, start to function together - they see the mess in the house and they see the necessity of putting the house in order. They become aware of what's going on. The next stage is when 'Stewart' comes along. 
“All those 'l's that eventually decide that their lives are silly, and that they value the Work more than their former pursuits group themselves around Observing I and begin to point more or less in one direction.” 
Our compulsive and highly energized sex impulses can steal us almost more than anything else, other than negative emotions. Gurdjieff said people think that sex energy drives the world. Not true, he says - negative emotions do! But people don't recognize negative emotions. They don't, in fact, know anything other than negative emotions. They only recognize negativity at the point when they're ready to kill somebody. There is only ONE Authentic Emotion. The shock of seeing constant negativity can sometimes make a person feel like a monster. There are certainly many negative 'I's, silly, more or less. 
Benny says he's somewhat free from that. What does it mean, 'silly'? Well, there's more imagination there than fact or reality. A fact is reality. When you see yourself getting all excited, and then realize: 'oh my God, look what I went through!... I mean, I don't get anything from that... isn't that silly?' Should you get to Stephen you can ask him a little about his 'silly' past. He wrote about it actually, you don't have to wait, you can read all about it if you want. But there are some stories that didn't get into the writings, I don't think, like the story of the black condom. I don't think that it ever got into the writings. Did it? It did? Oh, you are so brave! There are other areas of negativity. All the parental worry and what not about children. A person with enough experience sees how useless that is. You can make somebody nervous with your 'concern' and even block their development. And it's considered 'good' to worry about your children! Then of course the sex thing is so degenerated, it's considered almost evil. Well, I don't know which is more silly. Silly in terms that it doesn't add up to anything useful - that's what silly is! Oh, we've been having such an interesting period recently and I'm fucken well gonna use it, if you'll excuse the expression. You laugh at that? Maybe I didn't make myself clear through my toothless mouth. 
“All those 'I's that eventually decide that their lives are silly, and that they value the Work more than their former pursuits group themselves around Observing I and begin to point more or less in one direction. They form a transmitting medium for influences coming down from above, from the Steward who is in touch with Real I.” 
Well, he is assuming that they know the parable. He elaborates here but assumes that something is already known about it. He says that 'Steward' prepares the 'house' for the Master to come in. He knows that Master, which is Real I, which is at another level, will not enter a house in disorder. Some 'I's have to take responsibility. 'Deputy-steward' acts first: Observing 'I' along with some other 'I's that can take some responsibility start to point, more or less, in the same direction. What direction is that? It's the direction of separation. The direction is 'backing-up', more within your essential consciousness, more towards Real I, and realizing the difference between 'you seeing' and 'what you are seeing'. It's really the whole issue of non-identification. That's the way I see it at the moment. Nicoll is saying that a number of 'I's, that means Work 'I's, surround Observing I and form a 'transmitting medium'. 
“They form a transmitting medium for influences coming down from above, from the Steward who is in touch with Real I. But at first this transmitting medium is an imperfect one. Some 'I's ought not to be there, and some important ones are still missing.”  
One can only ponder that. It's more than an interesting notion - there are many levels of 'I's. One would have to see that for themselves. 
“Some 'I's ought not to be there, and some important ones are still missing. But the man, the woman, feeling only the general mass effect of the Deputy Steward can then say they value the Work and have reciprocal affection for it.”
He says it's imperfect, even though he's painting the beginning of an ideal picture. Some 'I's shouldn't be there, other important ones are not yet there.
“But the man, the woman, feeling only the general mass effect of the Deputy steward  can say they value the Work and have reciprocal affection for it. They will not say they love it . They might, however, say they are very often conscious of it.”
There he goes and relates 'consciousness' to 'love'! It's hard for some to say: 'I love the Work.' I can love a child, I can love a person, I can love ice cream - 'ah, how I love it.'
“They might, however, say they are very often conscious of it. The reason is that the Work is now in them and not on the blackboard.”
It's a very big thing just to have a toe in the Work. We are brought up to be so greedy, always to feel in such need. The moment we come across something that looks 'good', we want to swallow it in one gulp. You can't swallow so quick, you've got to work. Patience! If we had full patience, we'd be totally in the Work. Patience leads to patience. I once wrote: 'Patience functions in time. The fullness of patience is the end of time!'
“The question arises; Is love in its true sense consciousness?” 
Sure it is! What we call love is really connection. You love a child when you're connected, when you see it. When you're conscious of a flower you can love the flower. When you're conscious of what you're eating, you love it. Probably the biggest problem with us human beings is that we're not really conscious of other people. We are sort of, as if, conscious of our pictures of them. We get triggered and identify with their manifestations, their words and actions. Then we mechanically assume certain things about them. It's imagination. We are not conscious of their soul, we don't really see the difference between the being of a person and their mechanical manifestations. That's as different as night and day, as life is from death, actually. Their being is alive, but their manifestations are mostly from habit, which is from the past, which is dead. Habit is dead. Like cows regurgitating food - it's tasteless, and has no nutrition in it either.
“The question arises; Is love in its true sense consciousness? This brings us again to the injunction "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" (Matt. xxii.39) the meaning of which was discussed a little last week. I said then that I had always found it uneasy to understand. Apart from the meaning of neighbour which is difficult enough, what does "as thyself" mean? Which self?”
Love your neighbor as thyself. Which self?! 
“From letters I gather that some find no difficulty in this passage and do not regard it as needing any explanation. One says it means simply that one must love one's neighbour and anybody knows what that means. Very good. But even so, why add "as thyself"? Mechanically we are built on self-love which painfully has to be separated from us layer by layer as we awaken to our real condition.” 
Are you going to awake into your real condition? Or do you just want to avoid the painful and pursue the pleasurable, changing all the time, and in conflict with anyone who seems to get in the way of your 'pleasure'? 
