Imitation Fourth Way Groups Started by Gurdjieff Rejects

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
This morning I received an email from a sometime member of casschat as follows (emphases, mine):

The Fourth Way as transmitted by Ouspensky does not recognize any form of
"conscious evil". The part of the C's transcripts that I am trying to
reconcile with the system is that of FRV, frequency. And conscious evil is
one way to understand STS, the intentional choice to manifest entropy in the
universe. But the fourth way doesn't recognize it, it sees no duality of the
sort other than consciousness and mechanicality, ascending octaves and
descending octaves.

[Here's an excerpt from Ouspensky's Fourth Way (pg.19-20):

"Try to connect in your mind what I said about the study of good and evil,
mechanicalness and consciousness, morality and conscience, and then put the
question, 'Is conscious evil possible?' That will require study and
observation, but from the point of view of the system there is a definite
principle that conscious evil is impossible; mechanicalness must be
unconscious*

*Q. The idea of evil being always unconscious is rather difficult to
understand. Can you explain it a little more? *

*A. I said, first of all try to find for yourself what you call evil, not by
definition but by examples. When you have a certain number of examples, ask
yourself, could they be conscious? Could evil things be done consciously?
Later you will see they could be done only unconsciously. Another answer is
that all you call evil can happen mechanically, and it always does happen
mechanically, so it has no need of consciousness."*
A***: By this system, or at least the versions of it that I am familiar
with, conscience exists as a function of the [intellectual story of the
emotional center]. It is therefore a component of the machine. It states
that all have it available to them as a potentiality, part of the process of
awakening the emotional center and bringing its functions into "right work"
and so on. It acts as a bridge between the lower centers and the higher
emotional center. Therefore the system rejects the idea of frequency, the
idea of a choice between STO and STS. This is a fundamental block to any
hope of a reconciliation of the system with the C's and the idea of
frequency.
It assumes that every developed individual will have conscience,
along with the tools available to those who function from the intellectual
story of the centers, and will therefore choose to be creative (to say that
each man chooses good or selflessness is subjective, it is better to stick
with creativity as the aim of the 'conscious adept'), not because of a
choice between the star and black-hole energy dynamic but because this is a
result of becoming un-identified with the ego, the personality. It assumes
that evil is the result of mechanicalness, that consciousness is of another
character altogether, too high above the mortal battlefield to ever be
interested in such, to it futile and unappealing, things.

I believe it was RA or the C's (probably RA) that said that the STS
candidate bypasses the need to connect to the higher emotional center and
connects directly to the higher intellectual center. This is very
interesting but also very far from reach.

The question needs to be addressed formally Laura. The system needs to be
bridged with the principle of FRV. But there are too many blanks, holes, and
I cannot allow myself to believe or speculate anymore than I already
unconsciously do quite enough of. Too much of what comes out of the C's is
left unavailable for verification, and I am not attacking this vulnerability
– not at all. I am simply trying to reconcile the system with what IS
verifiable, that of the question of frequency.


Regardless of how well I try
to pull away from the C-groups and focus on the Work, something which is
verifiable and practical, something which views material like the C's,
channeled materials, as "imaginary B-influence" (at least those who I learn
it from),
the theories of STS and STO, the seven densities of awareness,
lingers and demands attention. I need your help to keep what I value from
the C-transcripts with me as I choose to move forward.
I have put in bold several items that lead us to the main problem this individual is having: he is considering the 4th way work as "transmitted by Ouspensky" to be a standard, a yardstick, and for some reason, he fails to note the many, MANY confirmations of the C's material that the "Ouspensky Fourth Way Work" can't even come close to. Most curious. In any event, I responded to him as follows:

On 5 Feb 2006, at 2:27, a*** wrote:

> The Fourth Way as transmitted by Ouspensky does not recognize any form of
> "conscious evil". The part of the C’s transcripts that I am trying to
> reconcile with the system is that of FRV, frequency. And conscious evil is
> one way to understand STS, the intentional choice to manifest entropy in the
> universe. But the fourth way doesn't recognize it, it sees no duality of the
> sort other than consciousness and mechanicality, ascending octaves and
> descending octaves.
Hi,
Well, first of all, you might want to read Patterson's "Struggle of the Magicians,",which is a very good collection of all the historical events,
supported by documents and "testimony," of all the people and events
surrounding Gurdjieff's work. It gives one a pretty good understanding of
why Gurdjieff closed his school and sent all his pupils away. He realized,
almost too late, that nobody really "got it." And so, he sat down to write
Beelzebub in hopes that someone "in the future" might have what it took to
really "grok" things.
Here I would like to add that Patterson writes from his own bias, so that must be taken into account. As a reviewer on amazon.com wrote:

Patterson shows the teacher-pupil relationship in the fullest relief with three of Gurdjieff's leading pupils: first with P. D. Uspenskii, then A. R. Orage and finally John Bennett. Each of these men living in their own time and space was attracted to the Work. Uspenskii was `in search of the miraculous;' A. R. Orage was trying to find God; and Bennett was interested in hypnotism, the occult, and the fifth dimension. Each man had talents of persuasion and knowledge and each was approached by Gurdjieff at specific times to help spread the teaching. All failed for reasons outlined in the book because, ultimately, they could not give everything.

Uspenskii halved the `ideas' from the man, Gurdjieff, who embodied and brought the teaching to the West. He was unable to separate the `conditions' that Gurdjieff demanded from his own `conditioning.' Orage was unable to discriminate the vastness and seriousness of Gurdjieff's mission and Bennett seemed unable to `stay on track.' None of them seemed to fully sense or realize the urgency and what Gurdjieff called the `terror of the situation.'
Another reviewer rightly points out that:

Patterson [whose 'eating the I' is really quite valuable - for guys at least ;-)] here does some interesting work w/ the chronology of G's Work and that of his major [male] students.

Apparently Pentland was P's primary source and LP and Bennett had something of a major fallout, so everything Patterson has to say re: JG Bennett is rather jaded. As is somewhat common amongst the 'orthodox' camp of Gurdjieff students Ouspensky is seen as really having gotten something at the end of his life, whereas Bennett's
rather obvious transformation in his last decade which did not just 'abandon the system' as did O. instead flowered and produced some of the most genuine and valuable 4thway books extant [Deeper Man, A Spiritual Psychology, Energies and the Sevenfold Work].

Patterson is something a Gurdjieffean Fundamentalist [even going so far as splitting off from the 'foundation', in true Protestant fashion] as far as I can tell from his several books I have read.

As regards the critique of Ouspensky, it seems to me from the evidence scattered around that P. tells it like it is in that regard, and adds a few genuine insights, but ironically enough, in Eating the I, we see patterson losing his own 'struggle w/ the magician' Pentalnd and suprise, suprise, he has now set up 'Prieure West'...

Even if you are turned off by this one, his Voices in the Dark is obligatory for all students of the work as it has priceless transcripts of G's wartime meetings.
Now, back to my response to this morning's correspondent:

Sometimes, it takes some concerted "reading between the lines" to really
understand what Gurdjieff did and why. Most often, it is only when a person
has been through similar dynamics themselves can they do this.

That's the first thing.

It's also important to remember that ISOTM was read by Gurdjieff before it
was published and his comment was that Ouspensky had a "very good memory,"
so we can generally rely on it. Ouspensky himself did not want to publish
it after he had written it, though I'm not sure why except to think that he
wanted to suppress what Gurdjieff was really about in some sense.

Then, of course, one must understand Gurdjieff's limitations. Gurdjieff was
a man dominated by his moving center. He certainly had a definite aim, and
I believe that it was benevolent. But, as noted above, he realized
somewhat late in the game that how he was going about it wasn't working;
his ideas of how to implement things just simply were not effective. And
so he closed his schools and sent everyone away.

Gurdjieff and Mouravieff both suffered from the same malady, it seems - an
inability to really grok hyperdimensional realities.

In a certain sense, both good and evil are merely "mechanical," since they
function according to "laws." What we call "consciousness" from the STO
point of view would be called "sleep" from the STS point of view and vice
versa. It depends on your goal. Gurdjieff said when you have a goal,
whatever leads you to that goal is "good" and whatever leads you away from
it, or blocks you from it, is "evil."

But there is still more. In ISOTM, there are a number of clues:

"People are machines. Machines have to be blind and unconscious, they cannot
be otherwise, and all their actions have to correspond to their nature.
Everything happens. No one does anything. 'Progress' and 'civilization,' in
the real meaning of these words, can appear only as the result of conscious
efforts. They cannot appear as the result of unconscious mechanical actions.
And what conscious effort can there be in machines? And if one machine is
unconscious, then a hundred machines are unconscious, and so are a thousand
machines, or a hundred thousand, or a million. And the unconscious activity
of a million machines must necessarily result in destruction and
extermination. It is precisely in unconscious involuntary manifestations
that all evil lies. You do not yet understand and cannot imagine all the
results of this evil. But the time will come when you will understand."
Then, there is this:

"The influence of the moon upon everything living manifests itself in all
that happens on the earth. The moon is the chief, or rather, the nearest,
the immediate, motive force of all that takes place in organic life on the
earth. All movements, actions, and manifestations of people, animals, and
plants depend upon the moon and are controlled by the moon. The sensitive
film of organic life which covers the earthly globe is entirely dependent
upon the influence of the huge electromagnet that is sucking out its
vitality. Man, like every other living being, cannot, in the ordinary
conditions of life, tear himself free from the moon. All his movements and
consequently all his actions are controlled by the moon. If he kills another
man, the moon does it; if he sacrifices himself for others, the moon does
that also. All evil deeds, all crimes, all self-sacrificing actions, all
heroic exploits, as well as all the actions of ordinary everyday life, are
controlled by the moon. "The liberation which comes with the growth of
mental powers and faculties is liberation from the moon. The mechanical part
of our life depends upon the moon, is subject to the moon. If we develop
in selves consciousness and will, and subject our mechanical life and all
our mechanical manifestations to them, we shall escape from the power of the
moon.
The closest Gurdjieff came to trying to grok hyperdimensions and "worlds of
information" was his theory about the moon. Read it and just replace
"moon" with 4 D STS. Obviously, his idea about the "growth of the moon" is
somewhat silly, but if you understand it as 4 D STS, and the fact that he
may have heard many traditions of so-called extraterrestrials on the moon
that had been distorted and veiled in transmission, then it is completely
understandable.

"The process of the growth and the warming of the moon is connected with
life and death on the earth. Everything living sets free at its death a
certain amount of the energy that has 'animated' it; this energy, or the
'souls' of everything living—plants, animals, people—is attracted to the
moon as though by a huge electromagnet, and brings to it the warmth and the
life upon which its growth depends, that is, the growth of the ray of
creation. In the economy of the universe nothing is lost, and a certain
energy having finished its work on one plane goes to another.

"The souls that go to the moon, possessing perhaps even a certain amount of
consciousness and memory, find themselves there under ninety-six laws, in
the conditions of mineral life, or to put it differently, in conditions from
which there is no escape apart from a general evolution in immeasurably
long planetary cycles. The moon is 'at the extremity,' at the end of the
world; it is the 'outer darkness' of the Christian doctrine 'where there
will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
Then Gurdjieff talks about the "materiality" of the universe." He found it
almost impossible to think in any terms other than material, though he did
carefully qualify his words.

"The next idea which it is necessary to master is the materiality of the
universe which is taken in the form of the ray of creation. Everything in
this universe can be weighed and measured. The Absolute is as material, as
weighable and measurable, as the moon, or as man. If the Absolute is Cod it
means that God can be weighed and measured, resolved into component
elements, 'calculated,' and expressed in the form of a definite formula.

"But the concept 'materiality' is as relative as everything else. It we
recall how the concept 'man' and all that refers to him—good, evil, truth,
falsehood, and so on—is divided into different categories ('man number one,'
'man number two,' and so on, it will be easy for us to understand that the
concept 'world,' and everything that refers to the world, is also divided
into different categories. The ray of creation establishes seven planes in
the world, seven worlds one within another. Everything that refers to the
world is also divided into seven categories, one category within another.


"The materiality of the Absolute is a materiality of an order different from
that of 'all worlds.' The materiality of 'all worlds' is of an order
different from the materiality of 'all suns.' The materiality of 'all suns'
is of an order different from the materiality of our sun. The materiality of
our sun is of an order different from the materiality of 'all planets.' The
materiality of 'all planets' is of an order different from the materiality
of the earth, and the materiality of the earth is of an order different from
the materiality of the moon.

"This idea is at first difficult to grasp.
People are accustomed to think that matter is everywhere the same. The whole
of physics, of astrophysics, of chemistry, such methods as spectroanalysis,
and so on, are based upon this assumption. And it is true that matter is
the same, but materiality is different. And different degrees of
materiality depend directly upon the qualities and properties of the energy
manifested at a given point."
In this last series of remarks we find the clue that Gurdjieff wasn't able,
because of his dominating moving center, to really grok non-physical
existence = pure information. As the C's remarked (and I think that, on
this point, it applies as well to Gurdjieff):

Q: We have recently been working with some material from Boris Mouravieff.
We can see many relationships. I would like to ask about some of his
political views, his ideas about creating some elite corps to help the world
graduate to what he calls the cycle of the Holy Spirit. How accurate are
those views of Mouravieff?

A: Mouravieff, like many who have protected and passed on the "tradition"
are merely carriers and not interpreters of the capacity of a Master. The
True Master understands the nature of the "worlds" in terms of real,
Hyperdimensional Interpenetration. Thus Mouraveiff and others misunderstand
and misinterpret, thinking in 3rd density Hierarchical terms which simply do
not apply.
We see above that Gurdjieff himself did not understand the nature of the
"worlds of laws" in terms of hyperdimensional realities. This is evident in
his remarks quoted above.

Continuing, we come to the issue of good and evil:

"The idea of morality is connected with the idea of good and evil conduct.
But the idea of good and evil is always different for different people,
always subjective in man number one, number two, and number three, and is
connected only with a given moment or a given situation. A subjective man
can have no general concept of good and evil. For a subjective man evil is
everything that is opposed to his desires or interests or to his conception
of good.

"One may say that evil does not exist for subjective man at all, that there
exist only different conceptions of good. Nobody ever does anything
deliberately in the interests of evil, for the sake of evil. Everybody acts
in the interests of good, as he understands it. But everybody understands it
in a different way. Consequently men drown, slay, and kill one another in
the interests of good. The reason is again just the same, men's ignorance
and the deep sleep in which they live.

"This is so obvious that it even seems strange that people have never
thought of it before. However, the fact remains that they fail to understand
this and everyone considers his good as the only good and all the rest as
evil. It is naive and useless to hope that men will ever understand this and
that they will evolve a general and identical idea of good."

"But do not good and evil exist in themselves apart from man?" asked someone
present.

"They do," said G., "only this is very far away from us and it is not worth
your while even to try to understand this at present. Simply remember one
thing. The only possible permanent idea of good and evil for man is
connected with the idea of evolution; not with mechanical evolution, of
course, but with the idea of man's development through conscious efforts,
the change of his being, the creation of unity in him, and the formation of
a permanent I."
Two important points above. Gurdjieff has said that "A subjective man can
have no general concept of good and evil." This was Ouspensky's main
failing. He was never able to be anything other than subjective. He did
not have a "network," and he was never able to submit, even for a short
while to learn, his "reading instrument" to another for tuning. He was,
until he died, a "subjective man." And that is probably why he became an
alcoholic and drowned himself in drink. At some level inside him, there was
this struggle, that he knew he had failed, and he drank to drown out the
voices in his head.

