Gurdjieff's Primitive Cosmology

T.C.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
One also recalls the anecdotes about Gurdjieff being shrewd businessman and how hypnotism could have helped him in this part of his life.

I would like to first say that I've observed myself closely for the past few years since I got to know about G's work, and it does really seem to me that I do use hypnotism in my interactions with others.
I think if we define hypnotism as something that we do that affects the belief system of others, then most of what we do when we're interacting with people on a regular basis is designed to do that.

Then there would obviously be different degrees of it. There would be the kind that is totally unconscious on our part, because we weren't consciously intending to produce any such result in the other person. Then there would be the type where we really are intending to produce some kind of result, but without using scientific methods that we had studied and learned and practiced - we're just simply engaged towards a goal with the person. And then there would be people who have actually studied hypnotism and consciously use it to produce intended results in others.

It's quite subtle but it seems to be there. I guess hypnotism is the way of the world for the most part. It's probably driven by the need to survive, which is essentially what drives the Predator's Mind.
Yes, I think those two are connected. That people all have the predators mind, and that's what makes them, on the one hand, hypnotists, and on the other hand, susceptible to hypnosis. It's a combination of the selfishness and the belief-centred modes of being.

I've seen it happen in an obvious way with women, where there would be this intense sense of attraction or want for some attractive person which just festers for a while, and then followed by a sense of connection with that person upon looking at them. It literally feels like bolts being shot out of my eyes and hitting that person. The other person tends to end up visibly flustered or will become curious about me. It sounds weird and it's not (at least as far as I know) a conscious thing.
It's a really strange thing to experience. By that I mean, it's strange if you are analysing it in the moment, rather than getting lost in it. If you are detached enough to think to yourself, "Wow, this is so interesting. I look at this person and it's like the clouds have parted and a ray of light is beaming down onto them and they cause me to feel happiness when I look at them or even just think of them."

One idea is that you've seen something in that person that mirrors back some ideal image you have of yourself. When it happens to me, I usually remember the part in The Wave where Laura is talking about how something like a 'red hat' can have been associated with a pleasant mood during childhood development: So maybe it's the shape of the person's face or the colour of their hair, or just the item of clothing they're wearing.

Jordan Peterson's explanation for it is that when you see someone like that, in that way, that you're "Seeing them as the person they might ideally become." Well, I've never really bought into that idea, personally. Seems way too egocentric to me.

But what you describe above seems to be more about what goes on in yourself, and then because you probably start to change your demeanour towards the person you're viewing in that way, that starts to affect them, either making them uncomfortable or making them curious about why you're acting that way towards them.

I suppose that's certainly a way to engage them in a hypnotic dance, but it says more to me about our ability to hypnotise ourselves, so to speak. That G.'s declared aim in his work was to "Find a way to mercilessly destroy the aspect of people that causes them to easily fall under the influence of mass hypnosis." When we find ourselves in such a state when interacting with someone, we need to understand that we are allowing that to happen within ourselves. And if you experiment with it, you will find that it's like a switch that you can turn on and off. Because when it comes to hypnosis or wishful thinking, there has to be some level of consent in us; we allow ourselves to be hypnotised.

And that ties in with the whole idea about negative thought loops and 'criminally-minded' thinking patterns. For starters, at the very least, we allow ourselves to believe that the thoughts are actually ours, just because they're habitual and we've never questioned them. Then, we allow ourselves to believe the thoughts or believe the justifications that they're constructing - because said thoughts are usually getting us to believe that we'll derive some sort of benefit by acting on them.

Bringing the topic back to psychopathy, one would assume that the wiles of psychopaths would be much bolstered by this ability to will others to their bidding. It's pretty discomfiting to know that, to some degree, I've been operating like this for a while, thinking that I had special powers of some sort. I'm starting to realise that there are also others in my life who do the same thing. It's a pretty base tactic, really, and not something that you'd want to allow yourself to do. So I think G was probably not very wise in keeping that opening for using hypnotism for scientific purposes, or maybe that he was not STO enough to be careful about his use of this method. I suppose it is also the attraction of power for it's sake that drives people to do these things.
I don't think G.'s problem was the methods and techniques he decided to use. I think his problem was the lack of a network for him to check himself against.

Actually, now that I think about it, it's become more apparent in my interactions with others, how I consciously use this method, for example, a well placed smile with an intended effect of making the other party more agreeable, or just a stare which tends to create a certain intended response. It's creepy to realise this in myself. I hope I can change my ways.
Don't be too quick to throw the baby out with the bathwater. The fact is, we live in a 'civilised' society. That means there are established rules and customs in place that determine how we should conduct ourselves in the presence of others: of strangers, work colleagues, friends and family.

