To grow a soul, one must study events of the past

Mikey

The Living Force
I came across an interesting passage in Gurdjieff's book Meetings with Remarkable Men. It is a fascinating book and would encourage everyone to get a copy and read it.

Gurdjieff excerted tremendous efforts, often under great danger and with great cunning, to visit places in eastern countries where no European could go, in the search for secrets that could not have been learned otherwise. This book is a chronicle of his adventures, with direct quotes of several remarkable men that he and his fellows met during the journeys.

The following excerpt is about Father Giovanni, a former Christian priest who entered the 'World Brotherhood' (in Kafiristan), which was a fellowship unifying a number of adepts coming from various religious origins (Christians, Jews, Mohammedans, Buddhists, Lamaists, Shamanists).


The interesting part is about "studying events of the past" as a prerequisite to grow a soul. This is interesting in respect to the work we do on this forum, of which a large part is studying history.

Meetings with Remarable Men said:
Many extraordinary questions which never enter the heads of contemporary people were then aroused in us and elucidated by this rare man, Father Giovanni, the like of whom is scarcely ever met with in contemporary life. One of his explanations, which followed a question put to him by Professor Skridlov two days before we left the monastery, is of enormous interest for everyone, owing to the depth of the thoughts it contained and its possible significance for contemporary people who have already reached responsible age.

This question of Professor Skridlov was torn from him as from the depths of his being, when Father Giovanni had said that, before counting on really coming under the effects and influences of the higher forces, it was absolutely necessary to have a soul, which it was possible to acquire only through voluntary and involuntary experiencings and information intentionally learned about real events which had taken place in the past. He convincingly added that this in its turn was possible almost exclusively in youth, when the definite data received from Great Nature are not yet spent on unnecessary, fantastic aims, which appear to be good owing only to the abnormally established conditions of the life of people.

At these words Professor Skridlov sighed deeply and exclaimed in despair: 'What, then, can we do; how can we live on?'

In answer to this exclamation of Skridlov, Father Giovanni, having remained silent for a moment, expressed those remarkable thoughts which I consider it necessary to reproduce, in so far as possible, word for word. I shall place them, as relating to the question of the soul, that is, the third independently formed part of the common presence of a man, in the chapter entitled 'The divine body of man, and its needs and possible manifestations according to law', but only in the third series of my writings. [Note: This is Life is only real when I Am] [...]
 

Gary

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Thank you very much Data. It sounds like a book with valuable and timely teachings!
 

Mikey

The Living Force
Yes, I hope I will find more info on this in Life is only real when I Am. If so, I am going to post it here.
 

Scottie

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Data said:
The interesting part is about "studying events of the past" as a prerequisite to grow a soul. This is interesting in respect to the work we do on this forum, of which a large part is studying history.
Not to mention working on SOTT, where knowledge of the past is kind of essential to understand what's going on now.
 

davey72

The Living Force
This book was also turned into A movie. It was made by Madame Blavatsky if i remember correctly. I have only read about a third of the book, but i am not sure the movie does it justice. Still very interesting to watch though. Can be found here. -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PHOE_7ZK3o
 

Zadius Sky

Ambassador
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FOTCM Member
davey72 said:
This book was also turned into A movie. It was made by Madame Blavatsky if i remember correctly. I have only read about a third of the book, but i am not sure the movie does it justice. Still very interesting to watch though. Can be found here. -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PHOE_7ZK3o
Madame Blavatsky? Helena Blavatsky? No, she had no involvement with the book or the film. Were you thinking of Jeanne de Salzmann, who was involved?
 

Menna

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
studying events of the past" as a prerequisite to grow a soul.
IMO not only as a prerequisite to grow a soul but as a measurement to how we have grown. How our thinking and being has changed. I believe we can change the past not the events that took place but in how we now perceive the past and how it influences us. The events of the past stay the same but our view of them and their influence on us can change.

Buffers and DID make it hard for people to objectively analyze the past.
 

RflctnOfU

Jedi Council Member
Data said:
Yes, I hope I will find more info on this in Life is only real when I Am. If so, I am going to post it here.
if I may offer a word or three regarding this. His third series is not limited to the text "life is real.." That question is indeed answered, however it is beneath the surface, "embedded", as it were, in seemingly unconnected passages in all three separate books - refer to the passage at the top of page 7 in the introduction of "meetings". The real instructions (the third series) ARE in all three books, they are just hidden in a very clever way. How to "see" the hidden instructions is detailed in BT's, chapter one, p15-16, in the discussion of the two different mentations.

