Friday, May 4, 2012

Stillness, and vortexes

In the last post, I mentioned that for centers to work together in what Gurdjieff called “three centered being,” it's first of all necessary for centers to be balanced within themselves. This may sound peculiar, but if a center does not have the right balance and relationship within itself, it can't form a right balance  outside itself, that is, with other centers.

 Each of the principle centers, or “brains”—that is to say, perceptive intelligences of man—referred to in the expression “three brained beings” has, in and of itself, three parts. That is to say, our emotional or feeling part has an emotional, and intellectual, and a moving part. This is true of all of the seven centers in man—the five lower centers, and the two higher centers.

Each one of these centers has an inherent energy in it, which is conceived of in Yogic tradition as "spinning." There is a constant inner motion, and unless all three of the parts are in the right relationship with one another, all participating in the work of the center equally, the center is not balanced. We can think of it much like a piece of clay on a potter's wheel which is not properly centered.

When a piece of clay is properly centered,  all of the off-center movement in the clay ceases, and it appears to become still, even though it is rotating at a high rate of speed. When, in yoga, the aim is stated as the "cessation of spinning" in the chakras, it actually means the achievement of balance within the centers, whereby motion appears to cease. While each of the centers, within its own internal structure,  is balanced by the law of three and "rotates" under the law of seven— yes, even the individual centers have an essence, a personality, and a part that sees within themselves—all seven of man's centers come into relationship with one another under the law of seven.

 If the centers become “still”—perfectly balanced—they cease to interfere with the energy passing through them, because it does not bleed off in erratic movement when it enters the center. The center has, so to speak, “completed its own octave," or become transparent (still.) This causes it to cease offering resistance to energy seeking to pass through it.

The whirling dervishes seek to emulate this particular condition by achieving perfect balance when they spin. The entire dervish practice is in fact, for all practical purposes, a visual expression of the achievement of perfect stillness within the centers, leading to a completed octave.

Keeping this in mind, understand that when one experiences a center which is properly balanced, the sensation is that it becomes quite still. Its center of gravity shifts to the center of the center, so to speak, and instead of wobbling, it stands upright within itself. This produces a specific sensation in the body, which can be called inner gravity. Gurdjieff's movements have the potential to produce this effect, most particularly in the body, but also in the intellect and the emotions, if they are engaged in in a right way, and the correct energy participates. Each of the centers develops a specific gravity of its own if it becomes more balanced. These effects are quite tangible, and not in the least psychological.

All of this may seem very technical, but the point is that when centers come into right relationship with themselves, they can then come into right relationship with each other. A stillness ensues in which the centers can properly inform one another about where one is, and what one is doing. All three of the brains then begin to act in a reciprocal relationship that produces a whole quite different than the individual parts, because they are suddenly in cooperation rather than conflict.

Admittedly, the whole question becomes rather complicated when examined from the point of view of theory, which is why I opened the discussion in the last post with a practical example taken from real life. In real life, we don't go around analyzing and redacting the action of our centers one by one, or picking them apart to see how they tick. People may try to do this, to be sure; yet it's a misguided way to work. Work has to proceed in a holistic and intuitive manner, not a technically sophisticated one.

In a certain sense, the ordinary intellect has to be completely banished from an inner work effort in order for it to achieve any progress. The intellect itself as we generally experience it is, after all, a product of furious and even violent spinning—most readers are familiar with the term “turning thoughts,” that is, the incessant manufacturer of nonsense by associative parts in the intellectual center. It's not balanced, and it doesn't even pretend to try for balance. Only forces from outside the intelligence can help to do that, principally a grounding in the body.

When the intellectual center is in right relationship, the nonsense stops. This is a moment when one begins to sense that very nearly every product of the mind has nothing whatsoever to do with facts or reality, but is rather exactly what Gurdjieff called it—fictitious. This can really pull the rug out from under you, but it's also generally refreshing. It turns out that 99% of the nonsense we use to prosecute life is exactly that—nonsense.

 “Ah,” you say, “but how can I do that?”

Well, we can't do that. You can't get there from here, as the old saying goes. All one can do is hear these ideas, digest them, and hope that they percolate down through cracks in our ordinary being to the places where they will ultimately become useful—in some cases, perhaps, many years from now.

This is a work where we water plants we can't see.

Recommended: my fellow group and "family" member, Germaine Fraser's, blog: Integratedmedphiladelphia.

Germaine's posts often complement the material in this space, and add the perspective of a professional RN with many years of healing experience.

 I respectfully hope you will take good care.

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