Lesson of Life – Study of the Knee of Listening

Introduction to the Study of The Knee of Listening

The Lesson of Life

“The Great Wisdom is a matter of the serious acceptance of the Lesson of Life. We do not tend to take it seriously. We tend to think that life is somehow a necessary process. We tend to think that life, as it tends to be, must be embraced. Therefore, we tend to accept the idea that life must be a search for ultimate Happiness, even if the Happiness we actually attain is always minimal and temporary. But such views are simply the conventions of egoity or non-Wisdom. Wisdom begins when we are no longer inclined to adopt such views.”

The Bodily Location of Happiness – The Lesson

“The possibility of true spiritual life, or participation in the graceful process of liberation in the prior, Divine Reality, begins only when there is conviction in the functions of life and intelligence of the inherent suffering of manifest existence (its essential dilemma or self-contradictory condition) and the fruitlessness of all destiny and action to produce liberation or true happiness. This conviction is served by all of the ordinary and extraordinary results of life and by the stream of Teaching radiated through realized beings in the various times and places of the worlds. When life and the Teaching coincide in their lesson, then the individual has come to a point of availability in the subjective and objective dimensions of his life to the Guru-function or Grace of the Divine Reality. When the conviction of suffering and hopelessness matures to the point of profound psychic and psychological disorientation from the conventional theatre of experience, ordinary or extraordinary, so that there is heightened sensitivity to the intuition and influence of the Divine Reality, then the individual becomes circumstantially related to the stream of true Teaching and, at last, to the direct influence of the manifest Guru (either in his personal form-gross, subtle, or causal-or in the form of his servant-agents and his incarnate Community).”

No Remedy

“it’s clear to me that the primary reason why people fail to practice this Way truly is that they do not yet take the Lesson of life seriously”

“The Knee of Listening is sufficient by itself, as a description of the Way and its Realization. But it is perhaps not sufficient as a source from which people can generate practice and Realization. That required all the theatre of Teaching and all the elaborations.”

1973 Letter to community

..all conditional experience Is A School With A Single Lesson. This Is The Lesson (The Lesson Of Life): “I” Cannot Become Happy. “I” Can Only Be Happy.’

The Dawn Horse Testament – Chapter 18

“The seven stages can be viewed as a school offering seven lessons about self transcendence the essence of true spirituality. Most people have failed to learn the lesson of even the first stage of life, and so the spiritual practitioner, generally speaking, begins by readapting to what might appear to be very ordinary human functions and responsibilities. It is only after he (or she) has assumed full responsibility in a more ordinary level that higher spiritual processes can occur.”

The Seven Stage of Life

“The first great crisis of human existence is the observation of the tentative, minimal, and always temporary association between life and Happiness—and how the mortal and limited nature of embodiment itself makes the search for Happiness both a necessary and a futile enterprise. I Argue that Lesson, so that you may become serious, understand your un-Happiness, and begin the Way of Happiness Itself.

The second great crisis of life is this process of serious understanding of un-Happiness and conversion to the Way of Happiness (rather than the futile search for Happiness). Such understanding is what I Call ‘hearing’, and such conversion is what I Call ‘seeing’. It is only when such hearing and seeing prevail that the practice of the Way can begin.”



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