Sunday, April 13, 2014
kinder, gentler words
There is a need to understand one's negativity, and, even, to use it properly. It is there to be not only suffered, but employed, for it has its purposes. Jeanne de Salzmann, who was unusually energetic and lively well into her 90s, was once asked where she got all her energy, and replied, "from my negativity, of course."
In order to understand what she meant, one needs to form a quite different relationship to one's negativity, which does not mean that one banishes it. Being negative and being present at the same time is a fascinating exercise, and if one's sensation is entirely invested in it — by entirely, I mean, down to the marrow of the bones, and voluntarily — one sees that it is, like sex, a function. It exists as a truth; and like all of the Names, or manifestations, of God, it is necessary.
I spent the day in Shanghai today (this essay was written on March 15) and wandered into the antiques district at Fangbangzhonglu, an area I have frequented for decades. It is modernizing, and a great deal of the interesting material that used to turn up there is now gone. Almost everything is now fake; but some dealers still carry real and unusual Buddhist artworks, including, on rare occasions, truly extraordinary pieces like this one. They are, unfortunately, insanely expensive and well out of my budget; but the dealer who has these bronzes is kind enough to allow me to take photographs.
The deities here are, like many Tibetan deities, enormously ferocious and negative-looking demons. Of course, there are sound spiritual and traditional reasons for depicting and interpreting these gods, festooned with various skulls and human body parts, as positive — not negative — forces, but it doesn't do much to dispel the impression. The impression is inarguably beautiful, and sinks deep into Being. Wickedness has its own beauties; we forget that.
All of this raises questions about reality, which is comprehensive.
Being needs to become an objective state, arising from an unassailable organic connection with sensation, in which all of these aspects and facts are included, without disturbing sensation. Being and sensation are so intimately tied together, in this aspect of inner relationship, that nothing can disturb the partnership between the two, even though the ordinary psyche and all its psychology continues to function in an ordinary manner. Awareness finds its position in direct relationship to the organic sense of being, and the psyche just does what psyches do. Awareness does not need to interfere with that; each aspect of Being belongs to itself. One must navigate the territory between the two states within the context of feeling.
One of the chief energies that sustains this action is solar. In point of fact, regardless of the connection between breath and sensation, a yogic matter which I have expounded on in considerable detail in years past, the connection between solar energy and sensation is much more important. The connection between breath and sensation is directly related to the formation of the astral body, that cheerful little entity we were discussing two days ago. But the connection between solar energy and sensation is connected with the formation of the being-body above the astral. When Gurdjieff speaks of the assistance that the action of solioonensius gives to those seeking to perfect their Being, he isn't referring to the question of the astral body. Solar energy can only act on bodies connected with solar matters.
If one is under influences other than the influences of ordinary life, the difference between being under lunar influences and solar influences can be experienced quite distinctly, without any astrological trappings or Wiccan features.
These influences are related to what Gurdjieff called objective states of Being—objective in the sense that they are no longer under the control of the accidental collisions that take place on a day-to-day basis in a life that is not inwardly formed.