Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Emanations and remorse

 One of the more interesting passages in Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson is the cryptic remark that Gurdjieff makes  in Chapter 17:

... every arising, large or small, when in direct touch with the emanations of the sun absolute itself or of any other sun undergoes a process called "remorse," during which each of its parts, issuing from the results of one of the holy sources of the sacred Triamazikamno, "revolts" as it were, and "criticizes" the former unbecoming perceptions and the manifestations taking place at the moment in another part of its whole — a part issuing from the results of another holy source of the same fundamental sacred law..."

  Remorse is not something I do, or a work I can undertake. It is the consequence of a force, a material, that is received, and all that one can do is prepare oneself in the hopes that one may receive this substance. Its action is sublime; and its action, as well as all of its consequences, belongs to the higher, not to anything it expresses itself in. We are only alive in the sense that we receive life; and we are only remorseful in the sense that we receive remorse. Real remorse isn't possible without these actions, these emanations, of a solar nature.

All of the ordinary remorse in life has little to do with this particular sensation; it is a mirror, nothing more. The living presence of inner remorse—remorse attached to an  inner, rather than outer, action— is a different thing.

I cite the above passage as cryptic simply because one may not understand, that is, organically sense, specifically what Gurdjieff was getting at when he said this. Like most of the book, it comes across as theoretical — even though it is anything but. Gurdjieff has stated here one of the principal aims of inner work — to open to forces of a higher nature that can effect a transformation in Being. Under the influence of the sun absolute or another sun, such transformation may be possible. Under all of the influences I invent for myself or seek for myself, it is not.

This idea of receiving is critical. I can't do anything. My belief that I am going to work or do this, that, or the other thing is dwarfed in the presence of what is Real. If I wish to encounter the Real, I first have to know that what I believe in, what I assume, is not Real. It exists; but to exist and to Be are two different things. Rocks and slugs and guinea pigs exist. Only human beings have the capacity to Be.

Yet where is this capacity, except in the latency of the self which can receive? I try 10,000 things; and yet when what comes, comes, it is not mine, and I didn't try to get it.

Everything that I try to get — that is the problem.

These "unbecoming perceptions" that Gurdjieff remarks on in our cryptic passage are exactly those perceptions. They are unbecoming because they don't lead towards Being; they are selfish and self-involved. These are the kinds of actions that Gurdjieff spoke of when he mentioned actions and thoughts "unbecoming to three brained beings." Our three parts have the capacity to engage in a much higher kind of feeling activity, but they are basically clueless about it.

The Lord have Mercy prayer is one of the most effective prayers in this journey, which consists almost entirely of waiting patiently, without any meddling, and with a good attention.

 May your soul be filled with light.

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