Self-Observation, Inner Talking & Work Instrument

Aiming

The Living Force
nemo said:
I don`t know much about therapys (little bit on Analysis and Gestalt) but wonder if certain group therapys couldn`t be utilized to tear down those emotional buffers???

I've done family constellation therapy a few times - back then, it seemed to resolve some past pain, but eventually didn't change much.
The experience I have from group supervision is that it can help to track back programs and help to let repressed emotions come to the surface.
Here however, it's important to have an experienced therapist who makes sure that the person tries to cope with what is coming up. I've seen it many times that in those situations a person tends to fall into self pity and is looking to get fed (like so many times with me, too).

I've come to think of the following:
in order to heal past wounds it's not only necessary to feel them again and understand what exactly happened and what its impact exactly is, but the next step is to then gradually change one's behaviour - a behaviour that before used to induce fear. For example, if one's mechanical behaviour was to block expressing any emotions, one can gradually make efforts to have the courage to allow them to occur, osit.
I still think I still haven't quite understood the whole matter. I'm trying to combine healing techniques and Work techniques, but somehow I can't seem to grok it.
 

nemo

Jedi
Bellibaste said:
Usually the only witnesses are our parents who might not be very objective about what really happened. (...)
From what I understand babies do like loving touching and they are the first victims of a lack of loving touching.
I agree that our parents are not objective. I assume that the touching issue became a problem after the skin rash, when I was a toddler. Will have to check that one with my mom again since it`s been some time since she told me about that. Laura suggested to view illnesses also as a reflection of psychic issues. Have to get into that as well!
essence said:
Here however, it's important to have an experienced therapist who makes sure that the person tries to cope with what is coming up. (...) I'm trying to combine healing techniques and Work techniques, but somehow I can't seem to grok it.
Procrastination, the fear of getting the wrong therapist and being unsure about which therapy to use (most of them I couldn`t afford anyway) prevented me from having a therapy so far.
While I`m gathering theoretical knowledge about the Work and - up to a point - making my experiences with it, i feel like i´m "swimming" regarding to what to do.
Knowing of the three centres and observing them in action are a different pair of shoes. There`s so many interesting things to be found in G`s writings. I`m curious inhowfar I`m getting to really apply them.
 

gotogo

Jedi Master
Just sharing an experience of Self-Observation...

Last week end, I was in a kind of depressed mood (seems a 'pattern' around the end of a release period in my computer job).
I was reading a book by J.Krishnamurti - The Urgency of Change (in Japanese though :-[) where he emphasizes the importance of Self-Observation. Suddenly a 'click' happened and the room I was in appeared to become brighter (a 3rd state of Consciousness)...

I just remembered it is so fun to Watch what is going on right now whatever they are as they are. Everything from a sense of typing letters with fingers and sounds around, how to breath, how thoughts move one from another and how this sadness tastes like... Suddenly so wide and rich 'inner space' is opened up! :wizard:
 

Adobe

Jedi
FOTCM Member
Years ago I worked on emotions to the point of ignoring them. Then realized there’s a service they “sometimes” have. Alerting you to something that needs your attention (also remembering they may be base-less and just need ignored) Take them as a signpost, make action or not, then drop them, fear anger etc, just drop them after you have assessed what they have to say. I try to be emotion-less in reference to the negative, and enjoy the “feeling” of the positive.
Often in reading I come across, “emotions use them”, feel them, etc. and in ISOTM G. discusses controlling the lower emotions. Which started me thinking of “what are the higher emotions and what do we do with them?”

At present I deal with them in this manner: Fear comes…ok what’s the issue? Rent due and job lost, ok must assess options a get to doing, now stop the fear “feeling” and proceed. Happiness…ok what’s the reason…going to dinner with good friends and so forth, good, enjoy the happy “feelings”.

Issues with both sides: Negative emotions aren’t as easy to get rid of as I have stated (its hard work) and the positive emotion I have a tendency to want to suppress knowing that they are transient and will be missed when gone. I realized I could name 8 or 10 negative emotions, but could name only 1 or 2 positive emotions, so I search out a list (not mine but gave me something to work with). I’m going to put them below. Some of these can go both positive and negative.

Positive: Love (?), Appreciation, Happiness, Hope, Enthusiasm, Vitality, Confidence, Gratitude, Patients, Trust, Astonishment, Faith, Compassion.

