One of the more personally puzzling themes I’ve found while studying the Fourth Way approach to Initiation is the contrast between being and doing. Many practitioners of the Fourth Way speak of the paramount importance of “being in the eternal moment of now” (paraphrasing). At a glance, the striving to self-remembrance seems very passive. It is as if the state of incompleteness most of us are in would inevitably render all actions futile – that if we try to engage the world around us, we are too prone to lose the precious sense of Being. Only the very advanced individual would be able to blend these two.
Is there a way out of this? Perhaps. Harken Robert Fripp, the mastermind behind King Crimson:
Do nothing as much as you can.
It is crucial to note that it is not just “do nothing”, but “as much as you can”. Those things that speak of deep needs, of the Aim, those that are coming from the Heart cannot and should not be dropped. They are absolutely necessary.
The issue is that we rarely engage with only those things, or are even able to see them as priorities. We get lost in doing this and that, fueling the sense of activity and productivity without sight of the necessary. Among the lesser(?) consequences are health issues, stress and anxiety, and a sense of meaningless drifting through motions.
Striving to hear the Aim is akin to tuning a weak antenna while on the move. You catch glimpses of the signal proper, but much is lost in the noise and interference. Attempts to connect to the signal may make the reception even worse if you are not paying enough attention. The awareness of the signal in itself requires careful maintenance, and the focus on what is actually happening has to be regained regularly. It is here that the silent moments of striving to be simply present have their worth. It is also here that the active work in the world has its proper place.
The nature of the Aim is dynamic. One can have a deep sense of it by simply being present, but this is not enough. The growth of the individual Being is tightly linked to the growth and transformation of the Aim itself. Such growth requires action – Doing to balance the Being. Proper understanding can only come from first-hand experiences rooted in the real. This synthesis of Being and Doing is one of the primary functions of the Heart.