The truth in how The Work doesn’t work

I just read this post from Carol Skolnick’s blog Soul Surgery:

This will be the last post on this blog. I’ve realized I have absolutely nothing to say that can be of any value to anyone. In fact, I am retiring from my position as facilitator of The Work; I’ve been of no help and realized I ought to get a real job.

Besides, I finally had to admit The Work doesn’t work. I’ve stopped doing it. Since there’s nobody and nothing anyway, why even bother?

Thank you for your loyal readership…and if you want to keep deluding yourself with this nonsense, go ahead and knock yourself out, but I really hope you eventually wake up and smell the coffee, as I have.

Initially, I thought it was meant seriously, but then noticed (with the help of some of the comments) that it was posted on April 1st. Still, it certainly brought up some things for me, especially about The Work not working. I noticed how I didn’t want it to not work, which is a clear sign that there is a belief, and an identity, there, excluding some parts of life and some relative truths. In this case, the ways The Work does not work.

So in what ways does The Work not work?

  • It seems to not work for everyone. I have heard and seen people going through the motions, and (apparently) not getting anything out of it. The first person I facilitated even said he felt worse after having gone through the questions! As with anything else, it works for some and not others, and who and when it works for changes too.
  • It may not give the result initially expected or wanted by the personality. It is not for changing circumstances (although that could happen).
  • On some issues, it takes time to see a shift. Sometimes, the same or similar inquiries are done many times, before releases start to happen.
  • Sometimes, old patterns surface and take over as if no work had ever been done. They may even appear stronger than before any work had been done on it.
  • If the motivation to hold onto the belief is stronger than the motivation to (a) see what is more true, or (b) peace, then it may not work.
  • If there is a motivation to get a particular result beyond (a) seeing what is more true, or (b) peace, then it may not work. The motivation may get in the way for a sincere inquiry.
  • If there is not sincerity in the inquiry, it may not work.
  • If it is done in a too disembodied fashion, without a feeling into what comes up, it may not work.
  • If it is done too quickly, without taking time to allow what surfaces to sink in, it may not work.

And all of these are of course only stories as well. I cannot know that any of these are absolutely true. But they do open up a new territory for me. I don’t have to hold onto the belief that The Work works. I can find the freedom to be comfortable even in the landscape of it not working. I can find the truth in it.

If there is a belief that The Work works, then there is something to defend, and there is stress. If I can find the truth in the turnarounds of that initial story, then there is just a wide open landscape… a receptivity of mind (finding the truth in it) and heart (connection, recognition and empathy with those for whom it doesn’t seem to work).

One thought to “The truth in how The Work doesn’t work”

  1. Carol here. I love what you wrote about The Work and other modalities not working! Ultimately what “works” has nothing to do with a process, rather it relies on one’s willingness to know oneself. The vehicle is the least important aspect of the journey, perhaps, as long as the destination is reached. I find I get more miles per gallon from The Work than from anything else, and it is not for everyone, for sure. (Neither is a Prius.)

    By the way, the April Fool’s posting you reference drew an interesting assortment of initial responses in my private email, ranging from “Oh my God, Carol, say it ain’t so!” to “It’s about time you realized this stuff is a crock, congratulations.”

    Thanks for the wide, open landscape of your blog.

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