Negative: Fear, Anger, Guilt, Depression, Pride, Jealousy, Self pity, Anxiety, Resentment, Envy, Frustration, Shame, Pity.

I’m somewhat unclear on this subject. Can anyone add some clarity, criticize the list, and especially, is there a “work” that should be done with the positive emotions?

Eagles Desperado: “your losing all your highs and lows, ain't if funny how the feelings go away” I used to think that was a good thing…now I’m taking a second look.
 

anart

The Living Force
Adobe said:
Years ago I worked on emotions to the point of ignoring them.

Learning to shut down emotions isn't really working on them, it's working against them.


adobe said:
Then realized there’s a service they “sometimes” have.

You will get nowhere - literally nowhere - without your emotions. An active and healthy emotional center is vital to the Work.


adobe said:
Alerting you to something that needs your attention (also remembering they may be base-less and just need ignored) Take them as a signpost, make action or not, then drop them, fear anger etc, just drop them after you have assessed what they have to say. I try to be emotion-less in reference to the negative, and enjoy the “feeling” of the positive.

It sounds like you've done an enormous amount of emotional buffering, this is very common.


adobe said:
Often in reading I come across, “emotions use them”, feel them, etc. and in ISOTM G. discusses controlling the lower emotions. Which started me thinking of “what are the higher emotions and what do we do with them?”

In order to access the higher centers, ones lower centers must be fused and working as they should. The power of emotions cannot be over stated. Have you read the Gnosis trilogy yet or the complete Wave Series?

adobe said:
At present I deal with them in this manner: Fear comes…ok what’s the issue? Rent due and job lost, ok must assess options a get to doing, now stop the fear “feeling” and proceed. Happiness…ok what’s the reason…going to dinner with good friends and so forth, good, enjoy the happy “feelings”.

Issues with both sides: Negative emotions aren’t as easy to get rid of as I have stated (its hard work) and the positive emotion I have a tendency to want to suppress knowing that they are transient and will be missed when gone.

In other words, your emotions rule you - in your efforts to control them or shut them out, or 'get rid of them' they control you instead of you controlling them. Have you had an opportunity to start the EE program yet? It really is quite beneficial.
 

Turgon

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
I agree with anart's assessment. Without our emotions, we're essentially automatons, robots. Even though emotions are sometimes hard to deal with and transient, they are important when trying to progress in the Work. The positive and the negative. And healthy emotions that can be cultivated are essential for spiritual growth and understanding, osit.
 

obyvatel

The Living Force
Hi Adobe,
As others have said, suppressing emotions is detrimental to growth. Many negative emotions (not all) are useful and essential in this process of growth. For example a feeling of dissatisfaction with oneself is a necessary emotion for self-growth.
There are negative emotions which get transformed as one evolves along the path of esoteric progress. Dabrowski examines this in great detail in his book "Multilevelness of Emotional and Instinctive Functions". There is a brief review of the book here . You can see how Dabrowski thought the negative emotions like fear and anxiety are likely to be experienced and expressed with personal evolution (post #8).
 

Adobe

Jedi
FOTCM Member
Anart, Obyvatel, and DanielS thank you for taking the time to answer this post. Knowing one is doing it incorrectly is progress. Can someone give an example of controling not surpressing a negitive emotion, and cultivating a positive one?

Thanks for the post on Dabrowski, I'll work with it. Yes I have been doing the EE for 5 month now, read the wave series and in the process of finishing the 5 suggested books. I havent heard of the Gnosis Trilolgy, and presently in an overseas locating where the books are not easy to obtain...is there a site you could suggest for reading on this subject?
 

