Friday, September 7, 2012

The aim of knowing

There are two kinds of knowledge, more or less, that man can have. One is the knowledge of things as they are; the other is a knowledge of things as they may be.

The knowledge of things as they are is the higher of the two kinds of knowing, yet this is not the kind of knowing that we pursue in ordinary life. To know things as they are is to know God in our hearts, and we do not know God in our hearts.

To know things as they may be is to believe. All of our ordinary knowing—even that of the sciences—lies in this territory. Because we don't experience the knowledge of things as they are, we are unable to distinguish between this relative knowing, and the knowledge of things as they are. Consequently mankind believes there is only one kind of knowledge, and this insistence dogs him, even if he also has the belief, formed because of his knowledge of things as they may be, that one can know things as they are.

The aim of all inner work is to know God's heart. I could think up many other ways of saying it, but in the end, this is the only truth. Gurdjieff’s work was directly aimed at this particular understanding... truly, a work of Hesychasm... yet who truly understands that today? Skepticism abounds, doesn't it?... perhaps I don't even believe it. The inner work conducted in contemporary times sometimes becomes a technical one, not one that dares to step across the threshold of feeling which Gurdjieff pointed us towards. I am always at risk: the essence of the path, which was always aimed at opening the Love in God's heart, which also resides in my own heart, is either misunderstood, misconstrued, or forgotten. 
Instead, I pursue narrow aims, using narrow formulas. I don't practice compassion, though I may speak of it. Love is rarely mentioned.

The way may be narrow and the passage as small as the eye of a needle, but this is not a call to be constricted. A man’s heart cannot be narrow and yet still open to that which is not narrow. In its essence, the path must ultimately be one of surrender, which is unlimited. Narrow practices are practices that cling to what is, not practices that try to discover what can be. If one is threading a needle, the whole thread must pass through the eye of the needle, not just some tiny part of it. And one must be aware of the whole thread, not just the tip of it. 

 A generosity is called for. I may think that by offering something, I lose something, because after all, my failing is that I want for myself; and not for God. Yet I don't see that I already belong to God, and can't lose anything. My fear of loss is simply a paranoia induced by ego. Hence the constriction; hence the narrowness. 

 So let us go forth and be generous to ourselves and others; listen to our hearts, and not our minds; trust in the Lord, and not in our own ways.

I respectfully hope you will take good care.

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