Step 5 is where we begin to reflect. We collate our experiences of working with the Text and the task, in preparation for sharing this with others in our Logopraxis Life Group.
The following questions are offered as a framework for reflecting on your experience of the Text…
- What happened when I remembered to implement my task? What thoughts and feelings did I notice?
- What happened when I forgot the task, or struggled to remember it? What thoughts and feelings did I notice then?
- What is the Lord allowing or asking me to see?
- What has He taught me concerning the nature and quality of my thoughts and affections over this session? What is He asking me to understand or what have I come to understand?
- How are the answers to these questions connected with the Text for this session? What principle/s from the Text is/are illustrated in my experience?
A task is a tool that is able to bring a spiritual focus, that is, a focus on our inner life, of the life of our thoughts and affections. This simple tool puts us in front of a rich source of material that can support our spiritual development.
Everyone in Logopraxis work, at some time or another, has the experience of the struggle to maintain a focus on their task over a session cycle. The point of seeking to work with tasks is not to be successful at doing tasks. The work of engaging with our task is no more or less important, than the experience of forgetting it in the face of the demands of external life.
There will be times when we come to the end of the two-week cycle, and we find that we haven’t worked with our task. Consequently, we may experience our anxiety levels rising as the time draws near to share our work with our Life Group. However, despite the fact that we have forgotten the original task, we are now provided with a new opportunity; to reflect on the quality of the thoughts and affections that are arising in our mind as we approach our group meeting. This second chance to work can offer revealing material as it opens us up to see something of the habitual patterns that are present, in our thinking and feeling life, when states of anxiety arise.
Another aspect of coming to the end of a work period and finding that we haven’t done what we intended to do, is that we may be placed in front of our well-developed sense of an independent “can do” self. By setting tasks to give a focus to our inner work, many discover the limitations of this “well intentioned self” and its inability to remember to give attention to what appears to be a fairly simple spiritual exercise.
This is why it’s useful to remember that the aim of the tasks we create from the Text, is to facilitate self-observation; to help us to see how things are in the light of what the Word teaches. It is only through persevering with trying to work with tasks, that we are brought to a sense of not being able to “do.” This is a realisation that every Logopractitioner must come to before they can even begin to “do.” For it is in the discovery of our own inability, that we find that it is the Word as the Lord in us who does the work. Our being able to “do” anything related to genuine spiritual work, is from the Word alone. The Lord, as the Word, gives us the ability to engage in spiritual work so that it appears as if we have agency in it, when in fact, He is the only ‘doer’.
This realisation has far reaching consequences. It has the power to weaken our attachment to the hellish proprium’s drive to seek merit in everything it does. This merit-seeking only has power over us when we are caught in the appearance that we have life in ourselves. The principle, is that we must come to the end of our self, the hellish proprium, to find our self, the heavenly proprium. We can only come to the end of our self through making efforts to do inner work and then, when we find we cannot “do” from that self, the power to “do” from the Word is present instead. In this way, the Lord as the Word transitions our sense of self from out of a hellish proprium and into a heavenly proprium.
So, the experience of forgetting our task is yet another affirmation of the Logopraxis aphorism that ‘failure is success’. This is because it offers us an opportunity to observe the quality of the thoughts and affections arising in our mind. With this as our focus, every aspect of our experience over the Logopraxis session cycle, can be received as a gift which allows us to see more clearly what passes for our inner life. In offering our experience to our Logopraxis Life Group, the gift expands into an act of worship, supporting others in their work with the Text too. And in this way, each member’s experience of the Text, no matter what it has been, contributes to the variety of the many different ways the Lord can be made visible in the midst.
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