Thursday, April 3, 2014
How thoughts form, part 3: the three servants
Each one of the servants is essential; one of them is in charge of administration, the second one in charge of the physical and environmental condition of the kingdom, and the third one in the happiness of the people.
But the administrator, has taken over; and he has no respect for the other two servants. They are given little or no place in the day-to-day administration of the kingdom; and because things are disorganized, the King does not come home. He sees that the environment is in poor shape and his people are unhappy; but he cannot rule the kingdom on his own. His administration is essential, and it needs to be balanced before he can step in and exercise his rule.
In the same way, our intellect has little respect for the mind of the body or the mind of the emotions. It sees them as subservient elements to be ordered around, not as peers with an equal right of participation in life.
When the body-mind and the emotional mind are alienated in this manner, they become irresponsible and run off on their own to seek their own pleasures. They are not, after all, organized rationally in the same way that the mind is; and although they have distinct and mature, completely developed thoughts of their own, those thoughts cannot organize themselves properly without the participation of the intellect, who has become an abuser instead of a cooperator. In the meantime, the types of thoughts that these two parts have are quite different than rational thought; our understanding of what thinking is is limited to the organization of rational arguments, associative elements, and strings of words and concepts. The understanding that sensation is a form of thought, and that feeling is a form of thought, escapes us, because our conceptual framework has extinguished these understandings, which were much clearer to ancient peoples.
Consequently, we don't really suspect that the mind of the body can consciously participate in the experience of life. The body and its mind seem to be relatively inferior tools, great for playing guitar or tennis, or providing pleasurable sensation through food, wine, and song and so on, but otherwise to be subjugated to a rational life plan. Sensation isn't, after all, going to get us through Harvard.
Or even the state University.
I wish to be present to my life; but I always think I will do this through the mind of the intellect. It has, after all, initial and subjective command of all the senses; even senses distinctly belonging to the body alone such as touch. And I don't suspect that my body has an organic ability to perceive that exceeds that of the intelligence of the mind.
That ability to perceive is entirely different than the faculty of the intellectual mind; the body perceives through sensation. Yet the manner in which sensation can be truly awakened is unknown. Gurdjieff said this was possible; nonetheless, despite decades of instruction and study, the subject remains obscure to most people who encounter it. Perhaps the best we can say is that sensation is awakened once enough suffering has been undertaken; and that is a complicated matter, because even though we are told that we ought to suffer intentionally, in reality, we do little or none of this.
In the end, my great wish is to be more present to my life; and the first place in which that greater presence can arrive is through the sensation of the body, that is, a much deeper organic sensation that is alive and at the very least organic, if not durable or permanent.
One of the points of self remembering, of separating myself from the various processes of the inner centers, is to be able to see more precisely exactly how each one of them operates. Taking one step back from the process of inner identification and seeing these processes as separate things is an essential point of work in terms of self remembering. Self remembering is not just coming back to myself in my life, seeing that I am there, and saying "I am" to myself for a brief moment. The interaction of self remembering in which there is the self which steps back from and sees the various centers in operation is a much more concise definition of inner work, and a far more comprehensive and in-depth way of viewing the question.
This cannot, however, be a psychological activity conducted by the mind of the intellect. Being must form within the body; that is to say, a real Self must be born which can do this kind of work. And there are no magic formulas to guarantee that kind of birth. Many years of exercises can certainly help; but again, no guarantee.
Someone asked me today what can awaken sensation. My reply to them was that if we knew this, we would know everything. In the end, I believe, this only takes place after much advance payment and a great deal of suffering; and even then, only according to the karma of the individual who is working.
To date, in my own experience and reading, the very best record of what might work was provided by Jeanne de Salzmann; and The Reality of Being is the closest thing to a manual on this question in all of the world's esoteric literature.