The Work idea of recurrence points to the reality that situations, difficulties, and stressful personal interactions in life will recur unless something changes in us. Through the Work, we have the opportunity to evolve, but first, we must awaken to our own role in the recurrence. We learn that life is a school and everything that comes to us is curriculum that is offered to us again and again until it is no longer needed.
“The ordinary circle of things in our lives in turning continually, daily, weekly, yearly, brings us to the same points in sequence. As the special memory, the consciousness of oneself, grows through uncritical self-observation, the taste of this always returning to the same points, this taste of recurrence in life, becomes stronger until it is stronger than the attraction of the points one revisits … All this is very confusing for a long time unless one realizes that in this constant returning and the consciousness of it one can have a new attitude and a new way of reacting to the old. The effect on oneself may then change. … Work-memory – this returning of familiar experiences – may begin to awaken one to oneself, because it becomes a source of inner flatness or even misery.”
– Maurice Nicoll, Commentaries, “Commentary on Chief Feature,” September 2, 1944, Vol. 2, p. 507