“Mechanically we are built on self-love which painfully has to be separated from us layer by layer as we awaken to our real condition.”
Those are the multiplicity of 'I's, which you can only tolerate looking at if you can position yourself somewhere way back in yourself, closer to Real I. And that's what Nicoll is saying: Observing 'I' along with some Work 'I's', add up to 'Deputy Steward', which eventually brings 'Steward' that is connected to Real 'I'. 
“Most of what we call love is a veiled extension of the self-love.”
That's a painful thing to see, hey? Whether it is ice-cream or another person... does it make me 'feel good'? Real love surely does feel good. 'Do what's useful for someone else, and pleasant to yourself.' Very important! What we call love, generally, is something that is pleasant to ourselves - we don't think of the other element. Real love has care in it, which requires some seeing, which requires non-identification. You're only aware of a person when you can see, can hear them; know what they're striving for most deeply. They also have all kinds of small wants. Every small 'I' is a small want. 
When you are aware of what you really want, most basically, then you can spot it in another person, however deeply it may be buried in them. What are they really trying to do? Can you see them doing something which is contrary, see an 'I' in them doing something which diverts them from what they really want? Can you not react nor get identified with it? A friend in need is a friend indeed, they say. If you were conscious of another person, somehow you would recognize their various levels of wants. They say what they want, but look what they are doing! Maybe what they say is much more real than what they're doing most of the time. Then you would have a different relationship to what they're doing - not merely whether you 'like it' or not. They say that the hardest thing to do is to tolerate another person's mechanicality. Why would you want to tolerate it? So that you don't lock them into it! So that you both can remember who's behind it. Seeing yourself and seeing another is one step after another. You can only see another to the degree that you see yourself. You can only seriously relate to another person to the degree that you relate seriously to yourself. You can only care about another person, the real in them, if you hold to the real in yourself, which takes a conscious effort. Can you recognize negativity and realize its blindness, it's complete identification with small 'I's? In others and yourself? 
You see, I'm so happy for our relationship (Juliet), because somehow you understand this, which brings you closer to your real 'I'. And one Real 'I' loves another Real 'I': And two Real 'I's, in a strange way, are One! They are Consciousness Itself. I wish others saw you in the same way. I don't know - not in the same way - everyone sees what they see. And you see what you see. So we sometimes have a talk like this just to underline things that are already known.
I hope you don't have to wait until you've read the transcript of this in order to understand it. How to remind yourself? Well, you can't remind yourself with my words - you've got to remind yourself with your own-remembering of what you know best! Remembering yourself is no more than that. Just remember to make the effort to remember what you already know best. Then, from that remembering, you can consider other things that you might not know so well. You can study from there, you can delve into other corners, into other rooms, into other personalities, into other 'I's. But only if you're really present. 
“I said then that I had always found it uneasy to understand. Apart from the meaning of neighbour which is difficult enough, what does "as thyself "mean? Which self? From letters I gather that some find no difficulty in this passage and do not regard it as needing any explanation. One says it means simply that one must love one's neighbour and anybody knows what that means. Very good. But even so, why add "as thyself"? Mechanically we are built on self-love which painfully has to be separated from us layer by layer as we awaken to our real condition.”
“Most of what we call love is a veiled extension of the self-love. The only relevant commentaries I can find are those of the Early Church Fathers who chiefly dwell on the illustrative parable of the Good Samaritan, given in Luke x.29-37 that follows the injunction. They take this as signifying Christ, who came from above to be neighbour to those in this world who are spiritually wounded almost to spiritual death.”
'The Good Samaritan'! I don't know who here has ever traveled the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. But about half way down there is a place with a sign and a building that they claim is where the story of the Good Samaritan took place. The Good Samaritan was walking from Jerusalem east towards the Dead Sea and he came across a wounded man lying on the road. The people were just passing him by. The Good Samaritan stopped and gave him oil and wine. There is the implication of an esoteric meaning. It's not literal. I guess you clean wounds with oil, and wine is like wisdom. I don't work with those symbols, but they have a certain obvious meaning. He 'treats' him on the spot and then takes him to a caravansary where travelers stay. Here it’s called an 'Inn'. There he leaves money with the owner and says: 'Take care of him, and when I come back from my journey I'll stop by and if the expenses are more then I left you with, I'll cover it.' I think that's the story. 
“They take this as signifying Christ...”
They say it was Christ who was the Good Samaritan. But what is 'Christ' - at the psychological level? The Christians talk of the Righteous One, the Savior, the Messiah. Those are difficult terms. It's the Enlightened One. It's the one that said: I do the Will of the Father. It's the next level up within a person. It's Real 'I'. Real 'I' has a separation from what is being experienced. If Real 'I' were completely dead in us we would be completely mad, totally identified with everything. They would lock us up. So, in clearing the way for Real 'I' to live, small 'I's begin to see their pettiness and some begin to Work. Our small wants are the 'idols' that we pray to; they sometimes give us little things, for a little while. 
Behind Observing 'I', is Real 'I'! 
Observing 'I' is within Real 'I', but he is not awake all the time. Our attention is drawn and lost to all the small things we value. We have to value ourselves! Because, until you value yourself and you are yourself, all these other things that you value are fuck'n well self-delusion. You can't do anything real for anybody from your sentimentality, your pain and your worry. It's not only 'wants' that you get lost in, it's also so-called 'responsibility'. You can't be responsible unless you are truly present. Your first responsibility is to be! And that's what Work is aimed at. Even if it takes years, that has to be the focus. Is that clear, Hanna?
