Some might wonder why I am giving away these very specific esoteric secrets at this moment; yet readers who visit the space regularly know that it is in my nature not to be greedy with what is true, but to share it. As I write this, my father lies down stairs in our family room, dying; and this sobering experience, so filled with love and extraordinary light, reminds me that we have a sacred responsibility to one another not only to work together, but to share the results of our work, and to tell the truth about the spiritual fruits and love that emanate from heaven.
Those who would hide these things commit real evil; and we should wish only good for our fellow men, even though every one of us is stained in one way or another with untoward behaviors and attitudes.
We need the higher energy, this finer energy, to fill us because there is no possibility of achieving any of the goals that Mr. Gurdjieff set for us without the assistance from a higher level. The separation of oneself from oneself, for example, can never be achieved by the mind. The mind will try, for certain, to achieve it; and it will run around in circles chasing itself and reading itself dialogues and inventing texts and exchanges to try and justify and ferret out the necessary secrets. The mind is, after all, a very complicated and conniving animal.
But it is a hopeless situation. It's impossible to separate oneself from oneself unless a different kind of energy is also involved; otherwise, nothing but psychology is in operation, and psychology is not the same thing as spirituality. When Jeanne de Salzmann says that we must become spiritualized, she means we must participate in the action of a higher energy in order for our inner state to change.
The reader who asked me the questions in the first part of this series of essays asked whether or not a sensation of Being "cut off" the bad-thinking process at the root, that is, relieved us of the struggle with our ordinary selves, lives, and reactions.
Of course this isn't the case. Our ordinary self is on the order of what we bring to purgatory; the punishment we live with for what we are, and, as I have pointed out many times, a just punishment. Gurdjieff himself alluded to this fact when a man did something wrong to others in the work and they asked him to punish the man. "He is who he is," Gurdjieff replied. "That is punishment enough." We are punishment enough for our own selves; but we only absorb this lesson of our personal purgatory if we are conscious enough to see ourselves and become separate from this punishment which is our ordinary being; and we only do that with the assistance of a finer energy.
All of this is related to the path of conscience and the path of sorrow, and there is no other high path to follow. All the paths of bliss, ecstasy, peace, and happiness are lower paths; this is why Meister Eckhart said, For a man to have a peaceful life is good, but for a man to have a life of pain in patience is better; but that a man should have peace in a life of pain is best. (Sermon 69).
The point is that the higher energy provides what Gurdjieff called, allegorically, a teskooano; a telescope through which we can see what takes place on a lower level. That is to say, everything that proceeds, still proceeds; but the inner parts have gained a distance from it that can see the proceedings objectively.
This is simply one of the utilitarian, or practical, reasons that we need to become open to the inflow; put in Christian terms, which are more religious and less technical, it enables us to see our sin. It does not free us from our sin or eliminate it; rather, it highlights it. And it is naïve of us to presume that we do not have sin, that there is no subjectivity, no ego, or that these things can be easily repaired within this life. This life is there for us to see those parts and tolerate them, not get rid of them, overcome them, and then stand triumphantly on a hill of blazing light showing others how good we have become. I know there are inner works that seem to aim at this; but I am not part of the feel-good crew, as many already know. I am reminded of the Tibetan master Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse, whose extraordinary article not for happiness in the January 2013 issue of Shambhala Sun, actually told the truth about such things for a change: a shocking condition indeed.
I urge every reader to read this article. You will understand how truly serious Buddhism can be once you are finished.
Well then, we open to this finer energy not for ourselves — at any rate, not so we will feel good or be better people — but so that we will see just what kind of bad people we are. This is not a depressing action if we are supported by grace; rather, it is liberation, because it is only in discovering the actual bad in us, as opposed to the imaginary bad — which is what we are almost always hypnotized by — that we can turn our faces towards the good.
As Swedenborg explained, the bad always exists to turn us towards the good; and in this strange way, we can be grateful for it.