Self-Observation, Inner Talking & Work Instrument

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autumn

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From a slightly different angle.... Where, in this organic structure of flesh blood and bone, do I exist??

Thanks Craig, a powerful and thought-provoking piece - I think I need to get better aquainted with Mr Nicoll!

in light

autumn
 

Laura

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I want to add a bit here which is from Mouravieff, which I put together as a hand-out for my Alchemy lectures during our workshops here. Of course, without the additional commentary and examples that I discuss, it is still a bit sterile, but I think that most people who have been "working" can come up with their own examples.

Particularly, the "doctrine of the present" consists mainly of the proper use of "shocks" or "negative emotions" for self-transmutation. It is a fine art, and one has to be exposed regularly to shocks to be able to practice it. That is one of the reasons for the Signs page and many of our other activities. To be able to "catch" the negative emotion at the moment of arousal and engage the observer mode with laser like power can actually produce extraordinary "joy," for lack of a better word.

Note that Mouravieff uses the term "constation" which more or less means "observing with awareness," or observing and being aware of observing and inwardly "stating" (conceptually, not in words) what one is observing. This must be done without pity for the self or others - a sort of ruthless self-examination at the moment of emotional heat that does NOT allow any of that heat to penetrate the thinking center. I generally tell people to observe the arousing and let the heat (you will feel an actual heat) go no further than the throat. If it goes any higher than that, you have lost the battle.

In alchemical terms, this is the battle of the wolf and the dog, or any of the similar metaphors. It is also the "heating of the crucible" and "thinking with a hammer."

Of course, one must not even attempt to do this until one is fully familiar with the "machine." You must know yourself well, you must know all the "programs" you run under hundreds (or more) different situations. If you just try to "suppress" emotion, you aren't "thinking with a hammer."

The Doctrine of the Present.

If, by persistent introspection, the subject manages to observe the rise of the negative emotion in himself immediately after its birth, that is, while the limits of the slot in his individual Present have not been crossed in the passing of time, it is possible for him to disassociate the components of this emotion.

Introspective observation brightens our inner being just like a streetlamp, and negative emotions can only be formed and begin to act in the inner darkness which characterizes the state of confluence.

The light projected by constatation within the limits of the Present disassociates the negative emotions, and the passions which gave rise to them then fall back into a latent state.

But constatation has yet another effect that is of primary importance: the immediate disassociation of the components which constitute the negative emotion liberates the energy SI-12 which the passions had drawn into the motor centre; a result of constatation is that this is automatically concentrated in the emotional centre which it then sets in motion.

The more violent the negative emotion, the greater the quantity of energy SI-12 drawn in, which can be transmuted into SOL-12 in case of victory.

By carrying out this work with all the sincerity of which he is capable, the neophyte can reach the "Path of Access" which will lead him towards the Way. In this way he will put off the old man, the slave of his passions, and will put on the new man which is renewed in Knowledge.

The process which leads to fusion must be attentively observed during its development and subjected at every moment to the practice of constatation in a state of lucid presence in oneself.

The whole process may take many years. It includes five successive stages:

FIRST STAGE. - Introspection. Constatation.

This consists of sustained introspective observation having as its object all the little I's forming the Personality.

Once the faithful has become familiar with the spectacle of his Personality during persistent introspection, he must try to discover which little I's or groups of little I's have a tendency to wish to occupy the foreground of the scene. It is important to know them. It is also useful to know that these little I's which always tend to play the main role and which, because of this, serve as guides in the whole of the Personality, are sometimes masked from the observer as a result of lying to oneself and of hypocrisy.

Generally speaking, every Personality is deformed; the sense and the degree of the deformation are individual, but the greater the deformation the more of the little I's are behind the mask. It is important to know this, as they must be unmasked in the first stage of the work. Otherwise the fusion can never take place properly and completely, which is a necessary condition for it to be effective.

SECOND STAGE. - Active inner peace.

Outer or inner circumstances provoke conflicts in us between I's of divergent tendencies - faithfully reflecting the world of W influences. Each conflict produces a disagreeable sensation of inner friction. At this moment it is necessary to be watchful. One must be actively present in oneself and observe the process while, at the same time resolutely detaching oneself from it.

Otherwise, if we take part in the conflict, even momentarily or partially, the friction cannot be turned to our advantage. On the contrary, when we are dissolved in it we lose our energies instead of preserving and accumulating them.

It is necessary to bepresent at the very moment when the friction is born; the result is then positive, and fine energies are produced.

Their quantity depends on the intensity of the friction, that is, on the inward conflict or conflicts, as well as on the degree of one's presence in oneseff. Their quality depends on the centre which is acting.

When properly treated with the aid of constatation whilepresent in oneself, the friction can liberate fine energies

A Practical Pointer.

Thefaithfal who commits himself to esoteric work while continuing to live in the world invariably provokes the animosity of those around him. Several texts in the Gospel refer to this law. It is sufficient to know the verse where it is said that man's greatest foes are those of his own household.

However, an even greater enemy of man is certainly himself, precisely because of his unconditional attachment to those 'of his own household.' This is why Jesus said: if any man come to me and hate not his father and mother and wife and children and brethren and sisters, also, he cannot be my disciple.

This is the meaning of the other words Jesus pronounced: think not that I came not to send peace, but a sword.

One can feel that here it is a question of the disciple's inner attitude towards the people that surround him, that is, inner nonconsideration. On the other hand, we are generally deficient in outer consideration. Thus, when we manage to transform negative emotions into positive, acquiring inner peace and joy in the process, we must not show this victory over ourselves to the person who provoked the wave of anger in us, as it will only increase the offender's rage.

THIRD STAGE. - Warmth.

We must not take this word as merely symbolic. Real heat is born in us when the inward friction becomes sufficiently intense and is used rationally. It happens in exactly the same way as where heat is produced when two bits of dry wood are rubbed together.

When we feel this heat we can be sure that we are on the right track. The sweetness it brings never satiates us.

We have seen that this heat can come from the proper use of circumstances.

FOURTH STAGE. - Fire.

The first three stages of fusion require sustained effort. The last two are of a spontaneous nature. The heart sets itseff aflame when the friction liberates sufficiently strong heat, as is the case with two pieces of dry wood.

This is the mystical Fire. From there, it spreads through the veins. A traditional maxim refers to this subject in the following words: When thefire burns in the blood, the very composition of the nervous system changes in essence. And the blood becomes 'blue'.

At this stage, the wonder-struck seeker will see in his own depths the image of his real 'I' a brilliant ray - a star.

In the Gospel according to St Thomas, which was discovered recently, the following allusion is made to this:

Let him who seeks, not cease seeking until he finds, and when he finds, he will be troubled, and when he has been troubled, he will marvel and he will reign over All.'

To reign over All. The reader will understand that this means identification with one's real 'I', which is a fragment of the Creator's "I" ' which reigns over the Universe.

FIFTH STAGE. - Fusion.

The fusion takes place in different ways but always begins from the emotional centre, under the influence of an intense emotion cultivated through continuous efforts, or of a sudden powerful emotion as in the case of the good thief on the cross, or following a long accumulation of diverse emotions oriented in the same direction.

The nature of thefusion is, therefore, strictly individual.

It can be the result of a sacridice: that of the someone who sacrifices himself for another. Jesus say that there was no greater love than that of someone who sacrifices his life for his friends. It can also happen in the wake of any other intense manifestation of true Love.

Love, therefore, is the common element in all the processes which lead to 'Positive fusion.

In reality it is Love, and Love alone, which sets the heart aflame while it leaves the head cool.

The fusion effected in this way has a definite nature.

Fusion can also take place under the influence of a strong negative emotion, the fear of sin, for example. But in this case it is not and cannot be total. Its quality is hybrid and its effect is insufficient.

If, later on, the man becomes conscious of this insufficiency, and if he persists in his desire to attain a correct and perfect totalfusion, he is first called upon to destroy his partial fusion and then to start all over again from nothing. But this destruction can only be made at the price of considerable suffering. Once he is conscious of the fact that the fusion is defective, the man must force himself to destroy it as soon as possible. This is all the more difficult because the imperfect fusion is the result of a long accumulation of emotions oriented in a wrong direction.

If the defective fusion is destroyed, at the very moment of its destruction the man can appropriate and turn to his profit all the power of the emotions with the effects of which he had managed to create a partial or negative fusion. In this case, as in the struggle against negative emotions, the positive effect remains when the pernicious effects of the negativefusion have been effaced. However, there is one condition for this: the destruction must be accompanied by the practice of constatation while in an active state of presence in oneself.

