Working according to the principles of the system is that the work of a real school of ‘The Fourth Way’ needs to proceed along three different lines simultaneously. Working only on one or two lines wouldn’t be considered schoolwork. What are these three lines of work?
The first line is the study of oneself and study of the system, or the ‘language.’ It is the line of work that’s all about you getting something for yourself. It is about understanding and learning about yourself via understanding the concepts of the system. It is the line of work of these lectures. Working on this first line certainly s very important, but if you only work on the first line, you can not expect any result.
The second line of schoolwork is working with other people in the school. One works not only with them but also for them. By explaining and observing one another, you are able to acquire a different level of understanding. There are many things one can not observe by oneself but can easily spot with others. It is hard to be subject and object at the same time, as one would when observing just by himself. By openly sharing one’s observations about another, with no other agenda than to help discover one another’s inauthentic ways of being, is a very powerful way in understanding concepts from the system.
In the third line, one works for the school or the work in general. In order to work for the school, one must first understand the work of the school and understand its aims and needs. Why is it crucial to work on three lines of work?
If one would only work on the first line, as most people want to do, your development would come to a stop, pretty soon. There is only so much that can be gotten from working on the first line. If you want to progress your transformation and keep yourself from falling asleep again, you need to start working on the second line. Working on the second line opens up a lot more possibilities than just working on the first line. Working on only two lines, however, still would stop your development eventually if you wouldn’t incorporate working on the third line. When working on the third line, you are not working for yourself at all. You are working for the school and others. It is very paradoxical to note that actually working on the third line gives you the ultimate results of the first line.
“Even now, as you can understand the chief reason of the necessity of three lines of work, you will realize that man is asleep, and whatever work he starts, he soon loses interest in it and continues mechanically. Three lines of work are necessary, first of all, because one line awakes a man who falls asleep over another line. If one really works on three lines, one can never fall asleep completely; in any case, one cannot sleep as happily as before; one will always awake and realize that one’s work has stopped.”
In short: On the first line, one works chiefly on the study of the system or self-study and self-observation, and one must manifest in one’s work a certain amount of initiative in relation to oneself. On the second line, one works in connection with certain organized work, and one must only do what one is told. No initiative is required or admitted in the second line, and the chief point in this is discipline and following exactly what one is told, without bringing in any of one’s ideas even if they appear better than those that have been given. On the third line again, one can manifest more initiative, but one must always verify oneself and not let oneself make decisions against rules and principles, or against what one has been told.