[from Marsha: For many years now I’ve heard that statement and never considered what it might mean. And so here’s a wonderful description that adds understanding.]
The type of work that we are involved with has been referred to for hundreds and hundreds of years as “the way”. Now “the way” to some people means they’re looking for a particular method to an end or a goal, but “the way” is a way of looking at things, a way of seeing and a way of being. It is not a means of behavior because one’s behavior is not very much to one’s own discretion of whatever is to their advantage.
The very ancient origin mentions that there was two ways — a broad wide way that leads to destruction and a narrow straight way that leads to life. That narrow straight one doesn’t mean you’ve got to get on the ball and do all the certain little things and not a bunch of other things. In other words self improve to some stated ideals.
It is a “way of being objective or consciously aware of things as they are” and not as they “appear to be” through a group of conditioning.
Way back down the road was a statement attributed to Moses that says “I set before you this day two ways – choose what you will – one is life and one is death.” And these two ways are always around; and all the work that we consider is always about “the way”. “The way” is first off knowing the self.
Now we didn’t say to “know the self” but to be “knowing the self”. When something has “ing” on it, it’s in present tense, right? Right now! Now this knowing is not to sit down and go through a bunch of things and say, “Well now I’ve learned all about me, I can rest in peace.” By that time there’s already a different thing happening; and “knowing” is to be conscious – conscious of the self at this moment.
Now the “self” is usually designated with a little ‘s’ and is, of course, the subconscious mind; and it’s always telling us little stories – talking all the time – in other words we experience it as thought.
Now are you going to get involved with the lies it tells and try to straighten it out. Are you going to try to find an “ideal” way for it to function. Are you going to identify with one part of it [B side] and resist the other part [A side] – this is the broad wide way that leads to destruction. It is the way of conflict. It’s a very broad way – it gives you thousands of ways to have conflict, right? You’ve tried several from every direction. There’s a million more that you haven’t tried.
So here’s all these ways that we can go. We can go the way of “self improvement”. We can go the way of “being good”. We can go the way with “fighting with all society”. We’re gonna straighten everything out. We can have a revolution – destroy this and create something else that will be better. We can have the way of building us a utopia. We can have the way of designing “ideals to live up to”; and we can have the way of chasing fantasies into never never land. All of these are ways that most of us have attempted to use at one time or another. We’ve tried all of ‘em. And these all lead to conflict of one sort or another; and conflict is the disintegration factor. And so it all leads to disintegration. What is disintegration? — deterioration physically, mentally, emotionally and finally total death – expiration, out of awareness et all.
The other way is to be conscious of “what is going on” and to be conscious is to be objective. If you’re subjective, you’re dreaming; and you’re subject to thoughts, to ideas and to ideals. You dreamed there’s a state called happiness; and if I could just have the right set of circumstances, they would bring about the right sensations; and that right sensation would result in me being happy then, wouldn’t it? As though happy was a permanent state.
And so there is a consciousness that we are objective about all the things that’s within man. Being objective we have ceased to make idols; and we’re living in conscious objective ways at all times. That is a narrow straight way — being conscious. It doesn’t allow for all the dream states that we can indulge in. And that is “the way” that leads to life; and as the man said, it leads to life everlasting.