Friday, August 15, 2008

Explanation and immersion

You, dear readers, may feel by now that you are getting more than your fair share of photographs of Buddhas from Lingyin temple in Hangzhou. This one, like many of the carvings that still exist -- bunches were destroyed -- is from the Yuan dynasty, or, about 400 years old.

I could post pictures of electrical components that I took this morning in Shenzhen, but somehow, they just don't seem to have the same charm.

If you stop to think about it, all of us live most of our life in an atmosphere of explanation. Our educational system is designed, from the ground up, to explain the world and its workings; our religions and metaphysics, to explain the unseen.

Even the most sophisticated teachings, which assert that the unseen cannot be explained, become, perversely, explanatory anti- explanations.

I routinely have to listen to the league of anti-explainers (numerous friends of mine are members, but mostly by imitation) prattle on about entering "the inner silence" and wonder (cynic that I am) why, if it's silence that holds the key and silence that we must seek, they don't stop talking about it.

In the same way, perhaps we all ought to just stop discussing "the energy." I'd say there's more than a flagon or two of "Don't do as I do, do as I say" ale served at the average Gurdjieff dinner table when it comes to these matters.

I am not one to speak too much about silence, because I value it. And at the same time I am not shy about participating in the merry-go-round of explanation, which my fellow seekers sanctimoniously proclaim they are not actually riding, even as they grab for the rings.
The whole thing reminds of the joke about the Christian scientists in hell, chanting "we're not here."

Well, me little droogies, we ARE here.

In his expositions on cause and effect, Dogen demonstrated-satisfactorily, I think- that everything has a reason ...whatever it is. And that may be true. Whether it is or it isn't, in exercising the mind, it seems near-impossible to escape from this hamster wheel of explaining.

Smacking up against the wall of explanations are massive waves of things which definitely cannot be explained. They outnumber the explanations by such a healthy margin that we need not fear. The weight of our experience always rests on a foundation of the inexplicable. There's no real danger of the explained pulling the carpet out from under the unexplained, and there never will be, except, perhaps, in the paranoid fantasies of radical preachers.

In the face of the explained-that is, my usual experience, my usual state- I welcome the unexplained. That is, those moments when immersion in life transcends encounter with it.

That immersion consists of tangible contact with the inner roots, awareness of outer impressions--and ever-present mysteries that we then may taste, but can never touch with the tongue.

Whenever I come up against this question of immersion in life, which just accepts the current condition without presupposing, I end up in a place where I don't know anything at all. Or, rather, what I know is primarily emotional and physical. When I try to think things out, I see that the mind is inadequate to grasp the enormity of how temporary this life is, and how little we attend to one another.

I find myself understanding that every moment I am having is the first and last time I will ever have that moment.

It's a sobering condition.

All of this goes back to the question of value, which we must continually investigate. Our failure to value (which stems in large part from the inadequate development of our emotional presence) is at the heart of why we are asleep. Even a vague taste of real value wakes us up a bit more. It's a theme that needs to be revisited over and over again in the context of our failure to sense..

As Mr. Gurdjieff so famously said,
"Blödsinn, blödsinn,
Du mein Vergnügen,
Blödsinn, blödsinn,
Du meine Lust."

May your roots find water, and your leaves know sun.


  1. Nonsense, nonsense,
    you are my desire,
    nonsense, nonsense,
    you are my lust.

    That's a new one on me. Bravo!

    I recently told some one that if he wanted to know God, he had to make friends with the Devil, because the two of them are in cahoots.

    I love what you said about the Christian scientists. The only thing I would change is that it is not applicable only to Christian scientists but to every ordinary person, who says it in every daydream; in every escaped emotion; in anything concerning the physical body. "We are not here" is the mantra of the unconscious horizontal daydreamers.

    You talk about posting pictures of electrical components; why don't you do so? If you drew a picture of the Sun and the planets through time, you would end up with a schemata of an electrical induction coil -- with the asteroids protecting the inner planets from the influence of the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn etc., and the Heliosphere and Oort Belt as the outer nonconducting protective coating.

    If you took the musical scale which is the law of seven and you drew a diagram on an imaginary stringed instrument tuned in endless perfect fourths you would have an almost perfect diagram of DNA.

    Personally, I have experienced the inner silence, the white light, the blue light, the black light and so on, and they haven't helped my inner work one whit, Tittle or jot.

    If you understand the multiplications of the enneagram you would see them as the separation of white light by the prism trying to return to unity. Seven tries to climb into one, and one divided by seven yields 0.142857.

    Since that fails, seven tries to climb into the number two, and two divided by seven equals 0.285714

    Then seven tries three but that doesn't work either and yields 0.428571

    Seven tries five next. It doesn't work either: 0.714285

    Seven tries six: 0.857142

    This is the exitless magic circle. Seven doesn't even think to try to turn around and face itself, but if it did it would find its way home: 7/7= 1

    This is also the secret of the Golden flower, precisely.

    Turning the light around. Turning and facing one's self. The only way out is in. But as to the "inner silence", there's not a lot of silence in there. In fact, someone who found the "inner silence" for even an hour to find him or herself free of many laws. One would become a law unto oneself.

    That's not about to happen.

    I say forget about the so-called inner silence -- those who understand Mr. Gurdjieff's message and his work would be better off looking for the inner noise -- not to turn it off so that we can be comfortable in that delicious place called spiritual consolation, which is a cul-de-sac and dead-end which lots of people who think they are in the work are going to find out at the first Rascooarno, but really to pay attention to the inner noise, because anything else is the avoidance of the self and a game of pretend.

    Pretend is one of those games that it's in the basement along with the other games called "I am special"; "I am mature"; "I am beautiful"; "I am in the work"; "etc.".

    That's not what the work is at all.

    Mr. Gurdjieff may not be here personally to prevent his followers from becoming "candidates for the lunatic asylum", but he is here.

    I am an idiot -- I know my id and I have let it scamper around while watching it. I have an ego, I have given it many treats, such as success in the world -- partially helpful to others and partially a worthless candy, like Mr. Gurdjieff used to give the children. I have a superego as well, but I have punished it so that it does not rule me.

    Nothing rules me except the love of God, the friendship of the Devil, and the mentor ship of Mr. Gurdjieff and a couple others who shall go nameless, but who are Mr. Gurdjieff's friends and companions in that inner circle of conscious esoteric humanity.

    God grant me humility; Devil grant me cunning, and may all of my Guardian Angels, and all the archangels of Heaven and the legions of demons from hell allow me to help mankind, under the auspices of Mr. Gurdjieff's direct attention. This I pray.


  2. To rlnyc,

    “Inner circle of conscious esoteric humanity.”

    Do you mean like in the Work or do you mean like in the sense of Ashiata’s renewals? What do you mean, if I may know?


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.