Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Clockwork Laboratory, Part II

Our mythical researcher wants to study light, but is then put in a laboratory where what he’s able to research is time. 

The phenomena are not completely unrelated; time affects light, and we can use the speed of light, in some senses, to measure time. But it's a very rough approximation. 

In reality, this clockwork laboratory has very impressive tools. Despite that, they can't properly be used to study light. They can be used to analyze its passage; but that is a different thing that should not be confused with light itself.

So how do I go about studying consciousness instead of psychology?

This question, as well, has come up recently in exchanges with folks I know. And the answer to it is not complicated; yet it takes us out past the edge of impossibility when it comes to the laboratory we’re in. In other words, in order to begin to study consciousness, we have to leave the laboratory, which is filled with equipment we are convinced can be used to study light.  We don’t want to leave—the lab is very well equipped indeed, and it seems impossible to believe that it can’t be turned to the necessary purpose. We’re absolutely convinced that somehow all of these tools will work. In fact, the tools in the lab are exactly what we've been trained to use. We don't know any other way to study.

Yet the simple fact is that only opening the door and stepping out into the hall — where there is no equipment at all, and I don't know the way to the next laboratory — that I can begin something new. So it's a journey into a complete unknown. 

As I step out into the hallway, it is filled with the very thing that I want to study — light. That light was also in the previous laboratory, but I spent so much time thinking about light that I didn't notice it was all around me. 

Now that I'm not hypnotized by the instruments anymore — now that I'm not trapped within the confines of the laboratory I was given to work in — perhaps I notice the light. I notice it without any instruments; and I realize that perhaps I have to study the light by shearing myself of every preconceived idea about studying light, including the notion that I needed the laboratory.


Consciousness can only be experienced by coming into relationship with a higher and finer energy within me. 

Just as I call sensation the Organic Sensation of Being, so one might call this finer and higher energy the Energy of Being, which is of an higher order than the vibration of the Organic Sensation of Being. 

They are related; but they aren't the same thing. At the same time, it's impossible to study the Energy of Being without first awakening the Organic Sensation of Being; otherwise, one has no foundation within which this higher energy can manifest. The vibration of such finer inner energies is ordered in a lawful hierarchy, and one has to establish the base of the hierarchy for higher levels of vibration to arise. 

In point of fact, both of these energies are cosmological in nature— they are (respectively) planetary and solar energies. 

In the first case—the Organic Sensation of Being—it’s closely related to inner gravity, and arises from the moon. All of the talk about the moon and the way that it interacts with being in Gurdjieff’s teaching is related to Organic Sensation of Being. It is the moon. So when we speak of sensation, of an inner sense of gravity, of becoming attuned to the organic and cellular nature of Being — which is the octave below us, a connection to which is an absolutely necessity for all of our inner work — we’re speaking about the moon. One could write a long series of essays about this subject, but just understanding this simple principle is a beginning. 

We must “make moon in ourselves,” as Gurdjieff said. That is the awakening of the Organic Sensation of Being.

One needs to do this because one can't establish a foothold — or even a toehold, or a toenail hold — in objective consciousness without this foundational “gravity of the inner moon” anchoring Being. 

The Organic Sense of Being and the cellular sensation of life is the starting point for receiving substances at still higher levels of vibration. Once this sense is well-established, one can receive the Energy of Being; that energy comes from a level which is solar, not lunar.

In esoteric circles, this subject isn't all too well understood. It’s common to try to receive solar energy before forming a strong and grounded relationship with the Organic Sensation of Being. 

Skipping this process gives bad results. It's like building a cathedral on top of sand. The cathedral doesn’t have the support it needs for the walls, and it always collapses one way or another, no matter how carefully constructed. 

So one needs to understand how to come into a physical, tactile relationship with these rooted lunar energies first, before we attempt to open ourselves to solar influences.


Lee van Laer is a senior editor at Parabola Magazine.

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