More:

"A permanent idea of good and evil can be formed in man only in connection
with a permanent aim and a permanent understanding. If a man understands
that he is asleep and if he wishes to awake, then everything that helps him
to awake will be good and everything that hinders him, everything that
prolongs his sleep, will be evil. Exactly in the same way will he understand
what is good and evil for other people. What helps them to awake is good,
what hinders them is evil. But this is so only for those who want to awake,
that is, for those who understand that they are asleep. Those who do not
understand that they are asleep and those who can have no wish to awake,
cannot have understanding of good and evil. And as the overwhelming majority
of people do not realize and will never realize that they are asleep,
neither good nor evil can actually exist for them."
And sadly, this last remark applies to Ouspensky himself.

"This contradicts generally accepted ideas. People are accustomed to
think that good and evil must be the same for everyone, and above all that
good and evil exist for everyone. In reality, however, good and evil exist
only for a few, for those who have an aim and who pursue that aim. Then what
hinders the pursuit of that aim is evil and what helps is good.

"But of course most sleeping people will say that they have an aim and that
they are going somewhere. The realization of the fact that he has no aim and
that he is not going anywhere is the first sign of the approaching
awakening of a man or of awakening becoming really possible for him.
Awakening begins when a man realizes that he is going nowhere and does not
know where to go."
As did Ouspensky... though he could not take the final step. In this next
passage, you will see that Gurdjieff described exactly the problem that
Ouspensky faced. I should note that in our own work, we have tried to avoid
this problem by creating the "group mirror" which takes the place of a
"master." The individual must, however, be willing to submit to the
concensus of the group as composing a "Man number 5".

"As has been explained before, there are many qualities which men
attribute to themselves, which in reality can belong only to people of a
higher degree of development and of a higher degree of evolution than man
number one, number two, and number three. Individuality, a single and
permanent I, consciousness, will, the ability to do, a state of inner
freedom, all these are qualities which ordinary man does not possess. To the
same category belongs the idea of good and evil, the very existence of
which is connected with a permanent aim, with a permanent direction and a
permanent center of gravity.

"The idea of good and evil is sometimes connected with the idea of truth and
falsehood. But just as good and evil do not exist for ordinary man, neither
do truth and falsehood exist. "Permanent truth and permanent falsehood can
exist only for a permanent man. If a man himself continually changes, then
for him truth and falsehood will also continually change. And if people are
all in different states at every given moment, their conceptions of truth
must be as varied as their conceptions of good. A man never notices how he
begins to regard as true what yesterday he considered as false and vice
versa. He does not notice these transitions just as he does not notice the
transitions of his own I's one into another.

"In the life of an ordinary man truth and falsehood have no moral value of
any kind because a man can never keep to one single truth. His truth
changes. If for a certain time it does not change, it is simply because it
is kept by 'buffers.' And a man can never tell the truth. Sometimes 'it
tells' the truth, sometimes 'it tells' a lie. Consequently his truth and his
falsehood have no value; neither of them depends upon him, both of them
depend upon accident. And this is equally true when applied to a man's
words, to his thoughts, his feelings, and to his conceptions of truth and
falsehood. "In order to understand the interrelation of truth and falsehood
in life a man must understand falsehood in himself, the constant incessant
lies he tells himself.

"These lies are created by 'buffers' In order to destroy the lies in oneself
as well as lies told unconsciously to others, 'buffers' must be destroyed.
But then a man cannot live without 'buffers.' 'Buffers' automatically
control a man's actions, words, thoughts, and feelings. If 'buffers' were to
be destroyed all control would disappear. A man cannot exist without
control even though it is only automatic control. Only a man who possesses
will, that is, conscious control, can live without 'buffers.' Consequently,
if a man begins to destroy 'buffers' within himself he must at the same
time develop a will. And as will cannot be created to order in a short
space of time a man may be left with 'buffers' demolished and with a will
that is not as yet sufficiently strengthened. The only chance he has during
this period is to be controlled by another will which has already been
strengthened.

"This is why in school work, which includes the destruction of 'buffers,' a
man must be ready to obey another man's will so long as his own will is not
yet fully developed. Usually this subordination to another man's will is
studied before anything else. I use the word 'studied' because a man must
understand why such obedience is necessary and he must learn to obey. The
latter is not at all easy. A man beginning the work of self-study with the
object of attaining control over himself is accustomed to believe in his own
decisions. Even the fact that he has seen the necessity for changing
himself shows him that his decisions are correct and strengthens his belief
in them. But when he begins to work on himself a man must give up his own
decisions, 'sacrifice his own decisions,' because otherwise the will of the
man who directs his work will not be able to control his actions.

"In schools of the religious way 'obedience' is demanded before anything
else, that is, full and unquestioning submission although without
understanding. Schools of the fourth way demand understanding before
anything else. Results of efforts are always proportional to understanding.

"Renunciation of his own decisions, subordination to the will of another,
may present insuperable difficulties to a man if he had failed to realize
beforehand that actually he neither sacrifices nor changes anything in his
life, that all his life he has been subject to some extraneous will and has
never had any decisions of his own. But a man is not conscious of this. He
considers that he has the right of free choice. It is hard for him to
renounce the illusion that he directs and organizes his life himself. But no
work on himself is possible until a man is free from this illusion.

"He must realize that he does not exist; he must realize that he can lose
nothing because he has nothing to lose; he must realize his 'nothingness' in
the full sense of the term.

"This consciousness of one's nothingness alone can conquer the fear of
subordination to the will of another. However strange it may seem, this fear
is actually one of the most serious obstacles on a man's path. A man is
afraid that he will be made to do things that are opposed to his principles,
views, and ideas. Moreover, this fear immediately creates in him. the
illusion that he really has principles, views, and convictions which in
reality he never has had and never could have. A man who has never in his
life thought of morality suddenly begins to fear that he will be made to do
something immoral. A man who has never thought of his health and who has
done everything possible to ruin it begins to fear that he will be made to
do something which will injure it. A man who has lied to everyone,
everywhere, all his life in the most barefaced manner begins suddenly to
fear that he will be made to tell lies, and so on without end. I knew a
drunkard who was afraid more than anything else that he would be made to
drink.

"The fear of being subordinated to another man's will very often proves
stronger than anything else. A man does not realize that a subordination to
which he consciously agrees is the only way to acquire a will of his own."
This exactly describes what happened to Ouspensky: "A man is afraid that he
will be made to do things that are opposed to his principles, views, and
ideas. Moreover, this fear immediately creates in him. the illusion that he
really has principles, views, and convictions which in reality he never has
had and never could have."

And based on this conviction, Ouspensky left Gurdjieff and set up his own
"school," when in fact, he never had the will to do anything, and the
evidence was his alcoholism. He literally drank himself to death.

But still, we have only danced around good and evil. I'm getting there. In
this next passage, we come very close to the main definition of "human"
evil:

"The study of the chief fault and the struggle against it constitute, as it
were, each man's individual path, but the aim must be the same for all. This
aim is the realization of one's nothingness. Only when a man has truly and
sincerely arrived at the conviction of his own helplessness and nothingness
and only when he feels it constantly, will he be ready for the next and much
more difficult stages of the work.

"All that has been said up till now refers to real groups connected with
real concrete work which in its turn is connected with what has been called
the 'fourth way.' But there are many imitation ways, imitation groups, and
imitation work. These are not even 'black magic.'

"Questions have often been asked at these lectures as to what is 'black
magic' and I have replied that there is neither red, green, nor yellow
magic. There is mechanics, that is, what 'happens,' and there is 'doing.'
'Doing' is magic and 'doing' can be only of one kind. There cannot be two
kinds of 'doing.' But there can be a falsification, an imitation of the
outward appearance of 'doing,' which cannot give any objective results but
which can deceive naive people and produce in them faith, infatuation,
enthusiasm, and even fanaticism.

"This is why in true work, that is, in true 'doing,' the producing of
infatuation in people is not allowed.

"What you call black magic is based on infatuation and on playing upon human
weaknesses.

"Black magic does not in any way mean magic of evil. I have already said
earlier that no one ever does anything for the sake of evil, in the
interests of evil. Everyone always does everything in the interests of good
as he understands it.

"In the same way it is quite wrong to assert that black magic must
necessarily be egoistical, that in black magic a man strives after some
results for himself. This is quite wrong. Black magic may be quite
altruistic, may strive after the good of humanity or after the salvation of
humanity from real or imaginary evils.

"But what can be called black magic has always one definite characteristic.
This characteristic is the tendency to use people for some, even the best of
aims, without their knowledge and understanding, either by producing in
them faith and infatuation or by acting upon them through fear."
In the next passage, Gurdjieff describes what has actually happened to his
own work, the many "schools" that have been created by his "annointed"
followers and their "students."

"But it must be remembered in this connection that a 'black magician,'
whether good or evil, has at all events been at a school. He has learned
something, has heard something, knows something. He is simply a 'half-
educated man' who has either been turned out of a school or who has himself
left a school having decided that he already knows enough, that he does not
want to be in subordination any longer, and that he can work independently
and even direct the work of others."
This pretty much describes Ouspensky and ALL of Gurdjieff's students!

"All 'work' of this kind can produce only subjective results, that is to
say, it can only increase deception and increase sleep instead of decreasing
them.

"Nevertheless something can be learned from a 'black magician' although in
the wrong way. He can sometimes by accident even tell the truth. That is why
I say that there are many things worse than 'black magic.' Such are various
'occult' and theosophical societies and groups. Not only have their
teachers never been at a school but they have never even met anyone who has
been near a school. Their work simply consists in aping. But imitation work
of this kind gives a great deal of self-satisfaction. One man feels himself
to be a 'teacher,' others feel that they are 'pupils,' and everyone is
satisfied. No realization of one's nothingness can be got here and if
people affirm that they have it, it is all illusion and self-deception, if
not plain deceit. On the contrary, instead of realizing their own
nothingness the members of such circles acquire a realization of their own
importance and a growth of false personality."
I'm sure you realize that the C's are very much a "school" and later
Gurdjieff describes exactly this sort of "initiation" as the ONLY kind of
initiation that is valid. Gurdjieff's initiation, I think, came via moving
center oriented events similar to the events I experienced with the C's via
the emotional and intellectual centers.

"At first it is very difficult to verify whether the work is right or
wrong, whether the directions received are correct or incorrect. The
theoretical part of the work may prove useful in this respect, because a man
can judge more easily from this aspect of it. He knows what he knows and
what he does not know.

"He knows what can be learned by ordinary means and what cannot."
This last is VERY important. A person must have done all they can do on
their own before they even seek out a "school." Otherwise, they cannot know
"what can be learned by ordinary means."

"And if he learns something new, something that cannot be learned in the
ordinary way from books and so on, this, to a certain extent, is a guarantee
that the other, the practical side, may also be right. But this of course
is far from being a full guarantee because here also mistakes are possible.

"All occult and spiritualistic societies and circles assert that they
possess a new knowledge. And there are people who believe it.

"In properly organized groups no faith is required; what is required is
simply a little trust and even that only for a little while, for the sooner
a man begins to verify all he hears the better it is for him.

"The struggle against the 'false I,' against one's chief feature or chief
fault, is the most important part of the work, and it must proceed in deeds,
not in words.

"For this purpose the teacher gives each man definite tasks which require,
in order to carry them out, the conquest of his chief feature. When a man
carries out these tasks he struggles with himself, works on himself. If he
avoids the tasks, tries not to carry them out, it means that either he does
not want to or that he cannot work.

"As a rule only very easy tasks are given at the beginning which the teacher
does not even call tasks, and he does not say much about them but gives
them in the form of hints. If he sees that he is understood and that the
tasks are carried out he passes on to more and more difficult ones.

"More difficult tasks, although they are only subjectively difficult, are
called 'barriers.'

"The peculiarity of barriers consists in the fact that, having surmounted a
serious barrier, a man can no longer return to ordinary sleep, to ordinary
life. And if, having passed the first barrier, he feels afraid of those that
follow and does not go on, he stops so to speak between two barriers and is
unable to move either backwards or forwards. This is the worst thing that
can happen to a man. Therefore the teacher is usually very careful in the
choice of tasks and barriers, in other words, he takes the risk of giving
definite tasks requiring the conquest of inner barriers only to those people
who have already shown themselves sufficiently strong on small barriers.

"It often happens that, having stopped before some barrier, usually the
smallest and the most simple, people turn against the work, against the
teacher, and against other members of the group, and accuse them of the very
thing that is becoming revealed to them in themselves."
As you may notice, this has happened with a number of our former members.
They stopped before the simplest and easiest barriers and have subsequently
turned against us, loudly and vehemently accusing us (usually me, who set up
the task) of the very things of which they, themselves, are guilty.

"Sometimes they repent later and blame themselves, then they again blame
others, then they repent once more, and so on. But there is nothing that
shows up a man better than his attitude towards the work and the teacher
after he has left it.

"Sometimes such tests are arranged intentionally. A man
is placed in such a position that he is obliged to leave and he is fully
justified in having a grievance either against the teacher or against some
other person. And then he is watched to see how he will behave. A decent man
will behave decently even if he thinks that he has been treated unjustly or
wrongly. But many people in such circumstances show a side of their nature
which otherwise they would never show. And at times it is a necessary means
for exposing a man's nature. So long as you are good to a man he is good to
you. But what will he be like if you scratch him a little?

"But this is not the chief thing; the chief thing is his own personal
attitude, his own valuation of the ideas which he receives or has received,
and his keeping or losing this valuation. A man may think for a long time
and quite sincerely that he wants to work and even make great efforts, and
then he may throw up everything and even definitely go against the work;
justify himself, invent various fabrications, deliberately ascribe a wrong
meaning to what he has heard, and so on."

"What happens to them for this?" asked one of the audience.

"Nothing—what could happen to them?" said G. "They are their own punishment.
And what punishment could be worse? [...]
Continued next post.
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
"It is impossible to describe in full the way work in a group is
conducted," continued G. "One must go through it. All that has been said up
to now are only hints, the true meaning of which will only be revealed to
those who go on with the work and learn from experience what 'barriers' mean
and what difficulties they represent.

"Speaking in general the most difficult barrier is the conquest of lying. A
man lies so much and so constantly both to himself and to others that he
ceases to notice it. Nevertheless lying must be conquered. And the first
effort required of a man is to conquer lying in relation to the teacher. A
man must either decide at once to tell him nothing but the truth, or at once
give up the whole thing.

"You must realize that the teacher takes a very difficult task upon himself,
the cleaning and the repair of human machines. Of course he accepts only
those machines that are within his power to mend. If something essential is
broken or put out of order in the machine, then he refuses to take it. But
even such machines, which by their nature could still be cleaned, become
quite hopeless if they begin to tell lies. A lie to the teacher, even the
most insignificant, concealment of any kind such as the concealment of
something another has asked to be kept secret, or of something the man
himself has said to another, at once puts an end to the work of that man,
especially if he has previously made any efforts.

"Here is something you must bear in mind. Every effort a man makes increases
the demands made upon him. So long as a man has not made any serious
efforts the demands made upon him are very small, but his efforts
immediately increase the demands made upon him. And the greater the efforts
that are made, the greater the new demands.