So, Nicoll goes further. He is saying, behind Observing 'I' is Real 'I', but for Observing 'I' to become permanent, as Real 'I', there are stages. Firstly 'Deputy Steward', then 'Steward'. He doesn't get into it so much here. It never made much of an impression on me, that sort of analogy, but in its way it is quite accurate. Well, you can't work from the theory, back. You work from observation and sincerity, and the truthfulness will lead you to see the reality of 'I's, or groups of 'I's, or Work 'I's pointing, as he says, more or less in the same direction. Psychologically it's inner geography! We'll leave it at that for now. 
“They take this as signifying Christ...” 
That is the higher level in you - Real 'I'. It's within self-remembering, that next level-up within you. 'Real Presence' is the God within. So who is 'Christ'? We think of Christ as the Enlightened One... he's the Worker! As long as we are in life we have to be working in the lower levels. But, we have to remember! That's like the 'Son of God - in life'. The higher in you is Consciousness Itself. It is Love Itself! But for conscious love to function in this world, it must manifest through human beings. And that happens when a human being works, when he remembers, when he observes, when he doesn't get identified - there he can Do as 'Christ' does. Christ does the Work, the Will of the 'Father'. It is said that Conscience (matzpun) is God's representative on earth. That includes your love, Real Love. There is only One Love - it's awareness, it's consciousness. That's what this paper is about. It's God Consciousness. There is Only One Consciousness. That's not theoretical, it's real. 
“They take this as signifying Christ, who came from above...” 
Well, there are different levels between humanity and the Absolute. 'Christ' is not God the Absolute. This is where the Jews and others get confused. The Christians say 'Christ is God', and the Jews say 'how can you say that!?' And they're right! It reminds me of the story in Fritz Peters' book 'Boyhood with Gurdjieff'. Gurdjief said something, and the boy turned to him and said, 'you're not God!' And Gurdjieff answered, 'I never said I was'. Well, our aim isn't just to float around in Nirvana. 'The hardest thing for a person to accept is that God needs help'! 
“They take this as signifying Christ, who came from above to be neighbour to those in this world who are spiritually wounded almost to spiritual death. The symbolism is interesting. He gave them "oil" and "wine", and paid for them at the Inn. Certainly anyone having understanding of this Work might be able to help those who are to-day similarly wounded by this age of materialism.” 
Now, 'materialism' doesn't mean just money or property. It also means worrying about one's own or someone else's body. That's also un-survivable material. Nobody's body survives. What does it matter how long a person lives? The time that they're here matters only in term of their reaching a certain level of understanding. There is what to learn here. Evolution is growth of understanding! It's important to understand the mistakes that people generally make. Until you understand the silliness in life you're identified with it and you still have hopes in it. You'll keep coming back until you see the silliness. Until you see the silliness, the temporary, you will never get to what is REAL IN YOU. IT is the ONE THING that can continue on after death. 
“Certainly anyone having understanding of this Work might be able to help...”
Do you understand? He is not saying you have to be Christ, necessarily.
“Certainly anyone having understanding of this Work might be able to help those who are to-day similarly wounded by this age of materialism.”
It's never been so stupid as it is now. Even a hundred years ago people, at least, had traditional religion. They had a certain sense of responsibility. They weren't living so totally 'bli cheshbon' (without care or measure) as they are today. So at least they weren't slipping backwards. Now people are slipping into bestiality. Exaggerated input through the mouth, exaggerated sex, violence and compulsion for excitement - the idols of so called comfort and safety. There is only one safety and that's in the Universality of Being. There is no 'safety' as an isolated body. Instead of valuing what is really real, we are valuing the superficial, sentimental at best, or the stimulating, exciting and prestigious at worst. I repeat the last sentence. 
“Certainly anyone having understanding of this Work might be able to help those who are to-day similarly wounded by this age of materialism.”
He should only know what's going on now! He is talking in 1952 about the 'age of materialism'. That's fifty years ago! Now hardly anybody can live without a cellular phone, and the words that are flowing are so 'gross' you can almost touch them. It seems that we are more than ready to spend our life dancing on the dance floor of illusion, as painfully heavy as our feet are. I'll bet you (Juliet) got a taste of that in India with your Vipasana meditation course. That's my sense of what you experienced in that activity, or lack of activity.  
“Certainly anyone having understanding of this Work might be able to help those who are to-day similarly wounded by this age of materialism. They would then clearly be neighbours, psychologically speaking.”
What Nicoll is really saying is: to love your neighbor as yourself, first of all you have to be yourself. 'Your-Self' is something totally separated from all you identify with. Your Real Self is not identified. Someone who really understands this can be a neighbor. How can you be 'good' to another person if you're identified with every 'snicker' they make, when you identify with their every move. 'Are they telling me that I'm good or that I'm bad?' You are so worried about how you look in other peoples' eyes that you miss seeing their multiplicity of 'I's. You don't see their mechanicality? You're so busy with their mechanical likes and dislikes, as if it could really do you good or harm. When you're so busy with yourself and protecting yourself against their mechanicality how can you love them, or even partially see them? All their mechanicality, in this analogy, is a result of their 'wounds'. You're going 'ai ai', to their pus and blood, their cuts. Because when they are 'nasty', and they don't 'see you', they are, in fact, mechanical, asleep and wounded. You are asking consideration from wounded people! How can you? You're not the 'Good Samaritan'. Most of what we call love is self-love. That's so humiliating to admit and so satisfying to see! In face of any truth, consciousness can gain strength. Real love can even love the truth of the fact that most of our life is based on self-love. It's so ridiculous, silly. It's all so silly, in the light of the truth. 
“They would then clearly be neighbours, psychologically speaking. Now the Work speaks of three kinds of love. There is physical love, emotional love and Conscious love. It says that emotional love easily turns into its opposite. It is love-hate.”