obyvatel

The Living Force
Hi Adobe,
Depression As A Stepping Stone (to Soul Growth) is an excellent source for understanding how not to suppress negative emotions. You can also look at
The Usefulness of the Negative Half of the Emotional Center
Buffers, Programs and "the Predator's Mind"
.
You mentioned the 5 suggested books that your are reading - I assume they are the ones on psychology and narcissism. These should also help a lot in understanding where most of these negative emotions come from.
As far as cultivating positive emotions are concerned, I feel based on personal experience that as we start to get a handle on the causes of negative emotions and start to catch them as they try to seize control of us, a space is created within us which can sometimes be filled by positive emotions. For me the joy that comes with understanding something is a positive emotion that keeps me going. Similarly, certain mundane situations in everyday life - like the sun shining, birds chirping, breeze blowing, seeing the joy in the children playing etc can give rise to a state of happiness. I do not cultivate the positive emotion by itself but it happens sometimes in certain situations. EE helps quite a bit too - after EE I sometimes feel lighter and more calm and peaceful. But I mostly struggle with negative emotions and this is the most common condition for me - positive emotions are much less common.
Since you are familiar with ISOTM, you are possibly aware of the 3 centers - moving, emotional and intellectual.Both Gurdjieff in ISOTM and Mouravieff in Gnosis speak about two higher centers that are fully developed and working perfectly in souled human beings - the higher emotional and the higher intellectual centers. Only by working on the lower centers and developing them properly can one access the higher centers and consequently higher emotions and thoughts.
[quote author=ISOTM]
"In order to understand the work of the human machine and its possibilities, one must know that, apart from these three centers and those connected with them, we have two more centers, fully developed and properly functioning, but they are not connected with our usual life nor with the three centers in which we are aware of ourselves.
"The existence of these higher centers in us is a greater riddle than the hidden treasure which men who believe in the existence of the mysterious and the miraculous have sought since the remotest times.
"All mystical and occult systems recognize the existence of higher forces and capacities in man although, in many cases, they admit the existence of these forces and capacities only in the form of possibilities, and speak of the necessity for developing the hidden forces in man. This present teaching differs from many others by the fact that it affirms that the higher centers exist in man and are fully developed.
"It is the lower centers that are undeveloped. And it is precisely this lack of development, or the incomplete functioning, of the lower centers that prevents us from making use of the work of the higher centers.

"As has been said earlier, there are two higher centers:
"The higher emotional center, working with hydrogen 12, and
"The higher thinking center, working with hydrogen 6.
"If we consider the work of the human machine from the point of view of the 'hydrogens' which work the centers, we shall see why the higher centers cannot be connected with the lower ones.
"The intellectual center works with hydrogen 48; the moving center with hydrogen 24.
"If the emotional center were to work with hydrogen 12, its work would be connected with the work of the higher emotional center. In those cases where the work of the emotional center reaches the intensity and speed of existence which is given by hydrogen 12, a temporary connection with the higher emotional center takes place and man experiences new emotions, new impressions hitherto entirely unknown to him, for the description of which he has neither words nor expressions. But in ordinary conditions the difference between the speed of our usual emotions and the speed of the higher emotional center is so great that no connection can take place and we fail to hear within us the voices which are speaking and calling to us from the higher emotional center. "The higher thinking center, working with hydrogen 6, is still further removed from us, still less accessible. Connection with it is possible only through the higher emotional center. It is only from descriptions of mystical experiences, ecstatic states, and so on, that we know cases of such connections. These states can occur on the basis of religious emotions, or, for short moments, through particular narcotics; or in certain pathological states such as epileptic fits or accidental traumatic injuries to the brain, in which cases it is difficult to say which is the cause and which is the effect, that is, whether the pathological state results from this connection or is its cause.
"If we could connect the centers of our ordinary consciousness with the higher thinking center deliberately and at will, it would be of no use to us whatever in our present general state. In most cases where accidental contact with the higher thinking center takes place a man becomes unconscious. The mind refuses to take in the flood of thoughts, emotions, images, and ideas which suddenly burst into it. And instead of a vivid thought, or a vivid emotion, there results, on the contrary, a complete blank, a state of unconsciousness. The memory retains only the first moment when the flood rushed in on the mind and the last moment when the flood was receding and consciousness returned. But even these moments are so full of unusual shades and colors that there is nothing with which to compare them among the ordinary sensations of life. This is usually all that remains from so-called 'mystical' and 'ecstatic' experiences, which represent a temporary connection with a higher center. Only very seldom does it happen that a mind which has been better prepared succeeds in grasping and remembering something of what was felt and understood at the moment of ecstasy. But even in these cases the thinking, the moving, and the emotional centers remember and transmit everything in their own way, translate absolutely new and never previously experienced sensations into the language of usual everyday sensations, transmit in worldly three-dimensional forms things which pass completely beyond the limits of worldly measurements; in this way, of course, they entirely distort every trace of what remains in the memory of these unusual experiences. Our ordinary centers, in transmitting the impressions of the higher centers, may be compared to a blind man speaking of colors, or to a deaf man speaking of music.
"In order to obtain a correct and permanent connection between the lower and the higher centers, it is necessary to regulate and quicken the work of the lower centers.
"Moreover, as has been already said, lower centers work in a wrong way, for very often, instead of their own proper functions, one or another of them takes upon itself the work of other centers. This considerably reduces the speed of the general work of the machine and makes acceleration of the work of the centers very difficult. Thus in order to regulate and accelerate the work of the lower centers, the primary object must consist in freeing each center from work foreign and unnatural to it, and in bringing it back to its own work which it can do better than any other center.
[/quote]
So it seems that in order to really experience positive emotions of a higher order, we need to work on developing the lower emotional center first and the way to achieve this consists of self-observation, self-remembering and the struggle to not identify with and express negative emotions through the intellectual or motor centers (wrong work of centers - emotional energy usurped by the other centers).
fwiw
 

