That same development, in every instance without exception, takes place under the supervision of a sun. The sun, for each developing octave, represents the higher level from which that octave branches off: that is to say, the absolute.
The Arch-Absurd describes the manner in which the inner sun, that higher authority, that spark of the soul informed by God, helps feed us; and indeed, there is proximal help available from this particular point at which God touches the soul, which Meister Eckhart describes thus:
Next to this, it is said, there is no greater union than that of God and the soul. When the soul receives a kiss from the Godhead, then she stands in absolute perfection and bliss: then she is embraced by unity. In the first touch with which God touched the soul and continues to touch her as uncreated and uncreatable, there, through God's touch, the soul is as noble as God Himself is. God touches the soul like Himself.
—ME, The Complete Mystical Works, page 338
The development of a relationship with the octave above us and below us also opens us to the actual influences of the sun itself, that is, the physical sun of the solar system, which plays a dual role in the development of both our planetary environment and our being. This dual role is where the connection lies; and unless one precisely distinguishes between its inner and its outer role, Gurdjieff's comments on the nature of the sun are sure to be misunderstood.
The outer role of the sun is a distinctly physical one, conforming to the natural laws described by our sciences, and from that point of view, what Gurdjieff says is indeed absurd.
Yet from the point of view of the inner influence of a sun, a physical sun, itself on the inner work of all the beings on the planets surrounding it, it's exactly right.
In order to understand this with more than just one's mind, which will never correctly comprehend the question, one must develop deep roots in the body; and then the branches and leaves that extend, inwards, upwards towards the sun so that one can receive its emanations, which are definitely quite different than its radiation.
Receiving the emanations of the physical sun produces exactly what Gurdjieff described it as in the chapter — remorse. While the sun emanates at all times, it is only when sunspots produce flares — a process Gurdjieff called solioonensius— that these emanations come into one's being and play a special role in the development of the inner octave, which hinges on the experience of remorse — closely linked, by the way, to remorse of conscience.
It is important for those wishing to understand the book, the chapter, and the practice from more than a theoretical point of view to understand this question of the roots of Being quite deeply, and to understand the question of remorse as something more than an intellectual concept, or a strictly emotional experience. Remorse goes much deeper into the bones than this; and the whole point of solar emanation, as it takes place in every solar system, is to arouse this feeling in beings so that they can see where they are.
Ancient peoples understood this well, and the experience of remorse, in sacred societies and esoteric schools, was a critical component of inner development. The practice is barely known and rarely spoken about, today; yet Gurdjieff knew about it quite exactly, as evidenced by his detailed descriptions, which are concealed in allegory not directly accessible without practical experience.
In order to understand what he was getting at, we need to understand that light, in this vocabulary, is not light; and heat is not heat. The receiving of the emanations of the sun creates an inner light that opens us to truth; and seeing truth takes place not necessarily in the broad light of day, which is a physical experience, but in the darkness of Being, which is the most beautiful place in the soul. Remorse as experienced through the emanation of the sun is a place that melts the soul and helps it to better conform to the mold God always intended for it.
None of this action is really aimed at or intended for the outward world, in the end; and we are that planet which had its whole side split off, that whole side now called the moon — our sensation, which we have lost, and now have no real connection to.
The gravity of our lack of sensation would become apparent if one truly understood the nature of its relationship to everything I have discussed in these last two posts.