Fig Tree, Saigon
"It is only because the data for the sacred impulse of being-Conscience do not take part in the functioning of this consciousness of theirs that the action of the law of Solioonensius, as well as of other inevitable cosmic laws, as sumes these abnormal forms which are so lamentable for them."
—Beelzebub's Tales, page 573.
There is a second "inevitable cosmic law" connected with solar activity. This law is actualized by the phenomenon known as a coronal hole, which produces solar wind.
The solar wind from coronal holes was also obliquely described by Gurdjieff, but did not receive a special name, as did solioonensius. It serves a different purpose. Openings in the magnetic field of the sun—as opposed to CME's (coronal mass ejections, or flares, erupting from sunspots)—are accompanied by emanations of the sorrow of His Endlessness, that is, emanations of Divine Sorrow, which are consonant with emanations of Divine Love (they're the same thing, actually.) These emanations exhibit varying degrees of strength.
The solar wind allows a human being to sense the feeling-emanations of the Divine, which are of a different order than the sensation-emanations of the Divine as connected to sunspots. These feeling-emanations consist of a feeling-sense of the utmost and most profound sorrow of God; they are received spiritually within Being when the solar wind flows. This, as with the energy of sunspots, opens us to the Divine inflow; but it produces a form of inward suffering which, it must be stressed, simply is not present in the case of solioonensius. This suffering relates strongly to Gurdjieff's remorse of conscience; and that inward receiving is most emphatically a kind of inner work which demands the participation of the receiver.
The meaning of the phrase "intentional suffering" becomes important here, because intentional suffering, in this case, means an intentional inward going towards the sorrow that is being received. That is, one's wish must form an active relationship with the suffering. This action of objective and intentional suffering is distinctly impersonal, and shouldn't be confused with egoistic suffering. Objective Reason—the faculty Gurdjieff tells us solioonensius helps engender—
There is an interesting correspondence here between the action of objective conscience—which is of course tied to the arising of remorse of conscience in mankind—and the lack of proper sensation and understanding of solar phenomena in mankind. If one develops the capacity to receive and organically understand the emanations emitted by the sun, sensation of Being, the sorrow of His Endlessness, and the experience of both objective conscience and remorse of conscience are reciprocally tied together in an interactive spiritual field of energies which directly augment one another. Such action underscores how deeply tied man's spiritual development must be to corresponding cosmological phenomena. It's another subject worthy of much deeper contemplation.
One other point worth mentioning here is that Gurdjieff gives us, in chapter 34 of Beelzebub's Tales (Beelzebub in Russia) an inadvertent explanation of our sun's sunspot cycle: it's tied to the action of the comet Solni—and, of course, orbital comets have known and consistent periodicities.
By following the sunspot cycles, it's possible to know what times are most propitious for inner work; that is, even if we are not personally able to sense the effects of solar emanations, simply knowing the times at which they are more powerful can put us on our guard in multiple ways: first, we prepare ourselves in order to be more than usually suspicious of our egoistic motives, especially during periods of sunspots and solar flares; and second, when solar flares or coronal holes exist as active features on the sun, we devote a greater amount of time and attention to our inner efforts, in the certain knowledge that the timing is propitious.
Lee van Laer is a Senior Editor at Parabola Magazine.