We should also note that besides all kinds of partial or negative fusion, there also exist crystallizations. These are always incomplete and localized. But one must not confuse them with what is, in the esoteric sense, human nature. The latter could be compared to a viscous mass in a liquid; it can show one or several points of crystallization which have been obtained mechanically. Often, this comes and grows with age, especially in people who are hardly interested in what oversteps the limits of the immediate in space and time. Then the prudent become avaricious and the dictatorial become intractable. Mental sloth augments with age, so that man becomes incapable of having an original thought; from then on he lives with the thoughts of others which, in their turn, become progressively crystallized in him, losing all their healthy versatility. These phenomena are sometimes also to be found in the young. They are signs of premature aging,

These are the different aspects of the process of fusion that we have briefly studied during the five stages of its realization. Once it is attained, the 'I' of the Personality becomes monolithic and is no longer a conglomeration of little I's, but a stable entity.

At that moment, the seeker finds himself on the fourth step of the Staircase, in front of the second Threshold and ready to cross it.
I hope this is useful.
 

Beau

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Durand said:
I pity thee.
Durand, this is just noise that you are adding to the conversation. Try to be a bit more externally considerate before posting something like this.
 

Fifth Way

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Regarding Mouravieff's "The Doctrine of the Present"

Laura said:
I hope this is useful.
Are you kidding? Unfortunately my 'books to be read list' is growing by the minute.

My focus is on the word "Present". If there is in fact no time then the only thing that makes sense is to be able to master the present, which you can only if you understand yourself and the true context of yourself with the world. If you master what Mouravieff describes in his doctrine and one's Personality does become monolithic and is no longer a conglomeration of little I's, but a stable entity, then actions will spring forth spontaneously and harmoniously and everything is in the present.

This can be tied in with the "Lizzy"-thread where after COMPLEX training and ends up with pure SIMPLICITY. Beautiful.
 

kenlee

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Fifth Way wrote:

"My focus is on the wor d "Present". If there is in fact no time then the only thing that makes sense is to be able to master the present, which you can only if you understand yourself and the true context of yourself with the world. If you master what Mouravieff describes in his doctrine and one's Personality does become monolithic and is no longer a conglomeration of little I's, but a stable entity, then actions will spring forth spontaneously and harmoniously and everything is in the present"


Rather then saying 'master the present' it might be better to say
'expanding the present moment.' I think it might be more of an integrative or unitive process rather then a 'mastering' of anything. As our present moment expands outwardly it may very well be that we all connect together in a much larger present moment. Everything might be connected in eternity.

I especially liked your last statement.

"then actions will spring forth spontaneously and harmoniously and everything is in the present"
 

Laura

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kenlee said:
Rather then saying 'master the present' it might be better to say
'expanding the present moment.'
Exactly so. Allow me to quote from a series of transparencies I use in my alchemy lecture that is framed around this exact point:

We must regard the present state of the universe as the effect of its past and the cause of its future.

Consider an intelligence which, at any instant, could have a knowledge of all forces controlling nature together with the momentary conditions of all the entities of which nature consists. If this intelligence were powerful enough to submit all this data to analysis it would be able to embrace in a single formula the movements of the largest bodies in the universe and those of the lightest atoms; for it, nothing would be uncertain; the future and the past would be equally present to its eyes. Pierre Laplace
I hope that it is clear that what Mouravieff is describing can easily be utilized in real life, on a daily basis. As I said, when I talk to groups, we spend several hours getting into exactly what each part of the "Doctrine of the Present" means in a practical way and developing practical examples that are meaningful to the particular group. In Secret History, I spent some time on neurochemicals. In my lectures, I go into this subject quite deeply, comparing and contrasting modern scientific findings to the formerly opaque comments of the alchemists. For example, a series of my transparencies, each of which is discussed:

"Man's quest for gold is often his undoing, for he mistakes the alchemical processes, believing them to be purely material. He does not realize that the Philosopher's Gold, the Philosopher's Stone, and the Philosopher's Medicine exist in each of the four worlds and that the consummation of the experiment cannot be realized until it is successfully carried on in four worlds simultaneously according to one formula.

"Furthermore, one of the constituents of the alchemical formula exists only within the nature of man himself, without which his chemicals will not combine, and though he spend his life and fortune in chemical experimentation, he will not produce the desired end...

"The subtle element ... comes out of the nature of the illuminated and regenerated alchemist..

"He must have the magnetic power to attract and coagulate invisible astral elements."

"The Soul must acquire new powers for conceiving and retaining...

"That this has not been the case with all possessors, was their own fault, as they contented themselves merely with the Transmutation of Metals...

For know this of a truth, whosoever abuseth this tincture and lives not exemplarly, purely, and devoutly before men he shall lose this benefit, and scarce any hope will there be left ever to recover it afterwards....

"...those who study only the material elements can at best discover only half the mystery...

"...alchemy is a mystery in three worlds - the divine, the human and the elemental... alchemy in the hands of the profane becomes perverted..."

The study and contemplation of the metaphorical "Philosopher's Stone" along with the chemical work was a necessary component to elevate the mind and prepare the soul for transmutation.

"By invigorating the Organs the Soul uses for communicating with exterior objects, the Soul must a acquire greater powers not only for conception but also for retention, and therefore if we wish to obtain still more knowledge, the organs and secret springs of physical life must be wonderfully strengthened and invigorated.

"Like attracts like."

When a candidate has developed virtue and integrity acceptable to the adepts, they will appear to him and reveal those parts of the secret processes which cannot be discovered without such help.

Those who cannot progress to a certain point with their own intelligence are not qualified to be entrusted with the secrets which can subject to their will the elemental forces of Nature.
And most especially:

The Sybils

In order to respect the principle of hermetism adopted by the Tradition, we must understand that esoteric teachings are given in a sibylline form.

St Isaac the Syrian points out that: The Holy Scriptures say many things by using words in a different sense from their original meaning. Sometimes bodily attributes are applied to the soul, and conversely, attributes of the soul are applied to the body. The Scriptures do not make any distinction here. However, enlightened men understand.
A great part of alchemy, as you can surmise from the extracted quotes above, has to do with literally changing your body chemistry. It has to be heated and cooled repeatedly, exactly as the alchemists say, over a period of time. This is the process that leads to the fusing of the magnetic center, as Gurdjieff and Mouravieff refer to it. That is also the meaning of the "pentagram," it is the symbol of the merging of the lower emotional center with the higher emotional center. Through this connection, one then has access to the higher intellect and the "creative" center.

It can also symbolize the union of polar opposites. But that is rare so most people don't even need to concern themselves with it.

Here we are brought back to the Doctrine of the Present, particularly as it relates to NEGATIVE emotions. This is very important because it is one of the fastest ways to progress. But it needs guidance and care. As I said, it is NOT a question of suppression, but transmutation. And when a person is dealing with their own inner programs, their prejudices, their particular likes and dislikes and "buttons" and so on, it is SO easy to deceive the self. I would say that it cannot even be done without a group because the tendency to lie to the self to justify what the mind "likes" is way too easy.

But here is the handout material from the talk on Negative emotions. It repeats a bit of the Doctrine of the Present, but goes much more deeply into the harder work. It needs careful reading a time or two, and some discussion to make sure that understanding is going in the right direction.

If, by persistent introspection, the subject manages to observe the rise of the negative emotion in himself immediately after its birth, that is, while the limits of the slot in his individual Present have not been crossed in the passing of time, it is possible for him to disassociate the components of this emotion.

Introspective observation brightens our inner being just like a streetlamp, and negative emotions can only be formed and begin to act in the inner darkness which characterizes the state of confluence.
This is why it is so important to watch the self carefully, to calibrate the "reading instrument within a group where your errors can be pointed out. Many negative emotions form and rise to the intellect without our even being aware. They can then distort literally everything we perceive.


The light projected by constatation within the limits of the Present disassociates the negative emotions, and the passions which gave rise to them then fall back into a latent state.
Again, this is much easier to do within a group - at least until the instrument is calibrated. Otherwise, you think you are thinking in a new way, and it is just a variation of the old way with the same reading errors built in.

But constatation has yet another effect that is of primary importance: the immediate disassociation of the components which constitute the negative emotion liberates the energy SI-12 which the passions had drawn into the motor centre; a result of constatation is that this is automatically concentrated in the emotional centre which it then sets in motion.

