Saturday, December 24, 2011
An influence is a force that "flows inwards." This relates to the idea, frequently discussed in this blog, that information means that which is inwardly formed.
All of the impressions we take in flow inwards into our bodies, creating an inner solar system- or, if you will, cosmos. So influences can mean, broadly speaking, impressions.
We have little understanding that anything is actually forming within us; because of our inherent abstraction from our organic nature, we don't see how the material that flows into us actually creates us. We somehow take it for granted that we have some kind of mastery over life and its influences, when in fact the exact opposite is true.
A man or woman can choose which influences he will come under. There are higher influences, and lower ones. We can generally see the quality of influences a man, or society, is under by the results. The cathedral at Chartres, for example, is a product of higher influences, as are Beethoven's symphonies, or Leonardo's art. Lower, or horizontal, influences (such as science, which is of extreme utility, but within the sense we're able to understand it, absolutely limited to the horizontal sphere) are unable to produce anything approaching great works of art, literature, or music. Atheism, for all its belligerent bluster, is fundamentally impotent in these areas because of its absolute denial of higher influences- a blind man that doesn't know he is blind. Or, perhaps, merely a bland man- one without any salt in him. The colossal oppressions, depressions, and serial failures of professedly atheist socities such as the Soviet Union underscores how utterly worthless enterprises lacking any higher influences are in the long run.
The most important higher influences within the range of man's world all emanate from the sun. Gurdjieff made it quite clear that sacred, or higher, emanations all operate according to harmonious, or musically consonant, principles as expressed in the law of octaves.
My good friend Richard Lloyd contacted me yesterday to advise me of the following remarkable video at the NASA SOHO site. (click the link.) Readers are encouraged to watch the video at least through the first 1:35, at which time they will see the most remarkable thing: an enneagram representing the way in which the internal musical vibrations of the sun interact. This image does not just "look like" an enneagram: it is an enneagram, albeit upside down. That is, a scientific analysis of the way internal waves propagate in the sun does indeed follow Gurdjieff's diagram. These waves produce "notes", or vibrations, that reverberate throughout the solar system.
Personality is very poor at taking in influences. Being outwardly formed and outwardly directed, operating on ego at the expense of essence, it has no weight or center of gravity to anchor it. Consequently it gets tossed about in every direction by outside forces. One might call it the source of what is "outformation:" a cacophony of facts, ideas, opinions and premises colliding in a bumper-car arena, where there is a great deal of exciting action, leading absolutely nowhere.
Soon the ride is over and we die.
Essence, on the other hand, is firmly anchored. If anything at all is inwardly formed, it is formed through, and in, essence. If we examine the enneagram on this point in some more detail, the relationship may become clearer. More on this in the next post.
In the meantime, on this eve of evenings, it is worth or while to consider what influences we are under. Christmas, and Christ himself, symbolize an opportunity for man to intentionally put himself under the highest possible influences, influences, moreover, with a reciprocal relationship to us. These solar influences harmoniously correspond to man's essential wish, and can help us to develop Being. Hence Gurdjieff's Christmas instructions to his pupils to seek Christ, and call Him to us. (See Frank Sinclair's "Without Benefit of Clergy" for a detailed recounting of that instruction.)
The direction Gurdjieff gave was one aimed at inward formation and the development of essence, under the influence of God.
No better aim exists.
I respectfully ask you to take good care.
tomorrow's post: essence and influences