That's interesting. Emotional love can easily turn into its opposite - it's love-hate. Now Nicoll is trying to say a lot there in a few words, and it's not so easy. Let's look at that one a bit. I've got a strange feeling it's a very active ingredient in Benny's relationship to Ziva. I was saying to him before, 'you feel affection for her?' 'Sometimes', he said. I wasn't getting a clear answer because he was a little confused there. Once he said something like, 'mainly around the sexual... when the sexual thing happens, then there is affection'. You said something like that. I bet there's a lot of love-hate there too, because from rumors emanating from the other side, he can get quite insistent in his sex. That maybe could be considered kind of insensitive, eh? Insistent! Do you sometimes get insistent? You know what 'insistent' is?
Benny: No.
Alan: I think you’re blocking. I think your English is good enough to know what that is. When you insist on something! Insistent! Push, push something. It happens, it's a very frequent
thing within sex activity. People react to it in different ways. Some like it. Some, you know, the closer it gets to rape, the better they like it. Rape is very insistent. I'm trying to come down to what Nicoll means by 'love-hate' - how emotional love can turn into its opposite so easily. That's a big one.
You know, I'm tired now and I want to finish already, go to something else. You can do that as well when you're reading or studying something. Say 'Enough!' Better to read one paragraph than two papers if you're getting in over your head. Best to be patient when you start looking at deeper meanings. Maybe you can discuss it with someone else to deepen your understanding. You can see what I've done here. That's why I'm reading this now in public.
“It says that emotional love easily turns into its opposite. It is love-hate.”
I've heard about love-hate. The psychiatrists talk about it. I haven't read their literature, but I think that in parent-child relationships there are many instances of love-hate. Has anyone ever thought or heard of that? Anyone got a thought on this, on what he means when he says love-hate? 
Hanna: I personally, from my experience, almost all my love life in my life was love-hate.
Alan: Can you explain?
Hanna: There was love, and then when it got painful, or when it was not pleasant to me or not agreeable to me - it doesn't have to be really hate, but it's enough if it's negative. It's already love-hate if it turns negative. 
Alan: Yes, but you see, 'hate'! He's not saying love-negativity, he's using the word hate. Well, isn't hate an extreme form of negativity that is not totally understood, so to speak? It's like the
difference between pain and agony. Pain always looks for an explanation, a 'because'. Suffering is always because! When there's so much of it and you can't put your finger on exactly what it is, it becomes agony. People drift into agony because they are suffering and they can't identify the causes. They can't even blame, they don't know what to blame, they can't quite put their finger on anything, so they put their finger on 'something', and they 'hate it'. Is that suiting your scenario?
Hanna: Yes.
Alan: Anyone else?
Merav: Yes, me. 
Yes, and you (Tamara) went like 'this', right?
Na'ama is already so perfect she doesn't know what we're talking about. We should talk about angels. I purposely stick it to you! I'm going to stick it to you so strong that one day you might just pop right out of your skin and be finished with all the layers. If I have nails, I'll scrape the layers. Never mind, you know I'm not sadistic. Na'ama has become open to this. Well, she's also not a child, she's over forty and that makes a difference. And also with you (Hanna), maybe it's no accident that this is coming out tonight. Not just because you are here, but our whole background allows us to talk, and for you to grasp, and for us to exchange, as we're doing now. Also everybody here, Benny for instance. Work is not 'hoity-toity', mystical, tricky metaphysics. It's been said that the last word is esoteric psychology is pure common sense! But, I mean, to have common sense you have to have had some observation within different experiences. You have to know the pain, you have to know the suffering, you have to know the joy, and you have to know the mistakes in yourself and in other people. You have to have taken in enough, through not identifying - you have to have had enough experience where you weren't identified. Talk to the average person, see how they're identified with everything.
We were talking about 'love-hate'. We'll go on. Maybe Nicoll has more to say on this. Talking about emotional love Nicoll gives the Greek word as used in the Gospels. He was talking to people who for the most part got their 'spiritual sense' from the Gospels - fragments of the Teaching of those days. It was basically the same teaching as the Work - but there, only fragments of it, and in the vocabulary and the symbolism of the day. Those people were 'Christians' who took some kind of responsibility for their existence. They weren't the types that were active in a church, but they had knowledge of the Gospels and affection for the truth as expressed in it. So, Nicoll makes reference there in looking at the issue of love. 
“For this kind, the Greek word seems to be used in the Gospels. It is a torturing jealous love - and not love at all. For Conscious love...”
You know, 'Conscious Love' sounds like... 'oh!... what a responsibility... will I ever love consciously!?' There's no loss of beauty or satisfaction in Conscious Love. Think of it in terms of intelligence and honesty. Let's call it honest. Call it what you want... sounds so big: Conscious Love! 
'Conscious' implies that you have a clear sense of your motivation, of the 'why' of what you are doing. I'm throwing in a lot of words talking about conscious love, so as not to place it way up on some cloud. It means being true relative to your own valuation and not afraid of the judgements of others. 
Real 'I' wishes to be at peace, as does each 'center'! What is self-love? It's one or another isolated center wanting to be comfortable, in its own terms. The centers can really be comfortable only when over-seen by Real 'I' - when the light of consciousness falls on them. It's not the getting of something from the outside, whether it's money or a 'shtup' (that's a crude word for physical love). A center can only be satisfied when balancing itself within the light. Observing 'I' throws light on something. Observation/Attention is light! And light heals, light balances, light opens things up. So, eat your ice cream, but have awareness while you are eating. Maybe after three licks you've had enough and you can throw it away. If you don't have the light of consciousness you might eat five ice creams and get sick. Nice analogy, wouldn't you say? I'm having a good time, I hope you are. 
So Nicoll goes on to say - 
“It is a torturing jealous love - and not love at all. For Conscious love the word                ...”
