Ask Yourself the Right Questions, Change Your Life

Shinzenbi said:
« Ask yourself the right questions, change your life ». Well… simply reading this interesting title raises questions in my mind. Would someone please help me sort out what follows and expand it ?

It is clear that only reasoning of truth can lead to real progress, right questions and of course right actions. I guess that asking yourself the right questions is not the beginning of the chain. Depending on your situation, right questions may not be that obvious. Thinking must precede, and complete acceptation too. Here come my questions :

- Is there a “best way” to accept your situation and analyze it with sincerity/objectivity and humility. I do not want to fall in the trap of changing the question if I do not like the answer.
- How can I know if I’m being true to myself and not reasoning with biases and expectations ? I do not want to be a guy who thinks that he is thinking.
- Taking action should gradually lead to a new situation with a corresponding new set of right questions, and so on. Correct ?

It may be interesting to insert quotes here :

A: Service to others. Notice that the people with the most problems that always talk only about themselves and their troubles, are the ones who do and give the least. They do not have confidence in the universal law of LIFE: Get things moving and you create a vacuum in your life into which energy can flow.
“Very few beings really seek knowledge in this world. Mortal or immortal, few really ask. On the contrary, they try to wring from the unknown the answers they have already shaped in their own minds -- justifications, confirmations, forms of consolation without which they can't go on. To really ask is to open the door to the whirlwind. The answer may annihilate the question and the questioner.”
― Anne Rice, The Vampire Lestat
I hope I’m being clear and not off the topic. Have a nice weekend all.
Aloha Shinzenbi

I think your questions are good questions to ask ourselves. In my own case, I don't think I could answer those questions on my own. Why? For the very reasons you already gave such as "not wanting to fall into the trap of changing the question if I do not like the answers" -- and -- "How can I know if I'm being true to myself and not reasoning with biases and expectations ? I don't want to be a guy/gal who thinks that I am thinking".

So, my thought is that since I cannot really rely on my own thinking to extricate myself out of the trap of thinking that I can answer those questions without prejudice, I need a network of other people who can point out to me where my own thought processes are tangled in a web of my own self-deceit. Does this make sense to you?

I think it comes down to whether or not I can really trust myself to not fool myself -- especially at the beginning of the process of learning more about our own mechanical thinking. I am still at the very beginning of attempting to observe my own Little i's and all their little subterfuges, rationalizations, justifications, being right, making others wrong.

So, basically, I am taking the stance that at this point in time, I DO need to rely upon others to point out my pretzel logic and help me to SEE my inner self more clearly. And to the degree that I am truly sincere about wanting to get off my soapbox platform of "being right" and, instead, change my viewpoint and attitude, then I may have a slim chance of getting out of the soup.

I sometimes see this Forum as people who are willing to throw me a life preserver when I am asking for help or assistance so that I can stay afloat long enough to see in which direction I need to swim to get to dry land or safe shore.

As to your 3rd question -- "Taking action should gradually lead to a new situation with a corresponding new set of right questions, and so on. Correct?", I do have at least one experience of my own that does support that hypothesis. Maybe other Members can give you better feedback on this question as well as about your entire post.

Thanks for bringing up your questions. They were interesting for me to also ask myself. :)

Cheers!
 

petite femme

Padawan Learner
This is a very thought provoking thread indeed! My favorite, Whats the most important lesson I've learned in life! Mine is "all is lessons". That has been, for me, the most profound lesson I have learned. It keeps me asking questions, keeps my mind open to all the possibilities and helps me not get so stressed out about the hard lessons that I'm sure we all go through.
My least favorite, how do other people see me different than I see myself. That is a hard one. But it is very important when it comes to working with the errors of my machine and to networking which is indispensable when it comes to working on oneself!
I agree with 13 Twirling Triskeles, the only way to truly work on yourself and not fall into the trap of "thinking that your thinking" is networking! We need feedback and the objective view of others.
Nico, Luc is right. It's not really "changing the complainer in us" as much as it is evolving! Its what I mean by "working with the error of my machine".
If we work with the error of our machine we use it to evolve our thinking. Change our perspective, see our situation in a new light or a new angle. Asking ourselves the tough questions that might just shed light on the root of our depression or anxiety. Like you said, the only way is through it.
Thanks Laura, for this wonderful thread and to all who contributed!
 
