You must do your duty from moment to moment. Your duty is what you have to do. Obviously, or why do you do it? This is a great mystery; it sounds crazy. It seems to make sense in a way – but something is missing. There does not appear to be a guide in it. But there is. The guide again is in I.


Let us have a look at it. Life is every moment. Life is not tomorrow evening, it is now. Every moment consists of its challenge. The totality of this and your response is your life, and somewhere in this lies your duty.


Man tends, whenever he gets a challenge, to react mechanically. It is something like when his body touches a hot stove and withdraws automatically. He acts on impulse from his mind, from the surface of himself, even though he may imagine he has thought about the problem. Man has to break this habit. He has to learn to live by referring every decision to himself, to his understanding. It is a beautiful way to live. It is a slowing-down, yet it results in a speeding-up of perception of knowledge and wisdom. It reduces the useless activity in us by eliminating our mechanical responses.


Every moment has a distinct duty for everyone. Man cannot do two things at the one time consciously. If he thinks he can, one of the actions is being done by his body, by habit. And habit is the opposite to conscious action. Man, the intelligent, begins with thinking and he cannot have two thoughts in his mind at the one time, either. By the same law he cannot have two duties at the same time. So, when he is in a state of indecision or conflict it means he has not slowed down enough to see his duty of the moment.


Extract from the Barry Long book title

‘Wisdom and where to find it’ 

(pp 8-9)


The Barry Long Foundation International