We know that normal the intensive work of this centre is carried out with the aid of fine energy of the 12th degree, A victory over negative emotion brings an inflow of joy into the lower emotional centre. This joy is an expression of the abundance of the energy SI-12 released by constatation. This latter makes the lower emotional centre vibrate at the rapid rhythm that is normal to it, and this enables the establishment of instantaneous contact with the higher emotional centre and triggers the release of a current of energy SOL-12 from the latter.
Now, just to make sure you understand this point and how it relates to everyday life, I want to share with you a recent communication from one of my students who has been practicing this for awhile, and reported to me recently a significant victory.

My son came home last Friday with tears
in his eyes because he was being teased about his bad breath. Now, my son
has problem teeth and has had silver caps on most of his teeth for a lot of
years. (He had some knocked out, damaged and chipped, bad dentistry done and
there is bacteria that gets stuck under the caps that cover baby teeth that
are trying to come out hence more prone to bacteria and bad breath and we
work on it and the dentist says it will be better as the teeth come
out..there is nothing really wrong with his teeth other than that).

Anyway, upon questioning him I found that his teacher will comment on his
bad breath in front of the other kids and this is what has caused the
children to tease my boy. N*** tells me they call him "bad breath boy" and
"cigarette breath". But it was his teachers comments in front of everyone
in the class that bothered him the most. Mind you, my boy is quite well
liked and popular with his peers so he can put up with a certain amount of
teasing, but some of it was getting to be quite mean.

Well, you can imagine how angry I became finding out that his teacher would
say something in front of everyone instead of taking him to the side to talk
to him. And the fact that I'm room mom and in the class almost every Wed
you would think she would speak to me.

I was very very angry at her. I could not imagine myself doing this to a
child so that the other kids would tease him. My first instinct was to call
the principal and complain. Or confront her and bawl her out for her
insensitivity. But remembering what you have always said. "Feel the heat,
but don't let it rise to your head."

So this is what I did. The heat boiled in me all weekend. I turned on my
"self viewer" and [constated] "I know her and I don't think she would want to hurt any of her kids
and N*** is such an out going type it probably didn't occur to her how hurt
he was."

Still, I did not know how I was going to handle this.

It wasn't until Monday, when I was driving that I suddenly "knew" exactly
how to handle this so it was a win/win situation for everyone.

I would approach her privately and ask her
to do me a favor. After explaining the medical and other reasons for Noah's
condition I would hand her some breath mints for her to slip discreetly to
N*** if she noticed a problem therefore not bringing this to the attention
of the other children. Well as this idea came to me I felt the warmest rush
through my body that COULD be described as joy. I now know what you mean,
without a doubt, what you meant when you wrote:

"Now, next time try to feel the heat and turn your "self viewer" on
yourself, inside, so that you sort of say "whoah! What am I feeling? Why
am I feeling it? What is reasonable about what I am feeling? Let me go
over in my mind carefully; what IS reasonable and what I know to be true
based on FACTS...?" and so on. Keep thinking hard and feeling the heat,
and keeping it below the level of the neck. DOing this while in the state
of heat is truly a magical act."

You know what? I talked to her and it was wonderful.
Now yes, that is a truly mundane event. But how many thousands of mundane events do we all have that are opportunities to work on ourselves and which we waste just running the same old programs? Of course, the situation can be far more painful and complex, but I hope that this small example gives a good idea of the process. Back to Mouravieff:

This indicates that, correctly practised through introspection and effective within the limits of the individual Present, constatation enables man to win a total victory. The inflow of higher joy that the current of energy SOL-12 liberates can then transmute the energy SI-12 freed from the mixture into SOL-12 by induction.

The duration of the contact between the lower and higher emotional centres established by this can then be prolonged.

It is obvious that this possibility only exists for the disciple who, after having crossed the first Threshold, perseveres in climbing the Staircase, when he possesses a magnetic centre in formation.
In other words, prolongation of the state only occurs long after you have mastered a lot of situations that are a bit more intense than being mad at your son's teacher. But every situation that you practice in helps to "build the spiritual muscle."

Each victory over a negative emotion accelerates the formation of this centre.

The factors we have just described explain the attitude towards negative emotions adopted in the scriptures and by the Tradition. This attitude emphasizes the two following points:

- without the appearance of the negative emotion, the energy SI-1 2 is not drawn in by the motor centre. It remains in the sexual centre to be used for the latter's needs;

- without a victory over this very same emotion, man cannot feel the joy that is provoked by a current of energy SOL-12 coming from the higher emotional centre; and without this current, the energy SI-12 cannot be transmuted into SOL-12 as it is first drawn in by the appearance of the negative emotion, then liberated by introspective constatation within the limits of the individual Present.
The more violent the negative emotion, the greater the quantity of energy SI-12 drawn in, which can be transmuted into SOL-12 in case of victory.
The downside of that is that the more violent the negative emotion, the harder it is to master. Another level could be a woman who has just discovered that her husband is leaving her for another woman. That's a doozie. Lots of energy to work with there, but hardly anyone ever does it. They don't know they can. They don't know what gifts these types of events really are.

By carrying out this work with all the sincerity of which he is capable, the neophyte can reach the_Path of Access which will lead him towards the Way. In this way he will put off the old man, the slave of his passions, and will put on the new man which is renewed in Knowledge.

We have just studied the negative emotions which are born in us.

But as he advances up the Staircase, the neophyte will find that the times when he feels a negative emotion arising within him become more and more rare. The energy SI-12 then remains asleep in the sexual centre, since the absence of passions no longer calls it towards the lower centres where it may be used.

It is at this point of his evolution that the neophyte will find the obvious utility of those who are hostile to him.
And here, you will find the rationale behind much of what we do in our public work. You may also understand why Gurdjieff did some of the truly outrageous things he did that engendered such hostility and attack. He KNEW what he was doing.

As long as he is on the Staircase it is in insults, hate, jealousy, treachery and the contempt of other men that the faithful finds the elements which are necessary for him to awaken his emotional centre.
But not to worry, it takes awhile to get through the ordinary life situations and get to where you must seek out new and better "petty tyrants," as Castaneda's Don Juan called them. He said that finding a really good one was an absolute treasure. He was right.

By dominating the mechanical reactions that the reproaches and attacks of others may produce in him, someone who struggles between the two Thresholds separates and rejects the elements which are parasites on the fine energy mobilized by negative emotions.

We repeat: it is this energy which, having become available, allows the establishment of a contact with the higher emotional centre and accelerates the growth and the development of the magnetic centre. The faithful finds in this struggle the source of energy that is indispensable to him in order to progress.

He will then understand that he can and must love his enemies and bless those who curse him.

The higher the faithful climbs on the Staircase, the more rare are the occasions on which negative emotions arise in him by his own initiative. This is comprehensible. With regular introspection and inner constatation he will progressively gain knowledge of himself, that is, of the structure of his Personality and the way it functions. The opinion that 'Knowledge is Strength', expressed at the time of the first industrial revolution, is wholly applicable to the inner revolution which takes place in man after introspection.

A slave of his passions, of his instincts, and so of his negative emotions, he had until yesterday always managed to justify himself by using commonly accepted slogans as well as by remarking that his behaviour was simply human and normal.

Now the faithful begins to disapprove of these emotions; he begins to realize that he is a slave and to understand that the negative emotions, which are an effect of the General Law, seek to keep him in his primitive state and to hold him in his place, for the good of the whole, but to the detriment of his personal interests. This attitude becomes firmer in spite of all the seductive or frightening appearances that the mirage of life, constituted of all the A influences, faces him with.

This first knowledge - the beginning of the higher knowledge. Above all it appears to him in the form of a mastery of the movements of his psyche. Of course this does not happen immediately; he has to pay a high ransom in order to be freed from this slavery. And the ransom can be raised only at the price of sustained labour that is generally long and hard. However, with conscious and prolonged efforts of introspective constatation, the faithful who burns with Faith and perseveres in climbing the Staircase will find that he is more and more detached from the negative emotions which, under the dominion of the General Law, have always tended to appear in him.

The first rudiments of gnosis, the higher knowledge and practice which give one mastery of oneself, progressively bring the inner peace which is the first serious result of the efforts made.

This inner peace is the indispensable condition that will enable him to collect all his energies so that he will be able to progress on the Staircase, and it is this same inner peace that will save him from falling.

However, when we cultivate this inner peace, our opportunities for profitably exploiting the negative emotions born in us, so as to obtain fine energies, become very scarce. Then there remains only one other source, that of negative emotions aroused by shocks from outside us.

This kind of shock will never be lacking for those who work in the world.