13 Twirling Triskeles said:
Aloha Shinzenbi

I think your questions are good questions to ask ourselves. In my own case, I don't think I could answer those questions on my own. Why? For the very reasons you already gave such as "not wanting to fall into the trap of changing the question if I do not like the answers" -- and -- "How can I know if I'm being true to myself and not reasoning with biases and expectations ? I don't want to be a guy/gal who thinks that I am thinking".

So, my thought is that since I cannot really rely on my own thinking to extricate myself out of the trap of thinking that I can answer those questions without prejudice, I need a network of other people who can point out to me where my own thought processes are tangled in a web of my own self-deceit. Does this make sense to you?

I think it comes down to whether or not I can really trust myself to not fool myself -- especially at the beginning of the process of learning more about our own mechanical thinking. I am still at the very beginning of attempting to observe my own Little i's and all their little subterfuges, rationalizations, justifications, being right, making others wrong.

So, basically, I am taking the stance that at this point in time, I DO need to rely upon others to point out my pretzel logic and help me to SEE my inner self more clearly. And to the degree that I am truly sincere about wanting to get off my soapbox platform of "being right" and, instead, change my viewpoint and attitude, then I may have a slim chance of getting out of the soup.

I sometimes see this Forum as people who are willing to throw me a life preserver when I am asking for help or assistance so that I can stay afloat long enough to see in which direction I need to swim to get to dry land or safe shore.

As to your 3rd question -- "Taking action should gradually lead to a new situation with a corresponding new set of right questions, and so on. Correct?", I do have at least one experience of my own that does support that hypothesis. Maybe other Members can give you better feedback on this question as well as about your entire post.

Thanks for bringing up your questions. They were interesting for me to also ask myself. :)

Cheers!
Aloha Triskele,

Thank you for your reply. Yes, this does make sense to me. I have never thought that i could be objective with myself, which is why i need other people to give me feedback. Problem is that i’m not surrounded with sincere people ready to tell me what they really think (i’ve cut off many toxic relationships since i’ve started the Work and feel soooo much better). This has lead me to redefine friendship and take daily events as source of feedback. I remember having read a quote (in french) attributed to Confucius that was sthg like « not too many relationships, not too much isolation, the right balance ». I’m trying to apply it but am not very successful yet. No matter, maybe i’ll work it out one day.

So, i’d like to know what is the best thing to do when you do not have a network that brings honest feedback. Daily events can, to some extent, be analysed and lead to understanding, but it appears as somewhat limited and also limited to my analysis ability. Reading symbols is not easy :huh:. Is it a good approach ?
 

zak

Jedi Council Member
Shinzenbi:
So, i’d like to know what is the best thing to do when you do not have a network that brings honest feedback. Daily events can, to some extent, be analysed and lead to understanding, but it appears as somewhat limited and also limited to my analysis ability. Reading symbols is not easy :huh:. Is it a good approach ?
It can help to start where you are with what you have,
working with" the fondamentals, the basics":
https://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic,28065.0.html
http://thecasswiki.net/index.php?title=Fourth_Way
https://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic,8182.200.html:

Since we are speaking of reminders, it will be well at this point to remark upon a
technical term of the work which is of much significance. This term is Self-Remembering.
Orage himself used it sparingly but it holds a prominent place in other Versions,
particularly in the Ouspenskian Version where it is the cause of some confusion, and it will
prove worthwhile to make its meaning perfectly clear.

