Thursday, January 16, 2014

No permissions

I truly think I am powerful, but in point of fact I am helpless in the face of my sin.

Gurdjieff's remorse of conscience is just a set of words to me until I sense it as an inner force that shows me this. The lies and contradictions I engage in , which are cumulative, lie within me as the foundation of my outer Being; yet I don't sense this. Only the humility brought by a serious emotional shock, one where I truly see how confused and subjective things in me are,  can awaken any part of the truth about this in me; and then I see how I lie about all such things.

I speak of my own experience here, not of others, or of some philosophical hypothesis; I speak of that fear and trembling that arises in the uttermost depths of my Being as I see my helplessness.

Yes, this moment has all things in it:  beauty of women, grace of friendship, the touch of a blue sky, and the kindness of strangers. They run through me like water; and the sorrow each one of them provokes reminds me of how far I fall short, in the midst of all this beauty, which is Grace itself, and Love. How bountiful the Lord; and how unworthily I come to Him. I should pray; bent knees and folded hands are the language of contrition. But I am old and oft grown out of that habit; as though a long race run alone entitled me to honors I have not yet earned. I weary in my  pursuit of the Lord; and always I forget that in the end it is always He that comes to me.

These are the times of trouble, and these are my wages of woe; not for any single act, but all of them. I would tear my heart out as an offering if I thought it would do any good, but the Lord wants all our hearts intact; intact, and contrite. So even a sacrifice  of blood is not enough; only a sacrifice of Love will do, and Love, in this most noble guise, enters the room alone as sorrow.

No wonder our Lord hung Himself on a cross. What else could he do? The act is whole within itself; it contains this mystery.

I look at this world, and how I am in it; and I would die to it, if I knew but how.

Yet no permissions have been given.

How well I think Mr. Gurdjieff knew this; and how lovingly and boldly, in the midst of his own sin, which was as grave as mine, I think, he found the courage to speak to us of it.


  1. Perhaps the oddest thing is that this sounds to me more and more like the path of a Saint; he who is not only aware of his or her "sin" but who feels it more and more deeply, almost as if it were suddenly enlarged as through a Microscope.

    The closer we approach (for want of a better word: "God");

    The closer we approach God the more helpless we feel in the consciousness of our sullied conscience. The high ranking and "Nobles" excused themselves from the King's wedding feast, so the King commanded for sinners,thieves, prostitutes and wayfarers to be invited...

    And all the paupers but one spent that day washing what "wedding garments"as they had... but the One who came"as is" was noticed and incurred the Lord's Wrath, and that man was bound and thrown out to the weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    Those of us who have SEEN our distance from the Kingdom should be sore afraid,and inconsolable. We have entered Purgatory when our own failings outweigh all the other sins in the world. That sensitivity is, as I said,a cobblestone on the path of the Saint, who emanates Grace while eating Suffering, both of themselves and of others - trading in fair measure Peace for Sin.


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