He uses another Greek word that indicates Conscious love. I wish he had put in a transliteration - I would love to be able to say that word, it's so impressive. The only Greek word I know is metanoia. And what else? I think that maybe that's it. What can a dyslectic like me do? 
“For Conscious love the word seems to be used. It is never used of sexual love.”
He's still talking about words that have been used in the New Testament. 
“Christ asks Peter which kind of love he has for him. Peter only understands emotional love (John xxi. 15-17).”
This is one of the disciples, and they're all falling over each other in their 'love' for Jesus. And they are also proselytizing, they want other people to come and love Jesus. The focus seemed to be on Jesus. So he asks Peter, what kind of love? There is another story in the Gospels, just before the crucifixion. Jesus says to one of his disciples: 'Before the cock crows (that means before the sun rises in the morning), you will deny me three times!' Then, when the Roman soldiers came looking for Jesus, one of the disciples said, 'I don't know him'. You know the story? 
Stephen: He denied knowing Christ three times, when asked.
Alan: Because he was afraid that they'd take him, and kill him too. So he said: I'm not part of 'that'! Again, there's symbolism in it. 
“Christ asks Peter which kind of love he has for him.  Peter only understands emotional love (John xxi. 15-17).  This is the word used in the passage under discussion. Suppose we substitute consciousness for love.”
Merav: Yes.
Alan: You heard that last sentence? 
Merav: Can you repeat it?
Alan: Yes, of course, that's why I asked you. Isn't that strange, I could feel you didn't catch it. He's referring now, it seems clear, that Christ asked Peter which kind of love he has for him. And, he said, Peter only understood emotional love. Then Nicoll says - 
“Suppose we substitute consciousness for love. It would then read ‘Thou shalt be conscious of thy neighbour as thyself.’” 
Well, that's lovely, isn't it? In modern terms, that's 'Second line of Work'. Second-line is supposedly working with others in the Work, for both their sake and yours. You forgot about that? It's not altruism, it's not showering gifts. When a person considers someone else they generally think they're doing them a favor. You do nobody a favor - you are expanding your own consciousness, you are 'seeing'. Consciousness is the issue! You can call it love, doing right, doing good, but that is just a by-product of seeing and presence. Presence sees, presence loves, presence feeds. When you pass a flower and are present you see its beauty, you might touch the earth around it, you might give it some water. It's a natural tendency to wish to keep something that is beautiful, alive. If you can see the essence of some thing or some person - that's beautiful. The essence of everything is beautiful. But we get caught in our superficiality. We're busy rubbing sandpaper shields against each other. I mean, we're very busy, we're silly, in a cosmic sense we're like children doing that. We're rubbing against each other's un-reality and trying to establish an identity there. And, we get very nervous because that 'identity' doesn't have any stability. It never gives stability. And when it falls apart, you just better cross your fingers that you've got something real to stand on, behind it! 
I tell you, it's no accident that sometimes people only reach that realization, of what they really are, you know, two minutes before they die. They have to get deathly sick before they drop all their pretentious goodness and importance and their identification with the body. I know two people that had to be really sick and close to death before they developed into 'something'. That's quite remarkable. A person doesn't really work 'becol levavcha ubechol nafshecha ubechol meodecha' (with all their heart and all their soul and all their strength) until their very life depends on it. And of course our life always depends on it, because real life is in light, in observation, and death is in darkness and identification. But until that darkness gets so painful and so impossible, a person still maintains hope within it. It seems they like to go back into that muddy little pool to cool their feet. 
“Suppose we substitute consciousness for love.”
Ah, that's why I called you, Merav. Now you hear me?
Merav: Yes
Alan: Maybe, if you're lucky, a sentence like that can wipe you clean of your habit, or compulsion for being... how to put it? To be loved? Mainly it's to be seen, to be seen as being harmless. It seems that's what you've been struggling for. 'I'll help, I'll do, don't get mad, don't get me wrong... just tell me how can I hellllp.' You do attract love. What exactly is that, this business around love? Why do I mention it now? I don't think that it's anything so particularly limited to you. I'll put it differently. Does Alan see you, is he conscious of you? There's where it becomes difficult, although I don't know how different it is with you than with most people. But it seems you've got such habits for keeping people 'liking you'. Some part of you has to wonder if they really see you, or only what you're 'handing them'! I mean, am I really seeing you, or am I only seeing your accommodation to me? In order that I don't take you 'wrong', do you have to keep struggling so that I'll continue to think that you're a 'good girl'? Do you understand? Like you have to keep paying your ticket. If the payment is good, then good, and if you don't continue to pay you'd have to leave the dance floor. That's kind of a crude kind of analogy. We've talked about it in the past and it seems you admit to it. Hanna may be like that as well, but with her, if someone doesn't buy her act she could stick her teeth into their neck. She is ready to make them pay if they don't buy her 'goodness'. What an indictment that is! No guilt necessary - if it's true, it's all just mechanical. Nothing to be worried about there. But that's what I'm saying: Does Alan love you? You'd have to ask: does Alan see you, is Alan conscious of you? Nicoll suggests that we replace the word 'love', with the word 'consciousness'. I think most people might even agree with that.