The term has a reference both to Self-Observation and to Non-identification but it
is synonymous with neither. The conscious act of Self-Observation is performed as
follows: 1) a deliberately conscious distinction is set up between “I” and the organic body;
2) one consciously identifies oneself with the “I”-portion of this established dichotomy; 3)
from the latter standpoint one observes, in the sense of being aware of, the defined
phenomena proceeding simultaneously in the organism. There is thus a division of
attention accompanying the observatory act; to the one hand one withdraws from the usual
identification with his organism and is aware that he is the now separated “I” and, to the
other, one is aware of the specific organic phenomena taking place, as it were, outside of
“I”. Self-Remembering refers precisely to the first of the latter awarenesses, viz., it refers
to that part of the attention which at the moment is focused upon the “I” and not upon the It
or organism.

This process of division of which we speak, is called Non-Identification and in it
“I” is placed apart from the body; the act of Self-Remembering is that included part of the
act of Self-Observation which is directed upon “I” and not upon the phenomena that are
the objects of Self-Observation. In fact, Self-Remembering is identical with Self-
Awareness. For anyone who is capable of performing the act of correct Self-Observation
there is therefore no excuse for supposing that Self-Remembering is identical with Self-
Observation or that in itself the act of Self-Remembering is sufficient to constitute Self-
Observation. Self-Remembering no more constitutes the complete act of Self-Observation
than does the cue or reminder which causes the subject to recall his intention to self-
observe. And if the process stops merely at the point where Self-Remembering takes
place, then no Self-Observation has been performed. Every one of the above distinctions
is required in order properly to understand and also to realize (i.e., to make real for oneself)
what Self-Observation is.

Much earlier, when discussing the different states of consciousness, we have
mentioned that Reality, including naturally the external environment, appears differently to
the subject when in these various states. And by this time the pupil who has correctly
practiced Self-Observation and Participation has experienced inevitably some unexpected
glimpses of the appearance of the outside world at the level of Self-Consciousness. As
stated, it is one of the purposes of the Method to bring on this kind of experience gradually
and without premature shock to the pupil. Because he cannot perform the acts of Self-
Observation and of Participation consciously enough and for sufficiently long periods at a
time, no matter how hard he tries, he will not have had many of these glimpses of another
kind of real world and, instead of producing any sort of shock in most cases, such
experiences serve as further incentives to work and, more importantly, as definite
confirmations that the results of the Method are not imaginary but that something very real
and non-subjective is being accomplished.

It is, of course, no more possible to describe to a man in the Waking state what the
world looks like from the level of Self-Consciousness than it is to describe exterior reality
as perceived by a man awake, to one who has never experienced anything except Sleep. In
neither case does the transition to a higher level of consciousness involve contact with
anything especially horrible or terrifying but the outside world does begin to be seen in
clearer aspects and as involving much more movement and activity. To one whose
perceptions have never proceeded beyond those of the Waking state this new view at the
least is very unaccustomed and exceedingly strange; and both to assure him that he is not
suddenly “losing his mind” and also to permit him the opportunity of confirming
something previously predicted, the pupil is informed beforehand, so far as can be
possible, as to what he will encounter with his first self-conscious perceptions.

As remarked, very little can be said about it. But at least two aspects can be
indicated. One is the extraordinary and astonishing aliveness presented by the appearance
of so-called inanimate objects; for instance, an ordinary brick wall may look no longer
dead and inanimate but instead may give one the most surprising impression of a
peculiarly living thing and the view of so much more active an object as a tree may
occasion a considerable amazement. Another, rather opposite effect is the unusual
appearance of deadness presented by the human beings who may come into view at such
moments. Of course it is not that they are really dead but that they suddenly seem to be
somewhat less than half-alive; and for the first time one registers in personal experience
that they are really sleeping, really submerged in unreal daydreams, really scarcely
conscious at all. All this is not a matter of reasoning, deduction or even intuition; it is a
directly sensory experience and, as such, creates a deep impression. One can never
afterwords forget how the outside world looked to him at a moment approximating to Self-
Consciousness. And if he has been prepared so that it does not come upon him too
startlingly (for it will certainly come abruptly) or in exceptionally unfortunate conditions,
there will be no reason for him to be shocked by it. If, nevertheless, he is, another
occasion has arisen for the teacher’s services.

