In the Work, we begin as good householders – we conscientiously fulfill our responsibilities in life, to ourselves and others. We make the effort and learn the skills necessary to fulfill our human needs for community, psychological health, productive work, nutritious food, enough sleep and exercise, adequate clothing and safe shelter, maintained in order, beauty and simplicity. All of this is often referred to as our first education. Yet as good householders, we no longer believe in these life pursuits as ends in themselves. Life is school and everything in it is curriculum in service to the evolution of consciousness.
“A person must know how to be in life and how to use life and get what he wants from life and at the same time be in the Work. This is only possible for … ‘good householders’ – who are those who do their duty in life but do not believe in life. And you must realize that in this Work it is not demanded of you that you give up life or anything of that kind. On the contrary, this Work makes you realize that you must use life as far as you can for experience. But you must not trust life and get lost in it and think the goal lies in life-experiences.”
– Maurice Nicoll, Commentaries, “Commentary on Effort,” Vol. 1, December 19, 1941, p. 92