"At this stage people very often make a mistake that is constantly made.
They think that the efforts they have previously made, their former merits,
so to speak, give them some kind of rights or advantages, diminish the
demands to be made upon them, and constitute as it were an excuse should
they not work or should they afterwards do something wrong. This, of course,
is most profoundly false. Nothing that a man did yesterday excuses him
today. Quite the reverse, if a man did nothing yesterday, no demands are
made upon him today; if he did anything yesterday, it means that he must do
more today. This certainly does not mean that it is better to do nothing.
Whoever does nothing receives nothing."
Now, we come to our main subject: "conscious evil." It is brought up in the
following discussion in a very particular way as the opposite of evolution,
or as "entropy." Read carefully:

"To ordinary knowledge," he said, "organic life is a kind of accidental
appendage violating the integrity of a mechanical system. Ordinary knowledge
does not connect it with anything and draws no conclusions from the fact of
its existence. But you should already understand that there is nothing
accidental or unnecessary in nature and that there can be nothing;
everything has a definite function; everything serves a definite purpose.
Thus organic life is an indispensable link in the chain of the worlds which
cannot exist without it just as it cannot exist without them.

"It has been said before that organic life transmits planetary influences of
various kinds to the earth and that it serves to feed the moon and to
enable it to grow and strengthen. But the earth also is growing; not in the
sense of size but in the sense of greater consciousness, greater
receptivity. The planetary influences which were sufficient for her at one
period of her existence become insufficient, she needs the reception of
finer influences.

"To receive finer influences a finer, more sensitive receptive apparatus is
necessary. Organic life, therefore, has to evolve, to adapt itself to the
needs of the planets and the earth. Likewise also the moon can be satisfied
at one period with the food which is given her by organic life of a certain
quality, but afterwards the time comes when she ceases to be satisfied with
this food, cannot grow on it, and begins to get hungry. Organic life must be
able to satisfy this hunger, otherwise it does not fulfill its function,
does not answer its purpose.

"This means that in order to answer its purpose organic life must evolve and
stand on the level of the needs of the planets, the earth, and the moon.

"We must remember that the ray of creation, as we have taken it, from the
Absolute to the moon, is like a branch of a tree—a growing branch. The end
of this branch, the end out of which come new shoots, is the moon. If the
moon does not grow, if it neither gives nor promises to give new shoots, it
means that either the growth of the whole ray of creation will stop or that
it must find another path for its growth, give out some kind of lateral
branch. At the same time from what has been said before we see that the
growth of the moon depends on organic life on earth. It follows that the
growth of the ray of creation depends on organic life on earth. If this
organic life disappears or dies the whole branch will immediately wither, in
any case all that part of the branch which lies beyond organic life.

"The same thing must happen, only more slowly, if organic life is arrested
in its development, in its evolution, and fails to respond to the demands
made upon it. The branch may wither. This must be remembered. To the ray of
creation, or let us say to its part earth-moon, exactly the same possibility
of development and growth has been given as is given to each separate
branch of a big tree.

"But the accomplishment of this growth is not at all guaranteed, it depends
upon the harmonious and right action of its own tissues. The development of
one tissue stops and all the others stop. Everything that can be said of the
ray of creation or of its part earth-moon equally refers to organic life on
earth. Organic life on earth is a complex phenomenon in which the separate
parts depend upon one another. General growth is possible only on the
condition that the 'end of the branch' grows. Or, speaking more precisely,
there are in organic life tissues which are evolving, and there are tissues
which serve as food and medium for those which are evolving. Then there are
evolving cells within the evolving tissues, and cells which serve as food
and medium for those which are evolving. In each separate evolving cell
there are evolving parts and there are parts which serve as food for those
which are evolving.

"But always and in everything it must be remembered that evolution is never
guaranteed, it is possible only and it can stop at any moment and in any
place.

"The evolving part of organic life is humanity. Humanity also has its
evolving part but we will speak of this later; in the meantime we will take
humanity as a whole. If humanity does not evolve it means that the evolution
of organic life will stop and this in its turn will cause the growth of the
ray of creation to stop. At the same time if humanity ceases to evolve it
becomes useless from the point of view of the aims for which it was created
and as such it may be destroyed. In this way the cessation of evolution may
mean the destruction of humanity.

"We have no clues from which we are able to tell in what period of planetary
evolution we exist and whether the moon and the earth have time to await
the corresponding evolution of organic life or not. But people who know
may, of course, have exact information about it, that is, they may know at
what stage in their possible evolution are the earth, the moon, and
humanity. We cannot know this but we should bear in mind that the number of
possibilities is never infinite.

"At the same time in examining the life of humanity as we know it
historically we are bound to acknowledge that humanity is moving in a
circle. In one century it destroys everything it creates in another and the
progress in mechanical things of the past hundred years has proceeded at
the cost of losing many other things which perhaps were much more important
for it. Speaking in general there is every reason to think and to assert
that humanity is at a standstill and from a standstill there is a straight
path to downfall and degeneration. A standstill means that a process has
become balanced. The appearance of any one quality immediately evokes the
appearance of another quality opposed to it. The growth of knowledge in one
domain evokes the growth of ignorance in another; refinement on the one hand
evokes vulgarity on the other; freedom in one connection evokes slavery in
another; the disappearance of some superstitions evokes the appearance and
the growth of others; and so on.

"Now if we recall the law of octaves we shall see that a balanced process
proceeding in a certain way cannot be changed at any moment it is desired.
It can be changed and set on a new path only at certain 'cross-roads.' In
between the 'crossroads' nothing can be done. At the same time if a process
passes by a 'crossroad' and nothing happens, nothing is done, then nothing
can be done afterwards and the process will continue and develop according
to mechanical laws; and even if people taking part in this process foresee
the inevitable destruction of everything, they will be unable to do
anything. I repeat that something can be done only at certain moments which
I have just called 'crossroads' and which in octaves we have called the
'intervals' mi-fa and sido.

"Of course there are very many people who consider that the life of humanity
is not proceeding in the way in which according to their views it ought to
go. And they invent various theories which in their opinion ought to change
the whole life of humanity. One invents one theory. Another immediately
invents a contradictory theory. And both expect everyone to believe them.
And many people indeed do believe either one or the other. Life naturally
takes its own course but people do not stop believing in their own or other
people's theories and they believe that it is possible to do something.

"All these theories are certainly quite fantastic, chiefly because they do not
take into account the most important thing, namely, the subordinate part
which humanity and organic life play in the world process. Intellectual
theories put man in the center of everything; everything exists for him, the
sun, the stars, the moon, the earth. They even forget man's relative size,
his nothingness, his transient existence, and other tilings. They assert
that a man if he wishes is able to change his whole life, that is, to
organize his life on rational principles.

"And all the time new theories appear evoking in their turn opposing theories;
and all these theories and the struggle between them undoubtedly constitute
one of the forces which keep humanity in the state in which it is at present.

"Besides, all these theories for general welfare and general equality are not only unrealizable,
but they would be fatal if they were realized. Everything in nature has its
aim and its purpose, both the inequality of man and his suffering. To
destroy inequality would mean destroying the possibility of evolution. To
destroy suffering would mean, first, destroying a whole series of
perceptions for which man exists, and second, the destruction of the
'shock,' that is to say, the force which alone can change the situation. And
thus it is with all intellectual theories.

"The process of evolution, of that evolution which is possible for humanity
as a whole, is completely analogous, to the process of evolution possible
for the individual man. And it begins with the same thing, namely, a certain
group of cells gradually becomes conscious; then it attracts to itself
other cells, subordinates others, and gradually makes the whole organism
serve its aims and not merely eat, drink, and sleep. This is evolution and
there can be no other kind of evolution.

"In humanity as in individual man everything begins with the formation of a
conscious nucleus. All the mechanical forces of life fight against the
formation of this conscious nucleus in humanity, in just the same way as all
mechanical habits, tastes and weaknesses fight against conscious self-
remembering in man."

"Can it be said that there is a conscious force which fights against the
evolution of humanity?" I asked.

"From a certain point of view it can be said," said G.

(Ouspensky notes) I am putting this on record because it would seem to contradict what he said
before, namely, that there are only two forces struggling in the world—"consciousness" and "mechanicalness."
Now, here is where you will find your answer.

"Where can this force come from?" I asked.

"It would take a long time to explain," said G., "and it cannot have a
practical significance for us at the present moment. There are two processes
which are sometimes called 'involutionary' and 'evolutionary.' The
difference between them is the following: An involutionary process begins
consciously in the Absolute but at the next step it already becomes
mechanical—and it becomes more and more mechanical as it develops; an
evolutionary process begins half-consciously but it becomes more and more
conscious as its develops.

"But consciousness and conscious opposition to the evolutionary process can
also appear at certain moments in the, involutionary process.

"From where does this consciousness come?

"From the evolutionary process of course."
Notice this in particular. Gurdjieff is saying that there IS Conscious EVIL. Read his explanation carefully, keeping in mind that he has already said that he isn't going to go into it too deeply...

"The evolutionary process must proceed without interruption. Any stop causes a
separation from the fundamental process. Such separate fragments of
consciousnesses which have been stopped in their development can also unite
and at any rate for a certain time can live by struggling against the
evolutionary process.
After all it merely makes the evolutionary process
more interesting. Instead of struggling against mechanical forces there may,
at certain moments, be a struggle against the intentional opposition of
fairly powerful forces though they are not of course comparable with those
which direct the evolutionary process. These opposing forces may sometimes
even conquer.


"The reason for this consists in the fact that the forces
guiding evolution have a more limited choice of means; in other words, they
can only make use of certain means and certain methods. The opposing forces
are not limited in their choice of means and they are able to make use of
every means, even those which only give rise to a temporary success, and in
the final result they destroy both evolution and involution at the point in
question.
In other words, for all practical purposes, from the level of existence of man, of humanity, we can, indeed, talk about conscious evil. We MUST talk about it or, as Gurdjieff mentioned, it may conquer and then the Earth will be destroyed. Gurdjieff knew this, but he was maddeningly vague about it. And of course, as Lobaczewski points out, nobody wants to talk about the "darkness." Gurdjieff himself, not fully grokking hyperdimensional realities made some serious errors in that regard, almost fatal in fact. His automobile accident is a case in point. After this, he was sufficiently shaken to understand that he had missed something really big and he went about making significant changes in his life, apparently in order to try to come to some understanding of the "nature of the beast."

As we have learned, to NOT study the "illness" is to be completely handicapped in terms of finding a cure, and this is why so many works that began with the best of intentions failed. They thought it was enough to just think about health, to imagine good health and mental hygiene. The fact is: you cannot be clean until you wash away the dirt. And you cannot be inspired to wash away the dirt unless you know it IS dirt. I have encountered people in very poor and backward circumstances who truly did not know that being clean was an option. They had been dirty all their lives. They looked curiously at my hands because they were not smudged with dirt. The same is true for human beings: they don't know how dirty they are, they don't really grok the terror of the situation.

"But as I have said already, this question has no practical significance for
us. It is only important for us to establish the indications of evolution
beginning and the indications of evolution proceeding. And if we remember
the full analogy between humanity and man it will not be difficult to
establish whether humanity can be regarded as evolving.
Now, even though I have arrived at the issue that concerns you, and you can
see that Ouspensky hasn't quite "gotten it," let me continue with the
passage because it is quite fascinating....

"Are we able to say for instance that life is governed by a group of
conscious people? Where are they? Who are they? We see exactly the opposite:
that life is governed by those who are the least conscious, by those who
are most asleep.

"Are we able to say that we observe in life a preponderance of the best, the
strongest, and the most courageous elements? Nothing of the sort. On the
contrary we see a preponderance of vulgarity and stupidity of all kinds.

"Are we able to say that aspirations towards unity, towards unification, can
be observed in life? Nothing of the kind of course. We only see new
divisions, new hostility, new misunderstandings.

"So that in the actual situation of humanity there is nothing that points to
evolution proceeding. On the contrary when we compare humanity with a man
we quite clearly see a growth of personality at the cost of essence, that
is, a growth of the artificial, the unreal, and what is foreign, at the
cost of the natural, the real, and what is one's own.

"Together with this we see a growth of automatism. "Contemporary culture
requires automatons. And people are undoubtedly losing their acquired habits
of independence and turning into automatons, into parts of machines. It is
impossible to say where is the end of all this and where the way out— or
whether there is an end and a way out. One thing alone is certain, that
man's slavery grows and increases. Man is becoming a willing slave. He no
longer needs chains. He begins to grow fond of his slavery, to be proud of
it. And this is the most terrible thing that can happen to a man.

"Everything I have said till now I have said about the whole of humanity.
But as I pointed out before, the evolution of humanity can proceed only
through the evolution of a certain group, which, in its turn, will influence
and lead the rest of humanity.

"Are we able to say that such a group exists? Perhaps we can on the basis of
certain signs, but in any event we have to acknowledge that it is a very
small group, quite insufficient, at any rate, to subjugate the rest of
humanity. Or, looking at it from another point of view, we can say that
humanity is in such a state that it is unable to accept the guidance of a
conscious group."

"How many people could there be in this conscious group?" someone asked.

"Only they themselves know this," said G.

"Does it mean that they all know each other?" asked the same person again.

"How could it be otherwise?" asked G. "Imagine that there are two or three
people who are awake in the midst of a multitude of sleeping people. They
will certainly know each other. But those who are asleep cannot know them.
How many are they? We do not know and we cannot know until we become like
them. It has been clearly said before that each man can only see on the
level of his own being. But two hundred conscious people, if they existed
and if they found it necessary and legitimate, could change the whole of
life on the earth. But either there are not enough of them, or they do not
want to, or perhaps the time has not yet come, or perhaps other people are
sleeping too soundly.

"We have approached the problems of esotericism. "It was pointed out before
when we spoke about the history of humanity that the life of humanity to
which we belong is governed by forces proceeding from two different sources:
first, planetary influences which act entirely mechanically and are
received by the human masses as well as by individual people quite
involuntarily and unconsciously; and then, influences proceeding from inner
circles of humanity whose existence and significance the vast majority of
people do not suspect any more than they suspect planetary influences.

"The humanity to which we belong, namely, the whole of historic and
prehistoric humanity known to science and civilization, in reality
constitutes only the outer circle of humanity, within which there are
several other circles.

"So that we can imagine the whole of humanity, known as well as unknown to
us, as consisting so to speak of several concentric circles.

"The inner circle is called the 'esoteric'; this circle consists of people
who have attained the highest development possible for man, each one of whom
possesses individuality in the fullest degree, that is to say, an
indivisible 'I,' all forms of consciousness possible for man, full control
over these states of consciousness, the whole of knowledge possible for man,
and a free and independent will. They cannot perform actions opposed to
their understanding or have an understanding which is not expressed by
actions. At the same time there can be no discords among them, no
differences of understanding. Therefore their activity is entirely co-
ordinated and leads to one common aim without any kind of compulsion because
it is based upon a common and identical understanding.

"The next circle is called the 'mesoteric,' that is to say, the middle.
People who belong to this circle possess all the qualities possessed by the
members of the esoteric circle with the sole difference that their knowledge
is of a more theoretical character.' This refers, of course, to knowledge
of a cosmic character. They know and understand many things which have not
yet found expression in their actions. They know more than they do. But
their understanding is precisely as exact as, and therefore precisely
identical with, the understanding of the people of the esoteric circle.
Between them there can be, no discord, there can be no misunderstanding.
One understands in the way they all understand, and all understand in the
way one understands. But as was said before, this understanding compared
with the understanding of the esoteric circle is somewhat more theoretical.

"The third circle is called the 'exoteric,' that is, the outer, because it
is the outer circle of the inner part of humanity. The people who belong to
this circle possess much of that which belongs to people of the esoteric and
mesoteric circles but their cosmic knowledge is of a more philosophical
character, that is to say, it is more abstract than the knowledge of the
mesoteric circle. A member of the mesoteric circle calculates, a member of
the exoteric circle contemplates. Their understanding may not be expressed
in actions. But there cannot be differences in understanding between them.
What one understands all the others understand.

