Friday, February 1, 2013

Right action for inner and outer nature

 Gurdjieff talked about how we have to separate ourselves from ourselves.

But what is this separation?

Things can take place outside without any connection to the inside. In a certain sense, the inner and the outer qualities should be seen as completely distinct, and the inner ought to be so strong that the outer does not touch it or affect it.  Yet there is no Self within the inner life that is strong enough to not be affected; the essence is weak. Without relationship, it doesn't grow stronger.

It's helpful to become acute in my observation of how I am in life, so that I understand that there are different kinds of right action. If I use the expression, like the Buddhists do, I need to understand that right action of an inner nature is different than right action of an outer nature. I need to engage in enough observation and see clearly enough to understand that right action of an inner nature has to come first. If it doesn't, even though there can be an imitation of right action in outer nature, it's ersatz—a substitute. It is inconsistent, and it can't maintain its direction or force, because it does not arise from the root of the question.

So in a sense, thinking about right action of an outer nature, although it results in what we call "goodness"— charity, kindness, sensitivity, and so on — has it backwards. Right action of an inner nature should give birth to these impulses; they shouldn't just be printed by the intellect and pasted over the outside of the window like a daily newspaper, where the first wind will blow them away.

And so often, I'm like that.

Bringing life into relationship with the inner quality is right action for the inner. Right action for the inner is an intimacy; an intentional relationship with the source of my life, the action of my life. Often, it's characterized by a connection between the mind and the body; or I hear about the attention to breathing, which is good, and certainly has something to do with it. But ultimately, right action for the inner is a whole thing, not just a relationship with the breath, or energy in the abdomen, and so on. It is a sense of wholeness that is born of a connection between all the centers, not just physical locations in the body. The physical locations in the body can become attractions, and it's possible to become attached to that; this limits the question.

I must be suspicious of every limitation in order to remain open.

Right action for the inner involves, just as much, becoming unattached to the physical action and its locations. It is the energy itself that the intimacy must be developed with; not where the energy is perceived, or where it ought to go.

One must become more than a traffic director. The question is not the vehicle, or which way it is driving, but who the passenger is. No vehicle can know any destination with intelligence without this information.

 It's possible for the outer to manifest in such a way that the inner is completely untouched by it. This is actually a healthy condition, if the mind — intelligence, consciousness, not just the intellect — stands between these two conditions and allows each one to be, completely unto itself, as it is, while understanding that the two of them have, in most ways, different aims and even, if it were properly understood, entirely different existences.

 May your soul be filled with light.

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