|How I began "the Work"|
The conditions of life in which a man is placed at the beginning of his work, in which, so to speak, the work finds him, are the best possible for him, at any rate at the beginning of the work. These conditions are natural for him. These conditions are the man himself, because a man's life and its conditions correspond to what he is.
Any conditions different from those created by life would be artificial for a man and in such artificial conditions the work would not be able to touch every side of his being at once.
For more about my understanding as well as links to more conventional definitions of what is "the work" see here.
For me, what brought me to the work was an experience I had when I was 20 years old. I had lost my draft deferment, and was in the process of trying to obtain a Conscientious Objector deferment (CO). At the time, I really did not expect to get this deferment, but it was my last hope, other than moving to Canada, as I was not going to be drafted. I've always been non-violent, and strongly opposed to killing and war.
It was the Saturday night before the Monday morning which I was scheduled to appear before my local draft board in Concord, NH. A friend from high school had come up earlier in the day from Boston to lend moral support.