The First Initiation by Madame de Salzmann

Gandalf

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Here's an important text often quoted: (french version , spanish version, german version)


The 'First Initiation' written by Mme Jeanne de Salzmann:


You will see that in life you receive exactly what you give. Your life is the mirror of what you are. It is in your image. You are passive, blind, demanding. You take all, you accept all, without feeling any obligation. Your attitude toward the world and toward life is the attitude of one who has the right to make demands and to take, who has no need to pay or to earn. You believe that all things are your due, simply because it is you! All your blindness is there! ...

You live exclusively according to "I like" or "I don't like," you have no appreciation except for yourself. You recognize nothing above you-theoretically, logically, perhaps, but actually no. That is why you are demanding and continue to believe that everything is cheap and that you have enough in your pocket to buy everything you like. You recognize nothing above you, either outside yourself or inside. That is why, I repeat, you have no measure and live passively according to your likes and dislikes.

Yes, your "appreciation of yourself" blinds you. It is the biggest obstacle to a new life. You must be able to get over this obstacle, this threshold, before going further.

This test divides men into two kinds: the "wheat" and the "chaff." No matter how intelligent, how gifted, how brilliant a man may be, if he does not change his appreciation of himself, there will be no hope for an inner development, for a work toward self-knowledge, for a true becoming. He will remain such as he is all his life.

The first requirement, the first condition, the first test for one who wishes to work on himself is to change his appreciation of himself. He must not imagine, not simply believe or think, but see things in himself which he has never seen before, see them actually. His appreciation will never be able to change as long as he sees nothing in himself. And in order to see, he must learn to see; this is the first initiation of man into self-knowledge.

... If he sees one time he can see a second time, and if that continues he will no longer be able not to see. This is the state to be looked for, it is the aim of our observation; it is from there that the true wish will be born, the irresistible wish to become: from cold we shall become warm, vibrant; we shall be touched by our reality.

Today we have nothing but the illusion of what we are. We think too highly of ourselves. We do not respect ourselves. In order to respect myself, I have to recognize a part in myself which is above the other parts, and my attitude toward this part should bear witness to the respect that I have for it. In this way I shall respect myself. And my relations with others will be governed by the same respect.

You must understand that all the other measures - talent, education, culture, genius-are changing measures, measures of detail. The only exact measure, the only unchanging, objective real measure is the measure of inner vision. I see - I see myself - by this, you have measured. With one higher real part, you have measured another lower part, also real. And this measure, defining by itself the role of each part, will lead you to respect for yourself.

But you will see that it is not easy. And it is not cheap. You must pay dearly. For bad payers, lazy people, parasites, no hope. You must pay, pay a lot, and pay immediately, pay in advance. Pay with yourself. By sincere, conscientious, disinterested efforts. The more you are prepared to pay without economizing, without cheating, without any falsification, the more you will receive. And from that time on you will become acquainted with your nature. And you will see all the tricks, all the dishonesties that your nature resorts to in order to avoid paying hard cash. Because you have to pay with your ready-made theories, with your rooted convictions, with your prejudices, your conventions, your "I like" and "I don't like." Without bargaining, honestly, without pretending. Trying "sincerely" to see as you offer your counterfeit money.

Try for a moment to accept the idea that you are not what you believe yourself to be, that you overestimate yourself, in fact that you lie to yourself. That you always lie to yourself every moment, all day, all your life. That this lying rules you to such an extent that you cannot control it any more. You are the prey of lying. You lie, everywhere. Your relations with others - lies. The upbringing you give, the conventions - lies. Your teaching - lies. Your theories, your art- lies. Your social life, your family life - lies. And what you think of yourself - lies also.

But you never stop yourself in what you are doing or in what you are saying because you believe in yourself. You must stop inwardly and observe. Observe without preconceptions, accepting for a time this idea of lying. And if you observe in this way, paying with yourself, without self-pity, giving up all your supposed riches for a moment of reality, perhaps you will suddenly see something you have never before seen in yourself until this day.

