Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Clockwork Laboratory, Part III

The Organic Sensation of Being is a new kind of consciousness — what Gurdjieff might have called “man number four.” Now, I don't really like using “man numbers”—it’s not my thing. But it’s a correct correlation for those who prefer their ice cream Ouspensky-flavored

This new level of consciousness is the man who has stepped out of the laboratory and into the hallway. It's a preparatory form of awakening; no study of light has yet been undertaken, because he's not outdoors, where one can actually study light in its natural environment. There’s still a maze of corridors to be navigated. Each one of them confers some illumination, but none of them are quite open to the outside.


The Energy of Being, that finer energy which enables an opening to light (the study of consciousness) is solar in nature. By solar I mean specifically— without analogy— that it’s emanated by the sun; and this is exactly what Gurdjieff meant when he said was "in the solar energy business."  

In inner work we ultimately aim to come more directly under these finer, much higher—and objective—solar influences.

One can't receive solar energy until one has a foundational relationship of sensation established, because the lawful hierarchy can’t be violated. After the awakening of the Organic Sensation of Being, many years are required for the right substances to be deposited at cellular levels (Gurdjieff referred to the process as the “coating”of higher Being-bodies) so that solar energy can be reliably received and retained. It’s retention that matters; unless material is deposited and accumulates, its effects are always temporary, no matter how profound they may seem. 

It is as though a bee were building comb inside the hive. The wax for the cells which is, like the Sensation of Being, a foundation, is transformed from substances received from outside the sphere of Being. No bee can store honey until they have this foundation built. 

Human beings can receive some solar energy if there is a large solar flare, collapsing prominence, coronal hole in the sun's atmosphere, and so on. Each one of these produces a specific and different kind of higher energy that can feed Being; yet a person can’t receive solar energies and digest them properly on a regular basis without many years of preparation. Even after that, one has to take many more years of developing a relationship to solar energy in order for it to deposit the necessary substances. The digestion is critical; failure to digest such energy leads to violent reactions. (Read Gurdjieff's description of the effects of solioonensius on unprepared individuals.)

All of this lies directly on the line that moves towards greater consciousness.

These energies do inner work with very fine substances that are not under authority of our conscious mind as it is in day-to-day life; and although there are many things we can do to adjust our day-to-day life to make the building of an sufficient inner receiving structure more possible, most of that takes place in that laboratory with all the clocks. We should remember that. We spend many years getting ready to open the door and step out of the laboratory; then we spend many years looking for the door to the outside world.

So a conscious relationship — our inner experience of objective consciousness in any measure — is dependent on solar energies. It does not consist of what I expect it to consist of; it does not behave as I expect it to behave. It isn’t of me; and this is the reason. I am rather of it; and this cannot be parsed into what I am now.

We serve these higher energies; they never serve us, it is always the other way around — and it is in the measure of our service that we prosper inwardly. To prosper inwardly is very different than to prosper outwardly, and it’s quite common for one to actually impede the other.

The critical point is that we must come into relationship with a higher energy in order for anything real to take place. This idea that we are going to do this, that, or the other thing using the work of self observation or the mechanism of exercises is delusional. Something entirely new has to happen, and that always do with the receiving and expression of a real energy of sensation. 

The energy is supposed to be a living thing that permeates every crevice of being, and is always active in one or another within the context of daily life. Even, for example, right now as I dictate this, right now is when you have a relationship is energy in order to form a relationship conscious. 

Right now. 

That’s because this energy is consciousness, no other thing. You and I are only fractional expressions of this consciousness. 


Lee van Laer is a senior editor at Parabola Magazine.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I was wondering how many people who had done time in groups had managed to navigate this maze of corridors - or does the 'work' work? It seems reasonable to ask...


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