Shocks and Signs of The Times
June 22, 2003: We here at Cassiopaea realize that reading the "signs" of our reality is a difficult task for several reasons. The first reason is, of course, that we have all been "programmed" from infancy to put the most "positive" interpretation on things we experience. We are told repeatedly "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all," or "least said, soonest mended," or "let sleeping dogs lie," and so on. And this has been our "model of behavior" for possibly millennia leading to - well, the state of the planet at the present time.
This state of affairs leads to the "sleep" of conscience. We are able to calm ourselves in the face of the most potentially cataclysmic conditions ever in our recorded history. And, as has been said repeatedly: those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. The question then becomes: how to awaken conscience?
Boris Mouravieff has written:
The C's have said:
What does it mean to "pay strict attention to objective reality?"
It relates, in a significant way, to the work of the Seeker of Initiation - prolonged exercises in discerning truth from lies.
Mouravieff tells us:
Mouravieff then goes on to suggest a "cure":
Aside from the fact that the above method is uncertain, protracted, and generally ineffective, we note that Carlos Castaneda has pointed out: the presence of a petty tyrant is far more effective in producing the interior shocks needed to "fuse" the self into a single "I". In other words, facing reality - carried out relentlessly - results in enhanced internal sensibility. This is the key to awakening conscience - fusing the magnetic center that activates the "seating" of the higher self.
Gurdjieff noted that the shocks of ordinary life can be utilized to continually "jar" the internal self - striking the essence like a piece of iron being shaped by the smith. This imagery of the "smith" and the "heating of the crucible" are ancient relics of this method of spiritual development.
Gurdjieff called his teaching the way of the "Sly Man." This term is a translation of the French "le ruse" which has less negative implications than the term "sly" and might better be translated as "clever." His intention was that people could learn to "experience" life as a school and could utilize all their ordinary experiences as opportunities for spiritual awakening.
What Gurdjieff clearly understood was that life, itself, IS THE SCHOOL, and any path of self development that "avoided" life, or sought to escape from life had severe limitations. These other ways were the way of the fakir, the way of the monk, and the way of the yogi. And so, Gurdjieff called his way - or perhaps it has always been called - the Fourth Way.
The C's have also promoted this method directly first by using the technique to initiate me (Laura), resulting in dramatic life changing experiences, and I then began to share this direct experience with others so that they, too could utilize their reality as it was intended to be utlized - as a school.
As I have recently written in an article on Discernment:
The obvious implication of this is that there is some "objective test" of one's awareness and that is the fact that one will experience significant changes in one's life and experiences as a consequence of a deep change in awareness. In other words, it is not an arbitrary, nebulous statement that cannot be held up to proof. If your awareness changes in a deep and significant way, then your reality will also change significantly. It is not enough to say "Oh, I see things so differently! I am at peace!" and so on. If "all" conforms to advanced awareness, that suggests a completely different dynamic interaction with reality than existed before. It also suggests that those who have a "different" awareness will be unable to even perceive the higher dynamic.
The Quantum Future School has established what seems to be a more useful way of "identifying" our "lack of unity." As always, we seek to put everything in practical terms so that it can be utilized by anybody, anywhere at any time.
One example is: Suppose there are several people who are having a conversation about politics, the media, world affairs, and so on. They will all agree that you can't trust anything printed in the media, that politicians are all crooks, and that the world is going to hell in a handbasket. Each and every one of them will be fully aware of many examples that lead them to state this, and which confirms it experientially, as well as stacks of evidence that suggest that such a view is objectively true.
But then, suppose that one member of this group says: "Well, why don't we do something about it? Why don't we ACT on this knowledge?"
And, almost without exception, everything in them will shift in an instant and they will make statements such as "well, you can't fight city hall" or "I'm just a little guy... nothing I can do."
Each "I" has its own set of platitudes, excuses and "programs."
And even more amazing event will occur later when all of them have gone home to their dinners, and afterward, when they settle down to read the newspapers or watch the news on television, they will take it all in and BELIEVE EVERY WORD OF IT. Even if they mutter to themselves "liars, every one of them," it is clear that they are operating based on the lies and not on the observations and experiences that they were assessing earlier.
There is absolutely NO UNITY inside them, and they shift and change constantly according to the external stimuli.
