Sunday, June 7, 2009

where do impressions come in?

This morning, while I was sitting, I asked myself the question, "where do impressions enter the body?"

This is hardly a casual question.  Readers may recall that when Gurdjieff was expounding on the chemical factory to P. D. Ouspensky in "In Search Of The Miraculous," (I'm referring to the frequently glossed-over-with-glazed-eyes Chapter 9) one of the points he made was that when a man puts his attention at the place where impressions enter the body, it causes the actual "transformational machinery"--the equipment that processes impressions as food--to be able to operate in a more efficient manner, creating substances in a man which can help his inner work enormously.  To be more precise, the specific food that is created through this activity is Mi 12,  which is the "higher hydrogen" that our inner work ought to be founded on, rather than what man usually tries to use-- si 12, which is sex energy.

Perhaps the theoretical aspects of this question  are interesting to readers; perhaps not. In order to understand the theoretical question, one has to delve fairly deep into the matter of the chemical factory and actually spend some time understanding the diagrams. That is not the point of this post.  Right now, I am just raising the practical questions about what this means, to put the attention at the place where impressions enter the body.

The matter deserves careful examination within the context of the organism.  Impressions enter the body at myriad points;  one might say, perhaps, the 10,000 directions of Buddhism. There are always impressions entering the body from what could be summarized as an infinite number of directions.  So no matter where one turns, if one puts one's attention there, one's attention is discovered where impressions are entering. There are many questions we can ask in the practical implementation of this work, for example:

Where do emotional impressions enter me? 

Breathing is an impression. Where does that enter me? Is it the lungs? The skin? The blood? How does attending to this impression affect my sensation of the body?

Thinking is an impression. Can I take an impression of thinking? Precisely where does that take place? Can I have an attention to that impression, of myself thinking?

If I attend to this question more precisely when I am sitting, and then perhaps later in the day as well, this can become a very interesting investigation. 

I am leaving for China  this Thursday, and hope to have a little more time to write posts while I am on the trip. Some trips provide rich material; we will just have to see how this goes.

In the meantime, hopefully, this brief post leaves us all with a question that can be looked at over the next few days. 

May our hearts be open and our prayers be heard .

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