Here Nicoll is talking about Conscious Love. It's not an academic or theoretical issue! We generally think of 'consciousness' in terms of: 'I'm conscious of this or that' - like it's technical, about some 'thing'. Consciousness is not impersonal - quite the opposite. So maybe when I talk to you now you can be comfortable with it. I talk not only to your 'goodness', but around it and under it and behind it. And you know what I'm talking about because you are, especially in these days, more and more self-observant, more conscious of the different voices that come up in you. You also talk about it, you're not hiding. The fact that you mention it to other people means you're not hiding it from yourself. But maybe you mention certain things to people, and hide other stuff to yourself. You can feel nasty, you can feel angry, you can feel insulted - you can feel sometimes very not nice. You can also feel abused and you can even react to it with pride, as you did with Kobi around the money thing. So you know you're not a total 'sweetheart'. You might even wonder if you are at all, or whether you are just a great actress. I'm not saying you are the devil, I'm not trying to paint the opposite picture, right? So when I ask you, does Alan love you, which means, basically, does Alan see you, something in you is wondering: 'does he actually really see through my compulsive defense system?' I actually do. I see behind it, and strangely enough what's behind the 'goody good good' is the fearful one. But, behind the fearful one, actually, is something much more real than the goody good one. There is something pure - before the fear and the need for defense, before the need for any kind of adjustment to the violence, insensitivity and mechanicality of life. Before the fear! You catch me? 
So, does Alan love you? What does it mean? To really be conscious of something or someone, is really to not to be compulsively 'wanting' from what you are so called conscious of. When you want something from what you are conscious of, what you actually see is only whether you are getting it or not! What I just said is very accurate. 
Can anyone remember clearly what I just said?
Hanna: If you want something from what you're conscious of...
Alan: Yeah, if you love... use the word love, or conscious... and you are also looking to get something from it - what you'll actually be seeing is whether you're getting it or not. Your consciousness is limited to 'I'm getting or not getting'. That's a very narrow consciousness! Now, with Merav, not only but maybe most obviously, there is not a thing in the world that I could want from her. With her it's very simple, because in her eyes there's not a thing in the world that she's got that I'm in need of. Well, that's generally true but she knows it best. So, it's a simple case there. Everyone else, you know, has got certain qualities that they think people need from them. They believe they've got something to trade with. She is the least in that area, I mean, she can't imagine that I'm maintaining a relationship with her to use or get something from her, right? So, she has an advantage there. So, when I'm looking at her I can see - I'm not focused on 'am I going to get or not get'. I'm just using her as an example. That's pretty usual in my life. What I want, is to see. I like to see reality, I like to see what's there, what's real. That is what gives me satisfaction, gives my consciousness or 'love' satisfaction: what is real. And I'm just using myself as an example. I hate artificial flowers, especially those genetically engineered. They're ugly. When I put my eyes on them I almost fall over backwards. People are of different types. No person, as no flower in the world, is exactly alike. I would hate to put my eyes on a rose that objected to me putting an eye on a daisy. Look, you want to come to Peace, to Consciousness, to Presence? You want to come to Love? Then you cannot get sentimental with the weeds. We're full of weeds and there's no use falling into guilt about it either. It's a very serious matter. Your 'God is a jealous God': The Real in you and the Real in other people cannot tolerate the unreal, because it's dirt, and that kills the real. So it's a ruthless matter. You can't afford to do less than you know best! Can you maintain affection for that truth, even in the face of someone pulling the weeds out? Some of our conditioning is so stuck that to rid ourselves of it is as painful as ripping off a layer of skin. It needs your 'okay' - it's painful. And, as for the 'mechanical lessons' that come: 'Forgive them Father - they know not what they do!' That can only come from deep understanding, not from some false kind of, as if, 'forgiveness'. 
“Suppose we substitute consciousness for love.” 
If you consider real love in terms of its depth, perfection or usefulness, however it might have been thought of, you might hardly even use the word. If you replace the word 'love' with 'consciousness' and get the smell, the taste of that, it's very strengthening!  
“Suppose we substitute consciousness for love. It would then read: ‘Thou shalt be conscious of thy neighbour as thyself.’ This could mean ‘Thou shalt be conscious of thy neighbour as thou art conscious of thyself.’" 
You see, you could be conscious of your Real Self if you had the taste of living without total identification, without that fear, without a fixed self-image, without 'living from being seen'. 
'Love thy neighbor as thyself' is to be, first of all, conscious in the Real I of yourself, and then conscious of the Real in another - 'something' deeper than their mechanicality. How can you be conscious of that in someone else if you're not conscious of it in yourself? Do you take everything in people as if it's 'real'? That's the worst violence you can do to anybody - to take them as a unity. But you've got to see that in yourself. That you are not a unity! That's got so much to it. 'Judge not that you not be judged'. When you judge people at that level - that they are wrong or what not - you are doing the same thing to yourself all the time. Your fixed judgements are ridiculous - as if you are one and the same all the time. So before you can be conscious of your neighbor or yourself, you must recognize when you're identified and know that you're not really there. If you remember that you don't remember yourself, you're already remembering yourself to some degree. Love thy neighbor, be Conscious of thy neighbor, as thyself. You've got to know what yourself is. Yourself is love, actually!
Finish, finish, finish Alan, it's too much. Alan, you're giving Alan a headache. 
“To me, at least, this rendering, would be considerably more understandable in the light of what the Work teaches about the need for increasing our consciousness.”
Who even thinks of that? The Work talks of the need for 'increasing our consciousness' - that is decreasing our identification which is always narrowing our consciousness, no? 
“We are not nearly conscious of ourselves. We behold the mote in another's eye, but do not see the beam in our own eye.”
That's another one, eh? We hear that in the Sermon on the Mount. 'You hypocrites', he said, 'you want to take the speck out of someone else's eye, and you've got a log in your own eye. Take the log out of your own eye first, so that you can see clearly to take the speck out of your friend's eye'. You know that one, out of the Gospels, or that's something new to you? I address Hanna now. And how to see that, and not get negative. You know, don't add insult to injury, not to get identified! Your criticisms, which are mainly self-defensive, are petty, they're silly, they're unproductive, they're mechanical. But some of them are deep, they're compulsive, and the most you can do with those is to watch them. It's like a pain that's 'impossible'. Attention is the answer, it's all about attention! You know, even in agony, being caught and being in agony, you have an opportunity to watch. Nothing stays the same for long, it always moves, it's all vibrations. If we could only remember that, we'd be free, free, free! 
