Most people enter the Work in imagination. As a result, these fledgling students cannot distinguish between their own emotional nature, Eve, and their own ego masquerading as emotions. In the end, the differences between ego and Eve remain immense.
The first hurdle continues to be the most daunting. The only way to wake up your soul/Eve is to go against your ego. As Gurdjieff would say, "you have to stop doing what you have always done before you can begin to do anything new."
Since the ego's food of choice remains self-will/self-love, the wise Work student begins to go against any manifestation of self-love/self-will that they are able to observe. Only our ego (personality/false personality) complains about the price of existence, therefore, if you are negative, you are in your ego. The work states that we have a right not to be negative and that if we are negative, we are wrong. Often times, it seems that the Work does everything It can to turn up the heat and then the Work tells you not to respond. Perhaps that is because frustration tends to turn up the alchemical fire.
Eve does not complain about the price of existence. Instead, Eve either responds or she does not respond. Many students have felt Eve's lack of agreement when they go halt. Only the ego can lie and deceive. Eve simply agrees or not. Eve is either aware of what is going on or she is too distracted/overwhelmed to consciously digest what is happening. Unfortunately, our own Eve is rarely on board; instead, she tends to fall prey to what is frequently referred to as the marriage of the lower.
The marriage of the lower occurs when Eve is not aware of herself as her own separate component within our psychology. Eve tends to "confuse" herself (therefore, blends her own sense of I) with the egotistical element of our inner psychic territory. One of the reasons why the Work student learns to go against their ego is because once the ego gets irritated enough, one's own inner Eve begins to stir into consciousness. Eve will not come out if life remains at the status quo. But Eve will usually rise to the surface of one's awareness the minute our homo status begins to fade.
Many unredeemed Eves hide behind a sea of sedations and distractions. As long as our lives go along smoothly, Eve rarely surfaces. But if even a tiny grain of sand gets lodged inside the defenses of an ego/oyster, it is Eve that creates the pearl.
One's Eve can never be right or wrong. Egos are right or wrong. Eve is either on target or has missed the mark. Eve does not want to be right or to win. Eve simply wants to know the nature of whatever reality she is facing. Frequently, Eve needs help interpreting what she experiences. Until Eve wakes up, she remains a babe in the proverbial dark woods. It is Eve that can become claustrophobic. The more overwhelmed Eve becomes, the more space Eve needs to be able to experience herself. Eve often needs Adam to interpret and name whatever Eve is experiencing.
It is Eve that cannot stand to see a picture askew. It is Eve that shutters at the nail on the chalkboard. It is Eve that gets butterflies at the dentist's office. Eve tends, in imagination, to reside within the realm of the ideal. Eve usually surfaces when anything goes wrong. Eve is the source of our so-called will. Because Eve is so fractured and distracted, our lives often appear to be a long stream of unmet possibilities.
Feng Shui is the science of Eve. Eve can expand to fill all possibilities and Eve can contract to such an extent that one cannot see or perceive Eve at all.
Because Eve cannot speak, it becomes easier to see Eve as she expresses herself in a tone of voice or in body language. Eve is that aspect of yourself that can get you to glance at something. Even though Eve cannot hold your attention on an object, Eve can get you to notice something at all.
As Jesus would say, "…what does it profit a man if he saves his life but looses his soul? So much of the beginning levels of the Work concern helping Eve to divorce herself from the ego with whom she had become identified with so long ago. All of the endless aims to go against one self help Eve to realize her own existence as a separate component of one's everyday psychology. Once one's center of gravity has begun its return journey by sacrificing the lower to engender the higher, Eve begins to fulfill her role in the spiritual development of our own psycho/spiritual nature.