"In literature which acknowledges the existence of esotericism humanity is
usually divided into two circles only and the 'exoteric circle' as opposed
to the 'esoteric,' is called ordinary life. In reality, as we see, the
'exoteric circle' is something very far from us and very high. For ordinary
man this is already 'esotericism.'

"'The outer circle' is the circle of mechanical humanity to which we belong
and which alone we know. The first sign of this circle is that among people
who belong to it there is not and there cannot be a common understanding.
Everybody understands in his own way and all differently. This circle is
sometimes called the circle of the 'confusion of tongues,' that is, the
circle in which each one speaks in his own particular language, where no one
understands another and takes no trouble to be understood.

"In this circle mutual understanding between people is impossible excepting in rare
exceptional moments or in matters having no great significance, and which
are confined to the limits of the given being. If people belonging to this
circle become conscious of this general lack of understanding and acquire a
desire to understand and to be understood, then it means they have an
unconscious tendency towards the inner circle because mutual understanding
begins only in the exoteric circle and is possible only there. But the
consciousness of the lack of understanding usually comes to people in an
altogether different form.

"So that the possibility for people to understand depends on the possibility
of penetrating into the exoteric circle where understanding begins.

"If we imagine humanity in the form of four concentric circles we can
imagine four gates on the circumference of the third inner circle, that is,
the exoteric circle, through which people of the mechanical circle can
penetrate.

"These four gates correspond to the four ways described before.

"The first way is the way of the fakir, the way of people number one, of
people of the physical body, instinctive-moving-sensory people without much
mind and without much heart.

"The second way is the way of the monk, the religious way, the way of people
number two, that is, of emotional people. The mind and the body should not
be too strong.

"The third way is the way of the yogi. This is the way of the mind, the way
of people number three. The heart and the body must not be particularly
strong, otherwise they may be a hindrance on this way. "Besides these three
ways yet a fourth way exists by which can go those who cannot go by any of
the first three ways.

"The fundamental difference between the first three ways, that is, the way
of the fakir, the way of the monk, and the way of the yogi, and the fourth
way consists in the fact that they are tied to permanent forms which have
existed throughout long periods of history almost without change. At the
basis of these institutions is religion. Where schools of yogis exist they
differ little outwardly from religious schools. And in different periods of
history various societies or orders of fakirs have existed in different
countries and they still exist. These three traditional ways are permanent
ways within the limits of our historical period.

"Two or three thousand years ago there were yet other ways which no longer
exist and the ways now in existence were not so divided, they stood much
closer to one another.
This is what I have written about in Secret History....

"The fourth way differs from the old and the new ways by the fact that it is
never a permanent way. It has no definite forms and there are no
institutions connected with it. It appears and disappears governed by some
particular laws of its own.

"The fourth way is never without some work of a definite significance, is
never without some undertaking around which and in connection with which it
can alone exist. When this work is finished, that is to say, when the aim
set before it has been accomplished, the fourth way disappears, that is, it
disappears from the given place, disappears in its given form, continuing
perhaps in another place in another form. Schools of the fourth way exist
for the needs of the work which is being carried out in connection with the
proposed undertaking. They never exist by themselves as schools for the
purpose of education and instruction.

"Mechanical help cannot be required in any work of the fourth way. Only
conscious work can be useful in all the undertakings of the fourth way.
Mechanical man cannot give conscious work so that the first task of the
people who begin such a work is to create conscious assistants.

"The work itself of schools of the fourth way can have very many forms and
many meanings. In the midst of the ordinary conditions of life the only
chance a man has of finding a 'way' is in the possibility of meeting with
the beginning of work of this kind. But the chance of meeting with such work
as well as the possibility of profiting by this chance depends upon many
circumstances and conditions.

"The quicker a man grasps the aim of the work which is being executed, the
quicker can he become useful to it and the more will he be able to get from
it for himself.

"But no matter what the fundamental aim of the work is, the schools continue
to exist only while this work is going on. When the work is done the
schools close. The people who began the work leave the stage. Those who
have learned from them what was possible to learn and have reached the
possibility of continuing on the way independently begin in one form or
another their own personal work.

"But it happens sometimes that when the school closes a number of people are
left who were round about the work, who saw the outward aspect of it, and
saw the whole of the work in this outward aspect.

"Having no doubts whatever of themselves or in the correctness of their
conclusions and understanding they decide to continue the work. To continue
this work they form new schools, teach people what they have themselves
learned, and give them the same promises that they themselves received. All
this naturally can only be outward imitation."
This describes exactly what has happened to Gurdjieff's work. Even if he,
himself, thought that he had failed, he did not. His 4th way work had a
definite aim, a purpose, and that was fulfilled. It just wasn't his job to
create the "conscious nucleus" because it wasn't yet time.

But, of course, after he closed his school in terms of people, he continued
to write and it is there that the purpose of his 4th way work was fulfilled.
Also, in the writing and preserving of what he said and did, all this was
the purpose of his being, his work.

What is so interesting to observe is that, since Gurdjieff was a moving
center dominated being, the schools that have formed after him seem to be
rather moving center dominated without the soul and mind of Gurdjieff to
balance them. They can only teach what they saw, they can only imitate, and
so, they are mostly schools of fakirs. As Gurdjieff said:"the way of the fakir,
the way of people number one, of people of the physical body,
instinctive-moving-sensory people without much mind and without much heart. "

"But when we look back on history it is almost impossible for us to
distinguish where the real ends and where the imitation begins. Strictly
speaking almost everything we know about various kinds of occult, masonic,
and alchemical schools refers to such imitation. We know practically nothing
about real schools excepting the results of their work and even that only
if we are able to distinguish the results of real work from counterfeits
and imitations.

"But such pseudo-esoteric systems also play their part in the work and
activities of esoteric circles. Namely, they are the intermediaries between
humanity which is entirely immersed in the materialistic life and schools
which are interested in the education of a certain number of people, as much
for the purposes of their own existences as for the purposes of the work of
a cosmic character which they may be carrying out.

"The very idea of esotericism, the idea of initiation, reaches people in
most cases through pseudo-esoteric systems and schools; and if there were
not these pseudo-esoteric schools the vast majority of humanity would have
no possibility whatever of hearing and learning of the existence of anything
greater than life because the truth in its pure form would be inaccessible
for them.

"By reason of the many characteristics of man's being, particularly of the
contemporary being, truth can only come to people in the form of a lie— only
in this form are they able to accept it; only in this form are they able to
digest and assimilate it. Truth undefiled would be, for them, indigestible
food.

"Besides, a grain of truth in an unaltered form is sometimes found in pseudo
esoteric movements, in church religions, in occult and theosophical
schools. It may be preserved in their writings, their rituals, their
traditions, their conceptions of the hierarchy, their dogmas, and their
rules.

"The idea of initiation, which reaches us through pseudo-esoteric systems,
is also transmitted to us in a completely wrong form. The legends concerning
the outward rites of initiation have been created out of the scraps of
information we possess in regard to the ancient Mysteries. The Mysteries
represented a special kind of way in which, side by side with a difficult
and prolonged period of study, theatrical representations of a special kind
were given which depicted in allegorical forms the whole path of the
evolution of man and the world.

"Transitions from one level of being to another were marked by ceremonies of
presentation of a special kind, that is, initiation. But a change of being
cannot be brought about by any rites. Rites can only mark an accomplished
transition. And it is only in pseudo-esoteric systems in which there is
nothing else except these rites, that they begin to attribute to the rites
an independent meaning. It is supposed that a rite, in being transformed
into a sacrament, transmits or communicates certain forces to the initiate.

"This again relates to the psychology of an imitation way. There is not, nor
can there be, any outward initiation. In reality only self-initiation, self
presentation exist. Systems and schools can indicate methods and ways, but
no system or school whatever can do for a man the work that he must do
himself. Inner growth, a change of being, depend entirely upon the work
which a man must do on himself."
> Here's an excerpt from Ouspensky's Fourth Way (pg.19-20):
>
> "Try to connect in your mind what I said about the study of good and evil,
> mechanicalness and consciousness, morality and conscience, and then put the
> question, 'Is conscious evil possible?' That will require study and
> observation, but from the point of view of the system there is a definite
> principle that conscious evil is impossible; mechanicalness must be
> unconscious
Which directly contradicts what Gurdjieff told him, and which he recorded...
and with his subjective ego, decided that Gurdjieff didn't have a clue.

> Q. The idea of evil being always unconscious is rather difficult to
> understand. Can you explain it a little more?
>
> A. I said, first of all try to find for yourself what you call evil, not by
> definition but by examples. When you have a certain number of examples, ask
> yourself, could they be conscious? Could evil things be done consciously?
> Later you will see they could be done only unconsciously. Another answer is
> that all you call evil can happen mechanically, and it always does happen
> mechanically, so it has no need of consciousness."
Again, contradicting what Gurdjieff told him.

> A***: By this system, or at least the versions of it that I am familiar with,
> conscience exists as a function of the [intellectual story of the emotional
> center]. It is therefore a component of the machine.
You've made a big error here equating conscience with consciousness.

>It states that all have
> it available to them as a potentiality, part of the process of awakening the
> emotional center and bringing its functions into “right work” and so on. It
> acts as a bridge between the lower centers and the higher emotional center.
> Therefore the system rejects the idea of frequency, the idea of a choice
> between STO and STS. This is a fundamental block to any hope of a
> reconciliation of the system with the C's and the idea of frequency.
Only because the 4th way schools that were formed by Gurdjieff's rejects are
essentially schools of fakirs who often write very clever sounding things,
imitating their master, but with no real conception of what they are talking
about.

>It
> assumes that every developed individual will have conscience, along with the
> tools available to those who function from the intellectual story of the
> centers, and will therefore choose to be creative (to say that each man
> chooses good or selflessness is subjective, it is better to stick with
> creativity as the aim of the ‘conscious adept’), not because of a choice
> between the star and black-hole energy dynamic but because this is a result
> of becoming un-identified with the ego, the personality. It assumes that evil
> is the result of mechanicalness, that consciousness is of another character
> altogether, too high above the mortal battlefield to ever be interested in
> such, to it futile and unappealing, things.
Too much on the wrong foundation above.


> I believe it was RA or the C's (probably RA) that said that the STS candidate
> bypasses the need to connect to the higher emotional center and connects
> directly to the higher intellectual center. This is very interesting but also
> very far from reach.
>
> The question needs to be addressed formally Laura. The system needs to be
> bridged with the principle of FRV. But there are too many blanks, holes, and
> I cannot allow myself to believe or speculate anymore than I already
> unconsciously do quite enough of. Too much of what comes out of the C’s is
> left unavailable for verification, and I am not attacking this vulnerability
> – not at all. I am simply trying to reconcile the system with what IS
> verifiable, that of the question of frequency. Regardless of how well I
try
> to pull away from the C-groups and focus on the Work, something which is
> verifiable and practical, something which views material like the C’s,
> channeled materials, as “imaginary B-influence” (at least those who I learn
> it from), the theories of STS and STO, the seven densities of awareness,
> lingers and demands attention. I need your help to keep what I value from the
> C-transcripts with me as I choose to move forward.
Sounds like you have your work cut out for you.

Best,

L
 

Frai Jonah

The Force is Strong With This One
Hi

First, on G and hyperdimensionality. It is and isn't there. There is a QFS Glossary piece summarizing the outline at:

http://glossary.cassiopaea.com/glossary.php?id=900

Then there is G's statement about 3 dimensions of time, the line of human perceived linear time, the plane of eternity, with all timelines corresponding to lawful possibility, i.e. possible histories of a finite universe, then yet a third axis. I have speculated in the glossary that as one's locus of manifestation moves up the scale of cosmoses, i.e. towards a higher density, the perception of time changes its nature. There is additional wiseacring on this in the articles on 4th, 5th, 6th density.

You can see

http://glossary.cassiopaea.com/glossary.php?id=79&lsel=NUM

and

http://glossary.cassiopaea.com/glossary.php?id=74&lsel=NUM

for more.

Quoting from:

http://www.endlesssearch.co.uk/philo_heropass.htm

"A normal being wishes to live forever. A normal man is one who not only has actualized his inherited potentialities, but has freed himself from his subjectivity.

We are made in the image of God, and God's attribute is immortality. If God wishes to live he has shared that wish with all of us. He also provided the means by which that wish to live may exist forever. This wish to live constitutes a being. Once being alive there is no choice, we must live forever. The representative of God in any individual is that which tells him how or what God would do in any situation. Your powers are to actualize, to be aware of your presence. This is your money in the bank, your cash, your earning ability. Next to awareness, the most important thing is Time. The flow of time through us gives us our chance to extract what we can. Time is a three-fold stream, passing through our three centers. We fish in this stream, if we catch enough we have enough to create the three bodies, and become enduring. Time is the sum of our potential experience, the totality of our possible experiences.

We live our experiences successively, this is the first dimension of Time. To be able to live experiences simultaneously is adding another or second dimension to Time, or the third dimension of Time. When we have identified ourselves with Time it will be as Revelation says... AND THERE SHALL BE TIME NO LONGER (MORE).

I beg you, before starting on this journey to question yourself. You are plunging into the dark: here is a little lamp: I show you how to rub it; make sure you know how to rub it. Suffering is the price of endlessness. Conscious labor consists of having an objective in life, as a LIFE aim, an Aim which can be pursued the whole of your life. It does not depend on the vicissitudes of life. It is the aim for which you took the trouble to be born. You are an immortal being if you keep this aim. If you keep this aim through this life you will have an aim strong enough to persist after this life, an aim big enough to persist through an immortal experience." (Gurdjieff, from Mrs. Stavely)
***

So there is a notion of worlds inside worlds and also of dimensions, but since we ourselves do not know exactly how these relate, it is hard to critique G in any precise way. There is general compatibility with the C's , as acknowledged by the C's themselves, in:

.... Last question: I was thinking about what is the most important for me at the present, and I think that I want to understand and implement this concept of densities; to implement it into physics and mathematics. But, it seems to me that I am completely alone with that. I would like to know where should I look, because certainly other people have already tried to do it. I don't want to start from scratch if there is something that I can look at or study before I really jump into this difficult project. Were there people, scientists... where to look?

A: Study the works of Gurdjieff and Jung, for starters. Also, Vallee is on a similar path, and a little ahead of you. He would be most approachable, if you can convince him of your sincerity.
Q: (A) Vallee?
This sounds like saying that the table of hydrogens and the ray of creation are at least apt metaphors. Now of course, these never came to a level of concreteness that would allow predictions in the sense of physics, so we are still in the realm of metaphor more than hard science.
 

Frai Jonah

The Force is Strong With This One
Now about Gurdjieff and the possibility of conscious evil:

The fact that the universe requires man's vibrations for food is eminently displayed throughout Beelzebub, there are some quotes in the glossary piece on Food for the Moon.

http://glossary.cassiopaea.com/glossary.php?id=2&lsel=F

The quality of vibrations produced influences what is demanded, a little conscious suffering compensates for much unconscious suffering. You always pay a tax but you can sort of decide who you pay it to. If it is in the coin of efforts of self perfection, becoming conscious and maybe even creative, it is towards evolution, or a STO or expansion oriented master; If it is in "low frequency produce" such as comes from war, famine and other mechanically proceeding calamity, it is to a predatory master who will want more of the same. It is expressed in Views from the Real World and indirectly in Beelzebub, where the golden age of Ashiata Shiemash changes the dynamic, sort of takes the world away from its default STS alignment and produces corresponding improvement in the human condition.

