Excerpt About Hope

Hope Perpetuates the Suffering of the Student of the Work

You perpetuate your suffering by the very activity you think is going to release you from suffering. Many people assume that inquiry and understanding are a matter of figuring things out, a matter of searching for issues in your mind, or tensions in your body, or difficulties in your life, so that you can resolve the issues, relax the tensions, get rid of the difficulties. You hope that this activity will make you suffer less. If you are not trying to get rid of suffering, you are looking for some essential state or pleasurable condition, so you can grasp and hold on to some aspect of your essence. But this is a ridiculous thing to do, because you are the essence. How are you going to trap the essence if you are the essence? Who is going to trap your essence? Who is going to get it? The consequence of this activity of trying to get something and trying to get rid of something else, is that you identify with the activity of searching. You are doing it, the activity is always present, and you take it to be you. Thus, you continue projecting outside the thing you are looking for. In the process of doing the Work, you merely continue the activity of seeking that you engaged in while pursuing personality goals and desires. You used to be looking for the right person, the right job, the right situation, and now you are looking inside yourself. Now you substitute looking for real confidence instead of looking for recognition. Instead of searching for success, you are searching for enlightenment. It is just different words for the same thing; it is the same activity whether it is directed inside or outside This seeking activity is not loving or compassionate for yourself or anyone else. The fact that it perpetuates your separation from yourself and continues to act out your most fundamental delusion, means that this activity is actually painful. From the point of view of personality, it would seem a good thing for a person to pursue what he thinks will make him happy, but we see that this activity can only bring about more frustration and suffering.

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