The reason for this was explained as well; namely, that we have an outer and an inner memory, the outer proper to our natural person and the inner proper to our spiritual person. The details of what we have thought, intended, said, and done, even what we have heard and seen, are inscribed on our inner or spiritual memory. There is no way to erase anything there, since everything is written at once on our spirit itself and on the members of our body, as noted above. This means that our spirit is formed in accord with what we have thought and what we have done intentionally. I know these things seem paradoxical and hard to believe, but they are true nevertheless.
—Emmanuel Swedenborg, Heaven and Hell, pg. 498(new century edition)
In reviewing the question of sensation and the organic sense of Being, I must once again emphasize that this matter relates to the infusion of angelic energies into the body. De Salzmann referred to this as a "higher" energy; but of course it's an angelic energy.
Calling it "higher" simply tends, in my eyes, to obscure the point. One cannot understand what this "higher" energy means without understanding that it comes from a level of real Being, populated with other real Beings. We must, as well, be reminded that this higher level is a level not just of location—we're not dealing in mere geometries here—but of a greater moral, ethical, and spiritual authority. Hence Swedenborg's succinct comment:
I could therefore see that our overall nature depends on the nature of our intention and consequent thought, so that evil people are their own evil and good people are their own good. (ibid)
We do not seek inner development for any other reason than to serve the good; and this is an action of unselfishness. Whatever we love the most, we are; and whatever we are, we own. The essential action of awakening the organic sense of Being is to give ourselves the opportunity to see what we are within this life, so that we can make informed (inwardly formed) choices about ourselves while there is still time to change. Angelic inspection, you see, can be used to effect inner change while we are still alive; but once we die, those changes are no longer possible, because a final then reckoning takes place. Gurdjieff alluded to this on a number of occasions.
When I explained this to my wife, she asked about reincarnation and recurrence. My reply to her was that this doesn't matter; regardless of how we wish to view that question, it represents nothing more than a turning part in the engine. It isn't the whole vehicle; or the destination. Perhaps this is why Gurdjieff showed so little interest in the question.
In receiving the angelic energies that impart a new level of connection to sensation, I agree to participate in this inspection of myself from the inward perspective; and all of the things that make me, both in the past and now, come together within the organic manifestation of this energy which can see. It sees not with the eyes, or the mind, but with subtler parts which connect to heaven; and this sense is a part of the nervous system itself, which has both spiritual and natural elements. The human nervous system is (as both Gurdjieff & Swedenborg recognized) connected to both the spiritual and natural level. Gurdjieff preferred to describe it mostly in terms of chemistry, but Swedenborg understood from the point of view of neuroanatomy and correspondence.
No matter. From either man's point of view, what we are —and everything we ever have been—is indelibly inscribed in the nervous system of the body, and remains available as a comprehensive organic impression of Being. That comprehensive organic impression, however, remains unavailable for as long as we lack an organic sense of Being. And only this process of angelic inspection can help weld the various impressions of "self" and "I" into any kind of unity, since—exactly as in the process of death and its aftermath—only the stripping away of all the artificial, false, and outward parts of one's nature (the revelation of the truth, the exposure to broad daylight, as Swedenborg explains it)—can reveal any meaningful inner truth to a person.
Sensation, in other words, is the essential element in self-remembering: and yet it is understood far more as a mere mechanical process in humans than as any kind of intelligent—let alone angelic—action.
The organic sense of Being is, if properly sensed and understood, immediately sensed as an angelic presence. It is, at that, one of the coarsest and most basic forms of angelic manifestation, yet it is already immeasurably higher than our ordinary level of Being.