It is now time to transfer our discussion to some theoretical aspects of this first full
stage of the Method. But there is a final word regarding the above practices, that is,
regarding these instructions for doing. What has been described sounds like hard work and
it is; it is very hard work indeed, for what is utilized in these non-identified efforts is a kind
of energy we have never heretofore used and of which we have no tremendous supply.

But there is nothing lugubrious about this Version and too often those who engage
in serious activities of this kind, begin by drawing a long face whose dimensions are never
afterwards lessened, so that for an outsider to observe them is to become convinced on
pretty good evidence that their discipline must be a tolerably depressing one. There is, and
there should be, no such implication in, or result from, this work.

It is certainly necessary to struggle and to strive but it is not necessary to embrace
the usual fallacy on this score. The struggle here is a direct internal struggle conducted
within one’s ultimate subjectivity, it is not turned toward what is outside ourselves in any
respect. Our organisms are in reality outside ourselves and thus we are never struggling
against their manifestations, habitual or not; we are not striving to reform them or to make
them “better” or to convince ourselves that we are sinfully responsible for what is actually
automatic and long since determined without our slightest consciousness of the
determination. What we do with such manifestations, of every kind whatsoever, is first to
self-observe them, then to participate in them, and finally to experiment with them.
Moreover, we do so always with non-identification. This whole procedure is very different
indeed from the writings involved in the Way of Religion or the Path of the emotionalist,
and enough has previously been said to distinguish the Fourth Way ultimately and finally
from any of the first three usual Ways. It is not a question of disparaging any of the Paths
by which men may become normal, it is a question of distinguishing clearly between them.
It must be obvious that our Way is not that of the religionist or of the emotionalist.

As to the Oragean Version, it does not propose that men are bad but that they are
abnormally subhuman. Nor does it believe that their situation is irremediable but to the
contrary it is engaged exactly in defining a remedy. The purpose of the Method is to bring
each candidate more energy, more activity, more consciousness, more life; not less in any
of these cases. Nothing is really harmful that does not injure “I”; and our chief and final
criterion is consciousness itself. We hold nothing at all against cheerfulness or the full
experience of all emotions, both positive and negative; indeed it is our assertion that such
experience is far too meager and our program is to make it fuller and more conscious. Nor
do we consider this in any way a hindrance to our ultimate goal of normality.

There is no proposal here to immerse the candidate for humanity in self-reproaches
or despair, but quite the opposite. And we are not concerned with those who are bowed
down by an automatic sense of sin and the desire to struggle and strive against it, whether
or not upon the pretext of struggling and striving against something else.

If you are not capable of more actively enjoyable, more conscious and greater life
than you have ever hitherto experienced, it will be well for you to keep away from this
Version.

We have discussed earlier the rigorous meanings to be attached to two of the
technical terms included in the body of the Gurdjieffian ideas, Self-Remembering and
Self-Observation. It will be recalled that Self-Remembering is one of the necessary
preliminaries to Self-Observation, the other one being obviously the recollection that one
wishes to engage in the latter activity. Self-Remembering consists in the establishment of
the dichotomy that genuinely exists between “I” and It, between the at first almost empty
reality of the ultimately subjective entity which proposes to engage in the self-
observatory activity and, to the other hand, that objective organism to which he is related
and which he is about to observe. In short, Self-Remembering comprises the effort of
non-identification from the physical body which is essential to any correct or successful
practice of Self-Observation. In the Oragean Version these distinctions are clear and
final and there exists no excuse for confusing either one of these terms with the other; but
in the Ouspenskian Version the distinction is by no means so clear-cut, in fact it is rather
fuzzy and at times it even appears that Self-Remembering is actually considered to be
synonymous with Self-Observation. When such an attitude is maintained, therefore, no
genuine Self-Observation can take place and the very first practical work relating to the
Hidden Secret is omitted.