Stevie Argyl

Jedi Master
Hi Adobe

RE
Often in reading I come across, “emotions use them”, feel them, etc. and in ISOTM G. discusses controlling the lower emotions. Which started me thinking of “what are the higher emotions and what do we do with them?”


G discusses controlling the lower emotion: He discusses non expression - not suppresion. Eg. If I always let the energy of my anger/fear go outward toward expression I learn very little about what in me is reacting . I learn liitle of what beliefs,attitudes,patterns,conditionings make me a slave, a re-actor instead of an actor.

RE:
At present I deal with them in this manner: Fear comes…ok what’s the issue? Rent due and job lost, ok must assess options a get to doing, now stop the fear “feeling” and proceed. Happiness…ok what’s the reason…going to dinner with good friends and so forth, good, enjoy the happy “feelings”.

'now stop the fear “feeling” and proceed.' /' enjoy the happy “feelings” ' --- Suggestion for an experiment. Why not just observe both until you get to know the habits? No need to stop the fear, sit in it without adding thought or subtracting thoughts - see what arises.

Issues with both sides: Negative emotions aren’t as easy to get rid of as I have stated (its hard work) and the positive emotion I have a tendency to want to suppress knowing that they are transient and will be missed when gone. I realized I could name 8 or 10 negative emotions, but could name only 1 or 2 positive emotions, so I search out a list (not mine but gave me something to work with). I’m going to put them below. Some of these can go both positive and negative.


RE:
Positive: Love (?), Appreciation, Happiness, Hope, Enthusiasm, Vitality, Confidence, Gratitude, Patients, Trust, Astonishment, Faith, Compassion.

Negative: Fear, Anger, Guilt, Depression, Pride, Jealousy, Self pity, Anxiety, Resentment, Envy, Frustration, Shame, Pity.

I’m somewhat unclear on this subject. Can anyone add some clarity, criticize the list, and especially, is there a “work” that should be done with the positive emotions?

in this list :

'Positive: Love (?), Appreciation, Happiness, Hope, Enthusiasm, Vitality, Confidence, Gratitude, Patients, Trust, Astonishment, Faith, Compassion.'

I see emotions, attitudes and sensations mixed up. observe without labelling. All of the above can be mechanical reactions even though labelled positive.

Without dissecting everything on te list. Gurdjieff would say that as we are we have no positive emotions, eg. If someone says something nice about us we 'love' them, if later we hear they have spoken behind our back we 'dislike' them - its all mechanical.

In your list Shame can be positive - we realise we are not making the grade we set ourselves - perhaps we have exploited someone we feel shame this can be positive.
But, I didnt comb my hair , I looked a mess when I unexpectadly bumped into that girl I like, I feel shame - mechanical shame from self-love and vanity.

Observe, dont judge, dont change a thing - learn the machine.

Have you read ISOTM and Beelzebubs tales?
 

Adobe

Jedi
FOTCM Member
Ok, I’m not as far off I thought, but still need to bring the work on emotions up from the basement to the living room.

Stevie, yes on ISOTM and no not yet on Beelzebub’s tales, and thanks for the input.