Take another example: A group of people (women or men, but generally this group must be all of the same sex) are discussing marriage or relations between the sexes. They will recount experiences, cite examples, and come to the firm conviction that the way the whole fairy tale thing about love and marriage is presented is a big lie, a scam that leads to suffering and misery, and that none of it is what its cracked up to be.
And then, the group separates and they all go home and resume their "roles" in the fairy tale, propagate it to their children, and go on as if nothing was ever said about it.
An invitation to a wedding arrives and everyone goes about with congratulations and well wishing, all the while COMPLETELY FORGETTING that this "announcement" very likely presages a life of misery and disaster, as the accumulated evidence, discussed earlier, strongly suggests.
If, by some chance, one of their offspring happened to overhear such a discussion and points out the obvious discrepancy between what was said at that moment and subsequent actions, the person says: "Oh, that was just TALK. Don't you worry your head about it. Eat your oatmeal. You'll understand when you grow up!" !!!!
And what is important about this is that the person engaged in both activities, at the moment of engagement -whether discussing the misery of most marriages, or issuing congratulations about an upcoming marriage - thinks that they are being perfectly themselves, perfectly sincere and that they are consistent.
Another example that many of the Quantum Future School know all too well is this: we discuss many things about evidence of hyperdimensional manipulation. Most of us have had some direct experiences, and many of us have researched the matter, collected reams of evidence that there is really something suspicious going on here on the BBM, but when we are not directly engaged in discussing it or researching it, our minds automatically begin to doubt the very conclusions we came to when our attention was focused on these matters. The program that says "that is TOO weird, and HERE is what reality really is" kicks in and we begin to doubt ourselves, our experiences, and even our sanity.
Another: We may experience something of such surpassing strangeness that we shake our heads in "disbelief" and wonder if we are losing our minds. And yet, we have had an experience that relates directly to our studies and our discussions.
What power is it in us that can compel us to doubt it, to think it is nuts, to acknowledge it as a possibility on one hand, and then deny it when it happens on the other?
Why is it that we can spend days, weeks, months, looking at and discussing the obvious manoeuvres of some "hidden archetype" behind our reality, and in the presence of a doubter, or because a BS explanation is offered by the media or an accomplished debunker, we waver and shift and vacillate in our thinking???
All of these things are evidence of a LACK OF UNITY within. As Gurdjieff described it: there is NO *I*.
But, in thinking about it in the terms I have set out above, we come to the idea that there is something far more important here. This "something" was in evidence in a recent exchange between members of the Quantum Future School:
The problem in the above is the lack of research - the lack of comparing "opinions" to FACTS. We must remember that the method of esoteric science is the same as that of positive science: observation, critical analysis of the given observations, and rigorous deduction from the established facts. And established facts are very nebulous things. There are many so-called "established facts" that are declared to be so in our reality by someone who is lying. And if we believe those "established facts" without undertaking critical observation, we will believe a lie.
So it is that the "something" that seems to establish the "real *I*" in a stable state is its firmness in grasping and aligning with OBJECTIVITY as opposed to SUBJECTIVITY.
In other words, as the C's have described it: Wishful Thinking vs. Objective Reality.
Now, of course, Mouravieff and others would have a person try to sit down and "observe themselves" internally where they find that "everything changes" all the time. Yet we can see in the above examples - and the thousands of others along the same line from our "ordinary life" - that the most logical place to begin is to "observe the self in action" - use your daily life as the syllabus of your course work in this reality.
To be aware of higher reality while dealing with ordinary reality requires an effort of awareness, detachment, concentration and insight.
It seems that Gurdjieff tried to develop exercises to help a person to be able to "divide" the attention so that they could "observe themselves" in action, and "build" that self that was consistent and "fused" - the REAL *I*.
Supposedly, the disciplines of "the Work" eventually make the practitioner receptive to longer, more frequent encounters with these regenerating and illuminating moments of "self-remembering" or "consistent self," as we might call it.
When one reads Gurdjieff's "Meetings With Remarkable Men," one comes to the idea that what assisted him in his own development were some pretty shocking and difficult psychological and physical experiences.
These shocking experiences of prolonged vaster consciousness - or "aliveness" - have generally been experienced by everyone in rare moments of "shock." Where things get sort of confused is when they are described as moments of "deep emotion or astonishing joy". Both can, of course, be true. But generally, they are moments that only AFTERWARD can the person say "I was really ALIVE! All my senses were PRIMED! Yes, it was scary as all get-out but WOW! What an AMAZING experience!
