Friday, February 8, 2013
The exact condition
What is the exact condition within and without?
Things are always in motion. I say this, and realize that it's an intellectual idea which I repeat and then presume I understand; I don't see that it remains in the intellectual mind as a theory.
In point of actual fact, I participate in this constant movement within life — and I participate all the time. But the parts of me that sense it aren't generally present to it. If there is a real attention in me, it follows the movement; and it doesn't expect to hold on to a particular manifestation. The manifestation of attention, of consciousness — the manifestation of the inflow of the divine, energy from a higher level — must forever remain flexible and adopt to what is, now, not the preconceived understanding of how it "ought" to be. If there is no intimacy with the action, if nothing is present within it, the energy expresses itself, but it doesn't have the companion that ought to be there accompanying it.
I find it's possible to do many specific things that relate to having an attention in the body, and each one of them automatically helps me to be more present to the constant movement, both within and without, that defines what I call consciousness and what I call life. One is inner; the other one is outer. What is called the "Self" occupies the conjunction of these two forces. One could say it stands between them; but even that is inadequate. Perhaps one just says that it stands; and in that, one recognizes that it is vertical, that is, remains upright, touching both the inner and the outer world, yet not expecting to become identified with either one — which is so easy.
When one first contacts— or is contacted by— the inner world, and the flowers that can bloom within open their petals, this seems like everything. It's so extraordinary. Perhaps I begin to think that this is what everything is about; and yet, while all of this inner life and its quite extraordinary sensitivity and quality is now real, unless it is brought into relationship with the outer life, it becomes an infatuation — a new and perhaps even more intense way of becoming identified.
I suppose it's a good thing, if one has to be identified, to be identified with the spiritual, rather than the material, yet there is a reason that the spiritual and material are meant to be in contact with one another. Inhabiting life is not just an option; it's a necessity, and only by exploring this question over and over again can I begin to get any inkling at all of why that might be so.
In the meantime, it's very difficult for me to avoid signing on to dogmas. Both sides attract; and each one encourages the parts of me that don't want things to be flexible or change to sign onto an agenda of one kind or another. These are all interferences from my ego; and they need to be kept clearly in sight, because either one may commit me to a course of action — whether inner or outer — that does not allow the flexibility of attention and consciousness to exercise itself in the type of sensitivity that is needed for what Gurdjieff called outer considering.
Perhaps even more difficult, there are many energies on larger scales and at higher levels than myself that affect my attitude and my condition. Tension, for example, between planets or the earth and the sun can create negativity in me that is so strong I'm completely unaware of it; the amount of force present in this kind of tension is completely self-justifying, and I go with it without any question. Only by developing a certain kind of countervailing force within, which is generally located within the abdomen — although this is probably too generalized description — can an anchor be created that prevents this force from taking me.
The next post will discuss this in a little more detail.
May your soul be filled with light.