I'm in one of those conditions today where the absolute, tangible, penetratingly sensible roots of my consciousness find their origins in the spaces between cells.
The kind of energy that makes this possible isn't available all the time. Then again, nothing is possible all of the time, even though anything is possible some of the time, and everything is possible given enough time.
My mother always used to tell me, "make hay while the sun shines." According to reports, William Segal--whom I often saw, but, to my regret, never knew personally-- frequently told people, when they had to accomplish a task, to make do with what they had.
So the idea is to go with what's in the air. We have to build our temples and conduct our rites of prayer from what we have, not what we wish for.
How can I speak from within this connection? I mean, literally, speak, because as is so often the case, today I dictate this blog, so that the words spring directly from the act of speaking.
We are animals. I breathe. We breathe. Every single breath feeds every single cell. This is my condition. I am alive and made of flesh.
What is it, as Mr. Gurdjieff so often said, to be a man "without quotation marks?"
Quotation marks represent not the real thing, but a reference to it. Something someone else said; something someone else did, something that happened elsewhere, at another time.
A man with a quotation mark at the beginning and end of his existence does not live within the crevices in his cells. He does not walk on a planet, breathe a gaseous medium, absorb colors and sounds, taste food, touch hard and soft things. He thinks about these things. He analyzes them, classifies them, and defines them.
But he does not live within them according to the possibilities offered by his organism.
This organic sense of being is not an end in itself. It's just a beginning. What makes it valuable is that it raises so many questions about what we are.
Again and again, the more I practice, the deeper I dig, the more I see that we do not know anything about what we are or where we are. We are all a gargantuan mass of assumptions and associations. All of that has to be completely tossed out, thrown away, left behind in the immediate sense of being here, organically, in order for me to begin to see anything.
These are the moments when it becomes apparent that the entire intellectual and conceptual structure of the mind falls short of the mark.
On a day like today, I stop thinking. I just exist. Every event that arrives, arrives as it needs to arrive. Every response arises as it needs to arise. It's odd; everything that needs to be done is available in the doing. There is no need to worry about it. In business, a request is made, and even though the mind seems empty and stupid, the response is forever in the fingertips.
Where did it come from? I don't know. I do see that I spend an enormous amount of time packing myself with information, worrying in unnecessary ways, attempting to manage, when all of it is just right there.
When Mr. Gurdjieff spoke of tension, he spoke of tension in the body, which certainly takes a great deal away from us. But there is also a great deal of tension in the way that we think. It is only when we get rid of it that we discover how unnecessary it was in the first place.
I am going to take a left hand turn and mention something that occurred to me over the past few days which relates to the discussion I have been conducting on the question of unity.
Mr. Gurdjieff told his followers that there was one thing man could "do." That one thing was to not express negative emotion.
That teaching is often understood to refer to the external expression of negative emotion. That is to say, he was indicating that we can avoid acting negative, speaking negatively, and so on.
He furthermore intimated that this work was preparation for what he called "the second conscious shock," or, intentional suffering.
Let's forward an alternative point of view on this question.
To "express" can also mean to squeeze the juice out of, to extract a substance.
At this stage in my study of negativity, which has been conducted intensively for a number of years, it occurs to me that the place where negativity is "expressed" is within us. When there is tension between centers, pressure arises. That pressure squeezes energy up out of the system into channels it does not belong in: it "expresses" negativity.
Once this imbalanced energy is present in us, it has nowhere to go but outward, where it quickly becomes destructive. This explains why negativity has great power: it comes directly from substances that could have been used otherwise.
From this we see that non-expression of negativity must begin in a much deeper place. Trying to "block" it at the point where it exits the body is much too late.
To not express negativity is to discover how to create inner conditions that prevent it from ever arising in the first place.
All of the discussions I have conducted about the Enneagram and the nature of the six inner flowers relate to this specific question. According to my investigations, it is only through the formation of a new and more complete inner relationship that we can begin to work on the question of not expressing negativity. And this is the one work which Mr. Gurdjieff said man could "do."
So in fact, man is capable of one extraordinarily important -- I daresay invaluable -- work which any man can undertake if he wishes to.
Negativity, however, is just so darned exciting and interesting that the idea of absolutely, positively getting rid of it doesn't seem to occur to us.
After all, if there is one thing we have proven over and over again for thousands of years, it is that mankind is utterly fascinated by destruction.
In this, I am no different than you are.
May your trees bear fruit, and your wells yield water.