Obyvatel, in reference to Self Remembering have you any experiences you can discuss. I have been practicing it for the last week. I’m moving from brief seconds to 10-20 seconds at a time. Switching observation points usually breaks the contact.
 

obyvatel

The Living Force
Adobe said:
Obyvatel, in reference to Self Remembering have you any experiences you can discuss. I have been practicing it for the last week. I’m moving from brief seconds to 10-20 seconds at a time. Switching observation points usually breaks the contact.
I am not at the level of practicing self-remembering. I do practice self observation with the goal of identifying and struggling with the automated programs that are run by the false personality. My self observation is at the state where I often catch the narcissistic, self-important, self-pitying, self-justifying parts in their act and this breaks their hold over me temporarily. Initially when I had started the work, I had followed the suggestion to just record whatever small i's came up in daily life and keep a journal without trying to change what I saw. After pursuing this track for some time, I am now struggling with these small i's, and trying to choose responses to situations in daily life which are not governed by an automated reaction.
As per my understanding, self observation and this struggle with the false personality is not self remembering but is a preparatory step towards it. Self-remembering as per my understanding is a state of consciousness where there is a divided attention which can simultaneously look at a phenomenon and the experiencer of that phenomenon. In other words it may be said that there is always an impartial observer who consciously watches all that happens within the self without getting identified with what is going on. Gurdjieff describes this as the third state of consciousness.
[quote author=ISOTM on self-remembering]
"In all there are four states of consciousness possible for man" (he emphasized the word "man"), "But ordinary man, that is, man number one, number two, and number three, lives in the two lowest states of consciousness only. The two higher states of consciousness are inaccessible to him, and although he may have flashes of these states, he is unable to understand them and he judges them from the point of view of those states in which it is usual for him to be.
"The two usual, that is, the lowest, states of consciousness are first, sleep, in other words a passive state in which man spends a third and very often a half of his life. And second, the state in which men spend the other part of their lives, in which they walk the streets, write books, talk on lofty subjects, take part in politics, kill one another, which they regard as active and call 'clear consciousness' or the 'waking state of consciousness.' The term 'clear consciousness' or 'waking state of consciousness' seems to have been given in jest, especially when you realize what clear consciousness ought in reality to be and what the state in which man lives and acts really is.
"The third state of consciousness is self-remembering or self-consciousness or consciousness of one's being. It is usual to consider that we have this state of consciousness or that we can have it if we want it. Our science and philosophy have overlooked the fact that we do not possess this state of consciousness and that we cannot create it in ourselves by desire or decision alone.
"The fourth state of consciousness is called the objective state of consciousness In this state a man can see things as they are. Flashes of this state of consciousness also occur in man. In the religions of all nations there are indications of the possibility of a state of consciousness of this kind which is called 'enlightenment' and various other names but which cannot be described in words. But the only right way to objective consciousness is through the development of self-consciousness.
....................................
The two higher states of consciousness—'self-consciousness' and 'objective consciousness'—are connected with the functioning of the higher centers in man.
.......................................
"How can one awaken? How can one escape this sleep? These questions are the most important, the most vital that can ever confront a man. But before this it is necessary to be convinced of the very fact of sleep. But it is possible to be convinced of this only by trying to awaken. When a man understands that he does not remember himself and that to remember himself means to awaken to some extent, and when at the same time he sees by experience how difficult it is to remember himself, he will understand that he cannot awaken simply by having the desire to do so. It can be said still more precisely that a man cannot awaken by himself. But if, let us say, twenty people make an agreement that whoever of them awakens first shall wake the rest, they already have some chance. Even this, however, is insufficient because all the twenty can go to sleep at the same time and dream that they are waking up. Therefore more still is necessary. They must be looked after by a man who is not asleep or who does not fall asleep as easily as they do, or who goes to sleep consciously when this is possible, when it will do no harm either to himself or to others. They must find such a man and hire him to wake them and not allow them to fall asleep again. Without this it is impossible to awaken. This is what must be understood.
[/quote]

