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Memories are a two edged sword. They can be useful in this Work. It’s a good thing too, because we have so many of them. Some good, some not so good. Sometimes we are able to remember an event because we were more awake when it happened than we normally are. If you experience some resistance to the idea that you’re not really awake, don’t be surprised. We labor under the powerful illusion that we are fully conscious most of the time.

We allow for momentary lapses in full awareness in a number of ways. We may call it daydreaming or being distracted, but generally we consider ourselves to be awake, here, present in this moment, and fully aware of most things going on around us. Unfortunately this is more imagination than anything else. The problem with imagination is it satisfies us in so many ways that it’s difficult to doubt it. This is where the Work idea of Self-Observation comes into play. Now that you’ve heard this idea that you’re not conscious, you may have the opportunity to remember it at some point in the future. The Work calls this Self-Remembering. It’s when we become aware, even if only for an instant, that we are not what we thought we were. We remember that we are something quite different, something not nearly as flattering, as what we thought.

If you do remember the idea that you aren’t really awake, you could take the opportunity to step aside from your ordinary view of yourself and look in a new way. What new way? The way based on the idea that you’re not fully conscious. To pull this off we have to employ both the ideas of Self-Remembering and Self-Observation at the same time. One will naturally lead to the other if you begin to see the truth of your Being.

The idea of Self-Observation can be a little tricky in the beginning until you get the taste of it through experience. You’re not going to get the taste of it by reading this. You’re going to have to try to do it. How? I’m so glad you asked. It’s not like being aware that you’re in a bad mood when you’re in one. It’s more like being aware that this bad mood has always been there and will always be there. It’s being able to see it over time. Seeing it as a place inside you that you visit from time to time. At least I hope you only visit from time to time. I’ve known people to make it their permanent address, which I do not recommend. Try to see the mood as something apart from you, like you in a swimming pool of negative emotions. At the same time, be on a chair outside the pool watching yourself swim in the pool. But as you watch, don’t identify with the you in the pool. Instead, watch the you in the pool as if he was an interesting stranger. Notice what he does and how he does it. Notice his facial expressions and body language. Notice his thoughts and feelings. Notice how he justifies being in the pool and how he talks about how he doesn’t really want to be in there but someone else pushed him into it, this pool of negative emotions.

Try to remember looking at yourself this way and let me know how it works for you.

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About Esoteric Talks

"No good deed goes unpunished."

The person most frequently credited as the originator of the phrase is playwright Clare Boothe Luce. Also credited have been playwright Noel Coward, writer Oscar Wilde, journalist Walter Winchell and the late Washington Post writer Bill Gold. The original idea is probably an ancient proverb.

Appearing cynical on the surface, a closer examination of human nature reveals the False Personality to be incredibly vengeful and petty due to its hubris.

Plato has Socrates say, "An unexamined life is not worth living." The reason no good deed goes unpunished is because most people are living lives not worth living. If you feel a sting, that probably means you are spending more time and energy examining the lives of others than you are examining your own.