This same fuzziness or lack of rigorous and conclusive definition appears also to
me to characterize a number of other concepts closely connected with the Ouspenskian
Version, and in particular those involving the work of the pupil upon himself rather than
those concerned with the paraphysical, parachemical or cosmic formulations.

It is my impression that in the Ouspenskian Version the individual work of the
pupil, which of course is the very heart and core of the whole procedure, being what in
the present treatise is called the Boat, is far more introspective than genuinely objective
and that it is often taken for granted that the candidate, newly come to these techniques, is
in a position to understand both the possibility and the nature of a genuine Self-
Observation far more readily than in fact is, or can be, the case. Thus the real crux of the
Hidden Secret is missed; and without that revelation, which must always be fully
understood self-revelation deriving from an actual experience of the difference between
introspection and objective observation, no sort of work that is done can in fact lead to
the results formulated in the Gurdjieff system.

To be specific, I suspect that the individual work of the Ouspenskian Version
consists, either wholly or predominantly, in what I have above called the work of the
Open Secret and that the work of the Hidden Secret is either omitted or so inadequately
glossed over that it is never really mastered by the candidate concerned. It must be
remembered that I do not know this to be the case but it should also be stated that the
opinion is no mere guess. It has arisen not only from lengthy discussions with members
of the Ouspensky groups but likewise from my experiences with them, as well
individually as collectively. Never at Mendham, for instance, have I heard the least
mention of the kind of constatation that must result from the Self-Observation of a
specific organic body but, to the contrary, only the sort of opinion that can arise from
introspections relating to subjective states of mind or emotion or from reflections upon
the nature of one’s habits, and so on. On occasion I have heard ordinary students, much
interested in class work in the usual kind of psychology, produce equally shrewd
opinions; but the work envisaged here is not at all comparable to class work in ordinary
psychology or to the assumed self-interrogations of psychoanalysis.

Now this is an extremely serious point and it ought to be discussed in the light of
Ouspensky’s own words in regard to it. In his book, In Search of the Miraculous, on page
193 he speaks of the required transformation of that hydrogen in man’s body which is
here identified as the hydrogen, “mi 12,” and of the allusions allegorically made to this
transformation by the alchemists. He continues: “Alchemists who spoke of this
transmutation began directly with it. They knew nothing, or at least they said nothing,
about the nature of the first volitional ‘shock.’ It is upon this, however, that the whole
thing depends. The second volitional ‘shock’ and transmutation become physically
possible only after long practice on the first volitional ‘shock,’ which consists in self-
remembering, and in observing the impressions received. On the way of the monk and
on the way of the fakir work on the second ‘shock’ begins before work on the first
‘shock’, but as mi 12 is created only as a result of the first ‘shock,’ work, in the absence
of other material, has of necessity to be concentrated on si 12, and it very often gives
quite wrong results. Right development on the fourth way must begin with the first
volitional ‘shock’ and then pass on to the second ‘shock’ at mi 12.”

In the words of the Oragean Version the first conscious shock is created by the
activity of Self-Observation, the second conscious shock by the activities of Voluntary
Suffering and Conscious Labor; and it is seen that what Ouspensky says is what has here
been said in the second paragraph above. There is thus no ultimate contradiction between
the two Versions upon this point but there is certainly quite a difference between them in
regard to what is considered as providing the first conscious shock. If in place of
Ouspenky’s own words we should write that this “consists primarily in self-remembering,
and incidentally in observing the impressions received,” we would have not only the
superficial implication of his Version but likewise the understanding of it expressed
directly to this inquirer by his own followers. As to the Oragean Version the case is
explicit and has already been stated: that Self-Remembering by itself will accomplish
nothing and that the cause of the actual transformation of the given physical substances is
exactly the activity of Self-Observation, and neither one of its preliminaries nor anything
else. Whether the error above discussed was ever Ouspensky’s own or consists only in a
misinterpretation on the part of his pupils, or in fact whether it exists at all, I cannot of
course decide in any final sense. It is simply my conclusion from my own experiences
that it does exist.