[quote author=ISOTM on self-observation]
Self-observation brings man to the realization of the necessity for self-change. And in observing himself a man notices that self-observation itself brings about certain changes in his inner processes. He begins to understand that self-observation is an instrument of selfchange, a means of awakening. By observing himself he throws, as it were, a ray of light onto his inner processes which have hitherto worked in complete darkness. And under the influence of this light the processes themselves begin to change. There are a great many chemical processes that can take place only in the absence of light. Exactly in the same way many psychic processes can take place only in the dark. Even a feeble light of consciousness is enough to change completely the character of a process, while it makes many of them altogether impossible.
...............................
"When a man comes to realize the necessity not only for self-study and self-observation but also for work on himself with the object of changing himself, the character of his self-observation must change. He has so far studied the details of the work of the centers, trying only to register this or that phenomenon, to be an impartial witness. He has studied the work of the machine. Now he must begin to see himself, that is to say, to see, not separate details, not the work of small wheels and levers, but to see everything taken together as a whole—the whole of himself such as others see him.
...............................
"Instead of the man he had supposed himself to be he will see quite another man. This 'other' man is himself and at the same time not himself. It is he as other people know him, as he imagines himself and as he appears in his actions, words, and so on; but not altogether such as he actually is. For a man himself knows that there is a great deal that is unreal, invented, and artificial in this other man whom other people know and whom he knows himself. You must learn to divide the real from the invented. And to begin self-observation and self-study it is necessary to divide oneself. A man must realize that he indeed consists of two men.
...................
So long as a man takes himself as one person he will never move from where he is. His work on himself starts from the moment when he begins to feel two men in himself. One is passive and the most it can do is to register or observe what is happening to it. The other, which calls itself 'I,' is active, and speaks of itself in the first person, is in reality only 'Ouspensky,' 'Petrov' or 'Zakharov.'
"This is the first realization that a man can have. Having begun to think correctly he very soon sees that he is completely in the power of his 'Ouspensky,' 'Petrov,' or 'Zakharov.' No matter what he plans or what he intends to do or say, it is not 'he,' not 'I,' that will carry it out, do or say it, but his 'Ouspensky' 'Petrov,' or 'Zakharov,' and of course they will do or say it, not in the way 'I' would have done or said it, but in their own way with their own shade of meaning, and often this shade of meaning completely changes what 'I' wanted to do.
"From this point of view there is a very definite danger arising from the very first moment of self-observation. It is 'I' who begins self-observation, but it is immediately taken up and continued by 'Ouspensky,' 'Zakharov,' or 'Petrov.' But 'Ouspensky' 'Zakharov,' or 'Petrov' from the very first steps introduces a slight alteration into this self-observation, an alteration which seems to be quite unimportant but which in reality fundamentally alters the whole thing.
...................

"But when a man understands his helplessness in the face of 'Ouspensky' his attitude towards himself and towards 'Ouspensky' in him ceases to be either indifferent or unconcerned.
"Self-observation becomes observation of 'Ouspensky' A man understands that he is not 'Ouspensky,' that 'Ouspensky' is nothing but the mask he wears, the part that he unconsciously plays and which unfortunately he cannot stop playing, a part which rules him and makes him do and say thousands of stupid things, thousands of things which he would never do or say himself.
...................
"If he is sincere with himself he feels that he is in the power of 'Ouspensky' and at the same time he feels that he is not 'Ouspensky.'"He begins to be afraid of 'Ouspensky,' begins to feel that he is his 'enemy.' No matter what he would like to do, everything is intercepted and altered by 'Ouspensky.' 'Ouspensky' is his 'enemy.' 'Ouspensky's' desires, tastes, sympathies, antipathies, thoughts, opinions, are either opposed to his own views, feelings, and moods, or they have nothing in common with them. And, at the same time, 'Ouspensky' is his master. He is the slave. He has no will of his own. He has no means of expressing his desires because whatever he would like to do or say would be done for him by 'Ouspensky.'
"On this level of self-observation a man must understand that his whole aim is to free himself from 'Ouspensky.' And since he cannot in fact free himself from 'Ouspensky,' because he is himself, he must therefore master 'Ouspensky' and make him do, not what the 'Ouspensky' of the given moment wants, but what he himself wants to do. From being the master, 'Ouspensky' must become the servant.
[/quote]
 

shellycheval

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
If it is of any help to you,

Boris Mouravieff's, Gnosis: Study and Commentaries on the Esoteric Tradition of Eastern Orthodoxy, volumes one and two

can be found at Boarders Used Books website: http://usedmarketplace.borders.com/

Vol I can be had for $20 American which is a real bargain as these books can be very hard to find--vol 3 is almost nonexistent.

