Friday, August 1, 2014

Organization skills, part V: the outward order

Earlier in this group of essays, I brought up the question of how ordering the outer may influence the inner; and of course, there is a reciprocity here. However, because of our inverted understanding of the world, there is a dogged determination to believe that outward order will create inward order; when in fact, the exact opposite is true.

 This problem derives from the fact that people believe that creation begins outwardly, in things; and not inwardly, from Being. Our obsession with the material and the destructive concepts that secular humanism and materialism have brought to humanity all begin with the foolish presumption that what is outward is the only thing that is real. The fact that nothing outward could ever be perceived in the first place without the inward nature of consciousness is completely forgotten. And so what ought to be, in all cases, the primary — consciousness —  is reduced to the secondary, a thing scientists argue about, rather than the birthplace of what is real. It's nearly impossible to imagine how such a profound misunderstanding could so thoroughly dominate a society or a species; and yet it does.

The outward ordering of things never truly changes the inward nature of those who order them. This is why society has, for the entire course of recorded history, become repeated series of crimes, a process of destruction which now threatens mankind's existence on the planet itself. The inward order must change in order for human beings to behave differently; and in order for that to happen, they need to come into touch with the divine origin of Being that lies within each human.

 Through contact with this divine Being, this influence which is received by the female part, the soul — which I liken to the queen bee, the fecund and creative source of all that becomes expressed outwardly — acquires a positive polarity which can be expressed outwardly. This seed, this beginning of the positive, can indeed emerge as a wish that orders things outwardly, and at that point, the reciprocal relationship between the outward and the inward becomes a mutually reinforcing system, in which the order of the outward helps to support the further ordering of the inward. Without this seed of the positive, however, the beginning of outward order can't take place; so no matter how we order the outward, it must always begin with an inward gesture.

The perception that outward order originates outwardly is an illusion; and we are unconscious of the inward nature of its origin. Becoming aware of the inward nature of the origin of the positive, the creative, the good—becoming organically aware of it—is an essential part of the process in recognizing what life is. Yet no one knows about this; and of course we never teach our children about it, which is why no one grows up with that question alive inside them.

When Gurdjieff spoke about influences A, B, and C,  he spoke about that which flows inwardly. That which flows into things; and I have pointed out repeatedly that this is exactly what the word influence means, that which flows into something.

The point of the three different kinds of influences is that the influences have sources of arising from which they flow into things, and the classification of these influences is specifically derived from the sources of arising. We seek to come under influences that arise from a higher level; and those influences never flow into things from other outward, material things. In a general sense, all outward or material things are influences A; and all they can do or have an effect on is themselves, that is, they are a closed and essentially selfish system.

Influences B mix with influences A but have their source in a higher level, and thus represent a possibility for something real; and influences C are directly received from the divine. In fact, nothing outward is actually from influences C; everything outward that takes place is merely a reflection of those influences, because the influences themselves are higher and can only be received within the soul.

 Our mistaken understanding of the outward order is what Swedenborg called naturalism, the belief in nature as an entity unto itself. Or, conversely, the belief in nature as the entity in which God resides, which is an equally mistaken, though at least peripherally understandable, idea. In both cases, let us note, we speak about beliefs; and in the end, beliefs are useless. They are as formatory as everything else people engage in. Our aim in inner work is to understand something that is real; something that is true. We have a wished to become engaged with, to receive, the Dharma.

The Dharma is not a belief; so we have to leave our beliefs behind and enter what is unknown in order to receive it.

In this way, we leave the outer alone; we stop believing in it. What we trust in instead begins with truth, an inner truth; and that is born in sensation first.


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