Friday, December 19, 2014

The Gospel of Mary, Part II

 Today is my sister Sarah's birthday. She would have been 55 years old today. 

The Savior said, "all natures, all formations, all creatures exist in and with one another, and they will be resolved again into their own roots. For the nature of matter is resolved into the roots of its nature alone. He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

— The Nag Hammadi library in English, Harper & Row, 1998, page 524

 We can easily take this from the atomic and mechanistic point of view: everything which arises and manifests in one form, ultimately depends on and returns to its constituent elements — for general purposes, what we call atoms.

 The word resolve,  however, means to be loosened and dissolved by a force. So we see the action of a higher force on lower ones: it not only brings lower forces together, ultimately, it releases them.

Another meaning of this is that we return to ourselves. This phrase is a common one in speaking of self remembering; yet in this case, returning to our self means returning to the roots of our nature alone.

This can be construed as an instruction toward sensation, in which we sense the very molecules and atoms of our body itself. This sensation is directly related to growing a root of Being within the body, which is not actually one large taproot, so to speak, but an infinite number of very fine tendrils that extend throughout the organic body and create an atomic and molecular sense of life. This deeply inner question, which cannot be understood without certain unusual conditions for development, changes the entire state of Being. It isn't, as it happens, what is referred to as enlightenment; that particular state can exist without the root of Being, and the root of being may bring a human Being to certain types of work that are different than what is traditionally referred to as enlightenment.

We might mention here that enlightenment is, like consciousness, not a single thing. Enlightenment proceeds according to the law of octaves, and it is entirely possible for myriads different enlightenment conditions to arise, an extraordinary number of which are partial in one way or another. Because mankind's development is generally unbalanced, this type of enlightenment — non-harmonious development, as Gurdjieff might have referred to it — is more common than the durable states proposed by the type of work which Gurdjieff advocated.

Each one of these enlightened states is enormously attractive, and there is no doubt they are quite satisfying for some. Yet one ought to be a bit suspicious; and in the end, for those who want to go further, a call to a much deeper suffering is the way to liberation, which may not look like the pictures or be found on the maps.

To be resolved into the roots of our nature is to become more human. In order to understand that, it's probably necessary to understand first that we are inhuman.


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