Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Taking in impressions, part 2

 Impressions ought to enter the body tangibly, and fall deeply within us.

The sensation ought to be deeply satisfying and organic, and it ought not to be localized — ultimately — in one place, because the whole body participates in the taking in of impressions, and when I say the body, I do not just mean the physical body. The word body in this case means the whole Being, the body of what a human Being is. So the relationship to impressions becomes comprehensive, in a certain sense, of the entire Being and the universe of Being — the universe of Being consisting of that wholeness of Being which constitutes an individual person, who ought to be experiencing themselves and their lives within a certain unity.  So let us understand this word body, for the time being, as the psychic body of a person, which includes all of their Being.

Impressions ought to feed one at a cellular level. This is how deeply they should penetrate. In fact, the organic sense of being, and the question of sensation itself, ought to be intimately linked to impressions and the way that they come into the body. Impressions are perpetually coming into the body from both inner and outer sources, and they ought to be taken in in a wholeness which not only feeds, but creates friction of a certain kind. That is to say, impressions which are deeply ingested raise all kinds of questions, and it is possible to live constantly within that state of being unsure of, and challenged by, the receiving of one's life. There is a specific purpose behind the tooling of the human organism to live in this manner, that is, to provoke a perpetual and inescapable seeing of our inferiority to God; hence the origin of Christ's remark that the Son of Man has no place to lay his head. There can be no rest in a right relationship to impressions, because one sees one's separation from God, and at the same time senses the presence of God within the relationship to impressions, which is implicit if they are taken in deeply enough.

 The chakras, or energy centers, have a great deal to do with the taking in and digestion of impressions, but their individual roles are easy to exaggerate. One realizes—by way of analogy— that the bowel is not really the point of all the food we eat at all; yet think about how much we obsess about our bowels, the gas in them, the excrement we produce, and so on. An endless series of jokes about this arises; and many of us eat too much, gaining weight in a manner that says a great deal about how selfish and greedy we are; to eat too much ordinary food, in the largest sense of things, indicates a selfishness that takes us away from God. The more selfish the society, the fatter the people in it become; and this is worth thinking about.

In any event, we think about the bowel as though it were the center of the act of eating; and thus we become invested in the satisfaction of that act alone, that part of ourselves alone, instead of seeing how everything is connected. The bowels run a person's life; and one grows too fat and is filled with... well, you get the idea.

It is like this with yogic impressions as well. If one thinks that all of the impressions in one's spiritual life should be heart impressions, or throat impressions, or third eye impressions, one doesn't see that each one of these locations is just a digestive organ, and that it is the global sense of Being itself that needs to be fed. In a certain way, all of the locations that digest impressions ought to become quite still so that the impressions can fall in and penetrate much more deeply; this is because inner agitation creates a barrier that impressions bounce off of.

 Most of the discussions of the need for relaxation — an absence of tension — that are discussed by Gurdjieff and Jeanne de Salzmann are ultimately aimed at allowing impressions to fall more deeply in the body. In many ways, of course, they are talking about higher impressions — yet all of the food of impressions is connected to higher impressions if one understands it organically.

I should like readers to be more aware of the question of a cellular sensation of impressions, so we shall discuss that in the next post.


1 comment:

  1. I recommend the chapter "Beezebub in America," from All & Everything: Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson, and in particular, Beelzebub's meeting in Chicago with the aptly named Mr. Bellybutton. Mr. Gurdjieff tells us that issues with food and sex will prove the downfall of Americans.


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