Monday, October 27, 2014


This question of instinct is interesting, because Gurdjieff spoke about this center with Ouspensky; and yet all we ever seem to hear about in the Gurdjieff work is "three centered" work, that is, work of the mind, the body, and the emotions.

You are a small person. One aspect in you has grown. Six others must also grow.

This passage from Wartime Transcripts (p. 33) reveals there's more to it than that; and of course there is. There are parts deep in a man or a woman that must become more active in order for inner work to become a living thing; those parts don't of necessity belong to the mind, the body, or emotions, because they emanate from other parts of man's Being. Mankind has seven parts to its comprehensive Being; they are represented by the chakras in yoga, but this is a fixed representation and thus quite misleading, in a certain sense. One must go much deeper than diagrams and schematics in order to understand anything real about this.

To go deeper is to become active in the contacts between the various centers; and this includes instinctive center, sex center, and the two higher centers. The entire system slowly becomes knit together through an active participation; and that active participation isn't direct by me or orchestrated by me. In a certain sense, according to the laws and corresponding methods of Great Nature alone, all of this ought to proceed naturally under the governing forces of instinctive center, which is the very root of Being; but I'm usually detached from this influence. The typical interest in inner work tends to be formed around the higher; one experiences a bit of energy from above the head, flowing down the spine, and so on— or one experiences energy in the abdomen, and this higher energy becomes fascinating and attractive because it seems so magical. The root energy that arises from the natural and active connection to sensation doesn't awaken, though; and since this forms the essential connections that are needed before anything else, the rest of the system goes wanting, in the end.

The Japanese have a special word for what's necessary in handling and preparing the roots; it is Nemawashi. The word originally meant to go around the root ball of a tree, preparing it for planting.

Nowadays it has a different meaning, often used in business: it means laying the groundwork, building a consensus.

This laying of groundwork is essential in inner work; and Gurdjieff mentions instinct simply because it is the groundwork: as he says in yesterday's passage, everything works... except that which must.


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