The Work

The Work

By Dr. Stewart Bitkoff

You will not be a mystic until you are like the earth- both the righteous and the sinner tread upon it- and until you are like the clouds- they shade all things- and until you are like the rain- it waters all things, whether it loves them or not.
– Bayazid Bistami

For the spiritual traveler, the concept of work is multi-level and as one travels further along the path, takes on added dimension. From a spiritual perspective, each moment, experience and interchange has both a fixed and unlimited potential.  Additionally, this potential is personal and collective; both tied to the moment, and to a higher design.

As example, compare the similarities between the work of a young child and an elected official. The young child experiences and learns from each moment.  In time, these experiences come together to form the pattern of an emerging personality and life. While the elected official works to meet the needs of a constituency, both now and in the future; he or she also strives to meet personal and family needs.

When viewing the concept of work, how are the needs of a young child and politician related to the work of a spiritual master? One master has offered, “The path, or work is none other than in human service.” How does this ideal relate to practical, daily life and ultimate progress along a path?

The work of a young child is to grow, learn and experience.  By living in the moment and being herself, in time she learns skills, attitudes and emotional responses that will be of use throughout her life.  This period is characterized by an emphasis upon exploring, learning and experiencing the different aspects of self and the world.  Each impact is important and lays the framework for future learning.  One might say, in this respect her life is similar to that of a politician who uses past and present experience to do the work of the moment and plan for the future.  This is both on a personal and vocational level. Each person is a combination of past learning, and uses this learning to participate in their present experience.

The orientation of the spiritual traveler is that in each moment there is a crisis. For each moment has a higher potential with both fixed and transcendent outcomes.  In each moment, we have the choice for personal selfishness or service to our higher self and the universe. Reaching higher is accomplished by attaching individual will to a higher design.  On one level, while we are eating our breakfast to gain nutrition; if this is dedicated to something higher- this activity aligns with the spiritual dimension.  By shifting focus we shift intention- from self to the higher good.

When this orientation, service to humanity is used in daily life, each action takes on a higher vibration. This energy and vibration -through shift in intention- is different.  By stilling individual need and turning over individual desire; we become ‘transparent’ and another, higher will has the potential to operate.

For the traveler, each moment is filled with the opportunity to learn, enjoy and serve.  This is accomplished by focusing on the task at hand, doing the best we can and shifting intention from self to the higher. In each opportunity, inquire, who are we serving by performing this action or thinking these thoughts?

Remember.  Align action and intention with your higher destiny and the higher, emerging destiny of the universe.  In this way, we make each moment a working prayer.

Look to what you do,
For that is what you are worth.
True labor means neither fasting nor prayer.
– Ansari

To contact the author please go to www.stewartbitkoff.com. Or to read author’s new book, Sufism for Western Seekers, order on Amazon.com.

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