Kris
 

Buddy

The Living Force
Data said:
...Gurdjieff's book Meetings with Remarkable Men. It is a fascinating book and would encourage everyone to get a copy and read it.
I've got it and have read it. I agree that it's a fascinating book and I second your recommendation.
 

Approaching Infinity

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RflctnOfU said:
Data said:
Yes, I hope I will find more info on this in Life is only real when I Am. If so, I am going to post it here.
if I may offer a word or three regarding this. His third series is not limited to the text "life is real.." That question is indeed answered, however it is beneath the surface, "embedded", as it were, in seemingly unconnected passages in all three separate books - refer to the passage at the top of page 7 in the introduction of "meetings". The real instructions (the third series) ARE in all three books, they are just hidden in a very clever way. How to "see" the hidden instructions is detailed in BT's, chapter one, p15-16, in the discussion of the two different mentations.
I think G might have also intended a double meaning for "real events which had taken place in the past", i.e., one's own personal history, kind of like how the 'history' of Beelzebub's Tales can be read as an allegory for the events encountered in one's own life. Interestingly, some of the main events in BT are cataclysms (and cometary at that). Throughout his work, it looks like he's trying to get people to engage in a dual study of both inner and outer realities: personal history / world history.
 

RflctnOfU

Jedi Council Member
Approaching Infinity said:
RflctnOfU said:
Data said:
Yes, I hope I will find more info on this in Life is only real when I Am. If so, I am going to post it here.
if I may offer a word or three regarding this. His third series is not limited to the text "life is real.." That question is indeed answered, however it is beneath the surface, "embedded", as it were, in seemingly unconnected passages in all three separate books - refer to the passage at the top of page 7 in the introduction of "meetings". The real instructions (the third series) ARE in all three books, they are just hidden in a very clever way. How to "see" the hidden instructions is detailed in BT's, chapter one, p15-16, in the discussion of the two different mentations.
I think G might have also intended a double meaning for "real events which had taken place in the past", i.e., one's own personal history, kind of like how the 'history' of Beelzebub's Tales can be read as an allegory for the events encountered in one's own life. Interestingly, some of the main events in BT are cataclysms (and cometary at that). Throughout his work, it looks like he's trying to get people to engage in a dual study of both inner and outer realities: personal history / world history.
I think you hit the nail on the head. The 'double meaning' aspect of the books IS the so-called second series, the quagmire through which one MUST wade, in order to be able to 'see' the instructional materials within the book(s). It has only been during this most recent cover to cover exploration that I have been able to read the real instructions, and I am consistently amazed at the sheer density of the volume of G's "written detailed instructions", as he promised to give, in his "third series". Almost every page has gems that both give and clarify the big picture of his teaching. I have had, on a few occasions, an experience similar to what G described in ISOTM -- when speaking of objective art, he described how he and his fellow travelers came across a strange statue. Initially a curiosity, they began to feel as though something were there, and they eventually decoded a complete system of cosmology. They experienced the feelings and thoughts of the creators. Some even thought they could see them. BT's is, IMO, just such an objective work of art.

Kris
 

logos5x5

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Thanks for sharing Data. This reminded me a fragment of the Wave series:

The Wave Vol.5 - Chapter 33

According to don Juan, recapitulation is an exercise to recall, review, release, and recharge energy lost in this drama of souls. It rids a person of assumptions and preconceptions. It frees locked energy and restores balance. The chief thing about recapitulation that seems to not be clearly stated by the so-called Toltec teachings is that what it really does is increase awareness by increasing knowledge, and with increased knowledge and awareness, the individual is able to employ will to choose to act differently; to cut the connections between the self and those who drain us.

Life is lessons. It’s that simple. We “pass” these lessons by learning to see the hidden dynamics of our interpersonal relationships. Once we understand these dynamics we can learn to put an end to the destructive and emotionally draining ones. If what the Cs have said about the Wave is true, then it is by learning these simple karmic understandings that one can learn the lessons of third grade. Therefore, the process of recapitulation is one of great importance. By having an understanding of our past mistakes we can apply our understanding in the present, thus protecting ourselves for the future. We can truly self-remember, as Gurdjieff says, and utilize the present for whatever aim we have set for ourselves.

[...]

The hidden key in the teachings of the Cs, don Juan, and Gurdjieff, is that human beings may, indeed, be what they are because of genetics, but they can change this – to some extent – by what they learn. Perhaps we ought to pause for a moment to consider how this is possible.

[...]