If you could only say: 'I don't know', or 'at the moment I'm not totally sure', then you could give the energy of attention. Attention is the light - you will see something, even if not completely. Pride is the biggest bitch inside - it wants a final answer, right away. It will not tolerate the awkwardness, will not have patience, basically. Look the devil in the eye. Attention is magic, literally - it's the light! 
Nuuu, am I going to finish this or not? 
“We are not nearly conscious of ourselves. We behold the mote in another's eye, but we do not see the beam in our own eye. We do not put ourselves consciously in the position of another person.”
Now, that's a strange one. How can you put yourself consciously in the position of another unless you've really had their experience? The 'religious folk' talk about this. It's in the 'Pirkey Avot' (Ethics of the Fathers): 'you can't understand another person unless you're in his shoes'. I don't know how that goes, exactly, anybody know? 
Hanna: 'ad sheata lo omed bimkomo' (until you have stood in his place.)
Alan: Yes, 'stood in his place'. And it was discussed; you know, the truth of the matter is you can never stand in somebody else's place. I mean, you can't, if you think of it. Wherever a person is 'standing', it involves their whole history, their genetics, their type, all their conditioning. How can you know where a person is 'standing', how can you know another's position? You can imagine you do! You can say: oh, 'I know you'... well, you probably don't even say that... you might 'feel' it. How can you know unless you've experienced it yourself? At most you can only imagine you've experienced exactly the same thing - because you are not that person. So the implication of that saying isn't to tell you to 'stand in their shoes', but to indicate that you can't really know where they're standing. So how can you judge them? You have heard it said, often: 'when you point a finger, a negative judgment of someone else, you're really doing 'this' (pointing at yourself)'. You can only see the 'fault' in them as a reflection of something in yourself. From a Work angle maybe, maybe, you can recognize the motivation of that person, what level they're coming from! If someone yells and screams at you or what not, you can get into a fight with them, or you can realize they're identified, lost themselves, not really there. So, you're seeing the level of that person. You see the 'place' he's coming from. 'They shouldn't talk to me like that!!' They talk to you 'like that' because they don't see you, because they are not present. When they are not present, they are in fear, they're aggressive and they're not loving - not really conscious. They are totally identified. You can see the level that they're coming from! You understand what I'm saying? 
Juliet: No.
Alan: No? Good, I'm glad I asked. You can see if a person is more or less identified, more or less present. I don't know why it comes to mind, but I think of Rachel at the moment. How much have you seen of her... do you like Rachel?
Juliet: Yes.
Alan: You said that with emotion. She loves you? She sees you? 
Juliet: Yes.
Alan: So you know her in that place of awareness, right? She's aware at those times, she's aware of you, which means that she's somewhat awake, right?
Juliet: Yes.
Alan: Have you ever seen her yell and scream at anybody? 
Juliet: Yes.
Alan: What do you think then? Do you judge her? I mean, do you find it disgusting? Can you remember a particular example of her losing herself like that, or you just have a general feeling?
Juliet: No, I remember.
Alan: I'm trying to make a point now, because I just asked you if you understood me or not, and you said you're not sure, or maybe no. In one place she's there, in the other place she has gone crazy, no? 
Juliet: Yes. 
Alan: She lost herself, as they say in common language. She lost herself, she's                                                                                                            not there! That's what I'm talking about. Maybe she loses herself in other ways as well, it doesn't necessarily have to be in anger. It can be in contempt. She can get into a very strange place with Rafa, you can see something that's not so nice, or she can get into a panic of guilt around Eliya, or something else. I'm putting strong words to this. You know she can lose herself, not just when she gets angry and starts screaming at someone, eh? Are you with me up untill now? 
Juliet: Yes.
Alan: So, that's what I'm talking about - you know, not to 'point a finger'! Someone who can 'see' realizes, first of all, that she's not there - it's a 'level'. That's what I'm trying to point out. Maybe in yourself as well. But, I don't know, people experience themselves mainly in mechanical reaction. In their relationship to me, they might have a different experience of themselves because I don't dance on that dance floor with them. So when they relate to me they have to relate from something real in themselves or there ain't no relationship, eh? So, you might get a real sense of yourself there. You could call that love, and it is - it's being and it's consciousness. Do you understand? It's presence! When you're present you're in love. When you are in love you can be loved. Love can relate to Love - Consciousness can relate to Consciousness - it can't have much of an effect on a stone or a porcupine.
I'm working around this issue and feeling it out. I don't know where it started, precisely. Yes, when you said you didn't understand exactly what I said. It started with 'you can't put yourself in another person's shoes'. Obviously you can't know exactly all the factors that are causing, whatever. Maybe they're sick, maybe they've got their 'period', maybe they just had a memory of some horrible something that happened in their youth. All this, while you're trying to figure out why they didn't say 'hi', for instance. You can't figure it out! They don't even know why they are in the place they are at that moment or how they're reacting. They don't know. So you don't know. So, how can you stand in their shoes? That's where we started this. How can you be in the other person's place? But you can, with knowing more about yourself, begin to see at what level a person is at within themself. Are they more present, or less? You can see categories, levels, that you might not want to deal with. Sometimes a person is hysterical, doing any number of things. You can listen and pay attention but to answer would be like answering a madman. Am I making myself clear? I'm winding around this issue a lot. 
Benny: I have it with the people I work with.
Alan: Yes.
Benny: Sometimes I feel they're hysteric.
Alan: Yes.
Benny: So, I don't deal with it, so after a time it solves itself.