Indeed, to the General Law someone who 'moves' looks like a fugitive from collective work, and nature takes immediate steps -a whole series of appropriate measures - to make the rebel fall back into line.

Then begins the struggle, the great struggle, the Invisible Coimbat on whose outcome the fate of the Knight depends. This uninterrupted combat lasts the whole length of the Staircase, and the faithful does not obtain his final victory until after the last trials, when he finds himself in front of the second Threshold.

All along the way, however, progress is ensured by partial victories over this or that passion, over the tendency to sleep, over violent shocks or scandals coming from outside or even from inside him.

The struggle is painful, especially because one does not recognize the enemy until after one has been hit; his approach is always masked in infinitely varied ways: considerations, seductions, a desire to be useful or agreeable, condescensions, noble attitudes, etc.
The whole of the Adventures series is this process. Having been hit so hard, knocked almost senseless in my encounter with Bridges and gang, the writing of the Adventures was the process of constation while in a state of prolonged, agonizing heat that lasted for literally months. As constation continued (and this can include research and gathering data in order to understand a phenomenon that is hurtful), understanding grew, and finally, the C's were able to present me with data that I would have been totally unprepared to accept prior to this experience. I think that the careful reader can detect the effects of the process as they read through this series.

But whoever commits himself on this field of battle will still find help. It comes to him from two sides: from the depths of his being, and from outside him. In the first case, it is his absolute sincerity towards himself and the purity of the faith with which his heart is aflame.

By definition, faith is blind, since it is as certain of the invisible as of the visible. As the invisible is unknown by definition, the most ardent faith can be sincerely mistaken. The example of St Paul is sufficient proof of this. But this same example shows that, just by its existence, the sincerity of faith calls forth Love, and so it draws out a correction of what is admittedly in error from the deepest depths of the one who feels it.

As for outside aid, this comes from the effects of the law which applies to every action. We have defined this law more than once by this formula: tendencies accentuate. It is popularly known, and in many countries it appears in common parlance in the maxim: only the first step counts.

These two formulae express the same law, and apply algebraically, that is, in a positive or negative sense. In terms of the moral effort that must be made, it is no less difficult to steal for the first time, for example, than to practice an unaccustomed virtue.

Repeated action (in this instance, partial victories over negative emotions of the same nature) creates a habit, a force of inertia. Even then, before crossing the second Threshold we can never be sure we will not fall into the same snare again, for one's watchfulness is quickly exhausted when faced with simultaneous and reiterated attacks. But the fall will be less and less painful and the erasure of its effects less and less difficult.

What is more, each partial victory augments the reserve of fine energies and so strengthens the Knight's strength in the battle. But here again, he must be particularly vigilant not to spend the reserve as fast as he accumulates it. After each victory, he must remember that the General Law automatically acts in varied ways to steal from him the surplus -relative to the 'bourgeois' level - of the fine energies he has won, and which, if rationally utilized, will allow him to make one more step forward out of the zone of influence of this fundamental law which, in this situation, is hostile to him.

In the course of this Invisible Combat, a particular passion, the same mirage, loses its power over the victor once he has overcome it once, twice or more times. So while the Knight advances on the Staircase his inner peace becomes more and more complete and unalterable. He will see his 'assailants' waver and retreat, one by one.

At this time the second source of fine energies that thefaithful needs so much in order to advance is cut off.

This source is the result of the transmutation of negative emotions aroused by shocks from outside him. Again, in someone who has crossed the first Threshold and struggles to climb the Staircase with his heart burning with faith, the source of energies from the negative emotions forming inside him dries up at the same time.

It then becomes a question of knowing how and where the Knight can find new sources of fine energies, once he has established a steady and permanent peace within himself and has thus become unmovable by inner or outer shocks.

These sources will open up for him but, we must repeat, only on condition that the inner peace he has obtained becomes firm and unshakeable,

Having reached this point in our study, the enlightened reader will understand that this inner peace can be obtained only by the fusion to which we referred in the first volume. This logically leads us on to examine this phenomenon and technique which can enable us to carry out this fusion in ourselves in greater depth.

Here we will digress a little in order to clear up an important question which must have arisen in the reader's mind. To postulate of the mastery of the negative emotions is well founded, as has been demonstrated above, and this gives rise to the following question: in these conditions, what is their usefulness in the general economy of our Mixtus Orbis?

From what has been said, the reader may have the impression that negative emotions are simply one of the instruments by which the General Law keeps man in his place.

Here, it is necessary to make a distinction, because the action of negative emotions has not one role but two. Their action becomes destructive for those who are close to the first Threshold, and even more for those who, having crossed it, are progressing on the Staircase.

We have already mentioned that as far as the General Law is concerned they are potential or confirmed 'fugitives.' For them, negative emotions represent one of the factors that can make them lose ground, and this is a danger against which the faithful should fight with all his strength.

But this is the special case of someone who takes part in esoteric work, and it is rather uncommon.

So the question is to learn the significance of these negative emotions when they invade people who are satisfied with themselves and perhaps even with their fate, who not only do not dream of any esoteric evolution, but who have no idea of the General Law, of its action, or that it is possible to escape from its clutches. These are docile, perfect subjects of the General Law, and their kind forms the greater part of the human species.

Negative emotions have numerous meanings and play countless roles that largely extend beyond the boundaries of our Mixtus Orbis. We will try to determine their place within the framework of the note LA of organic life on Earth, especially in its two principal aspects: the personal aspect and the collective one.

In both these cases the role of negative emotions is not really negative, although their direct effects are always destructive: damaging the individual's health, provoking discord in families, and giving the human masses impulses that push them to excesses: to revolts, wars or revolutions.

In the individual case, the positive effects of negative emotions lies in the fact that they serve as awakening alarms. Their dynamism communicates impulses to the individual which force him to act.

It is the energy SI-12 stored up by the motor centre which mixes with the energy of one or more passions -which have the heavier density of 24- to give birth to negative emotions. Afterwards, in this mixed state, it penetrates the motor sectors of the two other centres and makes them vibrate. The emotional centre then vibrates in a violent way. The same mixture of energies gives the intellectual centre an inventive but always calculating orientation, rendering it cunning and capable of all kinds of lies.

In this way the organism of man's psyche comes out of its somnolent mental state but, uncultured from the esoteric point of view, it automatically or even voluntarily falls back into the same state whenever there is a lack of external impulses. It takes life in a spirit of an eternal holiday.

Negative emotions could be said to form a valid common denominator for all human beings and human groups without distinction of race, caste, sex or religion. They give birth to a common language which can be understood by all, even by animals.

Wars and revolutions are certainly calamities for the generations that suffer them, but ancient and modern History show us that they provoke a recrudescence of human activity not only on the battlefields but also in the chancelleries and in the silent studies of philosophers and men of letters, as well as in the laboratories and factories. And it is from that activity, provoked if not imposed by the calamities of wars, that marvels are born for the following generations. This is one indirect but clearly positive effect of negative emotions. We may even add that, without negative emotions, the door onto the path of access to evolution would be closed to individuals as well as to human groups.
Again, I hope this helps.
 

Craig

Jedi Master
Very helpful, thank you Laura.

I think something similar happened to me over the New Year period, that I wanted to bring up because the "effects" were quite startling to me and I wasn't quite sure of what had happened at first. I found myself in a situation with a petty tyrant - a very narcissistic type - who from an extreme distortion of facts, ended up blaming me for something that I didn't even do. He was so desperate to control what was going on, that he "shot" the first person in sight which happened to be me. A negative comment I made to him years ago (about his narcissism) was used as justification for attacks being made against him by somebody else.

Anyway, I was in a bit of a pickle because it was difficult for me to prove otherwise. As described above, I was literally burning with anger, so I grabbed Mouravieff's Gnosis and quickly read the section in "Ascension 2" on the website to have an idea of what to do to perhaps try and conserve energy.

I managed throughout (I think) to keep the burning below the throat and by using my understanding - knowing the reasons WHY he had reacted this way, understanding his mechanicalness/programs, I found that these feelings of anger gradually went and had been "replaced" with joy. Although, I just thought it was relief compared to my previous state.

I managed to "utilise" the energy creatively by exposing the lies, and even (due to some intense reading between the lines and detective work) exposing the liar!

Well, here is where it got "funny." The next few days I noticed a strange "something" inside of me, a new force - literally, it was ENERGY - and I wrote about it in my journal as follows:

Journal said:
Anyway, a few days later I began to perceive that something inside me had changed. I felt that my "position" in myself had changed – had become more expansive, and I was now on much firmer footing.

