Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Being of the three functions

I'm connected to something much larger.

This connection, moreover, is not theoretical or intellectual; it is physical, practical, and organic. My difficulty is that I rarely sense this with a mind appropriate to that kind of sensation. I use my intellect to grasp my world, and my emotion to react to it.

It would be entirely possible to use my emotion to grasp my world, and my intellect to react to it; this, in fact, would be a far more appropriate ordering of the manner in which the minds work together.

In both cases, the mind of the body participates (to varying degree) in sensing the world, but in the second case — when emotion grasps the world first— it always works in conjunction with sensation, being already the superior force.

Intellect, on the other hand, rarely does, although it also has this capacity.

It's worth investigating this question in some more detail. This sense, the organic sense of being, is a foundational sensory tool within the mind of the body, an active mind, not the passive mind that the body usually employs. All three of the minds within human beings — physical, emotional, and intellectual — can be either active or passive in their relationship to life. If any one of them is active, the possibility that the other two minds will join them is much greater. But passivity breeds passivity— it can do no more. If I am in one part, and it is passive, identified with life, little more can take place.

If a part is active, an invitation is issued.

 The foundation of the organic sense of being can issue an invitation to the intellect to participate; it can also issue an invitation to the emotive function. It's actually easier for it  to issue the invitation to the intellect, because the intellect works at a lower rate of vibration. (Hence the above remark about superiority of emotion, which refers to rate of vibration.) In the invocation of sensation, I have already recruited a superior force to attract the participation of the intellect. Because sensation is inferior to emotion in terms of its vibrational level, it does not necessarily align itself as easily with this mind, although the possibility is of course ever present. It is, in fact, more likely that emotion may align sensation to work with it.

These are subtle questions, because one can only understand them once one pays close attention to the play of forces within the body, each force being the manifestation of a particular mind, with all of its qualities. Every mind has its own octave, and each octave iterates movement through the progressive developmental stages of materiality, desire, power, Being, purification, and wisdom.

Any mind that is active has reached the level of Being— and this is the level at which the three minds can begin to interact with one another in a more intentional way. Without this level of vibration, each of the minds is trapped within a cyclical revolution (used in the sense of the term circulating) of the forces of materiality, desire, and power. Because these essentially coarser forces easily produce identification, the minds remain separated.

 This is why it's so important for us to acquire Being. Until this finer, more refined force appears in each of the minds that contribute to our manifestation, they can't communicate effectively. There is a Being of the body, a Being of the emotions, and a Being of the intellect. Each one has its own distinct sensation. "Three centered" Being, as Gurdjieff called it, does not exist unless each of the centers  inhabits and exists within its own being first. This question is, in general, poorly understood. Students and adepts alike do not understand that these forces do not emerge from nowhere and pop into existence wholly formed. This is because of a lack of correct observation, and a lack of critical evaluation of the inner state.

 If I want to see, I must properly understand what I am trying to see. Seeing, in other words, involves more than just the passive act of taking in. It connects to understanding. This question could be examined in far more detail, but we can't get to it in this essay.

Back to the original premise, emotion is designed to grasp the world, because it has a much deeper capacity than the other two functions for a comprehensive understanding of exactly what I face. In its higher iterations and expressions, it conveys not only the intelligence to instantly grasp the current situation, it also contains the intuition required for a response. The intellect, in service to this situation, is able to critically evaluate the situation and temper the response so that it becomes more appropriate. We are speaking here, mind you, of a situation where the emotion is grasping the world — not reacting to it reflexively. That is to say, a situation where the mind of emotion has acquired Being, and is already expressing some of the higher qualities it can connect to which are collectively referred to as feeling in the current understanding and language of the Gurdjieff work.

 I apologize for opening up some very broad subjects here. They clearly deserve a great deal more examination, but we will have to leave it at that for today. More will be said on the subject in the next two posts.

May your soul be filled with light.


  1. I looked up various usages of "organic". Here's an exerpt:
    organic (adj.) 1510s, "serving as an organ or instrument," from L. organicus, from Gk. organikos "of or pertaining to an organ, serving as instruments or engines," from organon "instrument" (see organ). Sense of "from organized living beings" is first recorded 1778 (earlier this sense was in organical, mid-15c.). Meaning "free from pesticides and fertilizers" first attested 1942. Organic chemistry is attested from 1831.

    I've been thinking of its use here as mainly meaning living or vital, but see that "an organ , instrument" fits rather well too.
    What is your intended meaning closest to, please?

    Thanks, Lee.

  2. I am indicating, primarily, the first meaning you cite: within the organism, living, vital. An integral part of the organism.

    Think of it as meaning cellular, a vibration within the very marrow of the bones.


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