To attempt to just 'stop' this kind of thing is a knee-jerk reaction, driven by fear or disgust. If you try to act it out, the result ends up being along the lines of, "Sincerity with everyone is weakness." It becomes a selfish thing: "I'm not going to be manipulative with people anymore, so I'm not going to engage with people in any way that might influence them subconsciously..." So then all you're bothered about is what you want, and what you want from people. And you won't go out of your way to just simply be 'fake' for the sake of being civil. You're not going to be attentive to what other people might want or need from you if you're just focusing on and fearing what you might want or need from them.

The answer is to continue going about your day as you always have (as long as you're not a jerk) but be consciously aware of what you're doing and how you're being and how you're interacting with others, knowing that you have the capacity to unconsciously affect others, but also accepting that "If you play in the dirt, you're going to get dirty", and there's much merit to 'playing the game' or 'playing a role', as long as your intentions are as good as you can possibly make them. Otherwise, you cause problems for yourself and others, you start to stand out as 'weird' or 'unconventional', and that flags you up on other people's radars as an 'other', as 'different' - not one of the tribe, not one to be trusted, like a horse stood in a herd of zebras.
 

beetlemaniac

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
It's a really strange thing to experience. By that I mean, it's strange if you are analysing it in the moment, rather than getting lost in it. If you are detached enough to think to yourself, "Wow, this is so interesting. I look at this person and it's like the clouds have parted and a ray of light is beaming down onto them and they cause me to feel happiness when I look at them or even just think of them."
It doesn't happen like that, it's not projection per se. This has happened several times and I see that they do react in some way to my looking at them. This quote from the book made me think that what I experienced was some form of hypnotism:

The above passages are of singular significance for this study. Here Gurdjieff lays out the basic conditions necessary for the arousal of the hypnotic state. These conditions are worth examining in summary and further detail: 1) Willingness of the subject to be subjected to an attraction; 2) Concentrated direction/distraction of attention toward an object as a result of emotional impulses such as: intense expectation, faith, fear, or passions (such as hate, love, sensuality, and curiosity); 3) Sufficiently long and persistent, intentional or automatic, concentration of thought and feeling on the object.
Don't be too quick to throw the baby out with the bathwater. The fact is, we live in a 'civilised' society. That means there are established rules and customs in place that determine how we should conduct ourselves in the presence of others: of strangers, work colleagues, friends and family.

To attempt to just 'stop' this kind of thing is a knee-jerk reaction, driven by fear or disgust. If you try to act it out, the result ends up being along the lines of, "Sincerity with everyone is weakness." It becomes a selfish thing: "I'm not going to be manipulative with people anymore, so I'm not going to engage with people in any way that might influence them subconsciously..." So then all you're bothered about is what you want, and what you want from people. And you won't go out of your way to just simply be 'fake' for the sake of being civil. You're not going to be attentive to what other people might want or need from you if you're just focusing on and fearing what you might want or need from them.

The answer is to continue going about your day as you always have (as long as you're not a jerk) but be consciously aware of what you're doing and how you're being and how you're interacting with others, knowing that you have the capacity to unconsciously affect others, but also accepting that "If you play in the dirt, you're going to get dirty", and there's much merit to 'playing the game' or 'playing a role', as long as your intentions are as good as you can possibly make them. Otherwise, you cause problems for yourself and others, you start to stand out as 'weird' or 'unconventional', and that flags you up on other people's radars as an 'other', as 'different' - not one of the tribe, not one to be trusted, like a horse stood in a herd of zebras.
I hear you here T.C., it's a lesson which I've probably repeated a few times and still seem to not have learnt. I can get very single-minded and self-absorbed to the point of not behaving normally. And I have behaved like a jerk many times more than I would like to admit.
 

beetlemaniac

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I suppose that's certainly a way to engage them in a hypnotic dance, but it says more to me about our ability to hypnotise ourselves, so to speak. That G.'s declared aim in his work was to "Find a way to mercilessly destroy the aspect of people that causes them to easily fall under the influence of mass hypnosis." When we find ourselves in such a state when interacting with someone, we need to understand that we are allowing that to happen within ourselves. And if you experiment with it, you will find that it's like a switch that you can turn on and off. Because when it comes to hypnosis or wishful thinking, there has to be some level of consent in us; we allow ourselves to be hypnotised.

And that ties in with the whole idea about negative thought loops and 'criminally-minded' thinking patterns. For starters, at the very least, we allow ourselves to believe that the thoughts are actually ours, just because they're habitual and we've never questioned them. Then, we allow ourselves to believe the thoughts or believe the justifications that they're constructing - because said thoughts are usually getting us to believe that we'll derive some sort of benefit by acting on them.
Hi again T.C.,

I think my post above did not sufficiently address the very important issues that you raised in your post and I apologise for that. You've reminded me of the fact that I have many periods where I'm asleep and fooling myself - or as you put it, hypnotising myself as to what's going on in front of me. It's as though I'm blind and deaf to the outside world and taken over by an internal cacophony - which can reach proverbial Dyonisian levels.