If I reduce it to its barest description, it is like this: I have become sensible within myself; things are more organised. I have reached a POINT (and one that was miniscule and barely reachable before) whereby I can observe, and direct. It was like this before, but it has now expanded. I have more force and desire to Work on myself; these 'I's WANT to Work.

I then read the following today:

http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/1236/ilevels3.html

"If a man works, after a while, a small group of I's form, called Deputy Steward. This means that the person has a centre of gravity and there are a number of I's that want to do the work. However, they do not have control over all the 'I's yet and probably fail in an emergency, but they can hear the work.

Deputy steward must be trained by resisting the 'I's that cannot work or prevent it, such as negative emotions, imagination, lying etc, by listening and acting on work ideas which it knows to apply. It means there is a choice whether or not to act from Deputy Steward. Acting from it strengthens it."

And then this:

http://kesdjan.com/exercises/intro.html

"Prior to Steward, only two levels of consciousness exist for us: sleep (in bed) and the 'waking state,' which as also called 'sleep' in the work. With deputy steward we get occasional glimpses of a third state of consciousness..."

Both seemed to describe what had happened and the observations I have made quite well. I actually PERCEIVE that I've "stepped up" further and it has completely changed my inner-world and my attitudes towards the Work. I see now that before, there was much negativity that was left to exert itself - so much self-justification and lies - that now has become discernable...
So I was thinking maybe that it was Deputy Steward that had formed in me - which coincided perfectly with my own description of something being "assembled." But the label isn't necessarily important, the state is, and it was so discernable that something had changed (and literally over a few days) that I was almost in shock. Nor was it something vague, it was actually quite "solid"!

Can anyone identify with this?
 

anart

A Disturbance in the Force
Thanks, Laura, and Craig, I can't really identify with that kind of relatively quick change internally, although it would be nice. Actually, last night, I happened across some writings I did years ago about my life and myself and my plans to 'exit early' as it were - I was so lost in a fog and so buffeted by depression and personal loss that I was a completely different person - no sign of my real I was present at all in those writings, and I must say that I was a bit surprised to see such an enormous difference over time. Another thing I've noticed is that if I don't stop the heat before it reaches my throat and then my head, that it leaves a stain, almost like a residue I can feel, on my psyche. Even if afterward I understand what happened and work through it all, that stain is still there - but in the times I have stopped it, this stain doesn't appear. It's very interesting. It seems that I did quite a lot of heating up and cooling down even before I became interested in the Work, just in my own natural way. The benefits were the same, I just didn't know how to direct it or how incredibly important it is to try to stay conscious all the time. I remember when I first started to pay attention, I was SO tired by the end of the day that I'd just go home and fall asleep. I have a bit more stamina now and it's intersting to see how that has changed as well. Well, I'm really just rambling about my own small experiences - hopefully I'll have more to share as time goes on.
 

kenlee

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
noise said:
Thanks Craig,
There are a few things I need to ask. Between the reactionary "I" and the true "I" I am a bit confused. Hopefully not so confused that I cannot phrase a question or two properly. The "I" in reference to "Not the true I" I am guessing is the reactionary part of a person, an ego created sense of self? The other "I" I imagine is bidden the task of only observing the inner mechanicalness and listening in to the inner talking and try to understand from where it comes? Like, how have I concluded I do not like such and such? From where does this emotion stem? And try to get to the source of the judgement/reason and understand why? I am just a little confused.
Certainly there are walls and buffers inside helping along with the confusion, I observe in myself that I am not taking in the full concept. Would you care to elaborate some?
-noise
The questions you ask above are certainly good questions. The best I could do is give you some of my own observations from my own experience. What I have found is that there is a part of me that simply observes (observing 'I') and there is another part of my totality that is nothing more then a 'mental activity' (energy exchanges). This 'mental activity' is what, I think we call the self(hood) ' or 'little 'I's.

As I understand it, the term 'identification' that Gurdjieff used is when this impartial observing 'I' identifies with this mental activity. When this happens the observing 'I' and the mental activity kind of merge (or embrace) and we then call this mental activity 'I.' Actually this mental activity is not really 'I,' but rather it is really 'it' that we mistake as 'I' because we love 'it' (hence, our 'ego').

This identification is what we call the ego. The ego or 'self' is simply a mental activity, that is, it is nothing more then an energy dynamic that passes thru us. The observing 'I' is always tempted to merge with this energy dynamic (similar to a sexual embrace). This merging gives this 'self' it's sense of 'Iness'. This self or 'little i' (our mental activity) now becomes big 'I' because of this identification. Consciousness is what seperates "I' from 'it'. No consciousness means no seperation.

The hardest thing in the world is to just observe our energetic states that pass thru us without identifying with it. It's a very strong temptation to identify with our mental/emotional/physical states and call them 'I'. We identify with this mental activity and we then begin to 'consider it.'

Now we cease to be impartial observers. Now the observer becomes the observed. We inwardly consider it. We pity it.

This leads to "inner wiseacreing" or "inner considering" (as G would call it) and now we "lose consciousness' (so to speak) in favor of the pleasant or unpleasant feelings of this energetic activity that is passing thru us (Don Juan would call this 'indulging). We lose our ability to be objective because the fine quality energy of objectivity gets dissipated in the coarseness of our energetic reactions and the subsequent mechanical thought patterns that are driven by these reactions is what we call emotional thinking. Every time we identify with our reactions (which is damn near all the time!) we are thinking
with the emotions.

As I said the hardest thing in the world is to just watch what is going on inside us. We THINK we can do it, but we do it rarely. Once again it is this mental activity, this 'self', that thinks it is impartial. But it is decieving itself.

I think one of the chief delusions of the self help gurus (like Dr Phil) is that they think there is a 'self' in us that is capable of being transformed. As far as I can see there is really no 'self' to transform. There is simply a mental activity in us that we call 'the self' only because we identify with it and call it such. Actually, in my view, this self (our ego) is really nothing. It is simply our identification with our mental activity, an identification with an energy dynamic. I see these mental activities as simply instruments of perception. The higher quality the instrument then the more objective the reading. So the instrument does not get transformed but rather, it is the knowledge we gain by looking thru the instrument that, I think, gets transformed. Once again the devil is in the details and fine distinctions within our understanding of this topic always get finer and finer as our undestanding grows. The disinfo gurus just hate these fine distinctions.
 

Craig

Jedi Master
Yesterday, I was reading an interesting chapter from C. Daly King's The Oragean Version in which he said:

C. Daly King said:
There has been a sort of observation involved, in that the personality and the behaviours of the subject have been viewed and examined by him as impartially as possible; but the means used in doing so have been thought-processes, introspection, memory-processes and the like, all of which without exception are included among the intellectual functions of man and, far from being distinct from them, are thus identical with them. These processes lead to judgements which may be more or less correct objectively but judgement, too, is a mental function and specifically it is not the fourth type of activity which is Self-Observation. Many persons find this very difficult to accept in the beginning -- and many easily lose the once-understood distinction later -- but it is absolutely essential that the reader comprehend for himself convincingly that the distinction is valid and final and that there is at least as great a difference between the self-observatory activity and the other three functions as there is between thinking and moving or between practical and emotional activity. When Self-Observation has been more fully described, it will be possible to come to this demanded realisation.
I had been thinking that maybe, I had begun to make progress with the practice of Self-Observation, but apparently, it was merely another thought-process. He continues:

C. Daly King said:
Self-Consciousness is that state in which a man is fully and currently aware of the operations of his organic mechanism, i.e. of his body. Self-Observation is the means whereby the state of Self-Consciousness begins to be established and it is evident at once that the activity of Self-Observation implies and presumes a definite dichotomy within the man's general presence; that is, Self-Observation presumes a real and valid distinction between the observer and the observed, between the being himself and his observed organism. In the Oragean Version this distinction is formulated in the phrase, "I" and It. "I" is a so far empty word, referring at present to the passive experiencer of whatever automatically proceeding content the organism furnishes, such as thought-processes, emotional processes and sensori-motor processes; the consciousness of "I" manifests that abnormal and lethargic passivity in its registrative functions which has already been discussed. But "I" can manifest conscious activity and the only way in which "I" now can do so, is by the active instead of the passive registration of those very processes which up to now have formed the background of a passive consciousness. When the formerly passive registration becomes active, it becomes awareness. As to It, the matter is perfectly clear; It is the body, the organic mechanism to be observed, the automatically performing organism which basically furnishes the content of experience.