My opinion in this respect is reinforced by Ouspensky’s own words, viz., “and in
observing the impressions received.” No impression can be observed in the sense of a
genuine organic Self-Observation by any pupil of the degree of those I met at Mendham
or have previously met in the Gurdjieff work anywhere else; and the very phraseology
quoted, evidences to me a lack of comprehension of the activity actually discussed.
“Observing an impression” is observing a sensation (or else it is the attempt to observe
some even foggier emotional or mental occurrence) and, as we have earlier seen, this is
not really an observation at all but is equivalent, instead, to becoming more vividly aware
of the occurrence of the sensation or impression. The only thing that can be observed in a
correct sense is some current organic phenomenon; such an observation is made by
means of sensations or impressions, which only mediate the self-observatory activity. To
substitute the observation of impressions for that of organic phenomena first of all
confuses the issue and secondly is at best a subjective manifestation closely resembling
introspection if, indeed, it is not the same thing exactly. Until the object of observation is
made specific and physically objective without possibility of doubt or verbal cavil, the
activity itself remains as non-objective as its own object.

Observing an impression is the Introspective Fallacy with vengeance. It is facile,
though, and thus it is a lazy fallacy, too. We have already remarked upon how easy it is to
skip the hard, energetic, objective task and to slip into the pleasant daydream that
introspection may be able to solve the difficulties, after all. Unfortunately (perhaps) that
is not the case. Introspections, of course, can sometimes be difficult and unpleasant also;
but neither does that alter the case, if you come right down to it.

The object of observation not only can, but must, be a physical, organic
phenomenon of one’s own body so clearly and universally recognized as to be open with
equal ease either to instrumental checking or to that of other instructed and careful
observers. Only so can there be any proper suggestion, let alone guarantee, of impartially
objective success in the outcome. The distinction here made between introspective
opinion and impartially objective knowledge is in plain fact so subtle and so difficult for
anyone’s apprehension in the usual terms that to me the failure to place the greatest
emphasis upon this really extraordinary concept indicates the highest probability that
both the crucial importance and the true meaning of the formulation have been lost upon
the formulator.

In this kind of activity, that of the Fourth Way, introspection is not the technique
advocated for the candidate or pupil; and introspection, whether or not accompanied by
an admixture of Self-Remembering, remains introspection. Either that position is
understood or it is not understood. In the Ouspenskian Version it does not appear to me
to be understood.

This point is unusually important because it refers to something very important in
any version of the Gurdjieff ideas, viz., the whole basis and beginning of the practical
work that alone can lead to objective results in the case of the subnormal and
undeveloped human being. The introspective misdirection of this first and basic step not
only invalidates the very nature of the Hidden Secret, preventing its correct realization by
the student, but likewise must of necessity then throw the predominant emphasis back
upon the work of the Open Secret, which, merely by itself, is equivalent to little more
than an advanced sort of Pelmanism or the self-interrogations of ordinary psychology. A
great many persons, from those who study how to make friends and influence people to
the victims of psychoanalysis, theorize about their own types, behaviors, past histories
and so on, without ever in any way altering their status as subnormal or undeveloped
human beings even when their conclusions of this kind happen to be unexpectedly
correct. The successful prosecution of the work of the Open Secret will produce no
fundamental change in semi-conscious man.
Also
http://thecasswiki.net/index.php?title=Recommended_books#Narcissism_.22big_five.22
And
https://www.sott.net/article/281140-Gut-Feelings-Listen-to-your-intuition
About intuition:
To grasp something intuitively is to acquire an idea without the use of reasoning.