You will see that you are different from what you think you are.

You will see that you are two.

One who is not, but takes the place and plays the role of the other. And one who is, yet so weak, so insubstantial, that he no sooner appears than he immediately disappears. He cannot endure lies. The least lie makes him faint away. He does not struggle, he does not resist, he is defeated in advance. Learn to look until you have seen the difference between your two natures, until you have seen the lies, the deception in yourself. When you have seen your two natures, that day, in yourself, the truth will be born.

http://www.gurdjieff.org/salzmann3.htm
 

Thomas Alan

The Living Force
Re: The First Initiation and Gurdjieff and Christianity

Thanks, Gandalf for posting this. Salzmann's piece is a mirror. It grabs us by the collar demanding our attention. Each paragraph probes deep into my being revealing the lies, evasions, narcissism.

Some of what Salzmann refers to as lie's, it seems to me, are really programmed, mechanical behavior. Such behavior does not even rise to the level of lies. To lie requires at least a tiny "doing". When we are mechanical we just flow along with no effort or will to all.

"You will see that in life you receive exactly what you give. Your life is the mirror of what you are. It is in your image. You are passive, blind, demanding. You take all, you accept all, without feeling any obligation. Your attitude toward the world and toward life is the attitude of one who has the right to make demands and to take, who has no need to pay or to earn. You believe that all things are your due, simply because it is you! All your blindness is there! ..."

Such horror at seeing the truth in myself. But a worse horror would be to not see. To just go with the flow of life, which is really just water circling the drain.

"But you will see that it is not easy. And it is not cheap. You must pay dearly. For bad payers, lazy people, parasites, no hope. You must pay, pay a lot, and pay immediately, pay in advance. Pay with yourself. By sincere, conscientious, disinterested efforts. The more you are prepared to pay without economizing, without cheating, without any falsification, the more you will receive. And from that time on you will become acquainted with your nature. And you will see all the tricks, all the dishonesties that your nature resorts to in order to avoid paying hard cash. Because you have to pay with your ready-made theories, with your rooted convictions, with your prejudices, your conventions, your "I like" and "I don't like." Without bargaining, honestly, without pretending. Trying "sincerely" to see as you offer your counterfeit money."

This is the price. Every coin must be paid. Free passes are deadly to our being.

"The first requirement, the first condition, the first test for one who wishes to work on himself is to change his appreciation of himself. He must not imagine, not simply believe or think, but see things in himself which he has never seen before, see them actually. His appreciation will never be able to change as long as he sees nothing in himself. And in order to see, he must learn to see; this is the first initiation of man into self- knowledge."

Learning to see. See ourselves as we really are. To do it everyday. To shake each other awake, no time to waste.

Mac
 

Breton

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Re: The First Initiation and Gurdjieff and Christianity

It is so important.
And so hard.
It rings in my head as I do my homework (in process) to see myself and my programs.

Here is me reciting it. I sometimes listen to it when commuting. :)

http://www.mediafire.com/file/ywiz0mwxwml/First_Initiation_pianobackground.mp3
 

3DStudent

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Re: The First Initiation and Gurdjieff and Christianity

Thank you Breton. I just listened to your audio recitation and it was well done. :)
 

Breton

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Re: The First Initiation and Gurdjieff and Christianity

3D Student said:
Thank you Breton. I just listened to your audio recitation and it was well done. :)
Thanks Mac and 3D student and any suggestions for improvement for the future are welcome, of course.

I was trying some creative acts as I mentioned a couple of months ago in
http://www.cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php?topic=14843.msg121683#msg121683
and that was one of the things I attempted.
 
P

prasimix

Guest
Re: The First Initiation and Gurdjieff and Christianity

Gandalf, maybe a stupid comment, but is it allowed to post a copyrighted material on this forum without mentioning a source?
 
