Saturday, February 11, 2017

Life Serves Life

Sayil, Ruta Puuc
Campeche, Mexico

Number two in a series of essays I wrote while flying down to the Yucatán for our February vacation.

There's a native sacred law in all beings. 

That sacred law is formed according to the nature of each Being; for example, a dog doesn't have conscience. But a dog has other important and powerful things which we don't have. 

I can try to remember this and respect every dog. Even a twig has law in it, and quite frankly the twig is more obedient to its inner law than I am to my own. It can't make choices about such things. I can, and I constantly make poor ones. Human beings are all alike in this matter.

Native sacred law has its own natural ability to manifest— to express itself. This ability acts according to a set of laws which are sometimes called the law of three and the law of seven. But one shouldn't worry about this now, because if one does, one inevitably creates an attachment to thought about the laws instead of living within the laws. 

Such attachments become knots and wind up tighter and tighter over time; eventually, they're very hard to untie. I see I'm filled up with such knots. They have to be slowly teased apart; some even need to be cut.

This action of living within the natural expression of law is what is called obedience.  

Obedience forms a partnership with intelligence, which is an active force that has nothing whatsoever to do with external facts or the act of collecting and arranging them. It's only the inner fact of our living, of being here, that matters right now, and that's one single thing

It's like the difference between the fox and the hedgehog. One may be a fox, but one needs to become a hedgehog... think like this, think like a hedgehog. Understand one big thing and everything else will follow.

If I don't understand obedience, everything else is worthless. God has a loving nature which is directly accessible through obedience, and in fact if I'm obedient, God at once comes to help inwardly form my Being. But this obedience is an obedience to life, not of life. It isn't an outer obedience to outer things and no amount of effort to understand it that way can ever lead to the least understanding of what is real.

I ask myself how to obey God's native sacred law within my own Being, and be determined to understand how that feels organically. What sensations it produces, what feelings it evokes. 

I see that these things come into a person; I can't go out to them. 

In every way, obedience is a receiving of influences. I must stop trying to be the mailman and let the mail be delivered.

One sees here how many analogies there are to be had. That's because nothing is direct and everything literal has to be surrendered. Living within the laws isn't a theory that connects logical dots. It's a naturalist observing birds and trees; a hunter waiting for a rabbit, even, but not a scientist or a mathematician. 

Deductive skills follow mental paths and the laws are cosmological, not mental. I have to learn to live according to them, not analyze them. I should be clever, be diligent, be attentive to these activities, but not mistake them for life. 

Life strikes its own bells from within, and nothing that comes from outside can ring those tones.

One can become alive within the law. There are many words for this, such as freedom or enlightenment, but they're a waste of my time. Each one of them creates another fantasy in me which I become attached to, and then I dream about meeting Mr. Freedom and Mrs. Enlightenment, instead of engaging in this very practical, very smple act of Being. 

Perhaps we ought to stop making up such stories and repeating them to ourselves and each other. 

Just turn all our effort towards becoming alive within this native, sacred law— obedient—and keep the question of just what that means in front of us. 

Then life serves life, and not dreams about life. 


Lee van Laer is a Senior Editor at Parabola Magazine.


Most readers are well familiar with Gurdjieff's formulation of human beings as "three brained beings."

 My new book, Being and Impressions, consists of brief and practical discussions on the subject, along with observations about impressions and how we take them in. 

The book was written to address some questions that have been directed at me over the last few months on the subject, which helped me to understand that many folks still struggling with these concepts—even after many years of effort to understand them. 

Most moving was a friend of mine—a true genius of talent with extraordinary outer accomplishments to his credit—who still after most of a lifetime, feels he cannot understand why impressions don't fall more deeply into him. 

His comment touched me in ways that theoretical discussions of these matters never do. I felt it was necessary to undertake an effort to grapple with these questions more directly, in a contemporary language, rather than the material we are all familiar with and have been reading for many years.

The aim in this book is to simplify and clarify some of these matters. It remains to be seen whether I have succeeded. Readers will have to judge.

Interested readers can purchase the book by clicking on the link in the above text.

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