Intuition is a said to be a faculty that allows for almost immediate insight into a situation, person or concept. Intuition usually takes the form of a feeling or impression. Mathematicians, for instance, are purported to frequently intuit that their theorem is correct, before being able to display proof. Being nebulous in character, it is perhaps a mechanism that guides inspiration and questioning by alerting the mind that there is something to discover. Then departs, leaving it to the faculties of reason and the senses of observation to determine the truth of it.
"The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, the solution comes to you and you don't know how or why. The truly valuable thing is the intuition. "

- Albert Einstein
On CassWiki.

We have this window giving by Laura to network, so keep on going, and as already said in different places on the forum:
Since to Work on one's "machine" both involves improving its health and funtioning, and also depends on its health and functioning, the modern information on health and wellness is also crucial. After all, the state of our minds depends on our brains, and the state of our brains depends on the health of our bodies. And the connection also goes the other way: psychological health (particularly emotional health and healthy interpersonal dynamics) affects bodily health.

Modern psychological knowledge is also important for understanding Fourth Way psychology more concretely. You'll find frequent references on the Cassiopaea Forum to the "big five" psychology books, which are extremely helpful tools towards acquiring a basic understanding of one's own "machine". Equally important, the findings of cognitive and social psychology include, in detail, how we really don't know ourselves – the extent to which our thinking, attitudes and behavior are driven by unconscious systems in our brain. Findings from neuroscience further make clearer both how we function, and how we can change it.
On CassWiki.
 

Voyageur

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Mariama said:
One of the most important lessons I've learned so far in life is how little I know. I think I became aware of it about 15 years ago. That is when I became really curious and that hasn't stopped. I love learning, but at the same time I see these big holes in my knowledge. I think this is where these 5 lifetimes that Ark mentioned come in. :D
Also, I wasted a lot of time when I was younger and since I am getting older time is getting more precious, even if it is some kind of illusion. It doesn't mean that I work every minute of the day, because I do need some time off from time to time in order to 'upload' some energy, but I am trying to spend my time wisely.
But maybe the most important lesson of all is that I am learning what love and faith and non-anticipation really mean.
Another interesting thread - good one, Laura.

Before reading what you wrote, Mariama, this (the first bolded) is what was of mind also. If you use the analogy of Plato's cave, waking up each day can be like emerging from this cave. You may look around and think you have some understanding of what you see, yet missing is so much contrast. And each day one can build a little more contrast around what one sees and thinks they understand. Sometimes thinking i've been going forward I suddenly go back two yards when realizing I'm still back in the cave; and that is external. Internally, I've little right to say one way or another as the view is not objective without interpretive guidance from others - listening, working on those things that are not always so clear to oneself (if ever) - and this is hard as people don't, as a general rule, have the opportunity or the will to truly face themselves with the reality of it all.

I don't mean the above to be overtly pessimistic, in fact each waking day, whether digging in the garden, tenting flowers - watching the ebb and flow of our natural environment, can present such wondrous things, thing one did not see yesterday. And so that is what I've learned, too.

I think your last bolded is important.

Thanks Zak for the Ouspenskian discussion.
 

nicklebleu

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
zak,

Thanks for the two long paragraphs about Self-Remembering and Self-Observation. I too wasn't aware of this distinction.

Could you please give me the source of these two passages?
Thanks!
 

zak

Jedi Council Member
The source was given in this thread https://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic,8182.200.html:
by Approching Infinity:
Just google "The Oragean Version" to find online copies. It was privately published and so impossible to find in hard copy.
I think now it's possible to find it in hard copy.
Here http://www.bythewaybooks.com/pages/books/17012/c-daly-king/the-oragean-version
A quite poor photocopy (photocopy of a photocopy) bound into paper
:)
 

nicklebleu

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
zak said:
The source was given in this thread https://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic,8182.200.html:
by Approching Infinity:
Just google "The Oragean Version" to find online copies. It was privately published and so impossible to find in hard copy.
I think now it's possible to find it in hard copy.
Here http://www.bythewaybooks.com/pages/books/17012/c-daly-king/the-oragean-version
A quite poor photocopy (photocopy of a photocopy) bound into paper
:)
Thanks, zak - found it! Didn't even try to google it ...
:-[
 

beetlemaniac

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Thanks for the great discussion. These are difficult questions to ask oneself. Especially when trying to look into the future. It seems like, as time passes, I'm being given more and more clues showing me that if I don't take an active interest or initiative in my future, the environment, especially of the social, will determine where I end up, 5 years or 10 years from now.