My personal guess is that G had learned the lesson of the Gnostics' persecutions and would avoid clear dualism: Thou shalt not say that this world is the fallen world of Satan. There is a subtly expressed dualism, but it is not stated in terms of a good and a bad god, it is stated in terms of direction of process, i.e. evolution/involution. At one point, G relates these to good and evil, but does it with lots of caveats and only at the end of Beelzebub, the quote is in the glossary piece on STO/STS.

http://glossary.cassiopaea.com/glossary.php?id=883&lsel=S

The subject is a mine field. The Work is "against God" in the sense that God's creative breath flows in the involutionary direction, from consciousness to matter and the Work strives in the other direction. Yet, the Work is meant to produce helpers for God. Strict parallels with physical concepts like expansion and contraction never catch the whole idea. He does talk some about different modes of consciousness, as in densities, we get the idea of social memory complex when he talks of perfected beings as brain cells of God etc. But he is tricky and deliberately so. He can also be very straightforward, as evidenced by Meetings with Remarkable Men.

G is very tricky, he dances around the subject of STO/STS duality But what he gives with one hand he takes with the other. This may be a teaching device or this may be deliberate confusion. I feel G wants to say something loud and clear, as he was generally not one to mince words, but on this subject it is as if his hands were tied.

So, duality and hyperdimensionality and groups are there, if one looks. But it takes looking and the terminology and style make it hard. I believe there were external constraints. If you take the Moon literally, it makes no sense. G does talk about all manner of aliens at great liberty, so it is not that he could not say "alien," or being with capabilities much above human if he wanted to. But he would not equate alien with "planetary forces" or "4D STS," this inference he would leave to the reader. The Gnostics had been more up front about it. But then they were rather forcibly shut up.

Then there are pieces in Beelzebub where he does give apparently detailed information, as on experiments on electricity, starship ropulsion, involution and evolution of metals etc., and yet I have no idea of what he really is talking about. I guess it is not physics or chemistry. What it is, I do not rightly know.

Some of the material may be there to send people chasing their tails. Or it is so hermeticized, like alchemy books, that ordinary background in sciences, or acquintance with today's supply of esoteric material does not decode it, does not even tell the reader what phenomena are being discussed.

In Search of the Miraculous became the official textbook of the G Work. This may be a good thing. It makes G more accessible. But then it may hide or deemphasize some fundamentals, namely evil, which is a diversion.

Now, let it not be said G had no notion of conscious evil. G uses the word hasnamus in the modern meaning of psychopath, he uses the word psychopath in the generic sense of crazy. Note that psychopath acquired its meaning of conscienceless indivuidual only in the 1940's. He does specifically mention in Beelzebub that hasnamus individuals may acquire higher being bodies, become immortal etc, i.e. pretty much defines a higher density STS possibility. Cristallizing higher being bodies is G's equivalent of progressive access and graduation to other densities. That hasnamus-ness is the enemy of conscious development and a force of entropy and decay is made quite plain when G discusses how Ashiata Shiemash's essence loving labors came to naught.

True enough, when G talks a great deal about the diverse cosmic beings, he does not refer to them in a way that would identify this one as being of one density and another one of another. One has to read between the lines to make this inference, but there is a suggested hierarchy of being. He talks of time scales being different in different worlds. This is a sort of hint to the idea of density, as generally the higher worlds are said to have a more extended time scale. There is doubtless more to the matter.

Then there is the different materiality of worlds. I find the scale a very elegant representation, but the word matter is misleading. But then he uses vibration, density of vibration and degree of vivifyingness also, which may be better. I think he speaks of these instead of speaking of information or knowledge to highlight their being-ness, their energy aspect.

A file of information can be copied and it is the same. Energy cannot be copied, it can only change form, configuration and concentration. The higher hydrogens that correspond to intense emotion, mystical experience, sexual energy, not to mention what may be beyond, do not seem to have the character of information. Not as understood by ordinary thinking. It is a substance, a fine energy that is there or is not there. The light is on or off. The information processing machine has no handle on it, it cannot contain it. Still, these have objective existence and presumably laws proper to them.

Even the C's and Ra speak of some sort of notion of body, even if light body, and distinction of one entity and another.

So there is something. Uspensky's rendition calls these things grades of materiality , but G is more subtle. A more proper G word would be vibration of a high degree of vivifyingness.

In conclusion, we get to the idea that Ouspensky edited out what he did not like. This made some things more accessible but diluted the urgency, Gurdjieff's call for constituting a conscious core of humanity. But then, G himself said that pseudo-teachings are the only way the real deal may be approached by seekers, they need diluted contents first. St Paul said the same, you eat milk before solid food. How it ought to have been I cannot judge but this seems to be what took place.
 

Frai Jonah

The Force is Strong With This One
OK, lastly, I'll make a few comments on the Gurdjieff Work today, based on a year's short experience with a group with a lineage going back to Gurdjieff's institute in Paris.

We cannot say that Mme de Salzmann would have been a reject of Gurdjieff, she was with him up to his deathbed. Yet, it has been suggested that Mme de Salzmann took the Work her own way, specially as
concerns overseeing a new translation of Beelzebub, introducing meditation and so forth. As with any movement with an extent in time and space, there are politics and there is entropy. Nothing escapes the merciless Heropass, the Gurdjieffian name for the action of time. Some comments from a long time member of the G Work, also a biographer of Gurdjieff can be read at:

http://www.gurdjieff-bibliography.com/ Current/20_link-to-pg23.pdf

It had never occurred to me that this would be a school of fakirs, as Laura suggested. But then this is only because I would imagine a school of fakirs to be occupied with completely impossible mortifications. Since the Gurdjieffians were not thus occupied, the term did not cross my mind. What had crossed my mind was that intellectual speculation was not the favored thing, nor was emotion and its shades the focus.

But the concept is apt. There are movements, which are difficult enough, although not impossible, there is much focus on the body, emphasizing the function of sensing as a key to developing attention, there is silent sitting meditation, there is practical work, maintaining the premises, cooking for the group, outdoor work. But sensing and attention on the body come up prominently.

Of thinking it is said that it is habitual mechanical associating, except when applied to some specific problem, like mathematics or such. Man being lazy, most thinking is not such, it is just the jukebox playing records as asociations drive it. The feeling on the other hand is much too quick, this is maybe for advanced students. The feeling runs circles around the thinking and before you know it, it has deceived you and you run off in identification. But the body is safe, feeling all parts of it simultaneously, in stillness or sometimes in motion, is good for attention. Attention in fact is the only thing of some higher quality that man has access to. It is not thinking, it can be sensitive and refined, it creates presence, it is an effort, it is the only pproximation of a master of the coach we have. Without attention, the parts do their habitual thing and there is nobody home.

This is a Gurdjieffian idea, as he himself says that the I ought to play the active force when the body played the passive.

The emphasis is very practical. One gets to do things one would not otherwise do, so I find it enriching. But food for the Moon, or the terror of the situation, forget it! Also, intellectual exegesis of Beelzebub is not really done, but then this is a huge study, specially if it is done in a group format and it takes a lot of preparation.

The main thrust is that as we are, we cannot do. There is something that can Work, that is the higher centers, but they are disconnected. Only cultivation of attention can prepare the ground so that these can manifest. This contact is like turning the light on in a dark room. But this is genuine mystical experience, a touch of the divine, and we must accept that this degree of light is one that we cannot sustain, that we cannot command, that we may receive if we become at least to a degree master of our own machine. Not even the great mystics of the ages live in this state continuously. So, one prepares. One exercises. One attempts to self-remember. But this is not the Work, for one does not know how to Work.

For to Work is only possible with a very special part of self, one that is not the ordinary thinking, feeling or body. This part is there in potential, weak, untrained, shy, without the muscle and steadiness that proper training would give it. The ordinary parts, the three lower centers, they cannot become what they are not. But they can cultivate a better attitude towards the higher, they can obey the higher. If I make cognitive analysis of G's work, I use the thinking mind. This is not Work, this is at best thinking about the Work. This is not all bad, as the thinking function can thus have a better attitude towards Working, but this is not the higher.

Modern G Work speaks little of General Law or attack, is oriented to observing the self. The beast is inside, not outside.

The G Work has always been a-political, and so it remains. Yet, it has lived in the shadow of the Russian revolution and Nazi occupied Paris, so G himself was no stranger to pathocracy, to be sure.

***

So, if the light is not on, it is not on. If it is on, something can become possible. But we have no light switch. I recognize this to be the case. The G meetings have a certain energy, a certain quality of silence, a certain synergy of concentration, so much is true. I am man 3 and I do not go to G meetings to develop the thinking center, which I exercise elsewhere, and even then sometimes lazily. So I have no problem personlly with the G group discouraging the thinking function because after all this is for me about developing those faculties which are less developed.

But what is also true is that the undeniable urgency of G's impulse, his call for super-efforts, his call for paying everything, his call to be, has dissipated with time.

So you see, what they say is in a way true. But then they do not say everything. Or more likely is that they are sincere as far as they go but live in a sort of Work tunnel that edits out certain things, or simply that there is a rule of tradition that some things are not to be spoken of.

The idea of self and state is very tricky and paradoxal, a real razor's edge in the Work. Read G's First Initiation, there is a copy in the glossary under "paying everything." It is maddening. I know that I am a nullity, but this knowledge, if it is of the right, yet ineffable kind, can make me something else. The difference is sensed, and that only very rarely.

Next to never. But the three functions are there, all the time.

G is very mysterious. Much very practical and valid material on how the machine works. Much metaphysics, requires effort of thought. About the practice I cannot say. I sometimes remember my machine and can make statements concerning it but this is no higher consciousness or being, this is knowledge of psychology by the thinking and feeling centers.

The world and God need conscious people. No doubt. The QFS and Gurdjieff agree. The QFS, being a young organization, is about publishing and calling attention to its message. In comparison, the G Work is established and settled. Gurdjieff certainly paved the ground for many essential things for today and the QFS in a way stands on G's shoulders. But the QFS is not a lineal descendant of Gurdjieff, it is another emergence of the esoteric impulse, another dispensation, if you will.

Yet, what is true in this world for one is also true for the other, hence it is not surprising that often the same ideas have been found valid. And even if I do not live in the light of constant higher awareness or contact with the divine and am a machine, I am still responsible. And being of service, using the functions of thought, feeling and body which I do have access to, is still better than nothing, if done in service of conscious work. This is not Work with a capital letter, but this can still be following a conscious impulse, even if mechanically. Without the machine, there would be no manifestation in this world.

The world needs awakened people. Awakened means capable of dealing with the world, of reading it correctly and awakened means knowing oneself and seeking a connection to the higher. The Work, as I have come to know it, helps with self-knowledge and observation. The Work does not much emphasize the intellectual aspects of G's teaching.

Anyway, for finding the people that may become awakened or are this already, the net has to be flung far and wide.
 

kenlee

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Frai Jonah said:
Modern G Work speaks little of General Law or attack, is oriented to observing the self. The beast is inside, not outside.

The G Work has always been a-political, and so it remains. Yet, it has lived in the shadow of the Russian revolution and Nazi occupied Paris, so G himself was no stranger to pathocracy, to be sure.
From my own experiences of the Gurdjieff work here in the United States I have certainly found the above to be true. The General Law as viewed by present day Gurdjieffians seems to me to be viewed in terms of "mechanicalness" and they seem to think that evil can only happen 'mechanically.' This may be true but is there more to this idea? I think so.

Ouspensky spoke of the General Law in these terms also but never seemed to speak of 'evil' apart from our own unconscious mechanicalness. The fact that this 'mechanicalness' could be, AND IS MANIPULATED by some unseen self serving conscious puppet master that hides behind the curtain of man's awareness was not mentioned or emphasized by Ouspensky. If he was aware of the concept of 'conscious evil' he did not appear to speak much of it. I find this odd. After all, this unseen manipulation by some unseen malevolent force that is alien to man's human nature; this 'conscious evil, ' has led to the present state of our present pathocratic culture, run by psychopaths, resulting in a horrific war in Iraq leading to even more horrors in the near future.

Ouspensky also seems to think that the 'essence' of man is something noble. But is it?
What about psychopaths? Is their inner essence so noble, or perhaps potentially so? Maybe there are those on this planet who have no 'nobleness" within their inner essence? Was Ouspensky aware of this?

I posted below an excerpt from an article by J.G.Bennett (a student of both Gurdjieff and Ouspensky) who speaks of the possibility that essence is not necessarily so noble in all people as Ouspensky may have made it out to be. Perhaps there are people whose essences are not noble at all and do not have this potential for nobleness? Perhaps this may help to explain the psychopathy of war and those who propagate it for their own profit? Take particular note of the last paragraph in the below quote:


Below excerpt from:

http://jacana.org.uk/book/bennett1/

Today I want to say something about essence and personality. It sounds very simple: personality is everything that is borrowed - taken from the outside, essence is what we are born with - what is really our own. This really is only an outline, just in order to give people the idea of it.

I was looking up one of Mr. Gurdjieff's old lectures, and particularly one that he gave at the Prieuré in 1923 on this same subject of essence and personality. There he took essence and spoke about it from an aspect that is not usual, and one that we probably have not seen written about in any books. He made the distinction that personality is everything that we think, and that essence can really only be studied in our emotional life. He also said there that personality has really only one instrument - only one centre - and that is what we call the 'formatory apparatus.' But although essence is deeper than personality, and nearer to what we ourselves really are, it is for the most part something very rough and uneducated, and its reactions are not disciplined. So that very often when with our personality we know we should behave in a certain way, or that we should like someone, then if our essence does not like that person, it is able to produce actions that our own personality does not approve at all. So that although it can be said that essence is more sincere than personality, it is less fit for ordinary life; it requires to be educated, and really nothing has ever been done to educate it. All education has been lavished on the personality.

I remember that I heard that lecture in 1923. We were never able to ask Gurdjieff any questions about his lectures and he never would allow us to speak about them, or try to understand them by discussing them together - we just had to listen as well as we could to a very, very bad translation, either by a Russian who did not know English, or an Englishman who knew very little Russian.

Therefore, when he said something quite unexpected or bewildering of that sort, we just had to put up with it. I say it was unexpected and bewildering, because what Ouspensky had been saying in London - from where we had all come to the Prieuré - was quite a different idea; we felt that essence was something good and 'high class' - that anything that came from the essence was estimable and suddenly to be confronted with the idea that essence was just an uncouth kind of animal was certainly disconcerting to us.
 

Ryan

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
Then we have little snippets like the following (taken from "Wartime Meetings"):

Gurdjieff said:
Questioner: I have thoroughly understood all during the week what you told me last week about the physical body and the psychic body and all the week I have worked in this direction; I have struggled. One night I was asleep. I was awakened by my son - I have a four-year-old son - who had been bitten by mosquitoes and who was in pain and began to cry and call for me. He was suffering and crying. I went to him and because he was crying and suffering, before I even had the time to see myself, I beat him. I did not allow myself to go to sleep again. How can I crush this violence in myself? I have seen what my body is, what it is capable of and its reaction after a week of work on it.

Gurdjieff: There are forces around you, foreign to you. It is possible that when a man really works, really wishes to struggle, they produce an event like this. They can even create the mosquitoes. In any case, whether it was this or chance, nothing could have been better. There you have felt, you have understood, not with your head only. I am very glad and I ask you now to make notes of all that happens in your work for a week, two weeks, three weeks, and you will speak about it here, because this will be useful for your companions. And do not forget that now your son is your master. Thank him. For me, he is my friend. And I charge you with a commission for him; five candies a day for a year.
Was this reference to "foreign forces" a clue to Gurdjieff's knowledge of the existence of conscious evil? One might wonder just how common such references might have been during the time of his teachings, as opposed to what has been transmitted via his students.
 

