The Three Lines of the Work

“There are three lines of Work: Work on oneself; Work with and for others; Work for the group or school or the Work itself.”

-Beryl Pogson, Brighton Work Talks


“All three lines are necessary. The first is Work on oneself. This includes Work on the side of knowledge and Work on the side of being. To work on knowledge means here to work on knowledge of the Work. To work on being means to observe oneself from the standpoint of what the Work teaches so that one actually sees one’s own [self], one’s negative states, internal considering, identifying, mechanical talking, mechanical disliking, self-justifying and so on, and to struggle with them. [It’s important to note that Work on the side of being includes feeding oneself with higher influences, devotion and worship.] …


“The second line of Work is work in conjunction with other people in the Work. [Examples of this include participation in The Journey School Thursday Class, Journey Groups and Work Partner relationships.] Unless you practice the first line of Work you cannot practice the second. Again, unless you practice the second, you cannot practice the first rightly.


“The third line of Work is … to help the Work in general and try to see what is required of us and not talk wrongly or harm the Work. Right valuation and right attitude to the Work belong to the third line, but they enter into everything, because unless one has valuation and right attitude one will work neither on oneself nor with others nor for the Work. … A man working by himself and only for himself cannot get anywhere. To begin with, he has not the force to do so.”

-Maurice Nicoll, Commentaries, “The Three Lines of Work,” September 29, 1943, Vol. 1, pp. 334-335