Thursday, June 17, 2021

Thoughts on Three Questions: The Second Question, Part 3


I’m tempted here to conduct a further discussion about the unified dualism of the quantum state, and the reconciling nature of conventional reality as it arises from it; but we will stick with gravity. 

Gravity is a force of consciousness that attracts and concentrates. It is, in a sense, the One Thought of the universe or the mind behind it that draws things together. So a human being’s spiritual awareness is a function of inner gravity, something I explained at some length in The Quantum State of Being. That spiritual awareness is born of a gravity, or consciousness, that is already supernatural from its inception; and although it is certainly stronger or weaker in each individual according to the unique and exact circumstances of their birth and the vibrations around them (as in Gurdjieff’s story) because it is a gravitational body of Being, exactly like a solar system, it will continue to attract materials and incorporate them into the structure and relationship of its astrological bodies (suns, moons, planets, comets, and so on, metaphorically speaking) throughout the course of a lifetime. There are possibilities consequent to this action in every life; and yet because of the laws of accident and the fundamental law of difference, the possibilities will vary. 

In his references to “all three-brained beings of the great cosmos” Gurdjieff implies that under ordinary circumstances, every three brained being has a more or less equal opportunity, through their own agency, to attain spiritual insight. Yet things are not arranged quite that way on earth anymore. The planet is “damaged goods” from a cosmological point of view. This analogy squares well with Gurdjieff’s lifelong observation that children are never properly educated—are in fact ruined—by what adults impart to them. The analogy, for those who understand this question as expounded above, is quite exact.

There are much greater metaphysical questions raised by this situation; questions of God’s will, predestination, predetermination, fate, accident, destiny, and so on. 

This is a very complex piece of territory, but we can considerably simplify it by invoking the simple actions of agency, intention (= choice) and responsibility. 

No matter what life a person is born to and what they’re gifted, within the limitations of their own inner solar system, they’re offered the opportunity to act with agency, intention, and responsibility. 

This is the threefold axis on which Swedenborg’s world of spiritual life turns; and Gurdjieff’s is no different. Even the village idiot acts—within the range of their own abilities—with agency, intention, and responsibility. It’s not whether one makes grand contributions to human society or not that makes a difference in the attention to and development of spiritual life; it is measured strictly according to the development of agency, intention, and responsibility within the context of one’s own life and awareness

In this way a great man and a fool have equal opportunities to act within the measure of what they have been given; and either a great man or a fool can make good or bad things of what they have.

In this sense, the one who lacks spiritual awareness (who can perhaps be related to Gurdjieff’s obyvatel, a Russian word meaning, more or less, good householder or ordinary man) but nonetheless discharges these personal forces in a respectable manner that serves others and God, may attain more than one with greater gifts and lofty ambitions who does a poor job of it. This is another conclusion that we find amply foreshadowed in Swedenborg’s texts. It is a man’s intention that matters; and the man who loves God and his neighbor, who may be simple but who does the right thing, has more right to enter heaven than the man who is a genius with great power and yet does the wrong ones.

In a certain sense, spiritual awareness ultimately turns on Swedenborg’s principal of selfishness versus unselfishness; and to the discerning mind, Gurdjieff’s teaching equally rests its weight here. Spiritual awareness is ultimately a choice we make. If God made it for us there would be an element of coercion in it; so the answer to the question as to why some have spiritual awareness and others don’t, while it may in some sense be related to abstracts such as past lives and the like, is actually straightforward.

People who don’t have spiritual awareness don’t have it because they don’t want to. This is not a condemnation; it is an observation. 

In the end, the question of gravity and the way that forces are concentrated in being has much to do with the expression of difference. The question of exactly why it is this way is veiled in the same mystery that God veils himself in; one can but touch, as I have here, on some of the proximate causes for the difference, rather than the ultimate ones. The ultimate ones lie in the threefold gifts of agency, choice, and responsibility. 

I am able to act.

I choose to act.

I act in relationship.

My awareness, from within this field, either turns towards God…

 or the devil. 

May you be well within today.


Lee van Laer is a Senior Editor at Parabola Magazine.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.