Alan: That's one category. In cases where you've spent more time with a person you are able to see them even more deeply. When you've lived with a person, say a parent or husband, there are bound to be moments when they showed their real-self. Between one identification and the next, they were present. And they were beautiful when they were present. With someone that you see only, say, once a week, you might never have seen 'that' place in them. Live closely with another for a long time and their truth, presence, love, is bound to have shown itself now and again. That takes us back to the love-hate business. You love what you saw, and you hate it when they're not there! It's mostly unconscious, by the way. You can 'hate' from there because there's such disappointment, as if. They 'hurt you'... you know... they 'broke your heart'. You understand? That means, you saw them, and all of a sudden they disappear! I think there can be more love-hate between parent and child than there is even with couples. Because a child sees! 
So, with some patience we hit on this question of love-hate again. It begins to make some sense, right? 
“We do not put ourselves consciously in the position of another person.”
Now, this is what I'm saying. On the one hand, it's impossible. You can't put yourself exactly in their position. But, you can see! If you know yourself, you can remember yourself in that place, at that particular level. Not necessarily the detail within it. People may not get identified at the same points as you do. How often have I heard Dina say: 'I would never do a thing like that!' Even in mechanicality she could never do it. In her mechanicality she might do things that other people think 'bad'. You can't identify mechanicality as mechanicality, habit as habit, unless you've experienced yourself in another place, at another level, which is sometimes called love. 
“We are not nearly conscious of ourselves. We behold the mote in another's eye, but do not see the beam in our own eye. We do not put ourselves consciously in the position of another person.”
That's why I keep stopping here! Because I say: to put yourself consciously in the position of another person is not so much in the detail, but by seeing the level. And we find it hard to recognize a level because we take everything 'flat'. We think we only have different moods. We don't register that certain things actually happen at a totally different level. The level of love is a level of consciousness! Sometimes you can be there with somebody, it can be jointly  experienced. But, it is in you, it's not the other person, it's You. The love is you. You are the love. Sounds so nice. Some Sufi said: 'I am God' - and they killed him! To say you are love is not an un-truth. I wish I could go into that more. But let's try to finish what we're into here. 
How can you put yourself in the position of another person if you're not sufficiently conscious of yourself, of different levels in you? You do not realize that love is actually on a different level, not just another emotion - it's another place! Maybe that you have to be taught or shown. Maybe it has to be shown.
Can we pass this line or not? I want to move on. I'll come back to it, if necessary. We left hate-love and it cleared itself up. Maybe this will also do the same, if we're lucky, if we're blessed, if the power be with us. 
“We do not do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Owing to a general lack of consciousness, human relations in the world are what they are.” 
People say there is not enough love in the world, right? That's what is missing. Consciousness! I'm getting stuck here, I don't know why that's happening. 
“Owing to a general lack of consciousness, human relations in the world are what they are.”
Now, isn't that wonderful to see? All your problems, all your likes and dislikes, guilt and pride and what not - you begin to see that everyone is in it. You've already seen enough people to suspect that everyone is in it. It's not just you, you know you're not the only one in prison. You're seeing a whole 'level of being'. Isn't that wonderful? What a big thing. You can't complain about a level of being - that's the way it is happening. So, Nicoll says here: 
“We are not nearly conscious of ourselves. Owing to a general lack of consciousness, human relations in the world are what they are. As you become more and more conscious of what you are really like..”
At that level! The 'shmok', the 'idiot', the 'helpless one', identified up to your eyeballs, angry and blaming everyone else, because you're asleep, totally un-conscious, making yourself miserable and sick. Other than that, everything is fine.  
“As you become more and more conscious of what you are really like, you become less and less critical of what the other person is like.”
That's clear. 
“Arrogance, superiority and intolerance fade, because they are seen by you to be ridiculous. The object of this Work is to increase consciousness in every direction. Observing, in quiet, the same fault in yourself as you have heatedly or bitterly pointed out in another seems to me to be practical love.”
In other words, be conscious of your own helplessness in identification. Then when you see it in someone else, in their reaction, in their anger, whatever, to remember your own helplessness when you're in a similar state.
“Observing, in quiet, the same fault in yourself as you have heatedly or bitterly pointed out in another seems to me to be practical love.”
That's Consciousness, right? In other words - 'get conscious'! Why do you feel so threatened all the time by everything? You see, we really feel threatened by the world, where our only problem is that we don't know ourself, our Real Self. Without our Real Self, we are toppling-over all the time. There's no balance - we’re bumping into everything. To have a center, to have balance, we have to be balanced on 'something'. That's Real 'I'. We have to get balanced there, and not get identified with all the changing superficial. Well, Work is work, and work takes time. Work is an effort to get you back to the Real and out of the painful-imaginary. Good description for Work: Back to the Real ('chozer bitshuva')! Away from the illusory-changing fantasy, observable or otherwise, institutionalized or otherwise - which drives humans crazy.
“Arrogance, superiority and intolerance fade, because they are seen by you to be ridiculous. The object of this Work is to increase consciousness in every direction. Observing, in quiet, the same fault in yourself as you have heatedly or bitterly pointed out in another seems to me to be practical love. For by the Work method of finding the same thing in yourself, you eventually see your neighbour as yourself, and yourself as your neighbour. But you must know yourself to begin with. You must begin to be conscious of yourself. This is the most necessary part of Conscious Love, which is not blind.”
Thank you very much. I don't like the ending, it weakened out, it sounds almost sentimental. Can everyone here feel, at least occasionally, that the Work is something FOR REAL? That realization could slip away! I don't know what may happen, but you know, we need to make ourselves new shoes, we need something to walk through life on! That's a fact. Well, as they say in the East, 'the truth is closer to you than your own nose'. This is truth, and it's workable, and man is a self-developing organism, and INTELLIGENCE GROWS WITH INTELLIGENT EFFORT. You grow with that kind of effort. Things move. Fuck the pain.