What Gurdjieff observed was that there was a "self" present in such moments that was more than the "adrenaline rush," because we may so recognize the chemistry of such descriptions. He also noted that the experiences changed him forever. After living through life-threatening experiences, he was no longer troubled by ordinary upsets of life. What is more, he was able to "see through" them to an inner dynamic and was able to take decisions based on this seeing that led to obvious benefits.
He attempted, later, to translate this into a practical method that could be used without exposing oneself to overt physical danger - something that could "awaken" this awareness permanently.
The question is, of course, did Gurdjieff make a mistake? Did he assume that the "aliveness" of a shocking experience was "true, individuated consciousness?"
I don't think so.
I think he recognized that there was certainly a similarity in the "will" that could arise in such situations with the "will" that could be present if a person was facing reality with the same firmness and determination to BE in the face of the "terror of the situation."
You could even say that it was similar to a protracted state of activation of a "spiritual fight or flight" mechanism similar in its dynamics to the physiological state described in those terms.
Gavin De Becker, in his book The Gift of Fear, tells us:
We want to think that it is logical that there "is no danger," when the operative word there is "want." Emotionally we want to be underwritten against danger, so we use logic, fueled by emotion, to convince ourselves that there is no danger. And by so doing, we have taken the instinctual phone off the hook. And it is this instinctual soul mind, that is constantly making observations, constantly noting everything, that sits quietly inside, speaking softly, but is yet overwhelmed by the programmed emotional responses that prevent us from listening to it.
Intuition, instinct, is Knowing without knowing why - it is NOT "feeling" in the emotional sense, it is the organ of higher emotion of the soul.
But note carefully: it is supplied with impressions and observations of the environment that we "block out" by convincing ourselves of things based on "belief" that is inculcated from childhood. And the root of the word "intuition" is "tuere," which means "to guard, to protect."
All our lives we have been fed on a philosophy that has taught us to ignore the signals from the environment in their true context, to believe in a very deep way that "God is in his heaven and all is right with the world," if we will just do this or that in accordance with whatever religion is promoting the idea of being "saved" from "out there." We are emotionally invested in this belief. Because we are NOT informed about the true nature of this reality, we have lost the creativity and imagination of the true intuition. De Becker writes:
Can you imagine them reacting with annoyance or disdain and "wishful thinking" instead of deep attention and open assessment of the clues? No animal would spend his time thinking "It's nothing. We have nothing to fear."
In the most bizarre inversion of natural existence, instead of giving validity to the clues from our environment, which could protect us if properly viewed and acted on, we chide ourselves and others for even momentarily giving validity to the feeling that something could be dangerous!
Instead of being grateful to the warning signal, a powerful internal resource, instead of entertaining the possibilities that our minds COULD be working FOR us and not just playing tricks on us, we rush to ridicule the impulse!
In contrast to every other creature in nature, we choose not to explore - in fact we choose to ignore - survival signals.
The energy we spend searching for the "innocent" explanation to everything could be better spent evaluating the environment for important information. We deny because we are programmed to see what we want to see... and we see what we want to see because it is what THEY want us to see. It is the brain which sees, not the eye.
Not only this, we constantly say that hindsight is 20/20. Well, maybe foresight is too, only we consistently ignore it.
Aside from outright denial of the signals from the environment, our intuition and instincts can be drowned out by inaccurate information. We are the editors of what gets into our brains to be evaluated, and what is invested with credibility. De Becker explains this:
In our lives, we are constantly bombarded with kangaroo signals masquerading as knowledge and our intuition relies on us to decide what signals we will give credence to.
"You ARE what you know." And knowing about danger means that you are protected, because knowledge protects and danger awareness is part of our survival gear.
My point about being "concentrated," or a sort of "spiritual fight or flight" mechanism coming into play, is that SHOCKS of a certain kind seem to induce the "beginner's mind" state that allows us to escape our programming and perceive ACCURATELY. We can SEE what is OBJECTIVELY TRUE and not just what we WANT TO BELIEVE.
Gurdjieff, after many experiences that were "shocking," realized that his "natural experiences" had produced, effectively, the same "state" that was supposed to be a property of esoteric initiation - a permanent *I* that was able to "look death in the face" without flinching. And, when a person can do that, the ability to be firm in the face of the lies of our reality, to stare down the media and politicians, to speak the obvious about our false beliefs and fairy tales of marriage and relationships, becomes a rather simple matter. Lies no longer have power over him.