Frai Jonah

The Force is Strong With This One
Thinking more about the subject of Ouspensky and Gurdjieff, their present day following and conscious evil, a few more things come to mind.

In Search of the Miraculous, as the standard textbookk, has its place, I think it is even a central element of spreading the Work ideas ever since its publication. The Work is much better off with the book than without. Gurdjieff's recruiting of Ouspensky in 1913, as a conscious move on G's part, was successful, if we look at the long result.

While recognizing this, we should avoid the all too human tendency of taking the part for the whole.

ISOTM shows a certain didactic progression. G often says that some subjects cannot yet be discussed, that more material, and then not only material for the thinking function but also other material of experience is needed.

In the present day and age, as well as in the times of G's and O's flight from Russia, the existence of psychopathy in positions of power and government is an undeniable in-your-face, clear and present danger.

Ouspensky knew this full well, as he himself describes the Bolshevik's pretty much in terms of pathological liars, pathocrats, demagogues and forces of entropy and destruction in his letters from Russia.

Gurdjieff coined the word hasnamus to signify individuals without conscience. He was ahead of his time, as the word psychopath came to be used in this meaning only after his death. Now, if the concept had no real-world counterpart, he would hardly have gone to the trouble of making a word for it.

So. conscious evil?

That Ouspensky should later in 4th Way come to say that there was no such thing as conscious evil is a self-calming lie.

But it is also a slip, since he does mention hasnamus, but he plays it down, he says that you don't have to do with such, you only meet with results of their existence.

Of course, we can say that congenital psychopathy, which is the chief mechanism by which destruction is initiated on Earth, is a mechanical thing and does not count as conscious, if we take just the right definition of conscious.

This does not really hold water. O himself differentiates consciousness, which is primarily cognitive, intellectual, and conscience, which is primarily emotional. The absence of conscience does not imply the absence of consciousness.

If we have parties that scheme and plot destruction of vast numbers of fellow men, make detailed models of this, projections into the future, all this in order to accrue some benefit for themselves, this counts as conscious activity in my book. Let us take the case of the population reduction crowd, for example, they have as their ostensible goal the preservation of life for future generations, but as the first agenda item the direct or preferrably indirect killing of 95% of the population.

Does this count as conscious evil, or STS, as we also say here? They have an ostensibly altruistic goal, after all... But it is themselves who decide the beneficiaries, which is undiluted playing God, which is pretty near the definition of STS.

Maybe this is still not "conscious," if these people hatch their sinister plans without being connected to their "higher centers." Well, higher centers are not necessary for such plans or their execution.

Then of course, there is the vast tradition which speaks of evil non-physical forces. Or the UFO phenomenon, which also is not exactly roses, roses.

The Work calls us to be competent operators in this world. The Work does not tell us to ignore facts, or to self-calm.

We implant a subtle program of denial into ourselves if we decree a definition of consciousness that precludes evil. From our perspective, opposing forces are for all intents and purposes more conscious than ourselves, as concerns availability of facts, reasoning capacity, clarity of intent. Never mind if they self-remember. They likely do this too, only in a mode that focuses on absolute, one pointed control of all parts of self to serve some arbitrary goal of self aggrandizement.

If, in the process, they get taken for a ride by somebody even more devious, or if they seek to double cross each other, as often happens, this does not detract from the fact that for all intents and purposes the activity is conscious.

It is conscienceless. But this is something else. If one did empathize with one's victims, then serving self at the victim's expense would not be perceived as serving the self, since the victim's state would also be part of the self's state. With conscience, polarization to serious STS is not possible, not even meaningful.

***

I'd say Ouspensky was at a time rightly and properly terrified and then as a defense mechanism played down the terror. Would not go there. And from this emerges the impulse that in Ouspenskian studies, the self is the center, the evil and mechanicity is in the self.

True, the self is what you can change but you do not limit awareness to self.

Beelzebub's Tales is much richer, much more all encompassing, has much more to say about the world at large than ISOTM.

So, when studying ISOTM, which is valuable in its own right, consider that it is not the whole story. It is instruction given to a man # 3 on structures of cosmos and general psychology, specifically in the context of Work with groups. It is also only the beginning of the instruction, as it is obvious that much of the content later in Beelzebub never made it there. So, it is a snapshot of a vast edifice taken from one angle, but it is not the edifice.

Some things are good to know, certainly knowing about hasnamuses is necessary in order to be forewarned. So, take from the instruction of the 4th Way Work what it offers, which is practice of self-observation, movements, attention and many things that are good for confronting the self with itself.

But do not take it as the exclusive source, for there obviously are things of central importance one needs to know, even for one's survival, that are not emphasized in the Work instruction as we tend to find it today.
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Another item that deserves attention is the issue of conscience. My correspondent wrote:

By this system, or at least the versions of it that I am familiar
with, conscience exists as a function of the [intellectual story of the
emotional center]. It is therefore a component of the machine.


It states that all have it available to them as a potentiality, part of the process of
awakening the emotional center and bringing its functions into "right work"
and so on.


It acts as a bridge between the lower centers and the higher
emotional center.

Therefore the system rejects the idea of frequency, the
idea of a choice between STO and STS.

This is a fundamental block to any hope of a reconciliation of the system
with the C's and the idea of frequency.

It assumes that every developed individual will have conscience,
along with the tools available to those who function from the intellectual
story of the centers, and will therefore choose to be creative (to say that
each man chooses good or selflessness is subjective, it is better to stick
with creativity as the aim of the 'conscious adept'), not because of a
choice between the star and black-hole energy dynamic but because this is a
result of becoming un-identified with the ego, the personality. It assumes
that evil is the result of mechanicalness, that consciousness is of another
character altogether, too high above the mortal battlefield to ever be
interested in such, to it futile and unappealing, things.
This issue of "conscience" is something that QFG chewed on rather vigorously for awhile back in December. Because of our ongoing research into psychopathy, it is becoming more and more apparent that there are individuals with NO conscience at all. At least not in the terms that we understand conscience. The 4th way groups that we know about do not address these issues at all.

Back in December I wrote:

It is apparent from comparing the current state of the world to the ideas in Lobaczewski's book, that this type of knowledge [of psychopathy is more crucial than ever. I am taking to heart what he wrote in his book as follows:

The specific role of certain individuals during such times is worth pointing out; they participated in the discovery of the nature of this new reality and helped others find the right path. They had a normal nature but an unfortunate childhood, being subjected very early to the domination of individuals with various psychological deviations, including pathological egotism and methods of terrorizing others. The new rulership system struck such people as a large-scale societal multiplication of what they knew from individual experience.

From the very outset, they therefore saw this reality much more prosaically, immediately treating the ideology in accordance with the paralogistic stories well known to them, whose purpose was to cloak bitter reality of their youth experiences. They soon reached the truth, since the genesis and nature of evil are analogous irrespective of the social scale in which it appears.

Such people are rarely understood in happy societies, but there they became useful; their explanations and advice proved accurate and were transmitted to others joining the network of this apperceptive heritage. However, their
own suffering was doubled, since this was too much of a similar kind of abuse for one life to handle. They therefore nursed dreams of escaping into the freedom still existing in the outside world.

Finally, society sees the appearance of individuals who have collected exceptional intuitive perception and practical knowledge in the area of how pathocrats think and such a system of rule operates. Some of them become so
proficient in their deviant language and its idiomatics that they are able to use it, much like a foreign language they have learned well. Since they are to decipher the rulership's intentions, such people thereupon offer
advice to people who are having trouble with the authorities.

These usually disinterested advocates of the society of normal people play a irreplaceable role in the life of society.
Now, as I was reading through this, I naturally began to think not only of my own life experiences, but also the many events that have taken place since I first began sharing the C’s material on the internet back in 1995. All of that, of course, led up to the “Adventures With Cassiopaea events, the insane attacks of Vincent Bridges, Jay Weidner, Storm Bear Williams, and the “transpersonification” of such as Terri Burns, Linda DeCloedt, Kristine Rosemary, Andy Rowland, and a few others. Actually, considering the number of QFG members relative to the number of individuals who have been either “transpersonified,” or have been exposed as psychopaths, it is surprisingly close to Lobaczewski’s number: 6 %. Here is the relevant passage from Lobaczewski’s book:

May the reader please imagine a very large hall in some old Gothic university building. Many of us gathered there early in our studies in order to listen to the lectures of outstanding philosophers. We were herded back there the year before graduation in order to listen to the indoctrination lectures which recently had been introduced. Someone nobody knew appeared behind the lectern and informed us that he would now be the professor. His speech was fluent, but there was nothing scientific about it: he failed to distinguish between scientific and everyday concepts and treated borderline imaginations as though it were wisdom that could not be doubted. For ninety minutes each week, he flooded us with naive, presumptuous paralogistics and a pathological view of human reality. We were treated with contempt and poorly controlled hatred. Since fun poking could entail dreadful consequences, we had to listen attentively and with the utmost gravity.

The grapevine soon discovered this person’s origins. He had come from a Cracow suburb and attended high school, although no one knew if he had graduated. Anyway, this was the first time he had crossed university portals, as a professor, at that!

“You can’t convince anyone this way!” we whispered to each other. “It’s actually propaganda directed against themselves.” But after such mind-torture, it took a long time for someone to break the silence. We studied ourselves, since we felt something strange had taken over our minds and something valuable was leaking away irretrievably. The world of psychological reality and moral values seemed suspended as if in a chilly fog. Our human feeling and student solidarity lost their meaning, as did patriotism and our old established criteria. So we asked each other, “are you going through this too”? Each of us experienced this worry about his own personality and future in his own way. Some of us answered the questions with silence. The depth of these experiences turned out to be different for each individual.

We thus wondered how to protect ourselves from the results of this “indoctrination”. Teresa D. made the first suggestion: Let’s spend a weekend in the mountains. It worked. Pleasant company, a bit of joking, then exhaustion followed by deep sleep in a shelter, and our human personalities returned, albeit with a certain remnant. Time also proved to create a kind of psychological immunity, although not with everyone. Analyzing the psychopathic characteristics of the “professor’s” personality proved another excellent way of protecting one’s own psychological hygiene.

You can just imagine our worry, disappointment, and surprise when some colleagues we knew well suddenly began to change their world-view; their thought-patterns furthermore reminded us of the “professor’s” chatter. Their feelings, which had just recently been friendly, became noticeably cooler, although not yet hostile. Benevolent or critical student arguments bounced right of them. They gave the impression of possessing some secret knowledge; we were only their former colleagues, still believing what those professors of old had taught us. We had to be careful of what we said to them.

Our former colleagues soon joined the Party. Who were they, what social groups did they come from, what kind of students and people were they? How and why did they change so much in less than a year? Why did neither I nor a majority of my fellow students succumb to this phenomenon and process? Many such questions fluttered through our heads then. Those times, questions, and attitudes gave rise to the idea that this phenomenon could be objectively understood, an idea whose greater meaning crystallized with time. Many of us participated in the initial observations and reflections, but most crumbled away in the face of material or academic problems. Only a few remained; so the author of this book may be the last of the Mohicans.

It was relatively easy to determine the environments and origin of the people who succumbed to this process, which I then called “transpersonification”. They came from all social groups, including aristocratic and fervently religious families, and caused a break in our student solidarity to the order of some 6 %. The remaining majority suffered varying degrees of personality disintegration which gave rise to individual efforts in searching for the values necessary to find ourselves again; the results were varied and sometimes creative.

Even then, we had no doubts as to the pathological nature of this “transpersonification” process, which ran similar but not identical in all cases. The duration of the results of this phenomenon also varied. Some of these people later became zealots. Others later took advantage of various circumstances to withdraw and re-establish their lost links to the society of normal people. They were replaced. The only constant value of the new social system was the magic number of 6 %.

We tried to evaluate the talent level of those colleagues who had succumbed to this personality-transformation process, and reached the conclusion that on average, it was slightly lower than the average of the student population. Their lesser resistance obviously resided in other bio-psychological features which were most probably qualitatively heterogeneous.

I had to study subjects bordering on psychology and psychopathology in order to answer the questions arising from our observations; scientific neglect in these areas proved an obstacle difficult to overcome. At the same time, someone guided by special knowledge apparently vacated the libraries of anything we could have found on the topic.

Analyzing these occurrences now in hindsight, we could say that the “professor” was dangling bait over our heads, based on the psychopath’s above-mentioned specific psychological knowledge. He knew in advance that he would fish out amenable individuals but the limited numbers disappointed him. The transpersonification process generally took hold whenever an individual’s instinctive substratum was marked by pallor or some deficits. To a lesser extent, it also worked among people who manifested other deficiencies; also the state provoked within them was partially impermanent, being largely the result of psychopathological induction.

This knowledge about the existence of susceptible individuals and how to work on them will continue being a tool for world conquest as long as it remains the secret of such “professors”. When it becomes skillfully popularized science, it will help nations develop immunity. But none of us knew this at the time.
So, thinking back over the events of my life, considering the events that have followed the launching of our public work, particularly related to Vinnie Bridges, and later Montalk (Tom Cox), what kept popping up in my mind was the complete lack of conscience evident in both of them. In both cases, we - that is, Ark, me, the children, the group, our work, etc - were put in grave danger by the activities of these individuals. In both cases, the environment gave us clues about those dangers in the form of minor attacks - or reality glitches - that gave evidence of a build-up to some sort of impending major attack. It is like smelling ozone before a lightning strike and I have become very attuned to it by experiencing it quite often. In both cases, we gave complete information to the individuals and let them know that we valued our association with them and we wanted to continue it, but that the environment was giving definitive clues that we could not continue that association if the things that posed a danger to us were not taken care of quickly. In short, the individuals were being given a sort of “test.” It wasn’t because WE decided to give them a test, it was the reality that was presenting the test. Gurdjieff writes about intentionally designed “tests” as follows:

"In properly organized groups no faith is required; what is required is simply a little trust and even that only for a little while, for the sooner a man begins to verify all he hears the better it is for him.
"The struggle against the 'false I,' against one's chief feature or chief fault, is the most important part of the work, and it must proceed in deeds, not in words. For this purpose the teacher gives each man definite tasks which require, in order to carry them out, the conquest of his chief feature. When a man carries out these tasks he struggles with himself, works on himself. If he avoids the tasks, tries not to carry them out, it means that either he does not want to or that he cannot work.

"As a rule only very easy tasks are given at the beginning which the teacher does not even call tasks, and he does not say much about them but gives them in the form of hints. If he sees that he is understood and that the tasks are carried out he passes on to more and more difficult ones.

"More difficult tasks, although they are only subjectively difficult, are called 'barriers.' The peculiarity of barriers consists in the fact that, having surmounted a serious barrier, a man can no longer return to ordinary sleep, to ordinary life. And if, having passed the first barrier, he feels afraid of those that follow and does not go on, he stops so to speak between two barriers and is unable to move either backwards or forwards. This is the worst thing that can happen to a man. Therefore the teacher is usually very careful in the choice of tasks and barriers, in other words, he takes the risk of giving definite tasks requiring the conquest of inner barriers only to those people who have already shown themselves sufficiently strong on small barriers.

