Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Three essential statements by Gurdjieff, part III

There are, of course, many other important statements in transcript number one, but perhaps this one is most important for students who wish to become more conversant with the inner and organic practice Gurdjieff called us to.

Our aim is to have constantly a sensation of oneself, of one's individuality, this sensation cannot be expressed intellectually, because it is organic. It is something which makes you independent when you are with other people.

 I've been writing about the organic sense of Being in this space for many years now. Take note that Gurdjieff expressed this organic sense of Being in exactly the correct way: it is something which makes you independent when you are with other people.

 I've explained in the past that a permanent sensation of the body is necessary; and I've explained that this must become voluntary, that is, that it must volunteer — I do not invoke it, it arrives by itself voluntarily. This only takes place once this part of the organism — connected to moving center — awakens in its own right, an action that cannot possibly be ignited by the action of mind. There is a catalytic process within the organism, a quite complex one, that involves a significant amount of suffering and payment over a long period of time for this sensation to arrive. And, as I have also explained, this is not enough, because it only represents the beginning of a union within the various parts of the organism.

It is, however, exactly what Gurdjieff said it was — a sense of Being, that is, a sense that makes you "independent when you are with other people. "

What he meant by this comes in levels, and carries nuances and degrees of complexity, but the beginning of this question is that one is present when one is with other people, in a different way. It is, quite frankly, impossible for others to see this; but the action of voluntary sensation separates one from automatic and unconscious action, to a lesser or greater degree, depending on how active voluntary sensation actually is — and it does not have just one level of action, as it functions very precisely in accordance with its own octave.

Of course, even the first note of that octave is significantly different than existence without it, but it deepens considerably, depending on how much the energy evolves and how much attention is invested in it; that is, the level of intimacy, or, as de Salzmann would put it, intensity.

In any event, as Mr. Gurdjieff also said, it cannot be expressed intellectually, because it is organic. It does not arise in the mind; and all of the efforts to comprehend it with the mind or invoke it with the mind are doomed to fall short of understanding it properly, because it cannot be understood with the mind.  He used the word expressed here very deliberately; it can mean to be emitted, squeezed out, and I think what he was getting at here is that you can't squeeze sensation out of the body by pressuring it with the mind. That is why de Salzmann goes to such great lengths (see The Reality of Being) to explain that the question of the participation of centers is voluntary. A voluntary attention, for example, isn't the attention I try to make happen: it's the one that arrives.

 They are not the same thing. I ought to turn my efforts towards clearly understanding the difference.

So when I write of intimacy and I call readers to study this question of sensation and intimacy, I am hoping they will understand that this does not mean to think to oneself, "now I will be intimate." It means, rather, to invest oneself within the inward flow of the energy, to come into relationship with this independence of Being which exists as a kernel of energy, a point of Being which begins with the inward flow of a higher energy into the organism.

 Although it's quite true that finer substances in the air feed this, they are not the point of origin. The point of origin is the point at which the divine touches the material within the expressed organism of man, that is to say, the machine itself contains the point of contact.



  1. a tricky one...reminds of exercises where you are supposed to be aware of some limb when talking to someone (with the injunction that it should not be a friend or family member)! It can lead to some troubled behaviour - visit your local g group :)


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