But is that all there is to it? Is that truly the state that is produced by extended meditation and/or efforts to "open the heart center," as it is popularly called?
It's generally realized that a person who suffers a severe shock can be changed forever.
Ark has a little placard above his desk that says: "When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully."
The question is: where and how does it concentrate?
There are any number of literary examples of an individual with a singular and consistent *I* who were not very pleasant characters. Heathcliff, in Wuthering Heights comes to mind.
It's pretty clear that just going out and living a life of adventure so as to experience "shocks" or get adrenaline rushes isn't the point.
Mouravieff advocates the "constation" method. This is more or less like "trickle charging" your battery. You just deliver little mild jolts to yourself over a long period of time and just keep telling yourself what a liar you are and making an effort to uncover those lies by meditation, or "stillness" so as to "awaken the heart," and presto! One day your battery will be fully charged and you will have some go-juice!
Here is where I think that the "diversion" has taken place. Mouravieff has used the term "introspection" above and it seems that this "approach" is constituted of the idea that this "introspection" is similar to "meditation" and that this is the whole way to go. If you just meditate on things, the truth of the matter will come to you - that truth being that you are at the mercy of every lie going on out there which you believe uncritically - and that this process will "sensitize" you to the "shocks" so that they shock you so much more, that eventually you are unshockable - you have "fused" your magnetic center and opened your heart!
Next Mouravieff talks about A vs B influences, though he is not quite able to really express what they are.
In the Quantum Future School, we have learned by practical experience (with a little hint from the C's) that "A" influences are basically aligning oneself with "wishful thinking" and that "B" influences are doing the research, the thinking, and coming to an objective idea of something. And it is hard work. One must stay "open" during the entire process, and then, one must be prepared to have one's sacred cows put out to pasture.
The question here is: how can one even begin to "assimilate Objectivity" by simply "meditating?"
In The Wave I presented a lot of research on the subject of how our physiology could so easily do things that might convince us that we were "on the right track."
We are also aware that there are individuals who have certain "genetic" abilities that produce "pheonomena" or "sensations" in others that have nothing to do with "spiritual advancement."
We know that the Sufi's teach that one must not only NOT seek "phenomena," but one must actually "ignore" it and/or "pay no attention to that man behind the curtain," because such "phenomena" is actually a "distraction" or even a "test."
It is also a certainty that the "other side" can produce (and most often DOES) as much phenomena as necessary to lead people astray.
We have also observed that, in the STO manner, "confirmation," if there is to be any, usually comes AFTER the "test" is passed. In other words, you don't get the answers beforehand and you don't get phenomena to sway your choices.
So, what's my point here?
Well, the ONE thing we have noted in the Quantum Future School is that a consistent application of effort to see and discuss and "stay" in the awareness of OBJECTIVITY seems to be the key element of "assimilating B influences," as well as SHOCKING and FUSING the magnetic center.
It seems that this solution to the problem of a "method" is more similar to Gurdjieff and Castaneda than to Mouravieff who, strangely enough, says all the right words and then contradicts himself repeatedly with his "interpretations." It's pretty clear that he wasn't "getting it."
Nevertheless, Mouravieff has brought forward some descriptions of the IDEAS of the Tradition that must not have seemed too important to Gurdjieff, or it may be that he may have thought that such ideas were only to be presented to those who had achieved a certain level of practical application of fusion.
After all, in the case of the Quantum Future School, we certainly would NEVER have been prepared for some of the ideas of Mouravieff if we had not had certain experiences. In particular, I am thinking of the ideas about Organic Portals, as the C's call them, or the "two races."
If we had not had the experience of Maynerd Most and done the research on psychopaths, we could never have truly understood the OP issue, nor would we have been capable of assimilating it. It is STILL a tough one for many of us, and impossible for others. And yet, it seems to be one of the most important concepts in the whole of that material. And it is a concept that cannot be fully "appreciated" unless and until one has a firm and unchangeable "I" so that it can be faced with equanimity and compassion.
