Saturday, January 19, 2013
No wonder Gurdjieff called what blocked this the organ Kundabuffer; Kunda, after all, means vessel in Sanskrit, and the organ blocked the vessel. Divine influences could not flow in; man was cut off from God. The word that he chose was in fact quite perfect.
Sri Anirvan's Inner Yoga is a fairly contemporary source that discusses the matter of receiving divine energy within the cellular structure of the body; and certainly, Jeanne de Salzmann was acutely aware of the need for this action in order for an individual to develop. The Reality of Being is the most contemporary source we have available for teaching on this; and every age receives the teaching it needs from people of that age. The authorities of de Salzmann and Anirvan hence offer the most appropriate work in this area for our own generation.
In Heaven and Hell, Swedenborg— a largely unrecognized but entirely extraordinary master to whom the world owes a very, very great deal— called this process inflow. Like Gurdjieff, he explained that everything is material; and the receipt of divine influences by the material — the penetration of the material by the divine, another fundamental principle of Gurdjieff's cosmology — was the essential necessary action in life, according to his views and understanding.
We exist in order to receive this inflow. Reality is created by the divine; and unless the material that we consist of is influenced directly by it, by the inward receiving of the material, we cannot change, because only this force can produce true change. Matter, and everything that arises, exists, and takes place as a consequence of it, is fundamentally unable to affect itself, because it is not its own source of origin. It originates in the divine, and only the divine can influence it.
This means that a man who has no inner connection, who does not have real information in him — that is, that which is inwardly formed by the divine — can do nothing. This is one of the many esoteric meanings of the saying, "Man cannot do." Man, as he exists, exists only as an expression of the divine. He is not himself; as Ibn Arabi would say, he is no more than a manifestation of one of the innumerable names of God. Man, in other words, is an effect.
The material cannot affect the material; they are of equal value and force. It's the same thing as a man trying to lift himself up off the ground with his own hands. Only the inflow that creates the material, the influence of divinity, can change what takes place in the material world, because it is an original cause, not an effect. Bosch's painting The Garden of Earthly Delights, which I covered in an earlier post, was all about divine influence and what happens when it doesn't reach man in the right way. What we are left with looks like hell to us, but, actually it's just earth, the way it is now.
We understand from the above that the divine influence can, with inner work, be expressed through the body, and thus emanate from the action of man; this is what Gurdjieff meant when he said that there were those who could heal with the force of their magnetism, and so on. In each case, it is not man's action that he was describing: it was the emanation of the divine, finding expression through a vessel properly prepared.
This question of preparation is critical. Ibn 'Arabi, Swedenborg, Gurdjieff, and de Salzmann all empathetically insisted that a man can only receive of divinity what he is prepared to receive; nothing more. Gurdjieff reminded Ouspensky of this when he told him that people always wanted to have Jesus be their teacher — but no one was ready for Jesus to be their teacher, they were not at that level.
One must carefully attend to the material de Salzmann offers us on the question of how to prepare ourselves. Without this work of preparation, there is no possibility of receiving the influences of the divine within us.
May your soul be filled with light.