These two distinguishable elements, 'I' and It, must be clearly present to the pupil whenever he performs an act of Self-Observation. In order to accomplish this he must be clearly aware not only of what he observes but also that it is he, or 'I' , who is making the observation. Such a realisation on the part of the observer is called: Self-Awareness. Self-Awareness is not synonymous with Self-Observation; it is, instead, a fundamental requirement of Self-Observation.
King goes on to list seven limiting characteristics of Self-Observation - provided by Alfred Orage, and that it is only so if all are firmly "rooted" in place:

C. Daly King said:
1. Self-Observation includes no element of criticism. This means that the impartial attitude of the scientist must still be adopted. No genuine inquirer investigates anything with the notion that he is to be prepared either to condone or to approve; he looks to see and only to see. In the same way in this particular activity, when one is aware of some aspect of one's body, that of which one is aware can only in fact be so; it cannot be either good or bad. But in our cases, due to abnormal condition, impulses will often arise to approve of what is seen or to criticise some functioning of which one becomes aware. These impulses can, and must, be excluded. The reason is not that they are bad, either; the reason is that, if they are present, the authentic activity of Self-Observation is NOT present.

2. Self-Observation includes no element of tutorialness. If criticism is out of place, a tutorial attempt to alter and to improve is more so. There must certainly be no attempt to change what one is observing in any way for, if it be changed, the opportunity to observe or to experience it, vanishes instantly. In scientific work great care is taken to obviate all effects upon the specimen under observation which might be due to the investigation itself, lest the findings be such as to refer not to the object of the inquiry but instead to back-effects of instrumentation or other techniques employed; in the latter case the work is of course fruitless. Similarly it must be plain immediately that, if one is self-observing some phenomenon of his organism's activity, he cannot continue to do so when, for any reason that activity alters.

3. Self-Observation includes no element of analysis. This analysis is a typical mental action and its prohibition includes that of other intellectual activities as well, such as comparisons or even descriptive formulations of the object or objects of awareness. Consciousness is not a thought-process and neither is awareness; but Self-Observation is a particular kind of awareness and therefore it is present only when thinking is excluded.

4. Self-Observation is possible only with non-identification. This is the essential and definitory crux of the entire activity. Only when one deliberately separates oneself from the organism under scrutiny, only when one establishes firmly the position that 'I' have a body and that 'I' am not It, can one self-observe. Without this realisation there is no possibility of correct Self-Observation; and it is subtle, difficult and hard to maintain. Nevertheless, it is demanded with equivocation, for in its absence whatever occurs cannot be the self-observatory activity.

5. Self-Observation must take place within the prescribed area. That is to say that no anything or everything can be the object of Self-Observation. The objects of this activity are definite, not vague; they are the phenomena of the organic body which one has. These phenomena are many but they are not infinite in number and they can be classified into specific and numerable categories. The reason that the admonition, Know Thyself, has been familiar for so long and yet has produced no actual results even in the cases of those who are prepared to accept is seriously, is that that precept is almost always directed toward and incorrect object. For example, in the work of the Open Secret it is incorrectly directed; and consequently, although the results of that work can be valuable, especially in a practical sense, they cannot be of a final and objective value to the subject. Know Thyself = Know Thine Organism; that is its correct meaning and, moreover, in this sense it can be valid just because in this sense it outlaws introspections and guesses and judgements whose inevitable delusions prevent objective results.
Interjecting here, he outlines specifically what Self-Observation is not:

C. Daly King said:
Let us therefore begin defining the prescribed area of self-observation by a series of exclusions, by stating categorically what it is not. To begin with, it is of course not concerned with the observation of anything outside the subject's own body. No external phenomenoa whatever are the objects of this kind of observation.

But there are internal phenomena also which are not, for a long period, the proper objects of self-observation, either. Self-Observation is not observation in the usual sense or in the usual meaning of the term; it is a specific kind of awareness. By the same token, and as a rational corollary, unless it is a pure awareness without intermixture of thought-processes and/or emotional processes, it is not self-observation. For this reason thoughts themselves are excluded as objects of self-observation. To be aware of one's thoughts impartially and objectively is a very difficult and advanced exercise; if one tries it, he finds as a matter of course that he is thinking about his thoughts. Thinking about thought or about thoughts is introspection, it is not self-observation. The same is equally true of emotions; and neither are these the proper objects of self-observation. To self-observe either thoughts or emotions objectively is to be accurately aware of the neurological phenomena which are their physical basis and which give rise to them; and to do this within one's own body is so obviously beyond the abilities of the pupil, on his introduction to the self-observatory technique, as to be worth no further discussion. There is, however, an indirect way in which a beginning can be made in the self-observation of thoughts and emotions and this will be indicated a little later.

We have therefore excluded all outside phenomena and all thought and all emotion from the self-observatory activity. What is left? There is a very great deal left that it is possible to self-observe, and the easier categories of this residue are precisely the gross behaviors of the bodily mechanism. They must not, however, be considered in a vague and general way; let us first of all categorise them:

C. Daly King said:
a) Posture. There are many bodily postures typical of or habitual with a given person; there are also many postures dictated by passing external conditions which are not habitually repeated by the subject. All of these are to be observed, not in the sens of listing them but in the sense of simply being aware of them when and as they occur. They are not to be reasoned about nor analysed, nor is there to be any effort to alter or to improve them; what is required, is simply to be aware of them as they take place. It is quite possible, for instance, to be aware that one of one's hands is warmer than the other (when this occurs) without any way seeking to account for the fact or even thinking about it at all; in other words it is possible simply to be aware of it, period. In the same way, this is all that is required concerning the gross fact of bodily posture, solely what one should be aware of the current position of one's body when it occurs.

b) Gesture. In a life fashion one may observe the gestures that one's body makes from time to time. Like our postures, these are almost entirely unconsciously performed and what is meant here, is that one must be aware of them in detail and accurately as they occur. Do not consider whether this or that one is often repeated or whether or not it constitutes a habit. If the attention is put only upon an awareness of these gestures, all the other questions about them will answer themselves in due course without any artificial attempts on the part of the subject to solve the problems for himself. As one becomes increasingly conscious of the gestures that one's body makes, he will soon come to recognise which of them repeat again and again and thus are his gestural habits; that is the way to find out about them, not by any direct cogitation but indirectly and only by becoming more and more aware of them. Besides, the purpose of self-observation is not primarily information but instead it is an intimate alteration of conscious experience.

c) Movement. In addition to its postures and gestures the body manifests bulk or general movements, in walking down the street, in seating itself in a chair and thereafter in rising from it, and so on. Gestures, too, are movements but they are local movements of parts only of the body; and the present category comprises the movements of the body as a whole. These latter are to be observed in the same way as are the previous categories, that is, in the sole and vivid sense of being aware of them as they take place.

d) Facial Expression. Expressions are constantly flitting across our faces and usually we are totally unconscious of them. But our thoughts can be read more accurately by others from such expressions than from the words which we may be saying at the same moment. It is interesting to note how other people do this; they do not become acquainted with our real meanings by analysing our expressions and theorising about them, instead they recognise they expression and its meaning just by noticing it. The same can easily be a by-product of our own observation of our own facial expressions by the main thing, once more, is simply to be aware of when and how and in what detail they occur.

e) Tone of Voice. Her again we seldom realise in what manner we are speaking and are often surprised that our companions disregard the literal meaning of our words but take instead what our tones of voice contrarily indicate. Thus we often suppose that we are making an undeniable point in argument when in fact the point itself is denied by the very tone of our voice in which we put it forward. More than our words, our tones of voice signify what we really mean and it will astonish the beginner to discover how much of this he always misses and how hard it is to be aware of these intonations as others hear them. A recording of his own voice will quickly convince the subject that this is so. Of course he is not to try to change his tones in any way, for in that case he will lose what he wishes to observe. He is once again simply to be aware of them as they occur.
We now have the five categories of gross behaviour which are to be the first objects of Self-Observation. They are: Posture; Gesture; Movement; Facial Expression; Tone of voice
Well, here is partly where things started to "crack", because I certainly had not even bothered with this. Not because I wasn't aware that these needed to be the starting point, but because of a sort of aloof dismissal and judgement (because it is quite mundane) that it wasn't even necessary! Well it seems it is absolutely VITAL because later, he gives the following warning:

C. Daly King said:
Many persons have been known who supposed themselves competent in this first step of Self-Observation long before they in fact were and who prematurely essayed the far more difficult tasks of observing Centre #2 [emotional] and Centre #3 [intellectual] phenomena; they have emerged from this with almost unbelievable phantasies regarding their results and, if nothing more serious has happened to them, they have lost all possibility of continuing this kind of work on themselves. No small time is required in order to complete adequately this first step in which gross bodily behaviour and its associated sensations are the sole-objects of Self-Observation; the writer has never known of anyone who accomplished it adequately in less than a number of years. [p. 124]
So what does this mean for group-work at Cassiopaea? Well firstly, it confirms exactly Laura's warning of the near impossibility of doing this alone, and as we read "unbelievable phantasies" and delusions often result. He continues appropriately, with the characteristics required for proper Self-Observation:

C. Daly King said:
6. Self-Observation is to be conducted by means of all available perceptions. This means that one is not to use only one mode of sensory perception in the exercises of Self-Observation, but all available modes. For example, one can see the position of one's crossed legs well enough, if one looks at them, but this is not the only means available. The muscular tensions and the pressures arising from the position will inform one immediately of this part of the posture, as well as of other integral parts of it, and a Self-Observation of the posture consists in an accurate awareness of those sensory aspects which together create a picture of the posture in consciousness. [...] The point of the present feature of Self-Observation is that all appropriate senses are to be employed in the awareness directed toward any category and that as complete a picture as possible is to be constructed. [...]

7. Self-Observation is to be confined to no particular time or place. The activity is not to be exercised only for some given half-hour in the morning or only for ten minutes before retiring for the night or only in the privacy of one's study. [...] The final goal is to be able to do so all the time... Of course, this is entirely out of the question immediately and the acquirement of such an ability is a long way off.
So now, he comes to the explication of why the technique is near impossible to be accomplished alone; to the emotional and intellectual centre. Logically, it would seem that if the technique can be directed to the moving/instinctive centre then it could also be directed towards the other lower centres. But the difference is: the method is not directed to the "histology" of the moving/instinctive, but toward the "gross behaviour of the body as a whole" and the emotional and intellectual phenomena are NOT gross but minute phenomena. Here, I think, is where Laura's comments about group-work become much clearer:

C. Daly King said:
If one seeks, at the present stage, to observe a thought, he cannot do so because there is nothing there to observe; his consciousness will not at all reach to the objective neurological phenomena that in fact constitute a thought. At the same time, to formulate that a thought is clear or confused, complex or simple, is not Self-Observation but instead it is introspection; just as to notice that one's walking is slow or fast or that a muscular tension is strong or weak, is formulation or description but it is never the primary awareness that is Self-Observation. The delusion that one is self-observing when in fact one is either introspecting or just formulating, is very easy to entertain and the difference between the latter and genuine observation constitutes one the real subtleties that must be distinguished clearly by the subject at this first stage.

The case is the same with emotions, only more so, due to the fact that they are more rapid and unstable than thoughts. To observe an emotion directly is now quite impossible; and, just as with thoughts, merely to describe them currently in general terms or to categorise them as being positive, negative, strong, weak, and so on, all this is introspection and it is not Self-Observation.

The case with the observation of gross bodily behaviours is authentically different. In the observation of the category of movement, one does not think that he is walking; he thinks of something else altogether and is just simply aware that the walking activity is talking place. When from this there is excluded all emotional reference and when to it there is added a detailed awareness of all the various physical aspects of the walking, that is Self-Observation. When in actual practice this kind of pure and unmixed awareness is experienced personally, it is then possible to come to that realisation of the difference of awareness from thought and from emotion and from sensing...

Now, of course, it is not wholly impossible to have some awareness individually of one's thoughts and emotions because as we all know, various (because of intra-organic connectedness) thought processes are "accompanied by symptomatic muscular tensions in one or another part of the body" and different kinds of thought-processes are also associated with typical body postures, even sometimes with an "habitual series of gestures or local movements of hands or feet." The same is true of emotions, and even more so. They are so closely connected with corresponding postures and facial expressions that they may be "artificially instated by a deliberate assumption of these bodily phenomena." So:

C. Daly King said:
Thus the Self-Observation of the different categories of physical behaviour is already a kind of indirect observation both of mental and of emotional states and provided, as always, that analysis, formulatory processes, and judgements be resolutely exluded from the technique, just as a by-product of such observations the true nature of his thoughts and emotions will gradually become clearer in the subject's consciousness without his own specific efforts to that end. For the present, that is enough. No direct approach to thoughts and emotions as such is as yet feasible and Self-Observation is to be confined strictly to the definite categories previously listed.
I'll leave these comments here for now, because there is much food for consideration already.

Craig
 

Laura

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Craig, I don't think I would be quite so hard on myself. My experience with most of the people who came out of the teachers that Gurdjieff personally instructed, or were instructed by those teachers, is that they haven't got a clue. They write a lot of "rules and regulations" and make all kinds of complex analyses that generally only serve to elevate themselves and put down beginners. Not that this is what Daly is doing, but please be careful when reading these things to consider the source. You might want to read Patterson's "Struggle of the Magicians," which is a good account of who was who and who did what, even if Patterson himself is something of a cult follower.

It should be noted that Gurdjieff - in obvious frustration with the "material" he had to work with - closed his school, sent everyone away, and sat down to write so that maybe, in the future, somebody would "get it." As Gurdjieff himself said (quoted by Ouspensky):

"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.


"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.

"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."
Ibn al-'Arabi comments on the fact that there are those who are "beginners" who knock at the door and it opens to them, and there are those who may have been working all their lives, knocking and knocking, and the door never opens to them at all.

I think that what can happen is that learning can be carried over from one life to another, even if it is not conscious. And this learning can create a certain "bias" toward what works and what doesn't. That is, of course, assuming that one is not an OP!

There is something else interesting about this. Gurdjieff writes:

Besides these exercises of which I now speak and also the information about them into which I now wish to initiate you, ... you... will ... learn, by the way of two definite notions which from the dawn of centuries among all categories of initiated persons on the Earth have been considered and are at the present time considered "secret," and an acquaintance with which for the average man can, according to the convictions of these initiates, even prove ruinous. ...

The first of the aforementioned secrets is that as a means for self-perfecting a man can use a certain property which is in his psyche, and which is even of a very negative character. This property can serve as an aid to self-perfecting and exists in people in general, particularly in contemporary people, and especially in you, and is none other than that which I have many times condemenc and which people themselves consider an unworthy manifestation for a man who has reached responsible age - of course in this respect also excluding themselves - and it is called "self-deception."

Such an, at first glance, illogicality and deduction not corresponding to any human sane reasoning, namely, that such a property unbecoming to the psyche of a man of adult age can consciously be made use of for such an immeasurably high aim, is obtained owing to the fact that the cognizance of truths concerning the possibilities of self-perfection, and the real forming in oneself of what is required for this, must proceed not in the ordinary consciousness of a man, which for the given case has almost no significance, but in what is called the subconscious, and since, thanks to all kinds of accidents ensuing from the various abnormalities of our ordinary life, it has become impossible for a man, particularly for a contemporary man, to take in anything at all and so to say "digest" it directly with his subconsciousness, therefor it is necessary for him, as has in the course of many centuries been experimentally proven by persons of PUre Reason, to use a special means for inculcating in his subconsciousness some reasonable indiction accidentally grapsed by his ordinary consciousness and not contradictory to his instinct, and this can be done only be means of this self-decptive imaginativeness inherent in him.

If you have understood without any doubt what you must do, and how, and fully hope at some time to attain this in reality, you must at the beginning often imagine, but imagine only, that this is already present in you.

This is necessary chiefly in order that the consciousness forming in oneself during an active state should continue also during a passive state.
There is more to this passage, but better if you get "Life is Rea Only Then, When I AM." by Gurdjieff. Sorry for any typos, I'm on the run today.
 

kenlee

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Laura said:
It should be noted that Gurdjieff - in obvious frustration with the "material" he had to work with - closed his school, sent everyone away, and sat down to write so that maybe, in the future, somebody would "get it." .
This certainly seems to be the case. It seems that Cosmic Cointelpro has all bases covered. They play a good game. For information that is propagated externally Cointelpro spreads endless amounts of disinfo "out there" like some kind of perpetual motion machine. For other groups the information is contained "in here" and it closes the schools off into secret societies and then internally divides them among themselves. Such appears to be the case for the Gurdjieff Foundation and the vast majority of the other groups. They think they are protecting the information by closing it off to new information. But if you ask me, Gurdjieff was giving mankind a WARning. How can you protect mankind by keeping the warnings secret? I think that even Ouspensky saw this when he said in his book 'In Search Of The Miraculous' that he thought the direction of the work groups was headed in the wromg direction towards the "way of the monk".


Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

From The Holy Bible (King James Version)
Attributed to King Solomon

To everything there is a season, and
a time to every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born, and
a time to die;
a time to plant, and
a time to pluck up
that which is planted;

A time to kill, and
a time to heal;
a time to break down, and
a time to build up;

A time to weep, and
a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and
a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and
a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and
a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and
a time to lose;
a time to keep, and
a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and
a time to sow;
a time to keep silence, and
a time to speak;

A time to love, and
a time to hate;
a time of war; and
a time of peace.

Now note what was said above:.

"A time to kill, and
a time to heal;
a time to break down, and
a time to build up;"'


Methinks that the present day Gurdjieff groups are "missing their time."
 

kenlee

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kenlee said:
[

"A time to kill, and
a time to heal;
a time to break down, and
a time to build up;"'


Methinks that the present day Gurdjieff groups are "missing their time."
Just a little more on this. It appears that Bush in his religious fanaticism sees no difference between the words 'kill' and 'murder'. You can say that Nature 'kills' but it does not murder. No doubt Bush sees the two words as having equivalent meaning. Its also possible to 'murder' an idea. Many of today's Cointelpro groups are doing just that.
 

Craig

Jedi Master
Hi Laura,

I'm sorry for not replying sooner; I thought maybe I would wait a while to see if I understood some specifics that were confusing me, but not everything is clear.

Laura said:
There is something else interesting about this. Gurdjieff writes:

Besides these exercises of which I now speak and also the information about them into which I now wish to initiate you, ... you... will ... learn, by the way of two definite notions which from the dawn of centuries among all categories of initiated persons on the Earth have been considered and are at the present time considered "secret," and an acquaintance with which for the average man can, according to the convictions of these initiates, even prove ruinous. ...

The first of the aforementioned secrets is that as a means for self-perfecting a man can use a certain property which is in his psyche, and which is even of a very negative character. This property can serve as an aid to self-perfecting and exists in people in general, particularly in contemporary people, and especially in you, and is none other than that which I have many times condemenc and which people themselves consider an unworthy manifestation for a man who has reached responsible age - of course in this respect also excluding themselves - and it is called "self-deception."

Such an, at first glance, illogicality and deduction not corresponding to any human sane reasoning, namely, that such a property unbecoming to the psyche of a man of adult age can consciously be made use of for such an immeasurably high aim, is obtained owing to the fact that the cognizance of truths concerning the possibilities of self-perfection, and the real forming in oneself of what is required for this, must proceed not in the ordinary consciousness of a man, which for the given case has almost no significance, but in what is called the subconscious, and since, thanks to all kinds of accidents ensuing from the various abnormalities of our ordinary life, it has become impossible for a man, particularly for a contemporary man, to take in anything at all and so to say "digest" it directly with his subconsciousness, therefor it is necessary for him, as has in the course of many centuries been experimentally proven by persons of Pure Reason, to use a special means for inculcating in his subconsciousness some reasonable indiction accidentally grapsed by his ordinary consciousness and not contradictory to his instinct, and this can be done only be means of this self-decptive imaginativeness inherent in him.

If you have understood without any doubt what you must do, and how, and fully hope at some time to attain this in reality, you must at the beginning often imagine, but imagine only, that this is already present in you.

This is necessary chiefly in order that the consciousness forming in oneself during an active state should continue also during a passive state.
Indeed - a very interesting extract and more so when I went and read further. But I'm not sure what Gurdjieff means when he says "...but imagine only, that this is already present in you." He seems to be referring to an understanding ridden of all doubt what must be done and how - but I just cannot conceive how this is possible, unless it refers to smaller aims.

I noticed that Henry included this extract and more in his article Living in Truth, in which he writes:

Henry said:
Another aspect of the work is to use the faculty of self-lying to bootstrap oneself towards the truth by pretending that one is already truthful. This can plant the seed.

Mouravieff touches on this:

The faculty of lying is the third element in our factitious life. It helps substantially to give it a semblance of continuity. We can easily realize the role played by this faculty of lying if we imagine what our existence would come to if this possibility were taken away. Life would become impossible, due to the shocks and conflicts which we would have to face. In this way, lies serve as buffers, like the buffers of railway carriages which soften shocks. It is this faculty of lying which makes our lives less of a battle, and contributes greatly to the impression of continuity life gives us. We are brought back once again to the fact that we attribute to ourselves faculties which we do not possess -except as possibilities for development: we pretend to be truthful because telling the truth and living a truthful life are possibilities which can become real; but they can do so much later, after we have worked hard and long upon ourselves. In the meantime we are condemned to lie. Whoever denies this only testifies to our difficulty in facing the truth. (Ibid., p. 29.)
But while we are telling ourselves these lies (that we are truthful) because they are true "potentially", we must be aware that we are lying in the sense that they are only provisionally true. They are lies until we develop the Will that will realize our potential to BE.

For this, we must be able to get in touch with the higher part of ourselves, because it is from that point of view that we can see ourselves as we are while also seeing the potential for who we can be.
So I'm understanding it like this: once we get in touch with the higher part of ourselves, we must ascribe these "higher attributes" to that part (perhaps Work 'I's or moments of self-remembering) with awareness that the many other-selves or programs still need to be exposed; and only when this has been accomplished, does the attribute become a true and actualised part of our being.

So when Gurdjieff said we should imagine that it is already present in us, he seems to be suggesting that it IS established somewhere (as in, the higher centers are fully functional) and that this more or less constant imagination can in a sense be used as a driving/steering force towards actualising it.

Anyway, I'll leave that there for the moment and go onto something else: the "I AM" reverberation. On page 134 he writes:

Gurdjieff said:
He who is exercising himself with this must at the beginning, when pronouncing the words "I am," imagine that this same reverberation is already proceeding in his solar plexus.

Here, by the way, it is curious to notice that as a result of the intentional concentration of this reverberation on any part of his body, a man can stop any disharmony which has arisen in this said part of the body, that is to say, he can for example cure his headache by concentrating the reverberation on that part of the head where has the sensation of pain."
One of the reasons why I wrote this reply now, was because immediately after posting this thread, I got the most intense headache - which gradually started to spread to my upper jaw. I remembered what Gurdjieff said, and I practiced (WITH attention - and it NEEDS attention) said reverberation, and instantly the headache pain ceased! The thumping of the blood didn't, I could still feel that, but it was painless as long as I maintained attention. But then of course, I'd lose it and become identified and it would return. I repeated it several times with certain results.

Now what you said above, about a certain bias, interests me. I realised that I've done this many times before, and I'd interpret it more or less as giving myself some momentary relief. Yes! It is creating "presence" - with attention - in a given area! I wonder whether there is a neuro-scientific explanation for this.

I also tried the night after your response, and reading a few chapters, practicing the reverberation in the solar plexus. Well I felt SOMETHING, a sort of "fuller pulse" from the dead centre out a few inches. But then when I stood up, I couldn't seem to replicate it - almost as if it needed more attention to try and "home in" the solar plexus area, so I didn't bother.

I'd be interested to see if anybody else could experiment with this. I'll post the whole chapter if needed.

Best regards,
Craig
 

Laura

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Craig said:
So I'm understanding it like this: once we get in touch with the higher part of ourselves, we must ascribe these "higher attributes" to that part (perhaps Work 'I's or moments of self-remembering) with awareness that the many other-selves or programs still need to be exposed; and only when this has been accomplished, does the attribute become a true and actualised part of our being.

So when Gurdjieff said we should imagine that it is already present in us, he seems to be suggesting that it IS established somewhere (as in, the higher centers are fully functional) and that this more or less constant imagination can in a sense be used as a driving/steering force towards actualising it.
You are getting the cart before the horse here. You say "once we get in touch with the higher part of ourselves, we must ascribe..."

No, the object of the exercise is to work on developing the organ that CAN "get in touch with the higher part."

Another way of putting it is similar to what Thomas Jefferson wrote about good manners: "In truth, politeness is artificial good humor, it covers the natural want of it, and ends by rendering habitual a substitute nearly equivalent to the real virtue...."

And as Gurdjieff was suggesting, if you begin to act habitually as if you did have contact with the higher part, it may eventually become not just an equivalent, but the real thing.

Ark's favorite quote says the same thing: Those that follow that part of themselves that is small, become small men; those that follow that part of themselves that is great, become great men."
 
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