Friday, January 30, 2015

There is no theory of heaven, part II

 So we come to the word attention, and consider why it may have seven different meanings.

In order to understand how it has seven different meanings, we must first understand of that, like all of the other manifestations in the universe, attention is a force. The word is a noun, and it makes it sound like attention is a thing; and this makes it most difficult for us, because we are literal creatures, and everything becomes something of creation which can be grasped. Yet a force is like a wave, not a particle; and we need to move within waves, not grasp them as though they were particles.

Gurdjieff's enneagram represents a play of forces, which is the exact place within being and the universe itself that Jeanne de Salzmann said we inhabit — we are clothed in it. I often tell others that we must inhabit life, that we must be clothed by our lives. Taking the work into life, which is a task we are told repeatedly must be undertaken, involves inhabiting our life. This is work. Everything else is just play acting, posing, and theorizing.

In this play of forces, attention takes seven different roles, six of which are defined by the six notes (as distinct from the intervals) on the progression from do to do,  that is, a complete cycle of the octave. Those who have read The Universal Enneagram will know that the various notes represent, in all cases, forces — and that the forces have attributes with names related to the Names of God. So in this case, attention as a force has a material, emotional, and intellectual component within the natural realm; and it has a force as an individuality  with the need for purification and the attainment of wisdom in the spiritual realm.

The seventh aspect of attention is a mystery related to Meister Eckhart's union with the Godhead; and although we can construct a theoretical understanding of this, it lies beyond words:

Then the servant [Suso] wanted to know two things of him; the first was, how those persons stand in God who strove to attain the highest truth by self-abandonment without any falsehood. Then it was shown to him that the absorption of these men into the formless abyss cannot be expressed in words by anyone. 
—ME,  the complete mystical works, page 17.

 It's quite important to understand that when Mr. Gurdjieff speaks of attention here,  in particular, he speaks of an attention that exists within each center, and is unique to it, in this case, because he speaks of the attention on the natural side of the equation, that is, in our three centers before they engage in union. This is the stage those who were working with him were at.

There are other levels of an understanding of attention, in particular the understanding that arises when a center becomes alive within itself and working in its own energy, which is a higher rate of vibration related to the spiritual side of the enneagram; but that is where work is no longer theoretical.

For now, let's just talk about the idea that attention as a force can't be developed using a method. Gurdjieff says so himself, right there in plain sight. If there were, there could be a theory of heaven; and yet, in real work, there can never be a theory of heaven; there is only the reality of Being. All the theories of heaven are for people who want to theorize. 

One has to want, with every cell in one's body, to do more than theorize in order to find heaven. 

One has to be willing to suffer.

So when individual has to become responsible for themselves without using a method or technique. Now, it's true, Mr. Gurdjieff spoke about the idea that his writing in All and Everything gives you everything you may need to know; yet that is a big mouthful to swallow.

Astute readers may notice that he also speaks about the absolute need for remorse of conscience in these pages; and I'll get to that tomorrow.


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