Mouravieff talks about it in a way that - after our own heating in the crucible described in the Adventures Series - makes it clear that even he really didn't understand it properly. One can see that he went off on the "two races" idea in the synarchy/fascist mode of the occultists of the past two centuries, a dangerous divergence if ever there was one.
But, having dealt with Maynerd Most et al, having done our homework, we were then very well prepared to face and deal with and recognize the issues of the planet itself in terms of the two races, the OPs and those with potential individuated souls, and how that plays out on the field of the current socio-political situation which leads to "seeing" the unseen dynamic at play here and recognizing the "signs," so to say. In other words, if we hadn't had direct experiences with Maynerd Most, we would not have even a clue about George Bush.
As the C's pointed out: it's not where you are, but who you are and what you SEE that counts.
And SEEING is awareness, produced by knowledge.
We have discussed, in recent times, the "three forces." This idea was summarized well recently by a staff member of the QFS. He wrote about the "third force" as creativity - or the exercise of Free Will in assessing and choosing in any given situation:
One of the important parts of this knowledge we have gathered in the Quantum Future School is this:
One is the number of infinite potential - non-manifested Divinity.
Two is the number of contrasts - the opposition of two different "kinds" of spirituality. One is contractile and the other is expansive. One is STS and one is STO.
This is the point where the twist is given. The religious teachings, even in their new age clothes, seek to convince us that the conflict is between spirit and matter. But that is not the case. Matter is the "battleground" on which the two types of spirituality fight each other.
Great fires, like other turmoils in life, may destroy the weak, but they purify the strong and make them still stronger. Life, including life on the spiritual planes, is NOT an affair of peaceful contemplation and "inner silence" and "quiet worship." It is a dreadful turmoil, a grim fight, and a bitter struggle. [Illion]
Mouravieff tells us that we must spend time in "quiet introspection," apparently repeating - or "constating" - over and over again that we are a mess. And, as a result of this activity, "shocks that previously were not noticed will now provoke vivid reactions. These movements, because of their continuous amplification, can create a friction between the particles of iron so intense that we may one day feel the interior fire igniting within us."
When one seeks to "open the heart" via "emptying the mind" and "inner stillness," which amounts to a totally subjective experience, they have effectively become lifeless servants of the STS dynamic. They have become "robots."
It is true, indeed, that the light that is supposed to "emerge from the darkness" comes from within, rather than from without, but there is a very subtle thing here. Illion illustrates it with a little story about the two philosophers who claimed "We only follow our own light" and in all matters relied on the light of instrospection.
Indeed the light must be ignited within, but it is only ignited by the "shocks" or "sparks" of objective reality striking the subjective metal of which we are made so that it can be "fused" in alignment with objective reality.
Fulcanelli tells us that the word "Argo" is a green language term that indicates "art cot," or "the art of light." And the Argonauts were on a voyage of discovery...
The C's have said:
At another point in time:
What we are learning here is to face the shocking objective facts consistently, regularly, over a period of time, so that when we are immersed in our "normal lives," we have the ability to observe ourselves being "inconsistent." We are then able, with effort, by utilization of our growing wills - armed with knowledge - B influences gradually being assimilated - to be consistent in ourselves from one situation to the next.
Instead of agreeing that politicians and the media are all liars in one moment, and then being swayed by doubts as to our own sanity in the next, we are able to keep in mind - to be MIND-FULL - what is REAL and what is Wishful Thinking.
Instead of discussing our fairy tales about marriage and relationships and agreeing on all the delusions that we all buy into via culture and then forgetting all of it when faced with the reality of our own participation in such lies, we are able to be MIND-FULL of what is REAL and what is Wishful Thinking.
And then, at some point, as this UNIFIED SELF becomes stronger and stronger and more and more consistent, and more and more PRESENT, we are able to ACT on what we KNOW as OBJECTIVE TRUTH.
How long this may take depends a lot on the individual and the situation. It may or may not include changes in one's personal life. It may or may not include undertaking a "mission." That is something that can only be known by the unified self, the self that is born from the fire of facing reality.
And when we act on it, in the face of the collective lies, and we succeed in the face of the collective effort to force us back into the Wishful Thinking Delusion, we have GENERATED ENERGY which generates LIGHT in the world - a fusion of the self in the pattern of truth. One then becomes a transducer of the STO/creative reality into the darkness of this realm.
And so, the Signs of the Times editors daily perform this function not only for themselves, but for all our readers.
Not a bad day's work.
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