"It often happens that, having stopped before some barrier, usually the smallest and the most simple, people turn against the work, against the teacher, and against other members of the group, and accuse them of the very thing that is becoming revealed to them in themselves."
This passage is extremely a propos though, as I have said, we did not intend for these situations to be “tests,” we just knew that there was something that needed to be done to protect that group and that we were asking people we thought were friends, people we thought we could trust and who trusted us, to act in a way that would prevent a lot of grief and trouble in our lives and their lives too, we thought.

In both cases, the things that were being publicly advocated – or could be construed to be advocated - could easily be shown to be essentially antithetical to our work overall and in specific, but of course, whether or not those ideas were "effective" or not is a matter of personal opinion. Obviously, Vinnie believed more in his magick than in our work, and obviously, Monty believed more in his evaluation of whether or not the presence of articles on his website advocating guns and ammo could be a danger to us than our own evaluation based on experience. In any case, neither of them was willing to disavow any connection to those things publicly as a strategic maneuver, even though it was clearly shown to them by the evidence we presented (we weren’t asking them to just take our word for it) that these matters were already causing us problems, and threatened to create really huge problems further down the road.

Question is: was it reasonable for us to ask them to do this for the sake of safety of ourselves and the group since they, too, were group members?

It certainly seemed like a no-brainer to me. It was a question of conscience. If I had done something, said something, participated in something, wrote something, that put someone else in danger and I truly cared for that person, I would want to do whatever I could to apologize, fix it, make it alright, or whatever; assuming, of course, that it was not a question of principle. Assuming that it was not "a question of principle;" I put that in quotes because it requires a special explanation here.

Both Monty and Vinnie declared in various ways that being allowed to say and do what they wanted was a “matter of principle” to them. Monty claimed that his writings about guns were “old news” and that he had also been advocating government “guidance” on gun issues, so that made it okay. Vinnie, of course, we certain that HE could interpret the C’s better than I could and if I would only allow him to do so, he would show me how the C’s were really talking about Enochian magic. (At some point, when I get the time to collect them, I think I will publish all those email exchanges.)

From our point of view, publishing the C's material and the background necessary for interpretations, in as safe and clean a way as possible IS a matter of principle. As we have said before and will repeat again, it is NOT the "usual" channeled material. It does not even puport to come from "discarnate" entities or space brothers. The entire process has been carried out under the restraint of certain protocols and that isn't going to change. Our objective has been, from the beginning, to try to steer clear of the gobbledygook that has flooded the new age and esoteric fields for the past couple of hundred years, and keeping a clean experimental environment as well as making it clear that there is NO relation to nonsense, is a struggle at best.

Anyway, we now come to what my correspondent has written above about “conscience.” Note that he says that conscience “exists as a function of the [intellectual story of the emotional center]. It is therefore a component of the machine.”

For most human beings, this is true. Moral reasoning is the thinking process that "attends conscience." It is with our "moral reasoning" that we decide what to do and what not to do according to our "conscience."

Here is a story composed nearly forty years ago that was part of a "test" of moral reasoning.

Heinz's Dilemma

Heinz's wife is dying from a rare form of cancer. According to the doctors, there is one drug that could save her, a radium compound that a druggist in Heinz's town has recently discovered. The ingredients for the drug are expensive to begin with, and the druggist is charging ten times what it costs him to make the medicine. The druggist pays two hundred dollars for the radium and charges his customers two thousand dollars for a small dose. Heinz goes to everyone he can think of and asks to borrow money. Still, he ends up with only about one thousand dollars. Heinz explains to the druggist that his wife will die without the drug, and asks him to sell the medicine at a cheaper price or to take payment later. But the druggist replies, "No, I discovered the drug, and I'm going to make money from it." Heinz becomes desperate. He breaks into the druggist's store and steals the drug for his wife.

Should Heinz have done that?

Please read the problem carefully before responding. I'll give it a day or two before I continue.
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
GURDJIEFF DISCOVERS FRV - FREQUENCY RESONANCE VIBRATION!!

Sorry for shouting, just giving a little Headline to the subject that I want to bring in here now while we wait and see if anybody want's to play with Heinz's dilemma.

Among the things that A*** (my correspondent of Feb 5) wrote are the following:

The part of the C's transcripts that I am trying to
reconcile with the system is that of FRV, frequency. ...

Therefore the system rejects the idea of frequency, the
idea of a choice between STO and STS. This is a fundamental block to any
hope of a reconciliation of the system with the C's and the idea of
frequency. ...

The question needs to be addressed formally Laura. The system needs to be
bridged with the principle of FRV. But there are too many blanks, holes, and
I cannot allow myself to believe or speculate anymore than I already
unconsciously do quite enough of. Too much of what comes out of the C's is
left unavailable for verification, and I am not attacking this vulnerability
– not at all. I am simply trying to reconcile the system with what IS
verifiable, that of the question of frequency.
Well, aside from the fact that there have been so many verifications of the C's material on numerous subjects that I think we can certainly take their "unverifiable" material as a working hypothesis, the above is really indicative of a man who has not yet learned all he can from books before he goes a-questing. Such a man has no defenses against lies and distortions, he has no feed-back loop of reason and experience to rely on and is subject to any and all predators.

But the fact is, Gurdjieff did talk about FRV, and quite plainly too as I am going to show with the following excerpt from his All And Everything Series, specifically, "Life is Real Only Then, When I AM." I am including the beginning of this specific discussion so that the entire context will be retained, and have put in bold a few things that ought to get our attention:

Every man, if he is just an ordinary man, that is, one who has never consciously "worked on himself," has two worlds; and if he has worked on himself, and has become a so to say "candidate for another life," he has even three worlds.

In spite of the fact that everyone, without exception, will certainly think that I have gone completely mad when they read the above statement, I shall nevertheless go on to develop the logical consequences of this ultra-extravagant notion.

If you really want to know the truth, I will tell you how matters stand, and why I pronounced such an absurdity.

First of all, it must be said that in the outpourings of various occultists and other will-less parasites, when they discuss spiritual questions, not everything is entirely wrong.

What they call the "soul" does really exist, BUT NOT EVERYBODY NECESSARILY HAS ONE.

A soul is not born with man and can neither unfold nor take form in him so long as his body is not fully developed.

It is a luxury that can only appear and attain completion in the period of "responsible age," that is to say, in a man's maturity. ...

The "matter" from which the soul is formed and from which is later nourishes and perfects itself is, in general, elaborated during the processes that take place between the two essential forces upon which the entire Universe is founded.

The matter in which the soul is coated can be produced exclusively by the action of these two forces, which are called "good" and "evil" by ancient science, or "affirmation" and "negation," while contemporary science calls them "attraction" and "repulsion."
Here I would like to add that STO and STS are the same type of construct but with more usefulness in terms of evaluating things. We also like to use "creativity" vs. "entropy." But for the average person, Service to Self and Service to Others are much more comprehensible.

In the common presence of a man, these two forces have their source in two of the totalities of general psychic functioning, which have already been mentioned.

One of them coincides with that function whose factors proceed from the results of impressions received from outside and the other appears as a function whose factors issue chiefly from the results of the specific functioning of the organs, as determined by heredity.

In the common presence of a man, as in everything in the Universe, sometimes one and sometimes the other of these totalities of functioning can serve as the source of one of the forces required for the process of which we are speaking.

For this process, it is not important to know which of the two forces is affirmative and which is negative; what matters is that when one affirms, the other denies.

The full realization of and precise determination in man of that totality of functioning whose factors are constituted from impressions coming from outside is called the "outer world" of man.

And the full realization of the other totality, whose factors have arisen from automatically flowing "experiences" and from reflexes of the organism - notably of those organs whose specific character is transmitted by heredity - is called the "inner world" of man.

In relation to these two worlds, man appears in reality to be merely a slave, because his various perceptions and manifestations cannot be other than conformable to the quality and nature of the factors making up these totalities.

He is obliged, in relation to his outer world as well as his inner world, to manifest himself in accordance with the orders received from any given factor of one or the other totality.

He cannot have his own initiative; he is not free to want or not to want, but is obliged to carry out passively this or that "result" proceeding from other outer or inner results.

Such a man, that is to say, a man who is related to only two worlds, can never do anything; on the contrary, everything is done through him. In everything, he is but the blind instrument of the caprices of his outer and inner worlds.

The highest esoteric science calls such a man "a man in quotation marks"; in other words he is named a man and at the same time he is not a man.

He is not a man such as he should be, because his perceptions and his manifestations do not flow according to his own initiative but take place under the influence of accidental causes or in accordance with functioning that conforms to the laws of the two worlds.

In the case of “a man in quotation marks,” the “I” is missing and what takes its place and “fills its role” is the factor of initiative proceeding from that one of the two above-mentioned totalities in which the center of gravity of his general state is located.
Here I'd like to stop and mention that this strikes me as very close to the ideas of "thought" centers that the C's have presented and which relate very closely to the "Names of God," and which I developed in Secret History to an even greater extent in my discussion of FRV. Gurdjieff is simply using different terminology for the same thing, and he is also trying to "work his way through" the problem pretty much on his own. That he was able to do so and get it right most of the time is quite something in my opinion.

The “I” in a real man represents that totality of the functioning of his general psyche whose factors have their origin in the results of contemplation, or simply in the contact between the first two totalities, that is, between the factors of his inner world and of his outer world.

The totality of the manifestations of this third function of the general psyche of man also represents a world in itself, but in this case it is the third world of man.

And thus, this third world of man is, strictly speaking, as the ancient sciences understood, the real “inner world of man” as opposed to the real “outer world.”

I shall call this third definite totality of functioning in the general psyche of man by the same name it was given in the distant past, that is: “the world of man”.

According to this terminology, the general psyche of man in its definitive form is considered to be the result of conformity to these three independent worlds.

The first is the outer world – in other words, everything existing outside him, both what he can see and feel as well as what is invisible and intangible for him.

The second is the inner world – in other words, all the automatic processes of his nature and the mechanical repercussions of these processes.

The third world is his own world, depending neither upon his “outer world” nor upon his “inner world”; that is to say, it is independent of the caprices of the processes that flow in him as well as of the imperfections in these processes that bring them about.

A man who does not possess his own world can never do anything from his own initiative: all his actions “are done” in him.

Only he can have his own initiative for perceptions and manifestations in whose common presence there has been formed, in an independent and intentional manner, the totality of factors necessary for the functioning of this third world.

Thus, it is quite obvious that the whole secret of human existence lies in the difference in the formation of the factors that are necessary for these three relatively independent functions of the general psyche of man.

And this difference consists solely in that the factors of the first two totalities are formed by themselves, in conformity to laws, as a result of chance causes not depending on them, while the factors of the third totality are formed exclusively by an intentional blending of the functions of the first two.

And it is indeed in this sense that one must understand the saying, common to all the old religious teachings, that “man receives all his possibilities from On High.”

The necessary factors for the three totalities are formed in man, as is everything in the entire Universe, from corresponding vibrations, whether at a given moment these emanate from the source itself of their arising, or whether they were crystallized previously with a view to further arisings, in accordance with the second fundamental cosmic law, called “the Law of Seven.”

To explain what is meant by the vibrations that I have just been speaking about, I can at once take as an excellent example the causes of the fact that today, enemies with an unusual inner attitude toward me are multiplying in great numbers, and I am now in relationship with them on all sides.

Among the diverse characteristic aspects of this unusual inner attitude on the part of the multitude of my enemies, we shall take for our explanation only the following:

There is not, so to speak, a single one of my sworn enemies who, in one or another of his ordinary states, would not be ready to “sell his soul for me.”

“What an absurdity!” each of my readers will think. “How could one and the same man possibly have two such diametrically opposed attitudes toward another person?”

Yes, form a superficial point of view, it is absurd – and all the same, in reality, it is so.

Indeed, it is an irrefutable fact, a fact that can be demonstrated at will in all its details, not only on the practical level – I mean to say, by normal means available to everybody – but also scientifically, by making use of all the “diagnostics” of the various branches of the official science of our day, such as jurisprudence, chemistry, physics, medicine, etc … and, it seems, psychoanalysis itself.

Moreover, nothing is easier to demonstrate than this, in the first place because suitable subjects for study can be found free of charge by the thousands, and furthermore – and this is the most important – because such investigations have as their point of departure a principle I have already established and formulated in a manner fully acceptable for every category of learned being.

This principle, which is beyond scientific dispute, I have defined in the following terms:

“The sharpness of the contradiction which appears between two diametrically opposed actions is directly proportional to the duration of their meeting.”

And, in truth, it is so. The more someone has direct relations with me, the more strength he shows later in the diametrically opposed actions that he manifests towards me.

And this psycho-physical combination, which arises in the reciprocal relations of people – although unbelievable at first sight – operates in general in the simple manner which I am about to describe.

First of all, you must know that throughout the entire Universe every concentration, to whatever species it belongs has the property of giving off radiations.

Given that in man the formation of the three totalities of functioning of his general psyche appears as an arising of results issuing from diverse source, each of these sources must itself also have the property of giving off radiations.

Just as the radiation of every cosmic concentration consists of vibrations emitted by corresponding source, so too the vibrations issuing from the processes of each of these quite distinct totalities of functioning that makes up the general psyche of man have a density and a degree of vivifyingness of their own.

When there is a contact between the radiations of different cosmic concentrations, blending of the vibrations takes place according to their “affinity”; similarly, when the vibrations given off by two people come in contact, blending occurs among those of the vibrations that correspond to each other.


In order to explain by analogy certain features of the radiations of a person, I shall take as an example the radiations give off by our Earth.

The general radiations of the Earth, the totality of which manifests as the atmosphere, consist of three independent classes of vibrations, issuing from processes that take place in the very heart of the Earth between metals, metalloids, and minerals.

The general radiation of a person also consists of three independent kinds of vibrations, each with its own quality of vivifyingness.

And just as the heterogeneous vibrations given off by the Earth encounter certain well-defined limits in the course of their expansion according to their degree of vivifyingness, so too the different elements of the general radiation of a person have their precise limits.

For example, while the vibrations issuing from a process of active reasoning can, under certain known conditions, acquire a force of expansion that can span hundreds or thousands of kilometers, the vibrations given off by the process of sensation, however active it may be, cannot extend beyond some two hundred meters.

In man, the three kinds of vibrations have their origin in the following three processes:

The first kind of vibrations has its origin in the process called “active thought,” and sometimes even, thanks to certain known combinations, in the process of “passive thought.”

The second kind of vibrations has its origin in the process called “feeling.”

The third kind of vibrations corresponds to the totality of the results issuing from the functioning of all the organs of the physical body – they are also referred to as “vibrations of the instinctive functions.”

The vibrations given off by the whole presence of a man in a state of complete relaxation constitute in themselves an atmosphere analogous to the spectrum of colors, having a known limit to its expansion.

And as soon as a man begins to think, to feel or to move this spectrum like atmosphere changes, both as to the volume of its expansion and as to the quality of its presence.

The greater the intensity of manifestation of one or another of the separate functions of the general psyche of a man, the more the spectrum of his atmosphere is differentiated.

We can very well represent to ourselves the combination of heterogeneous vibrations arising in the general radiation of different persons in the course of their ordinary existence if we compare it to the following picture:

On a dark night, during a violent storm over the ocean, some people on shore observe the oscillations of a floating collection of many colored electric lamps, connected with each other at long intervals and at the ends with two wires.

Although these colored lamps draw their current from one and the same source, yet since their rays pass through changing conditions of various kinds, some shine out to a distance, others affect each other as they interpenetrate, still others are completely swallowed up either mid-way or at the very place of their arising.

If two people are together, the closer they are to each other, the more intimate is the mixing of their atmospheres, and therefore the better is the contact achieved between their specific vibrations.

