External and Internal Considering
In 4th Way parlance, this is the practice of taking others into account when acting. External considering involves making a realistic evaluation of another's situation and acting in ways which take this into account in a positive sense.
External considering is however not the same thing as being socially polite or considerate, although it may be expressed in this manner.
The key concept is to be aware of and to adapt oneself to the level of being and knowledge of others. Thus, external considering involves for example not talking about things which would simply offend others' beliefs or simply not be understood. External considering relates to an idea of general good will towards the environment, then in the sense of letting the environment be as it wishes and responding to its requests in a manner that honors its right to be as it will.
External considering is rooted in objective awareness of the environment. Its opposite, internal considering, is rooted in attachment to a subjective inner state, to one's own comfort of preconceptions or desires.
External and internal considering are not always outwardly distinguishable, although inwardly they are fundamentally different. One may for example be socially pleasing purely in order to reinforce one's own idea of oneself as a 'good person.' This is internal considering and preoccupation about how others/the self perceive the self.
In some cases, external considering may involve withholding information that is seen as inappropriate, dangerous or simply unlikely to be well received. An internally considering person may also do this, but then again the motive is different.
We cannot codify with external criteria which action constitutes which kind of considering. The concepts are related to service to others vs service to self and to objectivity vs subjectivity. Usually the term considering is applied in the context of personal interactions.
Only through having external considering can one serve others. This requires responsiveness and a sense of objectivity and awareness of what is right action for the given situation. Serving in the sense of merely carrying out commands is not external considering.
Internal considering can be likened to man's inner predator. It feeds itself by engaging in subjective fantasies where it thinks it is other than it is. It will also seek to gain external confirmation for its distorted self-image by manipulating others to confirm it in its views. Man may go to much trouble to make an impression, simply in order to have his own illusory, internally considered self-image reflected back to himself from others. All success in such manipulation feeds the predator and confirms it in its internal considering and accordingly removes the center of gravity of man's inner life away from objectivity. Internal considering is in very concrete terms man's natural enemy who seeks to prevent man from being himself. The predator will at all times prefer an illusion of virtue to the naked truth about itself. Still, it is not useful to morally judge or condemn the predator, just like it is useless to condemn a cat for eating mice. Still, one must disengage from identifying with this predator. Claiming to Work while engaging in internal considering is a contradiction in terms. The forms of internal considering can however be extremely subtle and one cannot always detect them, thus constant vigilance is required. The predator of internal considering may well claim to engage in merciless self-observation, to aspire to consciousness and being and any other virtues and even trick itself to believe it is progressing towards these goals while all the while only feeding its vanity and desire for recognition.
Exterior man needs the support of a group in order to help him detect the many tricky ways in which internal considering inserts itself in his perception and actions.