We do not lack; we waste. We allocate energy indiscriminately and misuse the tools at our disposal. “Man has quite enough energy to begin work on himself,” says George Gurdjieff, “only it is necessary to learn how to save the greater part of that energy for useful work instead of wasting it unproductively.”

The same can be observed in nature: vines diverge into branches and twigs ending in an overgrowth that drains the vitality of their fruit. The farmer thus prepares his vines for harvest in September by removing unwanted growth in March. Unlike the February Labor, where firewood was hewn for the sake of fire itself, March calls for foresight. The farmer must prune with harvest in mind, manipulating the vine’s growth towards achieving that end.

To apply the same intelligence to our inner work, we must have an aim in the first place, coupled by a deep understanding of our personal obstacles. The January Labor was dedicated to achieving the former; the February Labor was dedicated to achieving the latter. Armed as we now are with the experience of the last two months, can we resist identification, minimize unnecessary talk, or avoid the expression of negativity, not because the teaching tells us to, but because we understand their impact on harvest?

If you’re new to this teaching, now is the time to formulate an aim. If you’ve already formulated an aim in January, now is the time to examine whether it still reflects what you’d like to harvest. Bearing your aim in mind, what must you prune today to ensure a plentiful harvest tomorrow?