Photograph by the author
Although this might not have been understood in such scientific or precise terms in ancient times (for myself, I happen to think it was) enough of a sense of this was known during what's called the Golden age, a time coinciding with the most ancient civilizations on earth, for it to form the societies that centered around traditions of solar deity.
Gurdjieff, of course, describe the influence of the sun as solioonensius— an outward flow of divine emanation that provided spiritual food for the planets and the beings on them. This outward flow is directly corresponded to the inward flow which mankind is able to receive if his spiritual being opens. So we are all far more under the influence of the sun than we think we are. The point of inner work is to become open enough to this to actually receive the vibrations.
We've been through an objectively barren time over the last month or so; the sun has been flatlining, with no significant sunspots and no solar flares to speak of. All of this changed on September 29, when a major eruption took place on the sun's surface. The influences were immediately felt, well before it was reported in the science media.
Unless we receive the emanations of the sun and digest them, no spiritual work is really possible. Emanations can't be received without sufficient receptivity; and sufficient receptivity doesn't develop until enough intentional suffering has been engaged in. This intentional suffering, this willingness to take in the material of life, is specifically related to life itself, in the process of life. It may seem like it has something to do with long, enforced meditation periods, weekend workshops, and so on — and indeed, some possibilities are presented there. But in the end, it comes with the uncomfortable, demanding, even terrifying head on collision with life that takes place within the Being.
The aperture of the sun emits divine assistance at varying times. Inner work is much more possible when assistance is being offered. When it isn't, things can deteriorate and get quite bad indeed. This is helpful, because it reminds us of how dependent we are on higher energies and forces from other levels to do any of the work whatsoever which is required of us in terms of our inner Being.
Before one comes under solar influences, one inevitably comes under lunar influences, because one cannot develop the capacity for the sensitivity to solar influence until the capacity for sensitivity to lunar influences already there. It is a grounding force; and if we don't make the moon in ourselves — in other words, open ourselves to influences from below — we can't reciprocally form a part that receives influences from above. We are under a law of planets and suns, and stand between both of these forces. No one can develop real humility about their place in this world until they see this from a practical, not theoretical, point of view.
These impressions in me are quite distinct and have been gathered and pondered over a period of many years. I'm not sure of exactly how much use they will be to readers, but the question ought to be actively pondered, because the situation is definitely enough to demand one's attention.
May your soul be filled with light.