I am reminded of the words in the POTS - clear my eyes, that I may see, clear my ears, that I may hear, and cleanse my heart, that I may know and love, the holiness of true existence, Divine Cosmic Mind.

Thanks again for your most esteemed input T.C.

However, I still have to note that I think there is something to these so-called hypnotic powers that I seem to have - or at least have experienced through me. It mainly involved channeling a highly charged emotion to another person, and it felt like it came out of my eyes like bolts of light. It sounds strange but I think stranger things have happened.

It reminds me of biophotons. Scientists have measured what are called Ultraweak Photon Emissions (UPE) from the human eye. In fact, all biological organisms seem to emit photons. It has been hypothesised that light is what informs all living beings, which is aligned to what the C's have said. This article is an old one:

Confirmed: The Eye Emits Actual Light (Biophotons) -- Sott.net
Biophotons: The human body emits, communicates with, and is it made from light -- Sott.net

The science is further explicated in this thread by Keyhole:
Circadian Biology determines health, not food! DHA, Blue light and nnEMF

I hope that you will find the links above interesting! Sorry for the slight digression, I wanted to connect some dots with regards to my experience. It will probably take some time before I can grasp the theory behind this (biophotons).
 

Persej

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I really enjoyed reading the "Gurdjieff and Hypnosis: A Hermenuetic Study". It explained a lot of things in a very detailed and easy to understand way.

But I hoped that it will talk a little more about "Beelzebub's Tales" and how exactly was Gurdjieff using his skills in writing that book and influencing the readers. Unfortunately, the book doesn't cover that.

But I found about this book that seems to talks about that aspect: https://www.amazon.com/Fathom-Gist-Approaches-Writings-Gurdjieff/dp/0978979141

There is also this radio interview with the author: The Mystical Positivist: The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #253 - 11MAR17
 

Persej

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I listened to the interview with Frank Herbert on the origins of Dune, and in one part he mentioned how he used the specific rhythm in his book to create an influence on the reader. It reminded me of what Gurdjieff did in his book. He also used foreign words for that purpose, in his case it was Latin. He also mentions the importance of reading aloud, just like Gurdjieff did. The part where he talks about his style of writing starts at 11:29:


So that's about the style. But speaking about Gurdjieff's cosmology, he was probably influenced by Kryzhanovskaya.
 

hlat

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I listened to an abridged version of In Search of the Miraculous, and heard Gurdjieff's theory of moons becoming earths and earths becoming suns. It seems safe to disregard this kind of stuff.

False materialism and false determinism, going against consciousness and free will. These are foundational philosophies, and choosing the wrong ones can quickly lead a person astray.
 

Ennio

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
For those us who may be new to Gurdjieff's life and work (or even if you're not), this great man was the subject of our most recent Mindmatters' show - with a Part II next week...

MindMatters: Who Was G.I. Gurdjieff And Why Does It Matter?

Healer, philosopher, psychologist, adventurer, composer, mystic - all describe a facet of who George Ivanovich Gurdjieff was, and what he did. And yet, he may also be called one of the leading figures in 'spiritual' growth that most people have simply never heard of. Gurdjieff's teachings, body of writing and the schools he started and taught were, and are, a profound testament to his insight and vision for a healthy and well functioning human being. On a personal level, he worked with hundreds of students in assisting them to not only see themselves as they really were, but to help grow the seeds of greater consciousness and conscience that would make them better people.

This week on MindMatters we discuss the life and times of one of the 20th century's most towering figures and ask, what drove him? Who did he work with? And what is the 4th Way school that has carried on his work in the generations after his death in 1949? In a world that insists that it is 'woke', why are Gurdjieff's ideas about self-awareness so relevant to the individual in the here and now?

 

luc

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
For those us who may be new to Gurdjieff's life and work (or even if you're not), this great man was the subject of our most recent Mindmatters' show - with a Part II next week...

MindMatters: Who Was G.I. Gurdjieff And Why Does It Matter?
Super, looking forward to this one!!

BTW, I recently read an interesting book about Gurdjieff's movements, "The Gurdjieff Movements: A Communication of Ancient Wisdom", by a pianist who is involved in "The Work" and who gives many insights into the development of the various Gurdjieff groups (very critical at times). Even though he is a huge admirer of G and perhaps puts him on a pedestral a bit too much, he strikes me as a good example of how G's teaching can have a very positive effect if maneuvered carefully. He seems to have managed to avoid the many traps of this teaching while integrating its wisdom - perhaps by focusing more on the artistic side than on the intellectual side à la Ouspensky?
 

Ennio

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Below is the Part 2 show on Gurdjieff we did, but, I have to say in the days following the show I found myself thinking "you could have also mentioned this - and that - and that too!". He just lead such a full and interesting life brimming with ideas! In any case, we hope you enjoy this follow-up show...

