Monday, March 16, 2015
Arising from outer events
That is, no matter what we do, we default to an understanding of suffering and sorrow—intentional or otherwise—as arising from outer events.
This is an inverted and incorrect understanding. Everything we experience — experience itself — arises inwardly as a result of what flows inward from the outer events. That is to say, the objects, events, circumstances, and conditions are all indeed outward, and exist; but sorrow and suffering — which are responses to the outward world — arise inwardly, and are entirely the property of our inward nature. They do not belong to what is outside of us; they belong to ourselves, and thus, we become responsible for them. It is the response of consciousness to what it encounters.
This may seem like some kind of metaphysical or psychological point, but with a proper development of inward sensation, the distinction becomes quite real and is not a technical one subject to analysis using rays of creation, octaves, hydrogens, and so on. In some senses all these theories and diagrams are absolutely useless when compared to the physical sensation and the understanding it arouses. The technical work is just a ladder to climb to the roof; once I get there, I'm not thinking about ladders at all—I see the whole city.
I come back to this point over and over again, and have had a number of different readers ask me to explain the difference. The difference lies within sensation of Being itself, however; not in the words that describe it or the analogies I can think up—no matter how good I am at analogies.
Yet in addition to all these irrefutable impressions of the outward world— the diseases, the war, the terrorists, and so on —there is a much finer substance we can receive. One must liken it to food one eats; and in order to understand how it is encountered, enters, and affects Being, one needs to compare exactly to taking a sweet piece of fruit — try papaya, for example — putting it in the mouth when one is quite hungry, savoring it carefully, and understanding the entire experience of how material it is to bite it, chew it, swallow it, feel it go into the stomach, and then understand the sensation of being folded spreads throughout the body. This is a coarse and quite material example of receiving a substance.
Records of his teaching demonstrate that Gurdjieff specifically wanted his pupils to experience this act with great attention, which may seem a bit odd; but there were reasons.
Imagine this sensation refined to a much more exquisite sensibility, and imagine it being received physically through metaphysical means — that is, imagine an emanation, like sunlight, that enters the body and penetrates it as food. Not to put too fine a point on it, but in reality, this is the physical touch of God as mediated through the angelic realms; and it takes many forms. (For example, Rumi described the sensations of smell which it can arouse as musk—an intense perfume of the soul.)
What is important is that it is a physical material that is received from higher levels, which penetrates and permeates the body. The higher sensation we work towards arises from the receiving of similar material (although sensation itself begins within the receiving of the material at a lower rate of vibration than the one that relates to intentional suffering.)
Again, these are technical points, and can't be understood with the mind; one has to keep coming back to an encounter with one's inner sense of intimacy, and a submission to God's will, in order to open to this substance.
In the Old Testament, it was called manna; and of course, it has also been referred to as prana, and the Holy Spirit, although these expressions limit it to a single substance or action, whereas it has, in its entirety, many different aspects, all of which relate to the receiving of varying rates of higher vibrations.
The work I have undertaken in explaining its relationship to intentional suffering relates to the highest (for us) available level of vibration, which was the one that Gurdjieff spent so much time writing about in Beelzebub. I've undertaken this because it seems to me that there is so much confusion on the subject, and such a powerful tendency to mix it with the questions of this level, which exist entirely within their own octave, and exert a force that must, in the end, actually be overcome and abandoned in the effort to open one's heart.
That action of abandonment, in what may sound like a paradox, actually turns out to precisely and compassionately serve the events on this level, which cannot actually be served in any other way, no matter how we struggle and flail around in our outward efforts to affect the outcome of events. Only the influx of a higher influence can really affect anything on this level.
It doesn't mean that we abandon outward efforts; but inwardly, we need to understand where they lie in relationship to our work.