One of the first things we are told here, is that we cannot “do”. And it takes a long, long time before we really realise that we can’t – that everything happens. We still think that we can do this and decide that, but in fact it all happens mechanically. At this moment, nobody here could suddenly think differently from what they think. We can’t change our history – we walk into this room with a history, and now we are like this.
But we have a certain possibility, and that is what I call the “point of doing”.
if we approach the point of doing, we have the opportunity of a new beginning, but with an understanding that can subtly alter everything. And this, the point of doing, is what Is missing from the ordinary theories and practices which abound in the world.
We are passive. By “passive”, I mean that our actions and thoughts are not intentional: we resist nothing, we go, we are forced, a thought comes, and it takes me. Only I rarely notice this, because I am passive. I do not think or act according to a conscious intention – but we can intend an “inner doing”.
When people first come to the work, we nearly always ask what we have got to do. And this seemingly simple, transparent and completely practical question has a significance.
But after years, so to say, “in the work”, it has almost utterly disappeared from our questioning. It is as if we have lost the realisation that an action of doing is essential to any real work.
Of course, when I first asked: “what shall I do?”, my idea of doing was totally wrong. But maybe that doesn’t matter – there is something about us which realises that something is required.
It Is not much good to come here in search of something, only to end up passive.
Yet, gradually, as we hear and as we practise, and are disappointed, and try again, gradually this question “what shall I do?” disappears.