B

Bar Kochba

Guest
Re: The First Initiation and Gurdjieff and Christianity

i know i lie all the time unconsciously because i realize it after the fact. But lately i realize it in the midst of the lie so there is a sign of progress. And i always thought i was honest until i read ISOTM. the process of working on on oneself is extremely difficult and painful. Yet its the most rewarding thing one can do, especially if one is a parent imho.
 

Mark

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Re: The First Initiation and Gurdjieff and Christianity

prasimix said:
Gandalf, maybe a stupid comment, but is it allowed to post a copyrighted material on this forum without mentioning a source?
Nope. Fair use of copyrighted material should always be attributed.

The quote is clearly attributed to its author, Mme Jeanne de Salzmann. Which publications it was printed in probably doesn't matter in this particular instance.
 
P

prasimix

Guest
Re: The First Initiation and Gurdjieff and Christianity

m said:
prasimix said:
Gandalf, maybe a stupid comment, but is it allowed to post a copyrighted material on this forum without mentioning a source?
Nope. Fair use of copyrighted material should always be attributed.

The quote is clearly attributed to its author, Mme Jeanne de Salzmann. Which publications it was printed in probably doesn't matter in this particular instance.
Ok, I asked this since I was read this article here, where copyright info is stated at the end, and I don't like an idea that someone use that against this community.
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Re: The First Initiation and Gurdjieff and Christianity

http://w2.eff.org/IP/eff_fair_use_faq.php

1. What is Fair Use?

In essence, fair use is a limitation on the exclusive rights of copyright holders. The Copyright Act gives copyright holders the exclusive right to reproduce works for a limited time period. Fair use is a limitation on this right. A use which is considered "fair" does not infringe copyright, even if it involves one of the exclusive rights of copyright holders. Fair use allows consumers to make a copy of part or all of a copyrighted work, even where the copyright holder has not given permission or objects to your use of the work.

2. How does Fair Use fit with Copyright Law?

Copyright law embodies a bargain: Congress gave copyright holders a set of six exclusive rights for a limited time period, and gave to the public all remaining rights in creative works. The goals of the bargain are to give copyright holders an economic incentive to create works that ultimately benefit society as a whole, and by doing so, to promote the progress of science and learning in society. Congress never intended Copyright law to give copyright holders complete control of their works. The bargain also ensures that created works move into "the public domain" and are available for unlimited use by the public when the time period finishes. In addition, as part of the public's side of this bargain, U.S. Copyright law recognizes the doctrine of "fair use" as a limitation on copyright holders' exclusive right of reproduction of their works during the initial protected time period.

The public's right to make fair use of copyrighted works is a long-established and integral part of US copyright law. Courts have used fair use as the means of balancing the competing principles underlying copyright law since 1841. Fair use also reconciles a tension that would otherwise exist between copyright law and the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of expression. The Supreme Court has described fair use as "the guarantee of breathing space for new expression within the confines of Copyright law".

3. How Do You Know If It's Fair Use?

There are no clear-cut rules for deciding what's fair use and there are no "automatic" classes of fair uses. Fair use is decided by a judge, on a case by case basis, after balancing the four factors listed in section 107 of the Copyright statute. The factors to be considered include:

1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes -- Courts are more likely to find fair use where the use is for noncommercial purposes.

2. The nature of the copyrighted work -- A particular use is more likely to be fair where the copied work is factual rather than creative.

3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole -- A court will balance this factor toward a finding of fair use where the amount taken is small or insignificant in proportion to the overall work.

4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work -- If the court finds the newly created work is not a substitute product for the copyrighted work, it will be more likely to weigh this factor in favor of fair use.

4. What's been recognized as fair use?

Courts have previously found that a use was fair where the use of the copyrighted work was socially beneficial. In particular, U.S. courts have recognized the following fair uses: criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, research and parodies.

In addition, in 1984 the Supreme Court held that time-shifting (for example, private, non-commercial home taping of television programs with a VCR to permit later viewing) is fair use. (Sony Corporation of America v. Universal City Studios, 464 U.S. 417 (1984, S.C.)