Good Luck,
shellycheval
 

Buddy

The Living Force
Hi Adobe. I've had to back up and start from scratch so many times, it's not even funny. For me, the issue has not been dealing with real emotion, per se, but rather 'feelings'. Those 'things' that fool our false personality into believing they are emotions. Basically...intellectual and other biological urges, and discomforts from withdrawing from certain comfortable states. On the whole, we have learned to call these perceptions of state changes: emotion, when the truth may be that our emotional center is completely inactive, osit.

Here's an example from experience: Suppose you go to a convienence store to pick up an item from the counter. The person ahead of you is behaving strangely, talking to everyone, having difficulty with the transaction and the clerk isn't even paying attention. In short, nothing is happening in its predictable and usual pattern and you have no idea how long it's going to take, so you start to get annoyed...even a bit angry and start fidgeting, changing positions...generally acting out so that everyone can see how unhappy you are.

I don't know about you, but if this were me, it wouldn't be emotion. It is withdrawal, plain and simple. Things are not going smoothly; I'm not getting my 'hit' of predictable social ritual, more of my attention is called out to figure out what's going on and this process takes me out of some of my conditioned self-absorption - all uncomfortable stuff for a 'mechanical' man, but not an emotional issue, per se.

I'm assuming you've read the online Wave where Laura explains all this activity and it's effects?

I have found, thus far, no need to worry about positive emotions. The idea being that until I work on the lower, there is no point in working on the higher because even if I did get the higher working, these higher centers depend on the proper functioning of the lower for a stable and reliable energy supply, so it would just take forever to get anywhere with the 'whole self.'

The thread on Depression as a stepping stone (and obyvatel's other links) should give you some useful ideas, osit.

As for myself, I use various techniques. If the feelings aren't very strong, I hold them below the neck, acknowledging the sensations, but not 'thinking' them out the way I used to when I would talk to myself (in my mind) when feeling angry or whatnot. During this holding process, I try to just observe myself while keeping my thoughts on what's going on around me...looking for some kind of win-win solution that will benefit everyone if I happen to be in that kind of situation. Sometimes, I have held feelings in place so long, I forgot I was holding it until all of a sudden some insight occurs and I feel considerably surprised, having forgotten I was 'working on' something. The mood is then, considerably brightened and I even feel lighter somehow.

Sometimes feelings happen so fast, it's like getting popped with a rubber band - no time to deflect or parry. In that case, it's too late so I just minimize any physical expressions and observe myself as if I caught my ego trying to take over and I just look, trying to figure out what 'it' wants based on how it was reacting and trace that to whatever beliefs I might be holding onto to justify that.

Other times, brutal honesty is required. I may, on occasion, have to seek privacy to replay something and express my extreme dislike of someone or feel my infantile rage (that sounds a bit strong, but it will do to make the point, I think) at not being treated properly by the Universe or someone else, if that was the situation. Apparantly, this technique has served well, because I can no longer see any sense whatsoever in thinking that anyone or the Universe owes me anything at all.

The thing is, it has taken me almost a year and a half just to reach a level of detachment where I can self-observe effectively and see these feelings connected to 'ego' or a part of the 'ego' without being identified with it. The key is to observe at all times - shine the light on the (energetic) thief so that his actions can be seen. As long as your making the effort to observe, you've 'opened some space', so-to-speak, between yourself and what you are observing, making it much less likely that you will identify with, or be completely attached to something.

Whenever you feel that it's just so hard and takes so much effort and nothing's happening and you're about at the end of your rope...whatever you do, don't stop or give up trying, because that may just mean that you're just about there. In my case, I feel like it's my duty to reach my exhaustion point before I can justify ASKing for any higher assistance while being too tired to even expect anything.

Does any of this help?
 

anart

The Living Force
Bud said:
Here's an example from experience: Suppose you go to a convenience store to pick up an item from the counter. The person ahead of you is behaving strangely, talking to everyone, having difficulty with the transaction and the clerk isn't even paying attention. In short, nothing is happening in its predictable and usual pattern and you have no idea how long it's going to take, so you start to get annoyed...even a bit angry and start fidgeting, changing positions...generally acting out so that everyone can see how unhappy you are.