The blending and fusion of the specific vibrations given off by different people take place mechanically, depending on their situation in relation to each other and on the conditions they are in.

And so among the people with whom I come in contact, the formation of the psychic factors necessary for the manifestation of attitudes diametrically opposed to me must inevitably occur in the following way:
And that's where he stopped writing.

We notice that what seemed to be acting on Gurdjieff's mind, the very reason for his thinking that lead to this essay, was this:

To explain what is meant by the vibrations that I have just been speaking about, I can at once take as an excellent example the causes of the fact that today, enemies with an unusual inner attitude toward me are multiplying in great numbers, and I am now in relationship with them on all sides.

Among the diverse characteristic aspects of this unusual inner attitude on the part of the multitude of my enemies, we shall take for our explanation only the following:

There is not, so to speak, a single one of my sworn enemies who, in one or another of his ordinary states, would not be ready to “sell his soul for me.”

“The sharpness of the contradiction which appears between two diametrically opposed actions is directly proportional to the duration of their meeting.”

And, in truth, it is so. The more someone has direct relations with me, the more strength he shows later in the diametrically opposed actions that he manifests towards me.

And this psycho-physical combination, which arises in the reciprocal relations of people – although unbelievable at first sight – operates in general in the simple manner which I am about to describe.
In short, Gurdjieff was becoming painfully aware of psychopaths and was struggling to understand and define what he was witnessing and experiencing, and this is obviously what lead him to begin to speculate about FRV. We have even more evidence that this was the direction he was going, that this was the issue that was uppermost in his mind in the final words he wrote:

And so among the people with whom I come in contact, the formation of the psychic factors necessary for the manifestation of attitudes diametrically opposed to me must inevitably occur in the following way:
In the foreword to the book Gurdjieff is quoted as having said about this material: "My last book, through which I wish to share with other creatures of our Common Father similar to myself, almost all the previously unknown mysteries of the inner world of man which I have accidentally learned."

Madame De Salzmann tells us:

Gurdjieff wrote these words on the 6th of November, 1934, and immediately started to work. For the next few months he devoted himself entirely to working out his ideas for this book. Then suddenly, on the 2nd of April, 1935, he completely stopped writing....

Why did he leave this Third Series unfinished and apparently give up his intention to publish it?...

He let it be clearly understood, on the last page of Beelzebub's Tales... that the Third Series would be accessible only to those who would be selected as capable of understanding "the genuine objective truths which he will bring to light" in this Series...

Before he died, Gurdjieff sent for me to tell me how he saw the state of affairs and to give me certain instructions:

"Publish as and when you are sure that the time has come. Publish the First and Second Series. But the essential thing, the first thing, is to prepare a nucleus of people capable of responding to the demand which will arise.

"So long as there is no responsible nucleus, the action of the ideas will not go beyond a certain threshold. That will take time... a lot of time, even.

"To publish the Third Series is not necessary.

"It was written for another purpose.

"Nevertheless, if you believe you ought to do so one day, publish it."
Note carefully the dying words of Gurdjieff to the caretaker of his legacy: "But the essential thing, the first thing, is to prepare a nucleus of people capable of responding to the demand which will arise."

"Capable of RESPONDING to the DEMAND WHICH WILL ARISE."

I think Gurdjieff was having a "prophetic" moment. And yes, he was talking about FRV and psychopathy, but for some reason this subject itself was so appalling that he stopped dead in his tracks at what he sensed, saw or knew. And certainly, the indications suggest that Gurdjieff knew that the teachers he was leaving would never create a "responsible nucleus."

We can speculate a lot about this, but all we are left with for sure is that Gurdjieff was approaching things that we were only capable of dealing with via assistance from the C's.
 

jake tassell

The Force is Strong With This One
Re: Heinz' dilemma.

Well, perhaps in terms of addressing moral dilemmas this isn't too helpful, but I would have rented somwhere in the country and built her a large sit-in orgone accumulator.

Also:

Where's the guarantee that the radium treatment would work?

Where's the guarantee that Heinz wouldn't make his wife's illness worse by getting arrested and slung in the jug?
 

Alada

The Living Force
In short, Gurdjieff was becoming painfully aware of psychopaths and was struggling to understand and define what he was witnessing and experiencing, and this is obviously what lead him to begin to speculate about FRV. We have even more evidence that this was the direction he was going, that this was the issue that was uppermost in his mind in the final words he wrote:
And so among the people with whom I come in contact, the formation of the psychic factors necessary for the manifestation of attitudes diametrically opposed to me must inevitably occur in the following way:
What is striking about the ending of this passage, noting its location within the book, is that in fact Gurdjieff IS giving us an exact example of how and why the "inevitable occurrences" will arise. But he has formed it in a way which makes it perhaps inaccessible to the psychopath or OP. As to 'see' the data the passage must be viewed from the perspective of the 'third world'.

Taken from this view point, observing the impressions that arose on first reading it and contemplating these together with other similar results previously registered in oneself, one can see then why he says "must inevitably occur in the following way".

I think a clue is in the fact that something is missing, something cannot be easily seen. Yet data is 'there' in potential if one is creative and have the necessary perspective on it, but for those without such a perspective the arising mechanical 'data' would be quite different, the opposite it would seem.

In this small example Gurdjieff seems to be summing up a great deal about the problem I think.
 

martin

The Force is Strong With This One
I will need some time to re-read and digest this interesting thread!

Meanwhile, regarding Heinz's Dilemma:
In the case that he did a full research and this drug is the only solution, I think that it's understable for him to have done that. If he is succesful in getting the drug, he might be jailed for some time (or not if not caught), but his wife would be cured, which is the most important thing to Heinz.
About the psychopath doctor, well... he has the law on his side as *sadly* most of the times in our legal systems.
If I were a judge to this case, I think I would make Heinz pay the drug and a plus in a determinated ammount of time.
 

Amir

A Disturbance in the Force
Laura said:
And that is probably why he became an
alcoholic and drowned himself in drink. At some level inside him, there was
this struggle, that he knew he had failed, and he drank to drown out the
voices in his head.
Hi Laura,

From which book did you read of Ouspensky becoming an alcoholic?

Thanks,
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
From: Struggle of the Magicians by William Patrick Patterson. Very important book. A few condensed excerpts below to give you an idea. But it talks about a LOT more than just Uspenskii.

1933. Gaddesden, Kent. The Uspenskiis are now situated in a Civtorian mansion standing on seven acres near Sevenoaks, some twenty-five miles from southeast London. Uspenskii has come to the habit of sitting up half the night drinking claret and reminiscing about his early days in Russia. To Bennett he appears as if he is "obsessed with the need to put himself back into the life he was living before he first met Gurdjieff in 1915."

1936. Uspenskii visits Count Keyserling, author and world traveller. About their meeting, the count says: "Mr. Uspenskii controls himself until he is completely suffocated. Oh yes, I do believe in control, but not in complete canalization. ....

1936. The biologist Robert de Ropp meets Uspenskii... At Warwick Gardens and in London there is lecture upon lecture, the material first being presented by an older student, often by Lord John Pentland or J.G. Bennett. Then the questions are answered by Uspenskii. On the drive back to Lyne Place, Uspenskii never speaks but, once home, he sits in the kitchen, sometimes all night, with male students drinking zoubrovka, a fiery Polish vodka, and eating lavish spreads of hors d'oeuvres. ...

"Nearly always," says de Ropp, "we were regaled with tales of Moscow and Petersburg. For this was one of Uspenskii's weaknesses. He could not leave Russia. Nostalgia chained him to that land to which he could never return."

1943. At sixty-five, Uspenskii's health begins to decline. He had begun to drink heavily which aggravated a kidney problem and sapped his strength. He understands that he shouldn't drink but says it is the only thing he can do to relieve his boredom.

To the end, he never gives any indication that the years without Gurdjieff have brought him to reevaluate his former teacher and their relationship. Frank Pindar felt "Uspenskii knew the theory, better than anyone possibly - he had the knowledge, but he did not understand." Denis Saurat, a professor of French literature at Kings College, believes that "Uspenskii could not submit to the pressure Gurdjieff brought to bear on him to break down his particular kind of vanity."

1945. Nott sees Uspenskii often. The two sit alone as they had in England, talking and drinking. .. He finds Uspenskii mixing and drinking concoctions that were too powerful for him.

"You must have a stomach of iron!" exclaims Nott... "it's too strong for me."

"It's the only thing that relieves the boredom and depression that comes over me at times," says Uspenskill.

Long ago in Tertium Organum, Uspenskii had written about what he called the secret of the power of alcohol over human souls. "Alcohol, " he wrote, "produces the illusion of communion of souls and stimulates fantasy simultaneously in two or more people."

The effects of Uspenskii's long years of self-willed isolation from Gurdjieff, the failure to contact a school, nostalgia for the Russia of his youth, and the increasing amounts of alcohol have all taken their toll.

His secretary and pupil, Marie Seton, gives an alarming picture of Uspenskii in his final days in America. After lectures, she says, Uspenskii would ask a few of the group to go out with him to supper. But the party began to break up later and later, Uspenskii beginning to show a greater disinclination to leave the restaurant. Says Seton:

"The others would go and he would ask me to stay on. With the others gone he would have another drink and another and yet another, though he never became drunk; or at least, did not show it. One, two, three, four in the morning and still he would urge me to stay longer, and hour after hour he would talk about his homeland.

He instructed me to cancel the lecture. Uspenskii then asked me to go out to dinner. I felt the time had come when I must ask him for an explanation as to how he could consider that dinner justified the sudden cancellation of a lecture. Where did such action fit into the System, and also where did his violent temper towards some people fit in?

"They are such fools," Uspenskii said. "I've lost control of my temper."

"But surely, if we are to try to control our negative emotions, we cannot learn from you, if you can't control yours," I said.

Uspenskii answered bluntly: "I took over the leadership to save the System. But I took it over before I had gained enough control over myself. I was not ready. I have lost control over myself. It is a long time since I could control my state of mind."

"Why don't you give up the lectures and try to gain control over yourself again?" I asked.

"The System has become a profession with me," Uspenskii answered.

"In Russia, " he said, "there used to be a thousand or two thousand people at my lectures. Here there are a hundred - too few."

One day he said: "I have become dependent on the comfort, the luxury. I can't give it up."

If a man of the undeniable qualities of Uspenskii can go off the track and become absorbed in egotism and dependent on easy living, and become callous as to the effects on himself and on others, what of the gurus who are less basically honest?

When I went to the country house for practical work, I began to notice what I had not noticed in England: that the people who were the "old members" and had been living under Madame's direction were drab in clothes, joyless, and strangely closed-up people with one another. All were fearful... I began to see the pursuit of self-knowledge had to, as it seemed, eliminate an atmosphere of warmth between people, and something that might be described as a lack of lovingness.

1946 Uspenskii, ill with a kidney disease but refusing to submit to treatment, gives his last New York lectures. At the end of the final lecture he announces to his sixty-some followers that he is returning to England.

1947. Against doctor's orders and pleas of his wife, Uspenskii returns to England aboard the Queen Elizabeth. ...De Ropp, Collin, and others at Menham watch as Uspenskii slowly walks towards a waiting car. The England that Uspenskii will return to will be for weeks under heavy snow and cold. Electricity will be restricted and food rationed.

Within days of his arrival Madame de Salzmann, at Gurdjieff's behest, invites Uspenskii to see him. Uspenskii refuses.

... Many were baffled and bewildered by Uspenskii, among them the Harley Street surgeon, Kenneth Walker. He sees Uspenskii as a "very deeply disappointed man... Something had gone wrong and somebody had failed, but who it was that had failed was never very clear to me."

Uspenskii is emphatic in his declaration that "In Search of the Miraculous" is NOT to be published.

1947. At dawn, Uspenskii dies in Rodney Collin's arms.

After his teacher's body is taken away for burial, Collin returns to the bedroom where Uspenskii had died and locks himself in. There he remains for six days... He believes he has been in telepathic communication with his teacher who has given him the knowledge which he will write about in "The Theory of Eternal Life.

Just a fortnight before his death, Uspenskii had said to a few friends who were with him: "You must start again. You must make a new beginning. You must reconstruct everything for yourselves - from the very beginning."

In the end, Uspenskii's great and singular achievement was his objective reporting of the ancient teaching Gurdjieff brought. His ability to absorb and so cleanly communicate the teaching shines with intelligence and integrity. The pity was, knowing the teaching, he could not fully live it. Two factors stood in his way. One was what he called his "extreme individualism." This, Uspenskii himself admitted, was the fundamental feature of his attitude toward life. The other was the emotional scarring caused by the death of his father when Uspenskii was not yet four years old, followed the next year by the death of his grandfather.

"Wraps up the thought." That was Gurdjieff's early nickname for Uspenskii. What Gurdjieff saw was that when Uspenskii was asked a question, he would answer so completely that nothing would be left of the question. In effect, he demolished it. Answering in this way not only demonstrated, one could say showed off, his great intellectual capacity, but also pointed to a need to control; a word he used quite often. What Uspenskii was likely controlling was his emotional center. Later, Gurdjieff said that some people's chief feature was so buried beneath its formal manifestations that it was incapable of discovery. "Then," wrote Uspenskii, " a man can consider himself as his chief feature just as I could call my chief feature 'Uspenskii', Gurdjieff called it Pyotr Demianovich."

One wonders, in this regard, if Uspenskii actually felt Gurdjieff's presence. Virtually everyone, friend or foe, who encountered Gurdjieff remarked on the rare quality of hanbledzoin he emanated. As detailed as Uspenskii's account of his first meeting with Gurdjieff is, he does not speak of it. Nor does he mention it later.

How was it he could withstand Gurdjieff's many direct attacks to break through his chief feature and to set him right?

We do know that his "Pyotr Demianovich began to weaken as a result of Uspenskii's work on himself and the telepathic experiences Gurdjieff induced in him in Finland. As a result, he began to feel his community more with other people. Uspenskii did not see, however, that because of his insincerity with Gurdjieff, his rapport with his teacher was also weakened. ...

Though he would relive his days with Gurdjieff until the end of his life, the fact is he remained blind to the real significance of the events in Finland, thus giving testimony to the incredible power of buffers, regardless of the quality of the pupil.

The seed of premature separation which Uspenskii planted in himself in Finland grew and festered, until in Essentuki he began to divide Gurdjieff from the teaching. Once sufficiently divided, Uspenskii, of course, was in a position to judge Gurdjieff, who he convinced himself, was a "tainted channel." This was not surprising. Next to "time" the subject of good and evil seamed to be Uspenskii's major interest.

In breaking with Gurdjieff, Uspenskii made his premature understanding of the teaching the basis of a new line. "I took over the leadership to save the System," Uspenskii said. There is no reason to doubt that this is what he believed. But to save it from what? To save it from Gurdjieff!

If he refused to suffer with Gurdjieff, one German bombing of London was all it took to convince Uspenskii to sail for America. The reasons he left England are rational enough, but the fact is, Uspenskii did what Gurdjieff never did: he left his pupils. Gurdjieff brought his pupils through a raging civil war, took responsibility for them in Constantinople, Berlin, at the Prieure, and stayed on in Paris during the Nazi occupation.

What has largely been taught is Uspenskii's version of the Work, a version which stresses intellect... psychology. The full development of the teaching as given by Gurdjieff has yet to be fully appreciated and practiced.. The sense of the sacred, of community, in particular seems to be missing.

In the end, Uspenskii became humble through humiliation. His life, his search, had come to nothing.
It was probably Uspenskii's "need to control" and fear of emotion that led him to so many distortions especially regarding good and evil.
 
Top Bottom