Monday, April 27, 2015

The Spiritual High-Fiber diet

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Piermont Marsh, New York, April 2015
The gnatcatcher is a small bird that feeds on tiny, seemingly insignificant insects.

Reader: I'm just not interested in socializing last few years. I don't see the point of it most of the time. All I get from that is people complaining, talking about their jobs and news, etc. Even "having fun," joking, chatting, isn't that attractive to me.


Different people are comfortable with different levels of socializing. Of course, a lot of socializing seems to be a complete waste of time, but what we don't see is that it feeds parts of ourselves that need to have trivial input. 

This is a fine point of inner work. If I deprive myself of trivial input, that is, input related to very ordinary things, I won't notice it "consciously", but in the long run, parts of myself that need ordinary "filling" with material won't get what they need. People who do inner work often think that they need to live on a steady diet of higher vibrations, intensity, "special" energies and so on, but this is actually the opposite of the truth. It would be like deciding that I was going to restrict my diet to nothing but high-powered vitamins.

I need a lot of “fiber” in my psychological diet to help all the material—the impressions I take in— move through the psychological and spiritual digestive system. Our consciousness and our psyche function in exactly the same way as our bowels: they take in material, digest it, extract what they need — generally speaking, the finer substances which corresponds to what people call "vitamins" in ordinary food — and the rest gets discarded. 

So if I deprive myself of the fiber of ordinary relationships, the bulk material which seems quite unimportant, I am actually depriving myself of absolutely necessary things. It will need to illness—sometimes, severe. (Think about Gurdjieff's remark that all pleasure is excrement—it relates to this understanding.)

In addition, I need a wide variety of impressions overall. I tend to go towards what I like — for example, my wife likes to chit chat with other women — and perhaps ignore many other areas of experience that I ought to be taking in, for example, arguing with people — which produces a certain kind of friction necessary for growth — and so on. (In my case, I argue a lot, so I am not deprived in this area.) 

In any event, I tend to edit my psychological inputs down to the ones I am comfortable with, whereas I ought to do the opposite. 

In a nutshell, a great deal of Gurdjieff’s teaching consisted of bringing people to a point where they were exposed to all those psychological impressions they had trained themselves over a lifetime to avoid. Friction is necessary.

In this way, if we "like what we do not like," what we are doing is having an intention to take in this bulk fiber of the psychological landscape in our life which we are required to consume in order to be exposed to a wide range of nutrients. So I don't want to limit myself to how I interact. In a sense, anything that I am trying to avoid doing because I don't like it relates to the idea of the evil inner God of self calming. This includes interaction of many different kinds. I need to see this better: what parts turn away?

Much of what seems trivial to me is absolutely necessary. I don't have much of a perspective on what I need in life; in fact, I need everything, and perhaps most especially I need the things I like the least

I have to keep coming back to this, because it is only in the friction between my preferences and reality that I begin to see how my ego tries to structure everything so that it is comfortable.


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