MindMatters: Wake Up! Gurdjieff on Sleep, Knowledge and Politics

In this discussion of G.I. Gurdjieff's central ideas we delve further into the key insights he had on the human individual's state of sleep and the implications that such a condition has for the state of humanity as a whole. 'Self-remembering', 'identification', and 'considering' are just some of the key concepts and terms Gurdjieff used to describe the goals and pitfalls of the individual on the path to self-knowledge. We also discuss what may be Gurdjieff's most lasting legacy: the 'mirror' that he held up to all people in all times and places, and how essential such a mirror is in order to see oneself and thus gain self-knowledge.

This week on MindMatters we also discuss Gurdjieff's cultural legacy: his writings, movements and music, and how his 'successors' have dealt with this legacy.

 

Voyageur

Ambassador
Ambassador
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Below is the Part 2 show on Gurdjieff we did, but, I have to say in the days following the show I found myself thinking "you could have also mentioned this - and that - and that too!". He just lead such a full and interesting life brimming with ideas! In any case, we hope you enjoy this follow-up show...
Awesome show; great quotes featured, as well as the three of you speaking eloquently while unpacking meaning.

Leaned some things about the new revisions of some of G's work; omissions and interpretations, as well as the reminder of his other avenues of expression i.e., music composition and dance (which can be forgotten). He was indeed working with a stool with three legs while adding a fourth.
 

Ennio

SuperModerator
Moderator
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The MindMatters team is very happy and grateful to have done this interview with Father Joseph Azize. But even more than that we are glad to know of his wonderful work on Gurdjieff for ourselves, and hope that Azize's thoughts and writings may reach an ever-wider audience for the sake of sharing Gurdjieff's ideas.

Part 2 of the show will be uploaded next week.

MindMatters: Interview with Joseph Azize Pt. 1: Gurdjieff, Mysticism, Exercises

For several decades, numerous books and explications have been published on the profoundly insightful philosophy and teachings of G.I. Gurdjieff. Some were written by the man himself, and many by those who worked with him. But while Gurdjieff himself included a few of the guided exercises that formed a major part of the actual practice of his ideas in Life Is Real Only Then, When "I Am", until recently no other book has focused on these exercises, which are designed to bring those practicing them to a greater state of self-awareness and 'conscious evolution'.

Though the exercises have been carried on by some, many have fallen out of practice, been forgotten, altered, or replaced by exercises Gurdjieff never taught. And there has been a reluctance to share with those not directly part of these groups - leaving few, if any, outside of these organizations with the knowledge of their practice. This has now changed. In his new book, Gurdjieff: Mysticism, Contemplation, & Exercises, Father Joseph Azize has lifted the veil of secrecy surrounding the great mystic's direct approaches to helping individuals grow, including all the previously published exercises in addition to several previously unpublished and at risk of being forgotten. Azize's book is the first to be devoted exclusively to the exercises and their extensive analysis.

On this week's MindMatters, we speak with Father Joseph Azize not only about his own time working with some of Gurdjieff's students, but also about his decision to go forward with his book, and what he feels is the true value of this newly shared information. We also get to discuss what this long-time practitioner thinks are some of the most essential aspects of the human condition - after many years of distilling the information for his own growth and vocation.


Below are links to some very accessible writings of Father Azize's which are discussed on the show:
 

Iron

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
Today's show was just amazing. That clever devil Gurdjieff hide the exercises in plain sight!
I laughed hard with mirth imagining the exercises springing from the pages of the books.
Unfortunately, I tried to purchase the book on amazon without success, as it is unavailable even in kindle format for my region.
If anyone has the ebook in pdf format, it would be greatly appreciated.
 

Janek

The Force is Strong With This One
Great interview, it was fun to watch.

I would like to refare to something that Father Azize said about the words 'I am' (around 48:00 in the video), that 'behind real I lays God' and that 'only God can really say I am'. Those words made some connections in my mind. In that case a path towards real 'I' is also path towards God and to know and fulfill God's Will is to wake real 'I', it is interrelated. To follow this path it is neccessary to take control over your tiny little I's, as Gourdjieff defined it, in other words one have to die to the sin. Sinful act is then everything that takes away from connecting to real 'I', that is when the passions, principalities (little I's), takes control.

On the other hand, if only God, the Absolute, can really say I am, for such finite beings as we are it means that it is something that we cannot fully achieve during a lifetime. It is a process that will take us whole life and beyond. To some extend it is a relief actually, because it means that it is extremaly high standard and mistakes (sins) are probably inevitable. However, that shouldn't discourage us from navigating towards real 'I' - toward God.

And of course, the God's name in the Bible is 'I am what I am'.

Some of my thought, I hope it makes sense. Looking forward to part 2 of the interview.
 
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