Sunday, April 10, 2016

Help from the sun, part II

Woman with ancient ritual object
Lee van Laer 2016

 I'm sure there are those who will find the juxtaposition of this casual and frivolously upbeat drawing with a serious subject jarring; but I set this post template up some time ago and I think that the juxtaposition offers a lighthearted counterpoint to the gravity of our discussion, so I'm going to leave it as it is.

Coming back to chapter 113 in The Reality of Being, a bit more now about the nature of the organic sensation of Being and its place in our work.

 Readers may recall a recent essay about the nature of lunar influence and the relation of moon to sensation. This is quite important, and I've written about it in a number of different essays which are probably worth searching for throughout the blog over the decade I've been writing it. But we'll come today to a more specific understanding about the role of the sun in relation to this question.

In pondering  The Substance of "I", a reader may get the impression that it's possible for us to do some kind of special work of our own whereby we can concentrate, manipulate, or deposit this subtle energy to coat our being-body parts using our own agency.

While there is some truth to this, one must recognize our limitations; we can't do much, because we are untrained, insensitive, and more or less helpless. The essential and absolutely vital action of seeing this — our lack — is one of the most important tasks we undertake, because it helps soften our egoistic belief that we are in control of everything and will do this and that to develop ourselves in an inner way. You may take note, if you will, of how often spiritual practice pitches itself to the idea that God is in charge of everything, yet then subtly and secretly tilts itself towards the idea that one can control everything and carefully guide the ship into port. It happens everywhere; ego always makes its most comfortable nest in the midst of professions of humility.

 The substance, the material, which is under discussion here is a fine substance that is extracted from the air; this is explained in In Search of the Miraculous (see chapter 9.) De Salzmann alludes to this indirectly in her piece, when she cites the importance of an attention to breathing; but the critical role of the sun is not discussed.

Solar influences play an essential role in our ability to undertake this kind of work. The sun is constantly radiating and emanating various higher energies which reach the planet in a number of different forms. Each one of them has a specific and law conformable action on the atmosphere of the planet which directly affects the ability of human beings to conduct an inner work in conformity with higher principles. Almost all of these energies will help a human being to work more intensively if they are sensitized to it; but all of them are useless without a corresponding sensitivity, and some can even be damaging, as Gurdjieff explained in his discourse on solioonensius.

This is not a theoretical matter, and it's quite important to understand it from a practical point of view, lest one think that all moments are equal when it comes to work, or that all possibilities are always available. The rhythm and cycles of our inner work are strictly dictated by the availability of energies from the sun; they do not arise because we make "super-efforts" or pay much better attention. We can do those things, true; but they are useless if applied at the wrong time. It is like a swimmer at the mercy of strong currents; one has to learn to swim with the current, not against it, and to know which currents are present and the directions they are running in. So there are times when work is much more possible, according to laws governed by the solar influence, and times when it is much less possible.

I've spent a lifetime watching people blame themselves for not working hard enough, typically unaware of the influence the sun has on them. It's important to understand that we seek to come under higher influences, and that in doing so, we have to understand that they have their own direction, their own intensity, and a rhythm and timing that does not belong to our own preconceptions.

 More on this in the next post.


Lee van Laer is a senior editor at Parabola Magazine.

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