Deep in the base of the brain is a structure called the hippocampus (Greek for sea horse!) and a part of the hippocampus is called Ammon’s horn, or the Ram. In the Ammon’s horn, there are a large number of pyramidal neurons which gather the input of other sensory neurons. A pyramidal neuron is difficult to fire, but if two separate inputs arrive at once, their combined effect will fire it. Once fired, it is much easier to fire, but only by one of the two inputs that originally fired it, and not by another input. Thus, for example, the sight of a pyramid and the word Egypt combined, could fire the pyramidal cell, creating an associative memory. This means that things that occur together in time can “potentiate” associative learning.

What resides in and near the hippocampus is the mechanism for creating long-term memory. The cells there transmit the newly formed long-term memory to where it will reside in the neo-cortex. People with small hippocampuses can form procedural memories – that is, they can learn to do things that require skill, like reading and writing, and diagramming sentences, teaching English and literature, performing rituals and collecting data of all kinds, and even aping scholars to a sufficient extent that the non-discriminating observer is easily fooled.

[...]

Getting back to recapitulation. It seems that, when utilized correctly, it is a process of “thinking with a hammer,” and making associations. Recapitulation can be a tool by which awareness is enhanced. According to don Juan, it consists in hashing over and reliving one’s experiences. One must attempt to remember every possible, minute detail. When this is done within a group, it becomes the essence of what Paul wrote when he said “confess your sins one to the other,” keeping in mind that Gurdjieff referred to the Fourth Way as “Esoteric Christianity.” The Cs say “network” and “air it out.” The result seems to be that recapitulation increases awareness, which then enables us to apply what we are now aware of in practical ways, and thus, we are enabled to begin the process of reclaiming our energy, and making better choices about who or what we connect to, or associate with, in terms of our interactions with people and situations that we encounter in our daily lives.

The way this may work is that, by recapitulation, we are discovering principles. We are looking at an event in the real world, considering the psychological, “real” reason, and associating it to the theological reason. This means that we are firing the pyramidal cells in the hippocampus because we are coming at the issue with numerous inputs at once. This then ships the information off to the neo-cortex where more synapses are formed, and more thinking capacity results, establishing a positive feedback loop.
According to don Juan, recapitulating an event starts with one’s mind arranging everything pertinent to what is being recapitulated. Arranging means reconstructing the event, piece by piece, starting with recollecting the physical details of the surroundings, then remembering the person with whom one shared the interaction, and then proceeding to the examination of the self and one’s own feelings. This is extremely important, and the reader will recognize echoes of Gurdjieff’s self-remembering and will also see the associative properties of creating the multiple inputs for the hippocampus.
 

Mikey

The Living Force
RflctnOfU said:
if I may offer a word or three regarding this. His third series is not limited to the text "life is real.." That question is indeed answered, however it is beneath the surface, "embedded", as it were, in seemingly unconnected passages in all three separate books - refer to the passage at the top of page 7 in the introduction of "meetings". The real instructions (the third series) ARE in all three books, they are just hidden in a very clever way. How to "see" the hidden instructions is detailed in BT's, chapter one, p15-16, in the discussion of the two different mentations.
I'm interested in these excerpts and hints. Could you post them somewhere since I'm probably not using the same print edition as you are?
 

SeekinTruth

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Data said:
RflctnOfU said:
if I may offer a word or three regarding this. His third series is not limited to the text "life is real.." That question is indeed answered, however it is beneath the surface, "embedded", as it were, in seemingly unconnected passages in all three separate books - refer to the passage at the top of page 7 in the introduction of "meetings". The real instructions (the third series) ARE in all three books, they are just hidden in a very clever way. How to "see" the hidden instructions is detailed in BT's, chapter one, p15-16, in the discussion of the two different mentations.
I'm interested in these excerpts and hints. Could you post them somewhere since I'm probably not using the same print edition as you are?
I seem to have the same page numbering as RflctnOfU in my PDF scanned version, as pages 15 and 16 DO discuss the two different mentations. Since it's easier to copy than to type it out from a print version, here it is:


Beelzebub's Tales pp. 15-16 said:
In any case I repeat, and repeat so that you may remember it well—not as you are in the habit of "remembering" other things, and on the basis of which you are accustomed to keeping your word of honor to others or to yourself—that no matter what language I use, I shall always and in everything avoid what I have called "bon ton literary language."
With regard to this it is an extremely curious fact, perhaps more worthy of your love of knowledge than you may suppose, that from my earliest childhood, that is to say, ever since the birth in me of the need to rob birds' nests and to tease my friends' sisters, there arose in my "planetary body," as the ancient theosophists called it, and moreover—why I don't know—chiefly in the right half, an involuntary, instinctive sensation that up to the period of my life when I became a "teacher of dancing" was gradually formed into a definite feeling, and later, when thanks to this profession of mine I came in contact with people of many different types, the conviction also began to arise in what is called my "mind" that these languages, or rather their "grammars," are composed by people who with respect to knowledge of language are exactly like those biped animals whom the esteemed Mullah Nasr Eddin characterizes thus "All they can do is wrangle with pigs about the quality of oranges."
People of this kind, who, due to rotten heredity and nauseating upbringing, on reaching a certain age have been turned into "voracious moths," destroying the good prepared and left for us by our ancestors and by time, have not the slightest notion and have never even heard of the blatantly obvious fact that during preparatory age there is acquired in the brain functioning of every creature, and thus
of man also, a definite property whose automatic manifestations proceed according to a certain law that the ancient Korkolans called the "law of associations," and that the process of mentation of every creature, especially man, flows exclusively in accordance with this law.
Since I have happened to touch upon a question that has recently become almost an "obsession" of mine, namely, the process of human mentation, I consider it possible, without waiting for the place in my writings I had designated for the elucidation of this question, to speak at least a little in this first chapter about some information that accidentally became known to me According to this information, it was customary in long-past centuries on Earth for every man bold enough to aspire to the right to be considered by others and to consider himself a "conscious thinker" to be instructed, while still in the early years of his responsible existence, that man has two kinds of mentation one kind, mentation by thought, expressed by words always possessing a relative meaning, and another kind, proper to all animals as well as to man, which I would call "mentation by form."
The second kind of mentation, that is, "mentation by form"—through which, by the way, the exact meaning of all writing should be perceived and then assimilated after conscious confrontation with information previously acquired—is determined in people by the conditions of geographical locality, climate, time, and in general the whole environment in which they have arisen and in which their existence has flowed up to adulthood.
Thus, in the brains of people of different races living in different geographical localities under different conditions, there arise in regard to one and the same thing or idea quite different independent forms, which during the flow of associations evoke in their being a definite sensation giving
rise to a definite picturing, and this picturing is expressed by some word or other that serves only for its outer subjective expression.
That is why each word for the same thing or idea almost always acquires for people of different geographical localities and races a quite specific and entirely different so to say "inner content."
In other words, if in the "presence" of a man who has arisen and grown up in a given locality a certain "form" has been fixed as a result of specific local influences and impressions, this "form" evokes in him by association the sensation of a definite "inner content," and consequently a definite picturing or concept, for the expression of which he uses some word that has become habitual and, as I said, subjective to him, but the hearer of that word—in whose being, owing to the different conditions of his arising and growth, a form with a different "inner content" has been fixed for the given word—will always perceive and infallibly understand that word in quite another sense.
This fact, by the way, can be clearly established by attentive and impartial observation during an exchange of opinions between persons belonging to different races or who arose and were formed in different geographical localities.
And so, cheerful and swaggering candidate for a buyer of my "wiseacrings," having warned you that I am going to write not as professional writers usually do but quite otherwise, I advise you to reflect seriously before you embark on reading my further expositions, and only then to undertake it Otherwise, I am afraid that your hearing and other perceptive as well as digestive organs may be so thoroughly automatized to the "literary language of the intelligentsia" prevailing at the present time on Earth that these writings of mine might affect you very, very cacophonously, and thereby you might lose . . . do you know what? . . . your
appetite for your favorite dish, and that special psychic feature of yours which
particularly "titillates your vitals" on catching sight of your neighbor, the
brunette.
That my language, or rather the form of my mentation, can produce such
an effect I am, thanks to repeated past experiences, as much convinced with
my whole being as a "thoroughbred donkey" is convinced of the rightness and
justice of his obstinacy.
Now that I have warned you of what is most important, I am tranquil about
all that will follow. For if any misunderstanding should arise on account of my
writings, you alone will be to blame, and my conscience will be as clear as for
instance . . . ex-Kaiser Wilhelm's.
 

davey72

The Living Force
Zadius Sky said:
davey72 said:
This book was also turned into A movie. It was made by Madame Blavatsky if i remember correctly. I have only read about a third of the book, but i am not sure the movie does it justice. Still very interesting to watch though. Can be found here. -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PHOE_7ZK3o
Madame Blavatsky? Helena Blavatsky? No, she had no involvement with the book or the film. Were you thinking of Jeanne de Salzmann, who was involved?
Sorry, yes it was Jeanne De Salzmann i meant.
 
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