Sunday, October 27, 2013

Solar influences

Funerary Stele of the priest Pashertasher
Thebes, Ptolemaic period
Vatican Museum
Photograph by the author

While going through some paperwork I had stashed away in my office, I came across a copy of C. Daly King's "The Oragean version," a supposedly "unpublished" and unauthorized version of Gurdjieff's teachings.

 I'm not sure why am keeping it. It's a long, poorly written, and overly involved re-examination of all the ideas in the Gurdjieff work, with an enormous amount of emphasis on technical details. Why people insist on making spiritual paths a complex compound of arcane pseudoscientific ideas and practices escapes me. It seems to be a confusion of the inner and the outer paths; and Swedenborg, a consummate scientist in his own right, clearly saw the difference between the two. Mixing them up doesn't really serve anyone. It does, however, produce an impressive pile of mumbo-jumbo for people who are interested in such things.

The intuition (the word, by the way, originally meant spiritual insight in Middle English) of God is an inner intuition. It doesn't need to be mediated by gigantic piles of technical data; it is a tangible influence, the inward flow of energy that is received. These energies are cosmological in nature; they certainly relate to the action of planets, and the way that we come under the influence of them, but neither magical formulas or technical data will truly explain this. Only the inner receiving of an energy brings any kind of real understanding, and it is neither magical nor technical. It simply is.

Human beings are generally under these influences of planets in an unconscious way. That is to say, people do things under energetic influence from the moon, or other planets, without being aware of the fact that they have an effect on them. They think they are doing this, that, or the other thing under their own volition, whereas actually they are doing them because of what Gurdjieff called "tension" between planets.

The effort to open the inner eye is an effort to come under a higher influence, that is, a different kind of cosmological influence. There are generally two levels of this influence that man can stand between, one is the lunar influence — the smaller satellite which circles our own planet, which mediates the influences of the level below us — and the other is the solar influence, the higher influence around which we orbit.

 Developing a sensitivity will always, initially, mean coming under a lunar influence, and this is what Gurdjieff meant when he said that we have to "make Moon" in ourselves. We need to become connected to ourselves in a new way through sensation so that the inner energy opens us to lunar influences, and we develop a connection between the moon and our own Being.

 This is only, however, half the question, because once this connection is developed, it is necessary to open to solar influences, which are of a much higher and entirely different order. When the body comes under solar influences, one has then, so to speak, completed a "circuit," through which energy flows downward, into Being, and from there it involves downward further to support lunar influences and activity. So when we stand between two worlds, we don't just stand between the inner and the outer world; we occupy a position between the sun and the moon.

An active relationship to the solar influences produces a specific set of experiences which are strongly reinforced during solar flares, the activity which takes place when energy is released for the spiritual development of beings surrounding any given sun. Solar flares can be sensed instantaneously, at the moment that they take place, if sensitivity is developed. This is the receiving of what Gurdjieff called "emanations," that is, energies which are sensed and felt instantaneously upon their arising, as opposed to radiation – which is the energy that reaches the Earth several days after a solar flare.

It's important to understand that this entire relationship shows us how dependent we are on the energies around us. More on that in the next post.

 May your soul be filled with light.

Note to readers: a new post at the microbial octave.


  1. I read it and have also kept it. I found it interesting and not too different from the Ouspensky version. I recall something about how 'higher centers' are in a somewhat different scheme. If it seems like mumbo jumbo to you now, it may be because of 'where you are at' just now. Keep it for another you.

    1. I have to agree with Pierre. I too have a copy which I printed 30 pages at a time to read while traveling on the subway. Except for the business about the boat (and here the author may be talking about the Buddhist conceptions of the Hinayana and the Mahayana, the small one person vessel versus the larger nobody is saved until everyone is saved vessel, which arose about 300 years after Siddhartha's death.)
      But that does not excuse the nonsense or the endless crap about self observation with those great lists that Orage seemed obsessive about.

      There is a photograph of Mister Gurdjieff sitting and to his right is a white board – which had a very interesting diagram on it which has been excised from almost every single version of that picture, where next to him on the left is a pole a piano and several students sitting in front of it.

      That diagram has been extraordinarily helpful to me as well as several others like it – I call it the & (ampersand) diagram because it shows a different pathway than any other extant diagrams, It shows the instinctual center in the back rear leading to the front of the middle story, or emotional center and solar plexus up to the neocortex and then back through the cerebellum and down through the higher emotional center to the sex center at the bottom front.

      The diagram is a man seen from the left, where the top of the diagram moves from the front to back showing Mi, through the frontal lobes, responsible for problem solving and judgment and motor function, "Fa" through the parietal lobes which manage sensation, handwriting, and body position, and the temporal lobes which are involved with memory and hearing and finally through "Sol", the occipital lobes containing the brain's visual processing system, which houses "thinking by form." and the cerebellum, responsible for balance etc.

      The author's rant at the end that there is no one capable of teaching what he has just spent 200 odd pages describing is simply ludicrous, but to pan for gold we have to learn to stand in mud waist deep.


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