Monday, July 28, 2014

Organizational skills, part I

Readers may remember my recent posts on inner organization, and the sweetness of the Lord.

This morning, my wife asked an interesting question — at least I thought it was interesting. She asked whether organizing things was a task that required more than one center.

This led to a pondering of the exact nature of how we organize things. An understanding of this may perhaps shed some light on an understanding of our inner state.

The question of organization begins with perception.

In the immediate moment, my sensory equipment takes in perceptions (impressions) of my immediate surroundings.

As Gurdjieff explains in the introduction to Beelzebub's Tales, an associative mentation takes place at the point of perception.  Put in the simplest possible terms, it functions in one of two ways: either visually, or verbally.

Now, the process of perception and its encounter with the inner structure — the associative structure — functions in the following way.
  • What is perceived is compared conceptually to already stored perceptions and the order they conform to. 
  • There are both intellectual and emotional responses to this comparative process. 
  • Intellectually, what is perceived is evaluated in terms of its overall structure and order relative to one's understanding of structure and order. 
  • That understanding derives from several different sources: 
    • first of all, what one has been taught structure and order ought to be;
    • second, the additional conclusions one has reached as a result of one's own previous associations and experiences. 
So there is an accretive structure of order, much like the honeycomb that bees make, to which the perception is compared. There is an intellectual assessment based on point-to-point comparison: it either conforms to the existing inner structure, or it doesn't.

 At this point in time, an emotional evaluation takes place. Perception is evaluated so that if the perception of structure and order seems more pleasing than the existing structure inside oneself, one undertakes the task of reordering the inner structure to better conform to the outer perception, so that one can improve the inner structure according to the perception.

Or, conversely, if the inner structure and order is more emotionally pleasing and corresponds better to feeling-requirements than the outer situation, the outer situation is found wanting and an emotional state arises in which one wants to correct outer circumstances and situations in order to better conform to the inner structure.

 In this way, an emotive desire — a wish —  emerges relative to outer structure. This feeling, this motivation, translates itself into a will towards action, in which an effort is made to reorder external things in a more structured manner. So ultimately, order and structure, outer organization, are dependent on the will – the inner motivating force — that forms in relationship to currently existing conditions.

It would be worthwhile to consider this in light of inner arrangements, since the process whereby one's inner being is ordered bears an important relationship to the order of outer things. In fact, all outer order and the outwardness of structure and organization itself emanate from Being, from the way the inner order is already formed. The comparative process and the arousal of will are what serve as the vehicles to bring inward order outward.

It should be noted that organization, the ability and wish to organize, can be either conscious or unconscious. That is a question we'll take up tomorrow.


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