On Lacking Motivation To Work

I want to draw your attention to the motivational aspects related to inner work.  We have all experienced times when we struggle to engage with the Text, and while it may be difficult to appreciate at the time, this struggle does contain useful material for us.  It’s a struggle that takes the form of a lack in motivation to engage with the Text and it has its roots in the natural man/mind that constantly works to undermine the transformative presence of higher spiritual influences flowing in from the Lord.

The thing to remember (and this may only be possible by reflection after the fact) is that the proprium, in order to maintain its dominance within the mind, gets us to buy into conclusions drawn from the appearances of the senses to demotivate us, so that we hold off from engaging in the necessary ongoing work of self-examination and repentance.  Such conclusions might be, “Look what’s happening in my life, one would think that after all this effort things would be different, or better.” “Not this thing again, what’s wrong with me? Others don’t seem to have to deal with the same thing over and over again.” All this may even lead to doubts about the power or the Word to effect real change in our life.

Our sense of frustration and disappointment naturally demotivates us. We don’t engage with the Text and this has a compounding effect on our state as the hells begin to jump in pointing to our lack of engagement as proof that this work is not for us. All this, of course, is false. The reason we call self-examination and repentance work is because it takes effort to compel ourselves to use truths to reflect on the quality of our states of mind; We know that this is something that must continue to be done to the end of our life in this world; That there will be times of difficulty interspersed with times of respite; That despite how things appear externally, inwardly the Lord’s mercy is such that all things work toward the best possible outcome for all.

Can we avoid difficulties and times of struggle in this kind of work?  The simple answer is no.  

But we can learn to navigate them by staying open to the processes that unfold as we continue to willingly place ourselves before the Word giving it the opportunity to do its work within us. What we feel as a lack of motivation at times is due to selfish and worldly loves we are attached to, but not yet conscious of, being stirred up and reacting to the presence of truths from the Word. It is a teaching of the Word that, while in the throes of temptation a person feels the Lord to be most absent when in fact He is more fully present than at any other time, being, in fact, the one who is fighting for us.  

So long as temptation continues, the man supposes the Lord to be absent, because he is troubled by evil genii so severely that sometimes he is reduced to despair, and can scarcely believe there is any God. Yet the Lord is then more closely present than he can ever believe. But when temptation ceases, the man receives consolation, and then first believes the Lord to be present. (Arcana Coelestia 840)

These kinds of experiences offer opportunities to build our understanding of inner processes in the light of what the Word teaches us, providing us with what’s needed for the journey ahead.

Preparation rather than outcome is what much of our efforts in this work is about. In Logopraxis work we are looking to the Lord as the Word to have something higher become active in us within which a new sense of self can be established.

Work with purpose, maintain a spiritual focus, and stay the course.

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