Although the legal basis is not completely settled, many lawyers believe that the following (and many other uses) are also fair uses:

* Space-shifting or format-shifting - that is, taking content you own in one format and putting it into another format, for personal, non-commercial use. For instance, "ripping" an audio CD (that is, making an MP3-format version of an audio CD that you already own) is considered fair use by many lawyers, based on the 1984 Betamax decision and the 1999 Rio MP3 player decision (RIAA v. Diamond Multimedia, 180 F. 3d 1072, 1079, 9th Circ. 1999.)
* Making a personal back-up copy of content you own - for instance, burning a copy of an audio CD you own.

5. Is Fair Use a Right or Merely a Defense?

Lawyers disagree about the conceptual nature of fair use. Some lawyers claim that fair use is merely a defense to a claim of copyright infringement. Although fair use is often raised as a defense, many lawyers argue that fair use can also be viewed as having a broader scope than this. If fair use is viewed as a limitation on the exclusive rights of copyright holders, fair use can be seen as a scope of positive freedom available to users of copyrighted material. On this view, fair use is the space which the U.S. copyright system recognizes between the rights granted to copyright holders and the rights reserved to the public, where uses of works may or may not be subject to copyright protection. Copyright law gives the decision about whether copyright law applies to a particular use in this space to a Federal Court judge, to decide after weighing up all relevant factors and the underlying policies of copyright law.

6. For More Information

http://fairuse.stanford.edu/
 

Bernhard

Jedi Master
Re: The First Initiation and Gurdjieff and Christianity

Breton said:
3D Student said:
Thank you Breton. I just listened to your audio recitation and it was well done. :)
Thanks Mac and 3D student and any suggestions for improvement for the future are welcome, of course.

I was trying some creative acts as I mentioned a couple of months ago in
http://www.cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php?topic=14843.msg121683#msg121683
and that was one of the things I attempted.
Thank you Breton for doing this! Very well done!
 

Hesper

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Re: The First Initiation and Gurdjieff and Christianity

Hi Gandalf thanks for posting this speech and Breton, thank-you for making this speech into an amazing audio track. This is exactly the kind of music I've been looking for, and your reading is exquisite.
 
Re: The First Initiation and Gurdjieff and Christianity

Thank you Breton. Very nice to hear someone reciting this important piece of text. And the recording and soundtrack is very well made.
 

Buddy

The Living Force
Re: The First Initiation and Gurdjieff and Christianity

For awhile, I got so sick of seeing this "The 'First Initiation' written by Mme Jeanne de Salzmann" posted that I was ready to blow my top. Today I'm thinking that a person ought to read this until it no longer effects him/her and becomes as obvious as the back of the hand.

I am glad that I have been doing most of the study and experimentation with the basic psychology of the predator's mind alone, because if I had started this in a group, I would have been thrown out long ago.

I don't think it's possible to fully communicate the depth that I had plunged to lately, but the thing I feared the most finally happened, osit, as I seemed to have come face to face with the roots of my own false personality. The quantity of stored up hate almost overwhelmed me. My own built in inhibitions are what kept me from accepting it sooner. The biblical tale about descending to the pit of hell and looking for a key or two seems to be fairly adequate, though it may appear to be a bit pompous.

The mountain of lies is truly enormous. The only way I could find to handle it is to simply accept that from the perspective of our ordinary understanding of self-concepts, the reality is that there is simply nothing there (in those terms). The way to do the Work is not to pile ideas of this and that on top of the primitive patterns of reaction already there, but to become intimately aquainted with one's own predator's mind (G's false personality, or the sufi's "Commanding Self"), itself, and then to rewire new, more mature behavior.

I even went through a short phase where I had utterly no concern at all whether anyone likes me or not. I simply see no way for it to matter except from the perspective of the need for external consideration and to respect the freewill of others to believe what they wish. Maybe this is a sign that I can refrain from creating another version of 'me' and simply deal with what is there.

If this is what "The 'First Initiation'" feels like, it makes me feel sick, so there it is.
 
Top Bottom