In contemplating the overall questions raised by this subject, especially in regard to my own inner emotive processes, it occurred to me this morning that the point of intentional suffering may well be, above all, to begin to see and understand my own negativity as a force.
I spend the greater part of my life identified with negativity. The identification with it—the belief that it is, in a nutshell, me: that it is who I am when and as I experience it—prevents me from seeing it as a thing apart from my Being. I inhabit the negativity, rather than my own Being: it is a question, in other words, of which inner center of gravity I fall under the influence of. One who orbits the force of one's negativity cannot orbit the force of one's Being: they are two different inner Gods.
This may seem obvious; and from an intellectual and psychological point of view the question may be easy to grasp and to process. Yet from an inner and organic point of view, I don't believe it is a simple thing at all. It's a shock, really, as one grows older to slowly separate from one's negativity and see it as an entity unto itself. I'm not really all that familiar with it, and I rarely experience how it acts as an attractant. I simply become attracted and fall into it; and that's that.
If I suffer as both Eckhart and Gurdjieff propose, I am required to confront inner truths about my own nature which cannot be organically encountered in any other way. The nature of my inner negativity can be experienced as a material; quite literally, a physical material, a substance, which aggregates and emits an inner force of attraction.
The inner nature of all thought, sensation, and emotion is material in this way; yet for the most part I treat them as abstractions, generally failing to understand the way that they collect and the cumulative effect of these substances on the planetary bodies of my own inner cosmos.
Both the concept and the practice (of sensing my own negativity) relate, thus, to understanding the laws of world creation and world maintenance from an inner point of view.