Nation Museum, New Delhi
Perfecting the Higher Being-Bodies— Part 2 of 3
We return to this idea of coating the higher being bodies, and why it is a "coating" and not a creme filling—ahem—as with something like what eclairs have in them, for example.
The higher being bodies correspond somewhat directly to Gurdjieff's higher centers — which he explained were already fully formed and man, just not connected to our ordinary consciousness. They don't, in other words, need to have a creme filling — they already come with one. What is lacking, in point of fact, isn't the content of, for example, the astral body, mental body, or causal body.
What is lacking is the connective tissue that binds them to one another.
This connective tissue is what is needed in order to create a bridge between the various bodies. The word "religion" means, in its Latin derivation, to bind fast — to reconnect, to connect to. So religious practice is an effort to reconnect the ligaments of the various being bodies, physical, spiritual, etc. In this sense, to coat the higher being- bodies is to form the connective tissues on the outside of the bodies that allow them to communicate with the bodies above and below them. (Take note that this explains the need to make connections both above and below the level one is on.)
One might say, extrapolating from Gurdjieff's comments to Ouspensky, that we already have that delicious creme filling of the Divine in us — we just can't taste it.
While the tone here is irreverent, the question is deadly serious. The matter of becoming reconnected to the higher parts of ourselves is a serious one, a sacred activity; and although this activity is entirely unnecessary (one can live one's entire life and die without doing it, and not really notice the difference) it brings the richest and most extraordinary possible experience of life to those who make the effort.
But why, we might ask, does is this idea of reconnecting — of "coating" the exterior parts of the higher being bodies, the bodies that contain angelic and heavenly levels of inwardly formed intelligence — called perfecting?
To perfect means to complete, or make whole; to accomplish, to finish. While we can understand this in terms of attainment — to accomplish something is to attain it — the idea of finishing or completing may be more appropriate to consider here. After all, the higher being bodies are not, in themselves, complete as they are: they require coating. That is to say, even though the higher levels are higher — superior to the lower ones — they cannot find their accomplishment or their wholeness within their own self. It's necessary for them to become coated with the ligaments that bind them to the lower (and other higher) parts.
What does this mean?
What it means is that the higher parts do not find their accomplishment, their completion, their perfection, within the limits of their own existence.
They must enter into a relationship with the other parts.
Lee van Laer is a Senior Editor at Parabola Magazine.