Thursday, May 8, 2014
Taking in impressions, part 3
What Gurdjieff called the ray of creation — an extension of consciousness that moves from the highest levels down through the lowest ones — is simply a thread of consciousness, awareness, that connects with both the higher levels of emotion and intellect, moves down through a person's Being, and into the levels below conscious Being as we are able to experience it.
That level of Being is manifested in the life of our cellular body, which is the level directly below us. This level has an extraordinary complexity and depth to it, and is in fact an entire universe which we remain blithely unaware of. Yet this universe can become alive within us and support our Being, and it is quite possible to have an experience of awareness that extends all the way from the absolute sensations of God's presence within us – almost all of which, by the way, consist of an extraordinary sorrow which in its own right and existence transforms itself into joy in the instant of its experiencing — down to the sensation of our cells, which respond to that extraordinary sorrow and joy through a longing that transcends the Being of the individual cells, moving upwards through the body to attempt to meet the Lord and return to him.
This, in a certain sense, constitutes an intuitive or organic expression of the octave of impressions, which can be broken down in a scientific manner and understood from the point of view of chemistry. Of course, many people have done that with very complicated books and diagrams of the enneagram; yet all of those exercises are meaningless compared to the experience of living within the correct receiving of impressions, which is not an activity for the chemistry books. In point of fact, the techniques in the intellectual understanding have no real meaning relative to the action and the experience. We can once again turn to the act of eating ordinary food, and understand that one can read all the books one wants to about cooking, recipes, food chemistry, the molecular relationship of substances in foods (sugar molecules, lipids, etc.) and then go eat a cookie and find out that none of it means a damn compared to how great this cookie tastes and how satisfying it is to chew it and swallow it.
In a certain sense, one doesn't understand anything about impressions until one throws out all the cookbooks and eats a cookie. Let's just leave it at that.
So I would draw readers back to this effort to understand impressions organically, through the organic sense of Being, and at least at first to the immediate examination of sensation and its relationship to Being.
Relationship to impressions is an essentially sacred act on all of its levels, if it is understood within the body, once again, the body being the whole of Being, not just the physical vessel we inhabit.