I don't know about you, but if this were me, it wouldn't be emotion. It is withdrawal, plain and simple. Things are not going smoothly; I'm not getting my 'hit' of predictable social ritual, more of my attention is called out to figure out what's going on and this process takes me out of some of my conditioned self-absorption - all uncomfortable stuff for a 'mechanical' man, but not an emotional issue, per se.


This is true. What you have described as 'withdrawal' is a mechanical reaction - nothing more - external stimuli is determining your behavior, there is no real action there on your part, just reaction.


bud said:
I have found, thus far, no need to worry about positive emotions. The idea being that until I work on the lower, there is no point in working on the higher because even if I did get the higher working, these higher centers depend on the proper functioning of the lower for a stable and reliable energy supply, so it would just take forever to get anywhere with the 'whole self.'

Just to clarify a few things - the higher centers do not need you to work on them. They function perfectly as they are. If they exist in an individual (if that person has the seed of a soul) the higher centers are fully functioning - the crux is that the lower centers, due to their condition, cannot connect with the fully functioning higher centers, thus the higher centers cannot connect, inform and interact with the individual (not consciously, though there can be subconscious 'bleed through' to my understanding).

Also, the lower emotional center has two halves, the positive and the negative, so you can interact with and learn from positive emotions while sorting out your lower emotional center. In fact, I think, if that were not possible, no one would ever fuse their lower emotional center, since our existence would be nothing but pain.

bud said:
The thread on Depression as a stepping stone (and obyvatel's other links) should give you some useful ideas, osit.

As for myself, I use various techniques. If the feelings aren't very strong, I hold them below the neck, acknowledging the sensations, but not 'thinking' them out the way I used to when I would talk to myself (in my mind) when feeling angry or whatnot. During this holding process, I try to just observe myself while keeping my thoughts on what's going on around me...looking for some kind of win-win solution that will benefit everyone if I happen to be in that kind of situation. Sometimes, I have held feelings in place so long, I forgot I was holding it until all of a sudden some insight occurs and I feel considerably surprised, having forgotten I was 'working on' something. The mood is then, considerably brightened and I even feel lighter somehow.

This is an important exercise. Gurdjieff stated often that in order to transmute negative emotions ( to utilize their energy to ones benefit ) that these negative emotions must be kept 'below the neck'. In other words - do not act on them, do not speak on them, do not vent them on others. resulting in pain in others and temporary relief in the self. Hold them, below the neck, in an exercise of Will and self-observation in order to remove their control over you and to utilize that energy to burn away small parts of yourself that create the programmed negative emotions to begin with - hold the fire within. This can be very difficult to do, but it is, quite simply, holding the fire in the furnace to affect internal change - there is enormous power in this, especially if the negative emotion in question is one born of programmed reaction.



bud said:
The thing is, it has taken me almost a year and a half just to reach a level of detachment where I can self-observe effectively and see these feelings connected to 'ego' or a part of the 'ego' without being identified with it. The key is to observe at all times - shine the light on the (energetic) thief so that his actions can be seen. As long as your making the effort to observe, you've 'opened some space', so-to-speak, between yourself and what you are observing, making it much less likely that you will identify with, or be completely attached to something.

I think that's an accurate assessment.



obyvatel said:
I am not at the level of practicing self-remembering. I do practice self observation with the goal of identifying and struggling with the automated programs that are run by the false personality. My self observation is at the state where I often catch the narcissistic, self-important, self-pitying, self-justifying parts in their act and this breaks their hold over me temporarily. Initially when I had started the work, I had followed the suggestion to just record whatever small i's came up in daily life and keep a journal without trying to change what I saw. After pursuing this track for some time, I am now struggling with these small i's, and trying to choose responses to situations in daily life which are not governed by an automated reaction.
As per my understanding, self observation and this struggle with the false personality is not self remembering but is a preparatory step towards it. Self-remembering as per my understanding is a state of consciousness where there is a divided attention which can simultaneously look at a phenomenon and the experiencer of that phenomenon. In other words it may be said that there is always an impartial observer who consciously watches all that happens within the self without getting identified with what is going on. Gurdjieff describes this as the third state of consciousness.

This is an accurate explanation, to my understanding and experience.
 
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