I have used the idea of the esoteric staircase as a way to measure or gauge my own development, but the issue with this way is that, even though it is very flexible and adaptable to any situation, it also means that you learn from life, life is your teacher. However, I come against a stumbling block that I think is holding me back. It's my passivity towards life experiences, and lack of using my free will in major life choices.

The thought of changing my job is increasingly appealing to me and it will mark a major life change if I do. Complacency and a seeming lack of interest in my field of work (engineering) is keeping me from taking my career seriously. I am thinking that maybe a change of environment to something that is more demanding and requires more initiative might be a good idea. It is quite a daunting prospect, however.

Also, about the question of lessons being learned again, I think I have suffered more than my fair share of this. It feels like an uphill battle to understand when I'm in the grip of programs and lies to the self. As mentioned earlier, and paraphrasing Mouravieff, it is imperative for someone who is doing the Work to reaffirm their values every day, in order not to get lost in the morass of ordinary life. That's similar to what Benjamin Franklin did in his exercise on practicing the 13 virtues.
 
bm said:
Thanks for the great discussion. These are difficult questions to ask oneself. Especially when trying to look into the future. It seems like, as time passes, I'm being given more and more clues showing me that if I don't take an active interest or initiative in my future, the environment, especially of the social, will determine where I end up, 5 years or 10 years from now.
From observation i've noticed that passivity in one's own life events mostly leads to bad results and resentment. Conversly, really feeling in charge of your future, having a goal and working towards it can give good results including unexpected ones.

A: Service to others. Notice that the people with the most problems that always talk only about themselves and their troubles, are the ones who do and give the least. They do not have confidence in the universal law of LIFE: Get things moving and you create a vacuum in your life into which energy can flow.
bm said:
The thought of changing my job is increasingly appealing to me and it will mark a major life change if I do. Complacency and a seeming lack of interest in my field of work (engineering) is keeping me from taking my career seriously. I am thinking that maybe a change of environment to something that is more demanding and requires more initiative might be a good idea. It is quite a daunting prospect, however.
Quick question here : is lack of interest in your working field a problem as long as it is not harmful to your body and/or mind ? Put very simply, if your job gives you enough time and money to do what really matters to you, then fine, no ? Are you expecting something particular from your career ? It seems that professional careers are ruled by luck and good fortune more than anything else, then why take it seriously ?
 

beetlemaniac

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
shinzenbi said:
Quick question here : is lack of interest in your working field a problem as long as it is not harmful to your body and/or mind ? Put very simply, if your job gives you enough time and money to do what really matters to you, then fine, no ? Are you expecting something particular from your career ? It seems that professional careers are ruled by luck and good fortune more than anything else, then why take it seriously ?
Well, I'm coming from the point of view of how much meaning it can give to my life. With regards to a life aim, I am still unsure of what that should be. That's why, I guess, being rudderless has made me want to look for something special in my career. My dad was the same, his job was practically what he lived for.

I feel some guilt for complaining about my life reading that C quote, and I realise that it is my responsibility.
 

Martina

Jedi Master
I realized that I can't solve my problems, which are meaningless compared to Us, the Life, the Universe. It's important to listen to other peoples problems to realize that as well :). This helps to see yourself as someone else and then you can realize how you see things is the problem not how they really are- at least in my case. So this is what I'm learning right now and why I haven't slept for 100 days in past 2 years. Expensive lesson :)
 
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